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Irish Green Party quits government, early Parliamentary election now required

THE GREEN PARTY is withdrawing from Ireland’s coalition government, in the wake of Brian Cowen’s decision to step down as leader of Fianna Fáil.

Speaking at the Merrion Hotel, Green Party leader John Gormley said:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and thank you for joining us.

On November 22 last we said that an election should be held early this year because of the events surrounding the IMF bailout. On that occasion we identified four key priorities, which needed to be addressed before this election could take place. These were: concluding financial arrangements with the EU/IMF; producing a four-year economic plan; passing Budget 2011; and passing the Finance Bill to give effect to that Budget.

Today, three of these four objectives have been completed. We believe it is possible to complete the Finance Bill quickly before going to a general election.

We believe that this election is absolutely necessary. The Irish people have begun to lose confidence in politics and in the political process. They have watched aghast the conduct in Dáil Éireann of political parties.

The Irish people expect and deserve better.

For a very long time we in the Green Party have stood back in the hope that Fianna Fáil could resolve persistent doubts about their party leadership. A definitive resolution of this has not yet been possible. And our patience has reached an end.

Because of these continuing doubts, the lack of communication and the breakdown in trust, we have decided that we can no longer continue in government.

We will remain true to our promise to support the Finance Bill from the Opposition benches, with the promised cooperation of the opposition parties. Yesterday, Eamon Ryan initiated contact with the main opposition party in this regard. And they have undertaken to facilitate the passage of the Finance Bill.

I understand that similar undertakings have now been given by other opposition parties.

We hope that they will keep their word.

We also hope that the Fianna Fáil party will make every effort to fast-track this legislation.

It has been a very rare privilege to serve in government.

It would of course have been preferable if our time in government had not coincided with the worst economic downturn in our nation’s history. It has meant having to take the most difficult decisions that any party could have faced.

We did so it was because it was the right thing to do.

I am proud of our many achievements in the areas of planning, renewable energy, energy-standards of buildings, water conservation and other environmental areas.

I’m proud that we gave rights to gay couples through civil partnership, and that we persisted in our belief that education and the arts should be protected. These two areas are absolutely vital for our economic recovery.

I regret obviously that we did not have more time to complete our other legislation, which is very well advanced.

I would like to thank our party members for their steadfast and loyal support in the face of unprecedented challenges. I’d like to thank our hard-working staff and our families who have had to endure the pressures that go with being in government.

Our record is one of responsibility, reform, steadfastness and creativity.

And these are the very characteristics that will enable this country to get back on a path of sustainable recovery, underpinned by a very different set of values.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh.

Ballot Access News reports that this means that new parliamentary elections, which were already planned, will now occur more quickly -possibly in February, according to The Journal (linked above).

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  1. Michael Cavlan RN Michael Cavlan RN January 24, 2011

    Please note the part at the ennd about the Greens only leaving the coalition Fianna Fail governmennt AFTER Brian Cowen regigned and THEN the Green Party posts were “reshuffled.”

    THAT was when the Greens left the government.

    The Green Party no longer have any credibility in Ireland.

    Jaysus fookin’ Christ

  2. Michael Cavlan RN Michael Cavlan RN January 24, 2011

    Just posted on Green Party Watch

    Gregg Jacoy had asked for ann Irish Green to comment on the story.

    This is my response


    Probably not gonna happen. I can feel fairly certain that people from Comhaontas Glas (Irish Green Party) do not frequent this site a whole lot… emmm OK ever.

    I can give ya a fairly baised perspective. Going via my father, who is very active in Sinn Fein and then transmitted thru me.

    My father and I talk fairly frequently. He and others used to have some respect for the Greens. Specifically their stated position on numerous human rights issues both in Ireland and International.

    When the Greens entered into coalition with Fianna Fail folks became a little suspect. Then it became apparent that the Greens were simply a bunch of middle class opportunistic comfortable types. Class is a very important issue in Ireland, which has been so poor for so long.

    Activists in Ireland, specifically enviornmentalist activists became very angry at the Irish Greens sumersaulting of excuses as to why they remained with Fianna Fail. Especially those activists who were in the Shell To Sea campaign. This is a campaign where Shell Oil company is taking Irish sovereign land in County Mayo and placing a bloody great Gas Pipe. Making the natives very unhappy. With the OK of the Fianna Fail government and their junior partner, the Greens. Sumersaults of excuses continued. The rank opportunism became very self evident.

    Then the next budget came out. The IMF was demanding that the Irish governent institute austerity programs, hiting the poor in Ireland very badly. This obviously mirrors what the IMF has done in many other countries.The sumersaulting Green leadership continued.

    At the next election the Greens lost about 70% of their seats but still enough to keep Fianna Fail in power. Our erstwhile Green Party leadership hung on. The vast majority of the base of the Greens had fled to other parties, Sinn Fein and Labor mainly but the leadership still had jobs in the government.

    THEN the Fiannna Fail Taoisceach (Kind of the Irish version of the president) Brian Cowen has been tied directly to he economic crisis and the Bankers Bailout. He resigned as Taoiseach of Fiannna Fail but still remains in power.

    Well, the Irish Greens could see that they were now tied directly to a VERY unpopular man in Ireland. The writing was on the wall. So our brave stawarts in the Irish Greens finally left Fianna Fail. Oh wait, that is right. With Cowen gone, those cushy jobs for the leadership were “reshuffled” and THEN the Greens left the government. There will now be an election in Ireland in March.

    I met a member of the Irish Greens when he came and visited Minnesota a few years ago. He had spoke at a Green event in Minnesota. He was one of those activists in the Shell To Sea campaign and was REALLY pissed at the antics of the leadership then.

    He was ready to leave the Grens then. I still have the Comhoantas Glas cap he gave me.
    It is a fine cap.

    So, as da Oirishman say

    Dat is about fookin’ dat

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