THE Green Party has been “absolutely awful” in Government so far, according to one of its own Cork City councillors who described the performance as “atrocious”.
City councillor Lorna Bogue, who is also interim chair of the new Just Transition Greens group, told The Echo the Greens have been “horrendous” in Government and have had “no backbone whatsoever”, adding that the party has been “an unrelenting mess”, particularly on social justice issues.
She was speaking following the resignation of a number of party members in the previous 48-hours.
Saoirse McHugh, who ran in the 2019 European and 2020 general elections, resigned from the party, while in Cork, party members Beth O’Reilly and Rob O’Sullivan, who was communications officer of Cork Greens and chair of Queer Greens, also stepped away.
Outlining her reasons for quitting the party, Ms McHugh said that the programme for government was disappointing.
Ms Bogue said that she agrees with that assertion and said members were lied to about its contents.
Commenting on Ms McHugh’s hopes that Just Transition Greens would branch away completely from the main party to form an eco-socialist party, Ms Bogue said: “That’s not quite on the cards at the moment.
“We are hoping that we can try and salvage something.
“We still stick by the principles of the party. We still think there’s something salvageable there.
“But, our message to the party is very clear, which is ... if the party continues along the line it’s going down the party will no longer exist. The electorate are going to push the party back into oblivion.”
Previously, Ms Bogue has said she will remain a member of the party, despite having issues with her treatment, as well as the programme for government.
“I have seen a lot of commentary saying that I should leave the party, just as Saoirse has done.
“I don’t feel like I could hold them to account in the way that I am holding them to account now,” Ms Bogue said.
“Just Transition Greens is a way of being organised about holding the party to account so that it’s not just my voice anymore,” she added.
Councillor Oliver Moran is another of the members of the Just Transition Greens, and he said it would be a measure of the group if they could attract people of the calibre of Ms McHugh back.
“It’s very difficult seeing members here in Cork of the calibre of Rob O’Sullivan and Beth O’Reilly announce they are leaving the party.
“Just like Saoirse McHugh, they are colleagues who were central to working on the campaign to inspire people to vote green and build the green wave,” he said.
“The party is going to have to examine why people of the strength of these members so quickly feel they cannot stay.
“The votes on a living wage, maternity leave, and union recognition were so poorly handled.
“There will have to be significant and visible wins for the party in the immediate term in government on issues like these to set a marker and reverse this sense before a die is cast and a narrative is set,” he said.