Failure to get votes likely to result in party's office closing


GREENS:THE GREEN Party will hold a number of crucial meetings with staff and with its membership over the next few day to discuss the future of the party.

A party spokesman yesterday confirmed that the loss of statutory funding would probably result in the party losing its offices in Suffolk Street in Dublin and letting most, if not all, of its staff go.

The party’s share of the national vote in the general election was 1.8 per cent, below the 2 per cent threshold which must be reached if a party is to be recognised for the purposes of State funding.

“The funding is not huge but it is enough to run an office and to have a few people employed. The fact that we dipped below the threshold means we have a major problem now.” The party had access to very limited funds during the campaign and said its national budget did not exceed €40,000.

Paul Gogarty, who lost his Dáil seat in Dublin Mid West, said yesterday the party needed to make fundamental changes in the way it operated.

“I believe there is still potential for a party but it is one that must be able to connect to grass roots, to community groups, to women’s groups and to small business.

“You need to give people a stake in how the party is organised from a policy viewpoint.”

Mr Gogarty said there was a perception that the Green Party was intellectually superior, “more interested in ideas and concepts than connecting with people”.

He said this had to change. He also accepted that it would take a long time for the party to recover, following the loss of all of its six TDs in the general election.