Political pundits may be predicting extinction for the Green Party after the next election, but the Green’s Galway West candidate Niall Ó Brolcháin is determined to be optimistic.
According to the latest IMS poll, the Greens are only on two per cent support and in a five seat constituency like Galway West where a quota is 16.67 per cent, few, if any, are giving Senator Ó Brolcháin any hope.
Despite the odds being overwhelmingly against him, the Green candidate is remaining positive and focusing his campaign on an upbeat and positive message for these grim and troubled times.
“I understand the anger of the Irish people and I am angry myself that our economy has been so badly managed over the past number of years,” he said, “however we must look to the future now, it’s time for a new beginning.”
Sen Ó Brolcháin’s campaign will focus on Green Energy and the arts as ways of creating employment; transport solutions for the city and county; political and administrative reform at national level.
“I believe we need to look to the future and provide solutions to our unemployment problems, our economic problems and our environmental problems. I believe that we can do all three together,” he said.
Sen Ó Brolcháin’s campaign was formally launched on Monday night with an event in Bar 8. The guest speaker was the former rector of St Nicholas Collegiate church, Rev Patrick Towers. He said: “Niall offers a unique combination, where he is rooted in the agony of the last few years, while also retaining a larger vision for a new type of society.”
Speaking about his campaign policies, Sen Ó Brolcháin said the West of Ireland has the “strongest wind in the country and some of the most powerful waves in the world”.
He said Green TDs would “work with NUI Galway, GMIT, the Marine Institute, and private enterprise” to make Galway “a world leader in the wind and ocean energy” which will “create thousands of new jobs here”.
He also called for better bus services; the re-opening of the Oranmore train station; better cycling facilities, including the Oranmore-Knocknacarra-Barna coastal cycleway; the Claregalway bypass; and a fifth bridge in Galway city to reduce traffic congestion as part of an overall transport plan.
Sen Ó Brolcháin is also calling for the Galway city and county council’s to be amalgamated into one local authority.
“They can be stronger together,” he said. “I want to see one council and one mayor for all of Galway. The city and county development plans should be approved by the people, not just councillors. If Dublin can have a directly elected mayor, why not Galway too?”
Speaking about the arts, Sen Ó Brolcháin called for “more support, and more creative spaces” for Galway’s artists.
He said: “I will work to make the name ‘Ireland’s Capital of Culture’ a reality, internationally, for all who work, live, or visit here”.