Reflections on the National Convention

From Eamonn Ryan’s closing speech to the Convention this phrase caught my ear

“Every Community is important and no Community will be left behind”.

Attendance at the Convention in Waterford was impacted slightly by the withdrawal of labour of Bus Eireann drivers and closure of Waterford Railway station, but it was a very positive meeting preceeded by a presentation by Peter Wilcox of Greenpeace on whose boats Senator Grace O’Sullivan once served, good debates and friendship.

A common theme running through the Convention was rural development; many of the problems in Dublin would be relieved by national development of resourses, balancing supply and demand, and ending false competion for those same resourses by vested interests. The lack of joined-up thinking. To quote the ‘Green Party Transport Policy ‘ for one – “The primary role of the State in transport provision is to legislate, regulate and fund, where required, a sustainable transport system for the social, environmental and economic benefit of its people.’ To have public and private coaches and a public rail network in direct competition, in a race to the bottom, on routes between large cities is not the best use of tax money . Destroying local common resources on fiscal grounds insteading of supporting communities to benefit local living is wrong.

Oil is not going to run dry any time soon. But oil, coal and gas are fossil fuels and their burning must be reduced asap, even eliminated, as a key element in climate change; and a cause of illness in public health. Global trends, starting from improved farming and demands for services, are growing cities and towns. But some countries respond to beaucratic centralisation by actively promoting the growth of local resources; high-speed electric-rail serves larger towns, frequent slower trains make local stops supporting schools, hospital visits, commuters, with each stop served by electric taxis, shared cars, post-buses and cycling from rural village communities, supporting bundled service centres (post offices, banks, shops, pubs, etc) for seniors, students and employees in local industry, tourism, farming, horticulture, craft beer, tech and support, spreads population. It is almost a circular-economy already!

Decentralisation will become the trend. Support your local shops, plumbers, growers, garda, bus or train driver living in your community, whether living in Inchicore, Walkinstown or Bohola! Local electric power need not be giant wind-mills; it can be off-shore wind, tidal, solar, bio-fuel, biomass, run-of-river, and construction efficency and refurbishment in building reduces fuel demand, increases comfort, and saves money.

P.S.: The Irish Times of 31st March 2017 reported a speech by Mr John Moran,  the former secretary general of the Department of Finance, in which he said  ‘Ireland needs to “ditch our car-dependent suburbia model” of development and devise a new spatial strategy to take the pressure off Dublin’; ‘To achieve a better regional spread, he called for greater transport options and connectivity between cities. He also suggested that planners should seek to build a counterbalance to Dublin’s power along the western seaboard. “Putting this in place will however require a complete mindset change so that we reward – not penalise – those willing to chuck the idea of two cars and a garden outside the front door, to live the compromise of density rather than choose individualism as their preferred model of living,” said Mr Moran.’

P.P.S.: Where I differ from Mr Moran is to demand greater state investment in rural towns to maximise past investment in facililties, not just in 6 or 7 gateway cities.  For too long the ‘silo-mentality’ of Irish thinking has been to withdraw services from towns and even suburbs. Closing Garda stations to save money, closing post offices to save money, closing bank branches, closing rail-stations, rail-lines, then bus services, closing schools to bus pupils miles, closing swimming pools, etc.  Some have suggested civic offices providing a focal point for services provided by post offices, garda stations, etc. I would go futher tying local bus routes around housing estates and villages to local rail, Dart and Luas stations to encourage population growth and demand for services.

To quote John Moran again: ‘ People want more and more to be able to walk or take efficient and comfortable public transport to their work, the shop, the cinema, to sport and to the crèche. We should encourage this. It is good for the environment and for the rural Ireland we love so much”.



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Green Party Convention 2017






This year’s annual Green Party Convention will be held in Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford! We’re holding a series of free public events on Friday 24th March.

