Smaller parties hope to make mark in Meath East

Green Party among those hoping to consolidate


Fianna Fáil is not the only party to claim it is back from the dead. After its annihilation in 2011, the Green Party has contended that support is filtering back and voters have been able to put the anger felt two years ago in its proper context.

Its candidate in the byelection tomorrow is Seán Ó Buachalla, a member of the party since the age of 18, who has already stood in two general elections.

Ó Buachalla said that in 2011 he took “a lot of flak” on the doorsteps for measures that the Greens supported in government in a bid to reverse the economic downturn. “Overall now it is very different. We are getting a very positive response, and people recognise that our legacy in government is now being discarded.”

The candidate mustered no more than a few hundred votes in 2011, and is hoping to consolidate this time around with a view to the medium-term rebuilding of the party. His canvass has focused a lot on the potential of green jobs and the green economy. “The local issues revolve around he commuter belt. A huge amount of development took place there during the boom, and there were huge deficiencies in infrastructure. There are problems with water supply, sewage and with brown water, all from overdevelopment.”

Ó Buachalla is one of six candidates from smaller parties or who are Independent contesting the election. The most prominent visually has been Ben Gilroy from Direct Democracy, who believes that none of the main parties are accountable.

Seamus McDonagh of the Workers’ Party is a leading member of the anti-property tax and anti-water charges campaign in Meath. Another left-wing candidate, Mick Martin, is standing on an Independent Labour platform.