What is the Green Party?
The Green Party is a political party formed in 1981 by a group of people interested in better planning, social justice, sustainable economic growth and protection of our natural environment. The first Green Councillor was elected in 1985 and in 1989 the Party took its first seat in the Dáil. The Green Party served in a coalition government from 2007 to 2011 with 6 TDs.
What the Party stands for
The founding principles of the Party are based on peace, democracy, protection of the environment and our natural resources and social justice. We believe in a range of policies to alter things for the better, from properly funded education and a better transport system, to improved primary health care and a fairer tax system. We believe in equality, in a political system that is transparent and in decision-making at community level. We understand that we need to plan now for our future energy needs.
How the Party works
The Green Party is a democratic party, largely run by its members on a voluntary basis. Local groups, organised on a constituency basis, play an important role in organising meetings and events, canvassing and fundraising. Local groups select candidates to run in local and general elections. The National Executive Committee (NEC), made up of Party Leaders and member representatives, meets bi-monthly to oversee decisions in the Party. The National Council meets every three months to consider policy development.
The Green Party has one member of the Legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland, Steven Agnew, MLA. At local government level the Party has councillors on county, city and town council levels in the Republic, and district council level in the North.
Green Party in Europe
The Green Party has strong ties with its European counterparts and has looked to other Green Parties who have been in Government. The Party is a member of the European Green Party and works closely with the Green MEPs in the European Parliament, who are organised as the Greens-EFA Group.
The Young Greens provide representation for young people. Most universities and colleges in the country have a Young Greens group. Find out more about the Young Greens at www.younggreens.ie.
One of founding principles of the Green Party is that all political, social and economic decisions should be taken at the lowest effective level. Because of this, no major decision is taken within the Party without the support of two thirds of the membership. Events held to decide the Party's position on big issues include the vote to go into Government, the election of a new Leader, and the Party’s position on the Lisbon Treaty.
The Party holds its Convention, or Ard Fheis, once a year and all members are invited to attend. As well the social aspect of meeting with other members, Convention presents the opportunity to update and change policy positions. Each constituency group is entitled to submit a motion to be voted on by all members. Other highlights include the Leader's speech, guest speakers and workshops.
As a member you are entitled to join policy working groups that develop and implement party policy positions. Whether your interest is in health or energy, animal welfare or equality, you can join a group, debate and input your opinion into what direction the Party should take on an issue.