The Green Party launched its European election campaign this weekend in Galway. The party are running candidates in each of the three Irish constituencies.
Cllr Ciarán Cuffe is contesting the Dublin constituency, Senator Grace O’Sullivan in Ireland South and Saoirse McHugh in Midlands-North-West.
The Green Party candidates commit to working with our European neighbours to make Ireland a leader on climate, pollution, and sustainable agriculture. They are passionate about developing liveable towns, cities and communities around the country.
Speaking at the launch, Dublin MEP candidate Cllr Ciarán Cuffe said:
“Dublin needs a strong green voice in Europe. We have a vision to make Dublin one of Europe’s great cities, just like Copenhagen and Amsterdam. This requires investment in decent housing and transport. To tackle climate change we need affordable homes in the city and proper cycling and walking networks. I’ll work hard as your MEP to make this happen.”
Ireland South MEP candidate Senator Grace O’Sullivan said:
“The European Parliament is uniquely placed to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution in our seas. Europe has shown leadership on this issue when our government has failed. I have been committed to tacking these issues on a national level as a Green Party Senator, when I introduced legislation to ban microbeads and worked with my Party colleagues to bring a plastic bottle deposit refund scheme to Ireland. I believe a green voice in Europe will be vital to ensure we hold our government to their promises on plastics.”
Midlands-North-West MEP candidate Saoirse McHugh said:
“Europe has an enormous impact on how we farm and how we produce our food. As someone from the small rural community of Achill island I believe that a green voice in Europe can change the way we produce our food. Small farmers can be leaders in organic farming, and bring life back to our towns by providing employment to young people. We need to work with farmers to promote carbon sequestration and habitat protection, to ensure that rural Ireland can be safeguarded from climate threats for this generation and the next.”
Ciarán is from Dublin and is a long standing city councillor. He chairs Dublin City Council’s Transport Committee and is passionate about walkable, bikeable and liveable cities. He served two terms in Dáil Éireann, and was a Minister of State with responsibility for Climate Change, Planning, and Sustainable Transport. During his time in government, he reformed the Irish planning system to focus on evidence-led decision-making, and published legislation to tackle climate change. He chairs a Master’s Programme in Urban Regeneration and Development at the Dublin Institute of Technology. His is currently undertaking an MSc in Cities at the London School of Economics and hold degrees in Architecture and Urban Planning from University College Dublin.
Grace is from Waterford and is a Senator. She is a mother of three, an ecologist, and an environmental education specialist. She is a former Greenpeace activist, a former Irish surf champion, and a green entrepreneur. Having grown up in Tramore, Co. Waterford, she has been a lifelong nature-enthusiast and environmentalist, with a particular love of the sea. Two years ago she was elected as a member of Seanad Éireann. Grace is a Green Party spokesperson on environmental protection, natural resources, marine and tourism. Since entering the world of politics she has worked within committees and on the ground in a number of key areas with an ecological and human dimension to them. She has worked on legislation to tackle the issue of microbeads and microplastics which pose a threat to the environment and public health.
Saoirse is in her 20’s and comes from Achill Island, Mayo. She studied genetics in UCD, gaining practical knowledge of the environmental challenges facing our planet by working with people saving seeds, planting trees, and restoring soil. She completed a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Lancaster University, with a focus on the politics of food production, and went on to work with the Irish Seed Savers Association in Clare. This led her to get involved with Food Sovereignty Ireland and she is also on the committee of the Organic Growers of Ireland. She sees the policies that govern how we interact with our environment as crucial leverage points in our fight against climate change and has engaged with the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) on creating a proposal for a Common Food Policy for the EU to replace the Common Agricultural Policy.
PHOTOS: Andrew Downes, Xposure.net
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