Political party to register 'within weeks'


A NEW political grouping concerned with green and social justice issues adopted a constitution at a meeting in Dublin at the weekend. An Fís Nua or A New Vision, is to register as a political party within weeks and will campaign for seats in the next general and local elections.

Backed largely by former members of the Green Party, the new grouping said it will be concerned with issues like transparency in politics, use of the State’s natural resources, environmental issues and care for the less well off.

The two-day meeting in Parnell Square was attended by former Green Party MEP Patricia McKenna and ex-Green Party councillor Pat Kavanagh of Wicklow town as well as members of the Donegal Greens which recently disaffiliated en masse from the Green Party.

David Grey of Tralee, a former candidate for the party, advocate for the disability sector and founder member of GM Free Kerry also supports the new group, but said he could not attend the weekend meeting.

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Kavanagh said the weekend had considerably moved the agenda forward for the new party, which she likened to “a federation”.

She said membership would be open to individuals, but also to organisations which wanted to retain their separate identity while aligning with An Fís Nua.

“It is a federation with a political structure with a view to fielding candidates in the next local and general elections,” she said.

There is to be no single leader of the new party, in similar fashion to the original Green Party policy, and spokespeople for the party will be elected by the membership.

Acknowledging the grouping was “based on the same principles” generally as the Green Party, she believed “a lot of people were not happy with the party in Government”, which she said “abandoned” many core issues.

Ms McKenna said the issues concerned natural resources like the Corrib Gas field. She said it should be possible for the Government to tell the oil companies it was altering the terms of their agreements. Ms McKenna also said the new grouping would attract support from the Labour Party, particularly after that party’s stance on animal welfare legislation.

Cork councillor Chris O’Leary, a former Green Party councillor said he met the backers of the party, but was “concerned about the amount of people close to John Gormley who come to these meetings”.