Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

16.53 8 Jun 2021


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One of the founders of a new green, left-wing political party says they want to transform the Irish State to "bring about the conditions for eco-socialism".

An Rabharta Glas - which translates as the Green Tidal Wave - has been founded by several former members of the Green Party who left after the party joined the coalition government last year.

The new party has two currently serving councillors - Cork City Council's Lorna Bogue, and South Dublin County Council's Liam Sinclair.

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On The Pat Kenny Show, Councillor Bogue - who left the Greens back in October - said the new party has a "very specific aim".

She said: "[We want] to actually transform the State and institutions of the State, so we can bring about the conditions for eco-socialism.

“What we’re looking for is going to make everyone unhappy, both on the right and the left: we’re carrying with us a reform agenda… which is different, I suppose, and challenging to explain something so different in an Irish context."

The Irish Independent recently reported that 'read the works of Karl Marx' was one of the suggestions for members of the new party.

Councillor Bogue explained: “From my own background… I have a Master’s in economics. When I was getting taught about economists who were influential, two of the most influential ones were Marx and [John Maynard] Keynes.

“[Ireland has] moved more into neo-liberalism, where the State is grown in service of markets.

“Marx was writing in the 18th century… what we’re looking for is a transition and move beyond the economy we have at the moment, because that’s not working for any of us: in terms of issues like housing and health, but particularly when it comes to the climate crisis.”

The new party have said they'll happily work in coalitions as a smaller party, despite the issues some members have with their former party's current approach.

Cllr Bogue says one of her issues with the Green Party was they "didn’t necessarily have a plan" for what would happen when they went into Government.

She observed: "The ideology was… people would realise that being green was so nice and good that everyone would just naturally become green, and all you need was to have people in the right positions."

An Rabharta Glas believes a 'just transition' - bringing everyone along with the move to a zero-carbon economy - is vital, and Cllr Bogue said there's very little mention of such an approach in the Government's own environmental bill.

Meanwhile, they also believe the State has to 'intervene' in the economy and market to break through the "vested interests" in the country.

In terms of policies around farming, for example, they want State support for small-scale, sustainable farming, as well as the decorporation and decarbonisation of food processing companies.

Main image: Lorna Bogue. Picture via An Rabharta Glas

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