Byrne happy to poll over 1,000 as Greens bow out

Bray People - - ELECTION 2011 -

WITH THE GREEN PARTY all but wiped out, the lo­cal can­di­date Niall Byrne re­mains up­beat and said he achieved his goal of polling over 1,000 votes.

‘I was hop­ing to poll over 1,000 votes in light of what's hap­pened na­tion­ally so that is a nice achieve­ment for the Wick­low Green Party - es­pe­cially as I am a first time can­di­date who has to build up a pro­file. The over­all vote is not a sur­prise but we have a very strong Wick­low group and we knew we were strug­gling to con­vince the peo­ple.

‘How­ever, we did reach the peo­ple through ra­dio and me­dia cov­er­age and we have raised the pro­file of the party. Hope­fully that will en­cour­age more Green can­di­dates to run in the next lo­cal elec­tions and in­crease Wick­low's green vote.'

Niall was elim­i­nated on Sun­day with a to­tal vote of 1,131 af­ter the eleventh count.

The Green Party in Wick­low is no stranger to con­tro­versy through the Deirdre de Burca years, but Niall felt past per­for­mances had no bear­ing on the vote at the week­end.

‘I think that peo­ple judged our poli­cies and me as a first-time can­di­date. We are not about the past, we are about the fu­ture. Poli­cies mat­ter and other par­ties have even taken on our poli­cies be­cause they know they are sen­si­ble poli­cies.'

How­ever, de­spite the to­tal oblit­er­a­tion of the Green Party na­tion­ally where all six sitting TDs lost their seat Niall said, ‘ The Greens are go­ing nowhere. We have too much to lose glob­ally and na­tion­ally. We started small and we ended up in Gov­ern­ment so now we start re­build­ing.

‘ Na­tion­ally it was a disas­ter for us and peo­ple through­out the coun­try didn't back our poli­cies and went with per­son­al­i­ties. We have to sep­a­rate lo­cal and na­tional pol­i­tics. I thought it was go­ing to hap­pen this time but it is still too preva­lent.

‘ The Green Party will now have to re-eval­u­ate our time in gov­ern­ment. We have a lot to be proud of and need to mar­ket our­selves bet­ter not just in Wick­low but around the coun­try.

‘Af­ter the elec­tion, I think peo­ple will re­gret not hav­ing a strong Green voice, not only lo­cally but na­tion­ally. There is a Green move­ment glob­ally and it is build­ing mo­men­tum. Twenty per cent of Ger­mans vote Green. The world is mov­ing to­wards Green poli­cies but Ire­land didn't move with it.

‘ The in­com­ing Gov­ern­ment has a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity work­ing with few re­sources and it is im­por­tant they make the cor­rect de­ci­sions. We need sen­si­ble poli­cies, we need jobs and we need to stop em­i­gra­tion and I sin­cerely hope the new Gov­ern­ment can work to­wards that aim for all our sakes.'

Sarah and Niall Byrne tak­ing part in the Grey­stones Goal Mile in Eire Og.

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