Posts Tagged ‘ Green Party ’

Scotland’s Independence Referendum Heats Up Ahead Of Polling Day


Getting off the train at Glasgow’s Queen Street station and stepping out into George Square, it’s hard not to get swept up in the feverish excitement that is gripping the city. Yes badges seem to adorn almost every passer by. A giant banner reads ‘Bristol Greens: England says vote Yes for a fairer society.’ A band plays an open show on Buchanan Street, with saltires and Yes billboards lining the makeshift stage.

This is in stark contrast to Edinburgh, just yesterday (Saturday), when the Orange Order marched ‘to save the union’, in their biggest showing in Scotland in over fifty years. The controversial march – many on the Better Together side were well aware of the counter-productivity of a march by a group largely eschewed by most branches of Scottish civil society – was reported on positively by The Guardian as ‘a visceral show of strength for the union’ that passed by ‘largely without incident’. Continue reading

The Rise Of Special Olympics Ireland


November 25th 1963, the eyes of the world are firmly fixed on Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A heroic figure has been cut down in his prime. A 42 year old woman stands idly by as she watches her brother lowered into the ground. Amidst the backdrop of her sibling’s successes, it is now her time to create some history of her own.

One year prior to the death of her brother Eunice Kennedy Shriver had a vision. She invited young people with intellectual disabilities to a day camp in her own back garden, sowing the seeds for the foundation of the Special Olympics – an organisation that would grow into a global movement and change the lives of millions. Eunice, saw opportunity where others saw barriers, and despite the personal tragedies that encapsulated her family she battled valiantly and secured a brighter future for all those born with intellectual disabilities. Continue reading

Opinion: Abortion Debate Highlights Political Impotency of the Younger Generation

File:Abortion protest - Barcelona, Spain (8133579204).jpg

Abortion protest – Barcelona, Spain. Photo: David Berkowitz.

As I left my house to go to work yesterday I found, as I regularly do, junk mail crammed into my letter box. But, unlike the usual menu for takeaways or an estate agent trying to get me to sell my rented house, I found a leaflet for anti-abortion. It was well made with good eye-catching design; even the pictures of its featured politicians were Obama-ised like the famous ‘Change’ posters. I left it where it was and continued on my way. Two minutes down the street I met the man who was handing out the flyers. Now, I work in a place where daily I deal with large numbers of elderly and retired people, so take my word for it when I tell you; he was one of the oldest people I have ever seen. He was walking up driveways at the pace of a snail with a limp, and his liver spots were so numerous they could have been freckles on a ginger child. Never before have I seen the division of opinions between the old and the young so perfectly portrayed. And yet, despite this man’s obvious lack of vitality he was standing up and making an effort to involve himself in an issue he feels very strongly about. The same can definitely not be said of the majority of the young people in my generation.

Continue reading

564 Candidates to Contest Election

A total of 564 candidates will be contesting the General Election – nearly a hundred more than in the last general election in 2007.

The number of those running as independents or for smaller parties is 233 – this compares to 108 in 2007.

Fianna Fáil has 75 candidates, down from a total of 106 in 2007. Fine Gael has 104 candidates, up from 91 in 2007.

The Labour Party is fielding 68 candidates, up from 50 in 2007.

The Green Party is fielding 43 candidates. Sinn Féin is running 41 candidates, the same number of candidates as 2007.

There is a very high number of other parties and independent candidates this year.

New Vision, a new political group of independents, is fielding 19 candidates.

Nominations may have closed but candidates can withdraw their names up to midday tomorrow.

The total number of people on the Electoral Register 2011/2012 is 3,161,854.

This compares to 3,066,517 on the register in 2007 – a rise of almost 100,000 (95,337) voters since the last election.

A week to forget:Green Party Quit, Leadership Battle Intensifies

The political turmoil engulfing Ireland at present shows no sign of stopping.

One day after Brian Cowen officially stepped down as leader of Fianna Fail, Green Party leader John Gormley pulled the plug on the government coalition. The decision by the Greens to withdraw from government may well bring forward the election date, which had been fixed for March 11th.   

He said that the party’s patience had finally run out and that the people of Ireland had been left ‘aghast’ at recent political developments.

Mr Gormley said the ongoing ‘saga’ over the question of the Fianna Fáil leadership as well as a breakdown in communication over cabinet promotions were at the heart of the Green Party’s decision.

He said he informed the Taoiseach and other ministers of his party’s decision to pull out of Government before it was announced yesterday.

Crucially however the Greens have agreed to help the opposition get the finance bill passed in parliament. Both Fine Gael and Labour have admitted it is now time for all the parties to work together in order to get the bill passed, whihc would serve the best interests of the country and its people. However Sinn Fèin has said they will oppose the bill.

Elsewhere, the battle lines for the leadership of Fianna Fàil have been drawn in the wake of Cowen`s reisgnation. Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, former Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin and Minister for Social Protection Eamon O`Cuiv have all thrown their names into the hat.

Junior minister Conor Lenihan has revealed he will not be contesting the leadership battle and has refused to give details of who he will be supporting. Mr Lenihan is keeping his cards close to his chest, as he will be looking to work closely with the new leader, if it is his brother Brian or not.

Cowen Quits Fianna Fail but remains Taoiseach

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has stepped down as the leader of Fiànna Fàil, just days after passing a vote of confidence within the parliamentary party.

Mr Cowen, has endured one of the most turbulent weeks of his political career since he took over as Taoiseach in 2008. However despite quitting as leader of Fiànna Fàil, he has vowed to stay on as Taoiseach.

He said he felt his continued leadership of the party was distracting from the issues facing Ireland in the run-up to the election.

The prime minister – or Taoiseach – said: “I’m concerned that renewed internal criticism of Fianna Fail is deflecting attention from this important debate.

“Therefore, taking everything into account after discussing the matter with my family I have taken, on my own counsel, the decision to step down.”  

He added: “The government will continue to govern the country.”

The opposition Labour party has tabled a motion of no confidence in the government and there will be a vote on it next week.

Fianna Fail will choose a new leader through an internal party vote next week, Mr Cowen said.

The front-runners to succeed him are Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan and  former Minister for Foreign Affairs, who resigned from government earlier this week.  

The shock announcement is the latest twist in the crisis gripping the Irish government.

Mr Cowen last week tried to reshuffle his cabinet .However, the reshuffle backfired spectacularly when it was opposed by the Green party, partners in Fianna Fail’s coalition.

The move further weakened the Taoiseach`s position within his own party and within the government.