Press release

Statement from Grace O’Sullivan

13th June 2024

Serving as a Member of the European Parliament for Ireland South has been the honour of my life, and I am extremely grateful to the people of Ireland South who trusted me with their votes in 2019, and in 2024. 

I am proud of the impact I had in the European Parliament, leading the negotiations for the European Union’s 8th Environment Action Programme which will guide the EU’s environmental agenda up to 2030, and steering that legislation through the Parliament with a huge majority. I am also proud to have worked on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation as lead negotiator for the Greens/EFA, which will start to tackle the sea of plastic waste overwhelming consumers and make polluters pay. 

I was also a member of the Mercosur Delegation, where I fought tooth and nail to protect Irish farmers, and the environment, from a deeply damaging trade deal that puts profit before the wellbeing of people and planet. As a member of Delegation for Relations with Palestine, I vigorously opposed the EU’s support for Israel’s disproportionate reaction to the horrific October 7th attacks, which has caused death, destruction, and misery to be inflicted on the Palestinian people.

I worked extremely hard to build alliances to progress change - no Irish MEP authored more legislative reports (binding EU law) during the term of the 9th European Parliament than I did. I made every minute of my mandate count, and I have no regrets. 

I want to thank my team, my supporters, and Green Party members from across Ireland South who spared no effort, and left no stone unturned in my re-election bid, and ran a really fantastic campaign. I couldn’t have asked for more, and will never forget the support I received. It is testament to their work that, despite challenging political conditions, I came close to retaining my seat, being eliminated after the 19th count, with close to 70,000 votes.

While losing my seat is disappointing on a personal level, it is just the latest chapter in a long story. For over 40 years I have been standing up for what I believe in, and fighting for what is right. During that time I have experienced so many ups and downs - rough seas and calm waters, headwinds and tailwinds. Throughout it all, my commitment to fighting for climate action, for human rights, and for environmental protection has remained steadfast. This commitment remains as strong today as it was when I set out on the Rainbow Warrior at the age of 23. 

The European Union faces a challenging five years, and I wish our incoming MEPs every success during their mandate. I hope that they work constructively to defend the Green Deal, human rights and the rule of law, and to prioritise a Europe that tackles the social, environmental and economic issues that face Europeans across the continent.

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