I attended my first meeting of the Southeast Dublin contingent of the Irish Green Party last night. There were maybe 35 to 40 people there, of all ages with a surprising number of people who looked over 50. I’d been thinking for some time to join but what convinced me last night was the appearance of John Gormley, the member of parliament from my district.
My first-preference vote helped Gormley defeat the Right-Wing TD (member of parliament) Michael McDowell to win the last seat in my district. And now, since the Greens did go into coalition with Fianna Fail, Gormley has been appointed the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
And how’s this for democracy? Gormley, coming straight from a late session of the Dail, sat himself down a foot away from me at the meeting. For more than an hour, we were all able to address questions and concerns directly to him, in some cases we were able to argue with him on his answers.
As an American who was unable to get a single lowly aide of Senator Hillary Clinton to come down from her New York City offices to talk with a Move-On contingency before the Iraq invasion, Gormley’s accessibility blew me away!
So, I paid my 15 Euro and joined up.