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Chairs of Young Greens and Queer Greens resign from party

The outgoing chairs said they were “dismayed” by recent decisions from the Green Party.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THE CHAIRPERSONS OF the Young Greens and the Queer Greens have jointly resigned from their positions, citing concerns over the current direction of the Green Party.

Outgoing Chair of the Young Greens, Tara Gilsenan, and of the Queer Greens, Tiernan Mason, have written to the elected members of the Green Party to submit their resignations from their leadership positions in the party’s affiliate groups.

In a joint letter published on social media, the chairs said that they were “dismayed” by recent decisions taken by the party since it entered into the coalition government.

“We had hoped that we could fight to make a difference and to hold the Green Party to account, but in our short time as Chairpersons, we have realised that our efforts have been in vain and that the concerns we have raised have been going unheeded,” Gilsenan and Mason said.

While we understand the constraints that come with being the smallest party in a coalition, we have found ourselves dismayed to see our elected representatives vote against Party policy, even outside the constraints of the Programme for Government, again and again.”

“We have fought against the Party voting for evictions during a pandemic, against sealing the Mother and Baby Home documents, against rushing a lacklustre Climate bill through and against voting against our own policies in general. We have not been successful.”

Tweet by @Tiernan Mason Source: Tiernan Mason/Twitter

Gilsenan and Mason said that they felt they had been “overlooked, left out, ignored, bullied and harassed by members and elected representatives of the party”.

“We would suggest, to the remaining elected officials in the party hierarchy, that you need to remember who put you where you are; those who voted for ‘people and planet’ are outraged at your actions,” they said.

“History will not be kind to the Green Party as it stands, especially if you continue to drive away the people who rebuilt the party after you burned it down the last time.”

The outgoing chairs’ decision to resign follows a Dáil vote earlier this week that passed the Government’s Mother and Baby Homes Bill, which would see records sealed for 30 years under a 2004 Act and be withheld from survivors and their families.

The bill passed with 78 votes in favour, including all elected members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and the Green Party, and two TDs from the Regional Group, while the remaining 67 TDs voted against the bill.

Members of opposition parties had drafted amendments to the bill which they said were based on requests from survivors and human rights experts.

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Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman of the Green Party told TDs that the amendments which would enable victims to decide if they wanted their name to be recorded or to be anonymous would not be considered.

The Green Party saw several members depart earlier this year after it formed a coalition government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, including environmental activist Saoirse McHugh.

Announcing her decision to leave the party in July, McHugh said that the programme for government was a “terrible document” and that she believed the government would “do massive damage to the idea of environmentalism by linking it with socially regressive policies”.

Former chairperson of the Queer Greens and Cork Greens spokesperson also resigned during the summer, citing that he had become “disillusioned” with the party.

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