Prominent councillor resigns from Green Party

By Maurice Garvey

STRONG rifts in the Green Party continue apace with the resignation today of prominent Clondalkin councillor Peter Kavanagh.

Elected in 2019, Kavanagh is the latest Green Party member to cite difficulties with the party’s coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, following last week’s resignations of Tallaght councillor Liam Sinclair and Ballyfermot councillor Sophie Niccollaud.

Peter Kavanagh Green no more 1

Councillor Peter Kavanagh resigned from the Green Party

This follows other resignations last year by councillor Lorna Bogue in Cork, and Mayo-based European and Dáil candidate, Saoirse McHugh.

Kavanagh was the party’s spokesman on Irish and the Gaeltacht and he was one of the high-profile representatives who opposed the coalition arrangement last year.

Highly active in a wide range of community groups and endeavours, he told RTE Drivetime that some senior party members are not open to any questioning of government decisions.

“I was earlier questioning the government’s decision to re-open the schools with three day’s notice without notifying teachers. When I raised this I was shut down. This is not conducive to good governance,” he said.

“I was against the coalition, but supported the 74 per cent majority members decision last year, but that support cannot be uncritical.”

Kavanagh feels “senior members are trying to drive an agenda” and there seems to be a “deference to leadership.”

He cited his opposition to CETA, which if included in the Programme for Government, would be a “bitter pill.”

“You have to compromise to achieve things, but when compromise is the end goal, you will see more resignations,” he said.

It is the latest in a line of other prominent councillors who have resigned from the party.

Cllrs Nicoullaud and Sinclair were also both against entering the coalition government.

French national Nicoullaud, who was elected as a councillor in 2019, was a supporter of Catherine Martin becoming leader of the party, and expressed “regret” that certain members are still driving the party in the coalition’s direction.

She also cited Eamon Ryan’s push for a CETA vote and a questionable policy of environment, saying “the Green Party is not representative of what a Green Party should be.”

All three councillors have vowed to continue working for their respective constituents.

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