Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Irish Green Party
The Green Party (in Irish, An Comhaontas Glas) was founded as the Ecology Party of Ireland in 1981. It has succeeded in getting candidates elected to all levels of government; local, Dáil and European Parliament. The Republic of Ireland has a system of proportional representation called the Single Transferable Vote, which gives smaller parties, such as the Green Party, more opportunity to gain representation.
In the general election of 2002 it made a breakthrough, getting 6 TDs (Members of Parliament) elected to the Dáil. However, in the election to the European Parliament of June 2004, the party lost both of the European Parliament seats which it had won in the previous election in 1999. It has had little success at local level, winning only 18 seats out of 878. Nonetheless, this was a doubling of its 9 won in 1999. One of its new councillors was Niall O Brolchain, elected in Galway City.
The Irish Green Party's best-known politicians are its leader Trevor Sargent and former MEP Patricia McKenna . Apart from Sargent the other Green Party TDs include: John Gormley, Eamon Ryan, Ciarán Cuffe, Paul Gogarty and Dan Boyle.
The Irish Green Party has strong links with its counterpart in Northern Ireland, the Green Party in Northern Ireland, but it has had little success at any level of election in the North. Although it is a member of the European Federation of Green Parties, the Irish Green Party has adopted a notably more eurosceptic stance than is typical of Green Parties in other European Union countries.
The Green Party also has a youth wing, know as the Young Greens, which has several hundred members in branches throughout the country. Its current chair is Pat Barrett.
See also: Worldwide green parties
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