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Green senators table no confidence motion in Hazel Chu following decision to run in Seanad by-election

The Lord Mayor announced her nomination on Monday.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THREE GREEN SENATORS have tabled an internal motion of no confidence in Hazel Chu’s chairing of the party following her nomination to stand in the Seanad byelection.

Roisin Garvey, Pauline O’Reilly and junior minister Pippa Hackett put forward the motion at a meeting of the parliamentary party this evening, which is now underway.

Chu, the current Lord Mayor of Dublin, announced on Monday that she would run in the by-election next month after receiving nominations to do so from several Green Party TDs and three senators.

She did not receive backing from her party to run in the election, but deputy leader and Cabinet minister Catherine Martin was among those who nominated her.

It is understood this evening’s motion on Chu’s role in the party has no standing, as motions of no confidence can only apply to the leader of the party.

Sources within the party described the move as “odd” and suggested that the party does not have a role in the ongoing controversy over Chu’s nomination.

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It is understood that O’Reilly, one of those who tabled the motion, previously ran against Chu for the position of party chair.

The Seanad by-election will be held via postal voting from 7 April to 21 April, and follows the resignation of two senators in recent months.

One vacancy arose after former Fine Gael senator Michael D’Arcy resigned to become chief executive of the Irish Association of Investment Managers.

Former Sinn Féin senator Elisha McCallion also resigned following a controversy over Covid-19 grants in Northern Ireland.

Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan told reporters yesterday that there was an agreement that coalition partners Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would fill the two seats.

However, Chu told RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne programme this morning that she had been informed such a pact between the Greens and the two parties had not been agreed, claiming she would not have gone against this.

She also confirmed that a previous motion by the party to nominate a candidate did not pass.

“There was a myriad of reasons: that we didn’t have enough time; people thought we were in a coalition; and also that we didn’t have a possibility of winning this,” Chu said, noting that the vote did not prevent anyone from running. 

She added that she has not considered leaving the party over the controversy, saying: “‘I’m happy to stay in the Green Party until someone kicks me out.”

With reporting by Christina Finn.

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