Patricia McKenna has confirmed, in an interview with Hot Press, that she’s quitting the Green party to stand as an independent Euro candidate.
The decision of Patricia McKenna to leave the Green Party was inevitable. Since the vote to enter government with FF in 2007, there has been a sizeable rump- within the party- which has been uneasy as Green ministers jettison more and more core beliefs. In essence the realos within the party have outmaneuvered the fundis. It is an open secret that some in the leadership wished to push McKenna out of the party. This is borne out by today's reaction of Senator Deirdre De Burca party candidate for the Euro elections in Dublin. She said:
“The pity about Patricia McKenna’s move is that she did not do it at least a year ago and spare herself and her party colleagues a lot of time-wasting and strife,” the Senator said. “In my view she is addicted to the politics of opposition and appears reluctant to move beyond that comfort zone,” she said. “In my view she is addicted to the politics of opposition and appears reluctant to move beyond that comfort zone,” she said. “The Green Party is committed to the constructive politics of engagement and bringing about real change from within.”
McKenna is a conviction politician who believes that core principles must be preserved at all costs. Whilst many of her policy positions are too extreme she is a politician of the highest integrity. A series of party u-turns have become too much for her. The party has u-turned on incineration, the use of Shannon Airport by the US military, GM feed, social housing and the Shell to Sea dispute.
I feel embarrassed about being a member of the Green Party," McKenna told Hot Press, "because of what we said in the past and the promises we made, which we failed to deliver on. I just knew that I couldn’t run under a Green Party ticket and pretend that everything was alright because I’d be lying."
Asked by Hot Press if she believes the Greens have sold out, she answers unequivocally: "I do”.
The Green Party has already lost Dublin City councillor Bronwen Maher and Cllr Chris O'Leary in Cork-both of whom have resigned.Increasingly its organization has begun to crumble.
McKenna is a formidable candidate with a strong record. She made political history in the 1994 European Elections when she topped the poll in Dublin and became Irelands first Green MEP. She spent ten years as an MEP.
She narrowly lost her seat in the Euro 2004 election. She is a strong media performer and will certainly damage the very slight prospects of Senator Deirdre De Burca. Indeed she may outpoll De Burca. This would be the ultimate humiliation for the Green Party. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that she may yet lead a new party.