Cork members of the Green Party have lauded councillor Lorna Bogue for the contributions she has made to the party over the years following her resignation.
This morning the Cork City councillor announced her resignation from the Green Party.
In a statement issued to The Echo outlining her reasons, Ms Bogue who has previously highlighted concerns about the party, indicated that the party's handling of the controversial Mother and Baby Homes bill was the final straw for her.
She also claimed there was "active hostility" towards women in the party.
In a joint statement, Green Party elected members on Cork City Council and Cork County Council praised the "energy and conviction" Ms Bogue brought to the party.
"Late last week, Cllr Lorna Bogue resigned from the Green Party.
"We know her decision to do so was not taken lightly.
"Lorna has given most of her adult life to the Green Party.
"She was central to rebuilding the party when it was at its lowest electoral ebb. Nationally and here in Cork.
"The party owes her thanks for her energy and conviction.
"In particular, for expanding the party's presence and visibility on issues of social justice," the statement said.
Ms Bogue will now act as an Independent councillor within Cork City Council, but says that she will be "caucusing" with Green Party city councillors.
"We’ve come up with an internal arrangement amongst ourselves so I’ll be caucusing with them on Cork City Council," she said.
Ms Bogue thanked the Green Party city councillors for their support.
"We’re happy enough to keep working together, they’ve been really fab.
"They’ve been so supportive.
"If the party was all like that, I think things would be a lot better than they are," she said.
Councillor Oliver Moran said he understood Ms Bogue's reasons for resigning, saying that there has been "a lot of people feeling hurt" about the Mother and Baby Homes bill.
"The handling of the Mother and Baby Homes bill was really poor.
"I've known Roderic [O'Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth] for ten years and I know he's a good man.
"What he was trying to do was different to the effect it has had - on survivors and everyone who has a memory of these places and our awful history.
"What can be done now is for him to re-dedicate himself to that work for the benefit of survivors," he said.
"On Cork City Council, the four of us intend to continue to work together as one group without change.
"We're an effective team and every member of that team is important, valued and supported.
"What unites us is our shared vision and our ideas for this city. We'll keep delivering on that," he continued.
Meanwhile councillor Colette Finn said:
"I am sorry to see Lorna leave the Green Party but happy that we will remain united as the Green group on Cork City council.
"Only six out of 31 councillors on Cork City council are women. That is no accident.
"The political system is designed by people who do not have care commitments.
"How we have cared for our children has been to silence the majority of women into thinking that politics is not for them.
"But politics is where all decisions get made and women need to be at the table.
"Gender equality is not a nice to have extra. It is fundamental to a fair and caring society."
Ms Bogue's resignation from the Green Party follows the resignation of a number of party members over the summer.
They include Saoirse McHugh, who ran in the 2019 European and 2020 general elections and, in Cork, Beth O’Reilly and Rob O’Sullivan.
In recent days, chairs of two groups in the Green Party also resigned from their positions.
Tiernan Mason quit the Queer Greens and Tara Gilsenan resigned from the Young Greens.