Eamon Ryan TD, Cllr Marc Ó Cathasaigh, MEP Grace O'Sullivan, Catherine Martin TD and Cllr. Jody Power at the recent Green Party Think-In
The Green Party in Waterford has concluded a selection process for a general election candidate that will see Cllr Marc Ó Cathasaigh fill the vacancy left by Grace O’Sullivan’s election to the European Parliament.
Cllr Ó Cathasaigh, who topped the poll in Waterford City West and Tramore in the local elections last May, was selected uncontested by the Waterford branch membership.
Cllr Ó Cathasaigh, who is also the Green Party spokesperson for social protection, feels there may be an appetite for a new voice for Waterford in the next general election.
“In common with many people in Waterford, I get the sense that our city and our region have been left behind, from health to education to housing. We need stronger representation in the Dáil to make the case for Waterford as the economic driver for the entire South East region," he tells WaterfordLive.ie.
“By the same token, we’re hearing more and more on the doorsteps that people understand the need for radical action on our climate and biodiversity crises. Waterford came out strongly in support for Grace O’Sullivan in the European election, and we hope they’re ready to vote Green again.”
MEP Grace O’Sullivan will be putting her full weight behind the new candidate for the Dáil. Speaking on her decision not to contest the next general election, she admits it was a difficult one to make. “Many people, both nationally and locally, would have liked to see me run. However, I’ve always felt that the European Parliament is far too important to be considered a waiting room for national politicians. I was given a huge mandate by the people of Waterford, and by voters throughout the Ireland South consituency, to represent their interests in Europe, and I’m committed to doing that.
“I’m delighted to have a person of Marc’s capabilities to take my place as our general election candidate. He’s proven himself as a vote-getter in the local elections this year, and has already made significant progress in his council work, recommitting Waterford Council to the Covenant of Mayors framework.”
Speaking on the prospect of a snap election before Christmas, Cllr Ó Cathasaigh feels the Green Party has nothing to fear from a campaign at short notice. "We have had our selection process, which is quite lengthy, in train since late August, but it may well be that we’ve finished just in time. Should the Taoiseach decide to cut and run following whatever Brexit results, we have a strong, motivated team in place and ready to go," he adds.