Ex-Green councillor to join Sinn Féin in Cork


CORK-BASED former Green Party Councillor Chris O’Leary, currently an Independent, will announce today that he has joined Sinn Féin and will be available to run for the Dáil if selected in the next general election, informed sources said.

Mr O’Leary originally joined the Green Party in the early 1990s and was co-opted to Cork City Council in 2002 to replace Dan Boyle, who was elected to the Dáil for the Greens that year.

He won a second term as a Green Party councillor in the local elections of 2004, with a first-preference vote of 9.54 per cent. He ran unsuccessfully for the Greens in the 2004 elections to the European Parliament.

He was Mr Boyle’s campaign manager for the 2002 general election but contested the nomination with him in the 2007 poll. While Mr Boyle was selected for the Cork South-Central ticket again, Mr O’Leary ran in the North-Central constituency.

Neither of them was successful, although Dan Boyle, who is Green Party chairman, was subsequently nominated to the Seanad by then-taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Mr O’Leary, whose brother Don was elected to Cork City Council for Sinn Féin in the 1999 local elections, works full-time as a project manager in a Community Development Project on the city’s north side and has been involved in anti-poverty work for many years.

O’Leary  has also spent time working on a voluntary basis in Latin America, principally in the Amazon region, where he worked to document the lives of indigenous people and “the implications of deforestation, health issues, child prostitution and human rights”. He is a graduate of UCC and has served as a board-member with the Community Workers’ Co-Op and the Volunteer Centre of Ireland, and is a member of the Cork Environmental Forum.