Green Party councillor resigns

Sun, Mar 28, 2010, 00:00

A Green Party councillor who today resigned from the party has warned she plans to create an opposing federation with other disaffected members.

Pat Kavanagh, of Wicklow Town Council, said she was leaving the Greens because she could no longer stand over certain decisions made at Government level.

“The party really has let me down,” she said.

Ms Kavanagh, who plans to remain an Independent Green councillor, said disaffected and ex-Greens had held talks over plans to form an alternative, decentralised federation with a national green agenda.

“The electorate deserves to have representatives who will redeem the core Green values,” she added.

She handed her letter of resignation in on the final day of the Green Party convention in Waterford.

She is among several members and councillors who have abandoned the junior coalition partner amid claims of a growing split between the leadership and grassroots since it entered Government in 2007.

Last month one of its most high profile figures, Deirdre de Burca, resigned from its parliamentary party and Seanad saying she could no longer support them in government and had lost confidence in leader John Gormley.

Ms Kavanagh said she could no longer justify Government decisions — particularly in relation to Nama, appointments to state boards and the National Pensions Framework — to herself or her constituents.

“I see a continuously eroding democracy within the party where ‘spin’ and manipulation by management are becoming the norm, and a chasm between stated party policies and the implementation of those policies,” wrote Ms Kavanagh, who was only elected in 2009.

“This is not the party I signed up to and it no longer represents my position.

“I am leaving the party with respect and affection for all those sincerely principled grass roots members that I have met during my time in the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas.”

The Green Party leadership has faced severe criticism from members and supporters since it entered into a coalition with Fianna Fail, which is also plummeting in opinion polls.

Cork city councillor Chris O’Leary, Dublin representative Bronwen Maher, Letterkenny town councillor Neil Clarke and David Grey, party spokesman for Kerry, have also quit in protest at its change of political direction since taking office.