The highlight is Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior captain Peter Willcox in conversation with Eamon Keane from WLR FM at 8pm in the Tower Hotel (register here:…), which will follow on from an exciting panel discusson on Greening Your Communities and a family friendly Coastal Treasures Discovery hands-on event at 3pm at Tramore Prom, Lifeguard Hut.

Coastal Treasures Discovery

Ecologist & Environmental activist Senator Grace O’Sullivan will introduce you to a treasure trove of coastal wonders to be found on and around her beloved Tramore Strand. This family-friendly hands-on demonstration and talk is a free event open to the general public.
Meet outside the Lifeguard’s Hut, Tramore Prom, 3pm

Greening Your Community

Discover how communities are reclaiming public spaces, growing their own food, and recycling.
Panel discussion hosted by Maria McCann with:
Michael Kelly, GIY; Edel Tobin, New Street Gardens; Paul Carroll, Rebike Ireland; Mary White, Blackstairs EcoTrails; Cllr. Malcolm Noonan, Green Party.
Tower Hotel, 6.30pm.

In Conversation with Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior captain Peter Willcox

Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior captain Peter Willcox will be talking to me and Eamon Keane of WLR:FM about his adventures protecting the environment on the high seas (register here:…)
Peter will be around to sign books and have a chat afterwards.

Register at the link below, and the Waterford Greens and I will look forward to welcoming you to the Déise county!…

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Fundraising Table Quiz on 1st March

Table Quiz Fundraiser 8.00-10.30pm

 1st March 2017

‘The Jug’, 40 Francis Street, Dublin 8


With the merry dance the taoiseach is doing at the moment, it would probably be wise for us to have funds to run an election to get a green voice for the people of Dublin South Central.

We are holding a table quiz in the new bar, the Jug, 40 Francis Street on 1st March @ 8pm and we would love to see you there. The Jug is a newly opened pub, and we are delighted to choose it as a venue as it is within walking distance of all city centre buses, and adjacent to a Dublin Bikes station.  We suggest that people find the pub by going through the arch on Patrick’s Street, opposite the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Park, continuing up to Francis Street and then turning right in the direction of the old Iveagh Markets.

All offers of help, prizes etc. gratefully accepted: invite everyone!  More details here and on Facebook as we get them!

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Proposed Cyclists ‘Left turn’ against red lights

At our meeting in September, it was agreed to draft a motion on supporting a change in the law to allow for some traffic lights to be treated as “yield” or “give way” signals by cyclists, based on experience in France.

Motion: That the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas support a change in Road Traffic legislation to allow cyclists, in certain situations, to pass a red traffic signal, but to give way to any pedestrian or vehicle which is already crossing the junction.  These situations would include signal controlled pedestrian crossings, left turns, or junctions where there is no traffic entering or leaving from the left.  A suitable road sign will be placed below the traffic lights to identify such junctions.


  • Traffic lights are designed to manage larger vehicles.
  • Cyclists have more of an instinct for self preservation, as the risks are greater to themselves.
  • The need to encourage more cyclists to use the roads and to improve safety as cyclists are less likely to congregate in blind spots to the left of cars at corners.
  • Physics: cyclists need to summon up physical energy to start/ stop at traffic lights.  Motorists merely have to apply a small amount of pressure to a pedal.

Implications/ Other points/Cons:

  • Cyclists and pedestrians will need to show increased responsibility and respect for each other at conflict points.
  • Big resistance from motorists some of whom will resent being left at lights by cyclists
  • Lack of knowledge of existing road legislation (Advance stop lines etc) by motorists
  • Not the culture of councils in Ireland to do this:
  • On the spot fines, cyclist lights in Dublin which operate at the same sequence as vehicle lights etc.)


Article 13 of S.I. No. 171/1962 – Road Traffic (Signs) Regulations, 1962. (see ) 3) (a) When a lamp shows a red light it shall signify that the stream of traffic controlled by such signal shall not proceed beyond the stop line on the roadway at such signal, or beyond the signal if there is no stop line.

