Green Party ‘will turn the clocks back to the 1950s’

Emmett O'Briend, and Brigid Teefy, Independent. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

THE Green Party will turn the clocks back to the 1950’s if elected.

That was the unrestrained claim from former Independent General Election candidate Emmett O’Brien this week.

The Adare-Rathkeale councillor maintains that a vote for a Green Party candidate would put an end the Cork/Limerick motorway.

Not only that, but he also predicts it would cripple one-off housing, decimate rural agriculture, in particular the beef industry, and “lead to the introduction of outrageous carbon taxes, that will hit agricultural contractors, commuters, and most significantly the poor and elderly who require cheap and reliable heat”.

The Pallaskenry farmer and barrister also criticised Green Party leader Eamon Ryan’s proclamation that if they came to power rural dwellers would have to car pool, one car for ten people.

“And while we’re navigating our way to find a car, we’d have to contend with wolves, which the Green Party propose to introduce to rural Ireland.”

He went on to describe the Green Party as “an ideologically driven radical left wing party that is anti-rural Ireland and anti-prosperity”.

“In rural County Limerick alone we have the third largest dairy herd in the country with beef farming sustaining thousands of families. The Greens will end live exports, which will finish off the already crippled and dejected beef industry. Special Areas of Conservation will be extended limiting farm productivity, especially along the Shannon estuary, which is known was its beef finishing cattle. Add in the Greens proposal to limit nitrogen usage and Dairy farmers might as well hand over the keys of their farms.

“Pharmaceutical, industrial and construction type industries are huge employers in rural Limerick, places such Irish Cement which has sustained families and small farms in Patrickswell and Ballybrown since the 30s, Wyeth, Aughinish to name but a few. Will a vote for the Greens cripple these employers due to mindless and irrational campaigns and over regulation?”

Green Party General Election candidate for Limerick City, Cllr Brian Leddin, was quick to respond to Cllr O’Brien’s claims.

“I work closely with Cllr O’Brien on Limerick City and County Council and I know him to be serious about environmental protection and the sustainable future of rural Ireland which is why I’m surprised that he’s chosen to be so ill-informed about Green Party policy,” Cllr Leddin told the Limerick Post.

“Green Party policy is about practical solutions which can restore the natural world and at the same time improve our quality of life in rural Ireland. This is a ten-year challenge because it will take more than one government to deliver the scale of change we need. We will not make the necessary leap if we see it as a divisive issue between rural and urban Ireland, or between young and old, or if we turn it into a fight between traditional political factions.

“The Green Party will rejuvenate rural Ireland by bringing life back to our towns and villages, creating thriving sustainable communities where people can live and work.

“Ireland has a unique and valuable asset in our farming sector, and, compared to many other nations, a large proportion of farming is carried out by small to medium land holders. This should be one of Ireland’s greatest strengths and one of our best opportunities to support rural communities. People who farm the land have a right to a viable livelihood. In an era of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, volatile international markets, product competition and new climate change agreements, we believe our policies will support farmers as they work towards a more secure future for their farm holdings, their local areas, their trade networks and the country as a whole,” he concluded.