'Today is the Greens' day' - Mary Lou McDonald concedes Sinn Féin will lose seats
SINN Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has conceded her party will lose seats in the local elections and said "today is the Greens' day". The expected loss of seats is the second lacklustre performance by Sinn Féin since Ms McDonald assumed the party leadership after is disastrous showing in the race for Áras an Uachtaráin last year. She said her party won a hundred extra seats in 2014.
They met at UCD and 15 years later Patrick Costello and his fiancée Hazel Chu have won Green seats in separate constituencies and they feel families are just as worried for the future of their children, as they are.
Mr Costello has just won a seat in the Kimmage-Rathmines ward and Ms Chu, has stormed ahead in the Pembroke constituency of south Dublin city.
The couple celebrated their double win with one-and-a-half year-old daughter, Alex, and told how they’d heard even older grandparents on the door telling them something had to be done to battle climate change for future generations.
Fianna Fail on course to retain position as largest party in local government
The Green Party is expected to enjoy the biggest surge in the election, while Sinn Fein seems set to lose a number of councillors.
“People want change,” Mr Costello told Independent.ie. “This isn’t just a protest vote against Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, as there are other parties people could have voted for in protest.
“No, this is a deliberate public vote to try to change things for the better. This isn’t just a youth vote either. I was talking to an older woman, in her late 80s, who was worried for the future of her grandchildren.
“She’d been watching David Attenborough on TV and it caused a deep disquiet in her.
“She wanted to know what would happen to her grandchildren if we stayed as we are, with politicians who are not addressing the emergency of climate change.
Green Party powering towards victory in Election 2019 and deliver warning to Government to 'wake up and smell the flowers'
This will undoubtedly go down on record as the Green election . The party was obliterated after going into Government with Fianna Fáil in the 2000s, when its core supporters felt they sold out to the mainstream. But with climate action and the environment back as a core issue in politics, the Greens’ resurrection has begun. Hazel Chu was the first Green candidate elected nationally on Saturday - and she represents a new generation of politicians. The Dublin Pembroke winner secured a massive 33% of the vote in the Dublin city centre ward - enough for two people to be elected.
“In 1989, the Green Party was accused of scaremongering for raising the impact of climate change but now people across Ireland, and not just Dublin, see just what an emergency this is.
“As well as that, a lot of people are angry about the failure of the current Government to address the housing crisis.
“This is another major issue people need addressed and they need new political leadership to do that.”
Ms Chu was studying politics and history at UCD when she met her fiancé, who was studying psychology.
The pair found a common theme in the environment and went on to pursue politics in a bid to help create a fairer, greener society.
Hazel Chu becomes the first elected Irish-Chinese local representative
Green Party candidate, Hazel Chu, has become the first elected Irish-Chinese local representative. Elections took place on Friday and the count is underway over the weekend. The Green Party’s Hazel Chu won more than double the quota in Pembroke and was elected with 4,069 votes. Hazel became the first elected councillor in Dublin City and […]
“I want to thank people for voting for me,” Ms Chu said. “I feel like this has been a bit of luck to be honest.
“I’ve been bringing Alex to doors canvassing and the family have helped out too but it’s good for her to see us being active from an early age.
“She is one of the next generation who will be affected by the decision we are making now.
“When you’re a parent you really recognise we have to put climate change as the number one priority, so we have a future for our children and I really think people are all realising that now.”
Though a vote for Green could inevitably lead to higher taxation into the future due to issues such as carbon tax, the couple believe the public are ready to consider this as an option given the gravity of the environmental situation.
Clare Daly and Barry Andrews elected, as Dublin's four MEP seats are filled.
Barry Andrews will not actually fill his seat until the UK officially leaves the European Union