News articles showing how it has been done in France:

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Position on Water Charges

We held an open discussion of water charges at our Monthly meeting in November.

The consensus was that we agreed with the metering of water so that it could be conserved, but did not agree with flat rate water charges.

As a group we were disappointed that metering wasn’t at a more advanced stage, before charges started. It was noted as a failure of building regulations not to anticipate that metering would be needed.

The meeting also noted that the Apartment Owners Network have provided information to the Department of the Environment suggesting that apartments be individually metered for water. Some apartment complexes are already set up for this.

The meeting discussed problems with the water supply, including the issue of quality of water, particularly in apartments, but also problems such as a lack of water pressure.

It was suggested that the government predetermined that water charges would be expensive. irish water may fall foul of an EU regulation (EU water framework directive) – there is also an EU statistical rule that states if an organisation is getting a majority of money from state then the debt of that organisation is added to the national debt – would be a more reasonable pricing scheme if left in councils.

We thought that those People who use more than the average amount are those that should be made pay for water. We would support incentives to encourage people to harvest rain water. Future building regulations need to include systems to use grey water and water butts for the gardens.

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Parking Day 19 September 2014, at Cornmarket, Dublin 8

We are delighted to take park in Parking Day Dublin 2014.

PARK(ing) Day, an annual worldwide experiment in reclaiming public space, is a simple, fun concept. For a single day, on-street car parking spaces around the city will be transformed into imaginative public spaces for everyone to enjoy. You can find out more at .

2014 is Dublin’s fourth PARK(ing) Day. In 2013, Dublin was one of the most creative cities in an event that takes place in hundreds of cities across the globe. This year Dublin PARK(ing) Day is even bigger and more exciting than before.

Artists, designers, urban, environmental and public health activists will create unique installations around the city that will each make its own statement in favour of more people-friendly streets.

PARK(ing) Day is about creating awareness of sustainable travel and the need for better streets and public spaces. Consistently the cities with the most liveable streets are rated as the best cities to live and do business in.

PARK(ing) Day Dublin is an opensource event and is supported by Dublin City Council as part of EU Mobility Week.
Ideas for derelict Dublin

The theme of our “parklet” today is using derelict spaces for the community.

At one end you can see our derelict houses (recycled from old election posters) At the other end we have vegetables and plants from Dublin’s biggest community garden which feeds the Students Union canteen in NCAD.

There are too many derelict spaces around our city – if we had a “Site Valuation Tax” instead of the current local property tax, then it would encourage the developers and others that own these empty building and sites not to leave them empty, as they do at present.

The Green Party Dublin South Central supports calls on the city council to release vacant sites in the city for housing for our rapidly increasing homeless people.

We also call on all vacant sites to be made available for community projects such as parks, community gardens and allotments.

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Don’t spoil your vote

BallotPaper_Ireland sml In every election tally, we see spoiled votes due to similar mistakes.To ensure that your vote doesn’t end up in the doubtful ballots pile:

  • Check that you haven’t skipped a preference or written two of the same preference. (The duplicate or missing preference and everything after it would not count. If you want to give two candidates an equal preference, you can’t.)
  • Each ballot paper is separate, and requires its own first preference, optionally a second preference, and so on. (Don’t write a second preference on one ballot paper that is supposed to follow a first on another.)
  • Write clearly. If your handwriting is difficult to read, a vote is important enough to write slowly and carefully. (In every election, there are ballots where agents can debate what digit a certain mark is. For example a “1” with a serif sometimes looks like a “7”.)
  • Don’t mark an “X” or line, etc. beside the candidates you are not voting for. (Sometimes a line looks like a “1”, or it can be argued that the “X” was intended to be a vote for that candidate, especially if it is not against all candidates that don’t have a valid preference).
  • If you make a mistake in filling in the ballot paper, you can return it to the officials at the table where you got it, and get a new one. (You could cross out everything on it to conceal who you were voting for and ensure that the ballot would not be counted if it ended up in the count in error.) Writing a correction on top of a wrong digit may spoil the vote by making it difficult to read. (Sometimes when a digit is written over another, it is not clear which is the corrected one.)
  • Don’t write anything unnecessary. That includes slogans, political statements, etc. The law is that any superfluous mark spoils the ballot. (A lenient interpretation may be taken, but any word written on a ballot paper (or picture drawn on it!) usually spoils it). Such writing is seen by a few count staff, a few tally people, a few more agents at the adjudication of doubtful ballots, and if they are particularly funny, tallypeople will tell others about them. A comment on a discussion forum (e.g. would be seen by much more people and is a much more effective political statement. (It might influence someone’s vote.)

