The Green Party in Northern Ireland originated in the early 1980s, partly as a result of the Green Movement which was sweeping across Western Europe and partly because of the massive anti-nuclear movement which gripped the country at that time. Through the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other organisations people protested against the proposal to build a nuclear power station on Carnsore Point. Like its counterpart in the Republic and also in Britain, the Party in Northern Ireland first stood under the name Ecology Party.
In the May 1981 local council elections, Peter Emerson, Avril McCandless and Malcolm Samuels stood as the first candidates to use the Ecology label in Northern Ireland and gain 233, 81 and 61 votes respectively, the first in a large urban, the other two in smaller rural constituencies.
in May 1983 The Northern Ireland Ecology Party is launched at a press conference held in the Europa Hotel, Belfast with members of Comhaontas Glas and the UK Greens in attendance. At the same time, the three parties put forward the one combined policy on Northern Ireland, the first time that a political movement in these islands has held a common Northern Ireland policy.
In 1985 Ecology Parties throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales & Scotland change their name to Green Party.
The party currently holds one seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The party offers the electorate a green and environmental agenda. Its aims include greening the Northern Ireland economy, promoting alternative energy, opposing nuclear, promoting public transport including light rail for Belfast, opposing GM food, promoting local and organic food, equality for all citizens and it continues to fight for an independent Environmental Protection Agency.
The party's first electoral success in Northern Ireland was at the local council elections of 2005. Cllr Raymond Blaney was elected onto Down District Council and Brian Wilson took a seat on North Down Borough Council. The Party's third local councillor was Ciaran Mussen, appointed to Newry and Mourne District Council.
There have been a few changes since in the Downpatrick area. Cllr Bill Corry took the Downpatrick seat after Cllr Blaney retired and in 2008 Cllr Cadogan Enright was co-opted onto the council in place of cllr Corry who retired.
At the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 2007, the Green Party won its first seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly, when Brian Wilson won a seat in the North Down constituency. Overall the party won 11,985 first preference votes or 1.7% of the total - a rise of 1.4% since the 2003 Assembly election.
2007 proved to be a very significant year for Green Party politics as it also saw the Green Party in the Republic of Ireland become a partner in government, taking three ministerial positions.
2007 also saw the establishment of the Greens at Queens, http://www.qubgreens.blogspot.com QUB Greens.
Since entering the Northern Ireland Assembly the Green Party has campaigned for an independent Environmental Protection Agency, alternative energy grants, provision for the renewables industry sector, a nuclear free Northern Ireland and gm free Northern Ireland.
The Green Party's co-chairs are Dr. John Barry and Kelly Andrews.
The Party has spokespeople in the following areas:
- South Antrim: Pete Whitcroft & Lindsay Whitcroft
- South & East Belfast: Steven Agnew & Dr. Peter Doran
- Downpatrick: Cadogan Enright
- Newcastle: John Hardy
- Garrett Mussen: North Coast
- East Antrim: Dr. Mark Bailey
- North Belfast: Peter Emerson
- Brian Wilson, MLA for North Down and North Down Borough Councillor
- Ciaran Mussen has been involved in local politics in Northern Ireland since at least 1985 when he was elected to Newry & Mourne council as an Independent Nationalist. He stood for the Green Party in 2005. Cllr Ciaran Mussen has been involved in local politics in Northern Ireland since 1986. He stood for the Green Party in 2005 and has campaigned for the right of people living in social housing to the right to alternative energy.
- Cadogan Enright was co-opted onto Down District Council in 2008 taking over from Cllr Bill Corry who retired. A life long environmentalist, Cllr Enright joined the Green Party in the mid 1990’s over his concerns regarding climate change. A chartered and certified accounted with post graduate qualifications in building standards, Cllr Enright is one of the founding members of Sustainable Development Ltd. based in Downpatrick. The company promotes environmentally friendly building standards and small scale renewable energy.
See also Edit
- Green Party in Northern Ireland politicians
- Demography and politics of Northern Ireland
- Green Party (Ireland)
- Green Party in Northern Ireland (official website)
- Down District Green Party
- Antrim Green Party
- QUB Greens Blog
- Green Bloggers
- Greens working for peaceful progress in Northern Ireland (2006-12-13);
- Green Party N.Ireland Photo Database
- Greens launch new structures and eye up three Assembly seats (2006-12-04)
See also Edit
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