The County’s very first Green Party Cllrs took their seats on Cork County Council this week. Cllr Liam Quaid, East Cork Municipality and Cllr Alan O’Connor, representing the Cobh Municipal District, are among 49 Green Party members to be elected to County Councils nationally.
The Party also had two out of three European candidates selected as MEPS. The Green Party lost all their seats after their time in government with Fianna Fail.
At the time of the Green Party's electoral wipeout in 2011 Mr. Bowman famously said, "the Greens have a future, because they're out to save the planet, not their seats. They are very serious people and I have huge regard for them."
Encouraged by the words of County Mayor, Fianna Fail Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan, himself a climate activist and environmentalist, the Greens hope to institute change in Council policy that recognises we are in climate and biodiversity crisis. In his inaugural speech Mayor O’Sullivan said he would place the environment very high on his list of priorities during his term in office.
Speaking with The East Cork Journal both Cllrs Quaid and O’Connor attributed the Green Party’s spectacular comeback to an increased public awareness of the damage we are doing to our planet. They said the rise in support for the Green Party is a clear message to the Government that climate breakdown is an emergency which won’t wait. "The UN has told us that climate change poses an existential threat to humanity and that no country will be spared. The UN is also clear that we need full political engagement with this challenge, down to the local level."
They said flood defences and our failing transport systems need addressing. We need to eliminate gridlock while reducing our carbon footprint. Both Cllr Quaid and O’Connor said they look forward to working with their fellow Cllrs over the next five years, to make meaningful change.