You should write nothing but digits.
(A tick or an “X”, while technically wrong, is usually accepted, and treated as a first preference, provided that there is only one of them, and no other markings).

Also, check that your ballot has the official mark stamped on it (the presiding officer stamps it just before giving it to you). Each pin of the stamp must at least make an impression on the paper.

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Sandra Dunne Green Party Candidate in Crumlin Kimmage

The Dublin South Central branch are delighted to announce that Sandra Dunne has been selected to run as our candidate in the Crumlin Kimmage ward, which includes most of what was previously the South-West Inner City. Sandra lives in Kilmainham.


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Canal Cleanup Group remembering local resident

Our city has many unsung heroes who try to keep our streets clean. Ethna O’Kelly, who passed away last year was one of those heroes who was well known for spending her days picking up litter from the streets of Rialto and Dolphin’s Barn.

The Grand Canal Cleanup Group want to honour Ethna’s memory by planting a tree on a piece of waste ground beside the canal at Dolphin’s Barn Bridge. The planting will take place at 1pm on Sunday 9th February beside the Barn House.

The site chosen was a spot where Ethna used to leave bags of rubbish, out of sight of the street.

The Grand Canal Cleanup group meet monthly on the second Sunday of every month, at the Dolphin’s barn Bridge to pick litter and keep the canal and it’s towpaths tidy for the many people who come here regularly. The group was originally set up in 2010 by members of the Dublin South Central Green Party.

More information: Oisín Ó hAlmhain, 087 1736590 or

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Oisín Ó hAlmhain to run in Ballyfermot-Drimnagh for local elections


The Green Party have announced that Oisín Ó hAlmhain is to run as their candidate in the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh area for the local elections in 2014.

Oisín is a father of 2 living in the railway estate in Inchicore who has been involved in green issues since 1992 when he and other students there successfully lobbied Trinity College to introduce glass recycling. Other achievements include being a founding member the monthly Dolphin’s Barn Canal cleanup and involvement with the Inchicore on track campaign, and has long been an advocate for buying locally from independent retailers.


He is an experienced hospital pharmacist, having worked for over a decade in state hospitals with a brief period spent in a mission hospital in Uganda. Currently he holds the Health spokesperson portfolio for the Green Party.

As a champion of next generation democracy, Oisín is trying to empower residents across the city by promoting the use of sites like and to get citizens problems solved in a transparent manner.

Oisín stood as the Green Party candidate in Dublin South Central in the 2011general election, achieving the highest vote among Green Party candidates who were not sitting members of the oireachtas.

“I am delighted to be selected as a candidate for this area,” he said. “The can do attitude of people in Inchicore and surrounding areas has struck me since I became a St. Patrick’s athletic season ticket holder with the 500 club 10 years ago. I am looking forward to getting out there and representing people who are empowering themselves to get out and fix Dublin. There are many such people in communities like Drimnagh, Ballyfermot Inchicore and Dublin’s tidy town winners in Chapelizod,”

You can also find Oisín on twitter at @OisinOhAlmhain or Facebook at VoteForOisin.

More information:
Oisín Ó hAlmhain, 087 1736590

Notes for editors:
A more complete biography for Oisín is available from

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