The Green Party in turmoil

Sir,– Even the most fervent critics of the odious party whip system which operates in Ireland can agree that, at the very least, being a member of a political party brings with it a categorical expectation that you will not contest an election under the banner of any other party or as an Independent ("Green Party leader Eamon Ryan will not vote for Hazel Chu in Seanad byelection", News, March 23rd).

To do so is incompatible with the membership of a party, and anyone who does so should have the good grace to resign their membership or, failing that, be expelled.

The fact that the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Hazel Chu, is contesting an unwinnable Seanad byelection as an “Independent”, and has had this ego trip endorsed by the deputy leader of the Green Party and several of its Oireachtas members, should put Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on notice about how that party intends to conduct its business over the remainder of the Coalition’s term.

The Greens clearly expect both of its Coalition partners to apply the whip to support Green pet projects while it refuses to apply the whip to its own members on even the most basic of issues.

Cllr Chu’s semi-official candidacy is further illustration that the Greens are not a serious political party, but are in fact some kind of weird amalgam of an ecological pressure group and a political science debating society.

The party is simply not fit for government and will have increasing difficulty in hiding this fact over time. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.

Sir, – I am delighted to see that Hazel Chu has achieved enough nominations to run as an Independent candidate in the Seanad by election. However, I am appalled that Eamon Ryan almost immediately stated that he will be voting for the the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael candidates on each panel rather than his own party chairwoman. Eamon Ryan, as per usual, has put his foot in it. He has publicly sided with the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leadership instead of using this as an opportunity to engage party membership and potentially heal some divisions.

Mr Ryan should be more concerned with his own party and membership rather than having blind faith in his Coalition partners and the programme for government.

Hazel Chu is a prominent and hard-working politician and popular within the party. She is also comparatively young, a woman and from a minority background. This is the kind of change we need – out with the old and in with the new!

The cognitive dissonance displayed by Eamon Ryan is incredible. It’s time he stood aside and let more in-touch members lead the Green Party. We will likely see a repeat of 2011 come the next general election, which might not be that far off at this rate. – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.