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Green Party conference strikes defiant tone

The tone of this party conference was strikingly defiant.

The Greens are not going to mince their words as they take on the big issues with determination and vigour in a world engulfed in fear.

The resolute tone was evident from early morning when there was a sustained standing ovation for Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman.

He delivered a forceful speech after a week where masked protesters demonstrated outside his home.

Mr O’Gorman warned that the far-right wants to reverse both climate and social policies.

This was in many ways the defining theme of the conference.

There was a strident attack too on parties accused of engaging in “political fast fashion”.

Plus, there was a not-too-subtle reference to those who hold the ballot box in one hand and an opinion poll in the other to gauge what is most popular at any given moment.

Read more:
40,000 new homes could be built this year, Ryan tells Green Party convention

Roderic O’Gorman added that politics without principles is just pandering.

Even if the opinion polls suggest they are travelling perilous electoral terrain the party believes its core message has never been more pertinent.

In the midst of growing opposition to some of its policies its members think the anger is excessively amplified by a minority.

“Our everyday interactions with people are 1,000 times better than they are online,” Eamon Ryan said.

Indeed, the party leader is confident that green shoots are springing up all over the country and he issued a bold message to one of his fiercest set of critics, the Healy-Raes, warning them “the Kingdom is growing green”.

This based on the major expansion of the rural bus service, the change in farming practices in parts of west Kerry and the upcoming announcement of a new national park in Kerry.

This sanguine analysis is leading the party to think it can increase it number of councillors which currently stands at 44.

And it wants a representative on every local authority for the first time after the June elections.

It seems an optimistic target but the party is pointing to tangible things such as moves to reduce childcare costs and cutting public transport prices.

It was forecast too that 40,000 homes will be built this year.

Deputy party leader Catherine Martin told the conference it was “all to play for” and urged candidates to repeatedly canvass their areas over the next 48 days.

The contest is in the words of Eamon Ryan about standing up for democracy and science.

“Let’s help the world while improving our own homes and communities at the same time,” was his impassioned pitch to voters as this conference concluded.

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