Green Party councillor urges challenge in upcoming leadership contest

A number of the Green Party’s Cork city and county councillors recently broke rank ahead of the party’s upcoming leadership contest, and threw their support publicly behind TD Catherine Martin.

The move comes as the Greens prepare to negotiate the challenges of a leadership battle in the midst of government formation negotiations.

Among the councillors rallying behind Deputy Martin are Liam Quaide, Oliver Moran, Lorna Brogue and Colette Finn.

Speaking to The Avondhu, Cllr Quaide, who ran as the Green Party’s general election candidate in East Cork earlier this year, said that now was the time for change.

Highlighting the growth of the Green Party during the last election cycle, Cllr Quaide pointed out that the party has become ‘larger and more diverse,’ and required ‘careful leadership to keep us united’.

He remarked that Deputy Martin was representative of the manifold identities of this broader party membership.

“From growing up in County Monaghan to rearing her family in Dublin, she is both rural and urban, Northern and Southern in the scope of her life and experience and in her work,” he said.

Continuing, the councillor and former East Cork general election candidate remarked: “As a woman she has excelled in a political arena dominated by conservative men, and she has inspired many other women to become involved in politics.”

‘Star quality’

Referring to the arduous government formation talks, in which the Green Party appear to occupy the role of possible kingmakers, Cllr Quaide said: “We must stay true to our values in any government arrangement we might consider, and be the party that works to improve the lives of people from every walk of life.”

Deputy Eamon Ryan, who has led the Green Party since 2011, was praised by the group of Cork councillors for his ‘unflinching positivity and determination,’ however it was abundantly clear that they are now seeking a different type of leader in Deputy Martin.

“As a political leader she strikes exactly the right balance between decisiveness and caution. She has star quality that is all the more powerful for being understated,” Cllr Quaide concluded.