Green Party bid to defuse damaging row with Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu

61

The Green Party will today try to find a compromise device in a high-profile dispute with its chairperson and Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu.

everal members of the parliamentary party have tabled a motion of no confidence in Ms Chu as chairperson following her move to stand as an Independent candidate in a by-election for the Seanad next month.

Deep divisions are compounded by the decision of the party’s deputy leader, Arts and Tourism Minister, Catherine Martin, to back Ms Chu’s candidature. Four other party TDs and one senator also endorsed her nomination – despite the national executive’s decision not to contest this by-election.

The extraordinary no-confidence motion was deferred last week. But it is back on the agenda this week with Senator Pauline O’Reilly – one of three senators backing the move – asking how somebody can be national chair of a political party while standing in an election under different colours.

When the party’s 16 TDs and senators meet at 5pm this evening a compromise will be proposed. A motion will be put forward asking Ms Chu to temporarily stand aside as chairperson for the duration of the Seanad by-election campaign.

It is not known whether the Dublin Lord Mayor will agree to this request. Some party sources suggested she appeared unlikely to accept but she was not available for comment.

Many Green Party members are dismayed by the row, which has overshadowed one of the party’s primary achievements to date, publication of a strong draft law on Climate Change which now goes before the Dáil and Seanad.

Ms Chu’s candidature is seen as a further move to undermine Eamon Ryan as party leader. It follows the revelation earlier this month that Green Party TD, Patrick Costello, had initiated High Court proceedings in efforts to block the EU-Canada trade deal, which the three-party Coalition is trying to get ratified by the Dáil and Seanad.

Before joining the Coalition last June the Green Party was highly critical of aspects of the Canada deal. But since then the leadership have said important changes put in place made it acceptable.

Mr Costello, a TD for Dublin South Central, is also Ms Chu’s partner. These disputes show that a proportion of Green Party activists remain unhappy with their party’s role in government.

Online Editors

Source: Irish News