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Greens face ‘excruciating’ decision

Thursday, 25th June, 2020 10:37am

Green Party members in Cork are no clearer on which way the vote to ratify the Programme for Government (PfG) will go this Friday.

Two thirds of the party’s voting members are needed to see the deal through, the highest threshold of the three parties in the proposed coalition.

The members of all three parties - Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Green Party, need to pass the PfG in order for the parties to go into government together.

The results of the internal party votes will be known on Friday, however, as it is a postal ballot, it is likely that all votes will have already been cast by the time of going to print.

Green Party Cllr for Cork City North-East, Oliver Moran, told the Cork Independent that he is still unsure of which way his party will vote, but that he will be rejecting the PfG.

“I've thought long and very hard about the Programme for Government. Like every other Green Party member, my vote counts for just 0.038 per cent, but I've decided I must vote no on this occasion.

“There's no right or wrong in this decision. It's an excruciating one to make. I respect the view of every other member, supporter and voter who comes to the opposite decision.”

Cllr Moran added that if the PfG is accepted by the Green Party, he will respect the decision and will work with his colleagues “no matter what is agreed”. He said: “Being in a party is not about always getting your way or being right on every vote. I may be wrong. And if the deal is approved, I hope I am.”

Also rejecting the deal is Green Party Cllr for Cork City South-East Lorna Bogue who has made no secret of her opposition to the terms of the PfG, stating on RTE’s 'Prime Time' last week that the deal held “little in the way of commitments”. Midleton Cllr Liam Quaide is also against the deal.

However, Cork Green Party councillors Dan Boyle, Colette Finn and Alan O’Connor are all in support of the PfG.

In a message sent to his party members to ask for their support in favour of the PfG, Cllr for Cobh Alan O’Connor wrote: “Although we returned a record 12 TDs in the last election, that is still 12 out of 160, a reflection of our receipt of 7.1 per cent of voters' first preferences. Like it or not, we are not currently in a position to put all our policies into action.”

Lending his roar to the issue this week was Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo, who is no stranger to turning green when times get tough. Mr Ruffalo joined Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin of the Green Party in a webinar on Monday evening to encourage party members to accept the PfG in light of its commitments to prevent the importation of fracked gas to Ireland.

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