The Green Party in Cork has expressed its sincere condolences following the passing of a former East Cork Green Party candidate, Natasha Harty.
Ms Harty, a longtime environmental activist, stood for the party in the 2014 Local Elections in the Cork East area, and in the 2016 general elections in the Cork East Constituency.
Ms Harty passed away on Saturday, February 29.
Speaking today, Cork Greens chairperson Eithne Lynch said that Ms Harty’s passing was a sad loss to the environmental movement in East Cork.
"The cause of Environmental Protection generally and the Green Party, in particular, is much poorer this morning following the sad passing of Natasha Harty.
"She had a long time involvement in CHASE over two decades and was more recently active in the Midleton Climate Aware Group."
CHASE, or Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment, is an alliance of groups formed in the early 2000s to stop the construction of a large commercial incinerator in Cork, with Ringaskiddy being the latest site proposed by Belgian company Indaver.
"Love of Nature and the Environment was central to Natasha’s whole life," Ms Lynch continued.
"She was a member of Eco Congregation Ireland and a strong advocate of their belief that Christians have a responsibility to care for the earth and to be environmentally aware and active.
"The loss felt by Natasha’s family and close friends will be shared very widely by all of us who knew her, and indeed even by those who may never have known or heard of her.
"May she rest in peace."
Green Party Councillor in East Cork, Liam Quaide, emphasised the impact Ms Harty had on her community.
"[Natasha] was an exceptionally caring person who was held in the highest regard within her community. She was known for her many low-key acts of kindness towards others.
"Tash had a deep connection with nature and with her community, and was unafraid to stand up for both in her environmental activism.
"She had the courage to put herself forward as an election candidate for the Green Party and she was a founding member of Climate Aware Midleton.
"She was respected by us all as an elder with much wisdom to share. Her death is a huge loss to East Cork."
Ms Harty is survived by her husband Michael, her siblings Wendy, Tim, Rory, Yasmin and Fern, her children Féidhlim, Malachy, Cormac and Brigid, and her grandchildren Susie, Kate, Clodagh, Max, Cillian and Arno.
She will be lying in repose at Hyde's Funeral Home, Midleton, today (Monday March 2), with visitors welcome from 6:30pm until 8pm.
A Quaker Funeral Service will be held at 11am at the Grainstore, Ballymaloe on Tuesday.
The family have requested that donations be given to CHASE or the IQFA (Irish Quaker Faith in Action) in lieu of flowers, if desired.