People in need across Northern Ireland are facing increasing hardship as the government at Stormont continues to malfunction and the country is distracted by an unnecessary Westminster election and the shambles of Brexit

Rachel Woods is the Green Party MLA for North Down Christmas is around the corner and once again big business is doing a great job telling us about the luxurious Christmas food we should be eating, the fines wines and spirits that will enhance the festive spirit and the expensive presents that will glitter and glow under the Christmas tree. Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for families living on low incomes. However, the reality for many is that …

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Clare Bailey endorses Claire Hanna for South Belfast

Clare Bailey says; These are extraordinary times that demand an extraordinary response. “Almost 70% of the people of South Belfast voted to remain in the EU and its vital that a pro-Remain MP is returned. “This is a first past the post election and Claire Hanna is best placed to take the South Belfast seat from the incumbent pro-Brexit MP based on previous results. “Brexit has been a shambles right from the beginning and chaos has reigned at Westminster ever …

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‘We have a political process instead of a peace process’

Northern Ireland has “had a political process at the cost of a peace process”, believes Clare Bailey MLA, the leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland.  She is highly critical of the limited progress since the Good Friday Agreement 21 years ago and the lack of real social integration.  She was speaking in the latest Forward Together podcast. Clare questions who has benefited since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.  “Certainly within the working class and the most …

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Post election analysis

The seats The ballots have been cast, the votes have been counted, the results are in and the spinning has begun. Despite thoughts before the election that both the DUP and Sinn Féin would consolidate their support and increase their seats, the DUP managed to lose 8 seats and Sinn Féin saw no change to their total. The failure of the two big parties to make gains did not, however, translate into victories for the UUP and SDLP, with both …

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Centre parties have captured a significant number of seats from both nationalists and unionists at the local elections

With the counting now concluded in the 2019 Northern Ireland council elections, it is apparent that centrist parties have captured a significant number of seats from both nationalist and unionist parties. However, nationalist parties have captured enough seats from unionists to keep their total number of seats across the councils roughly the same, whilst the number of unionist councillors has dropped substantially. The number of seats won by each party/group in 2014 and 2019 is broken down in the table …

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UK Parliament Declares Environment and Climate Emergency

The House of Commons has tonight declared an “environment and climate emergency.” The first national parliament in the world to do so. This comes in the wake of mass civil action by Extinction Rebellion, school strikes for climate, and local declarations of climate emergency all over the world. The UK Labour Party, which proposed the motion, asked MPs to “act with commensurate urgency.” Something which the Green Party have been urging for a very long time.  In the last few …

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Council elections 2019 – all you need to know Part I

The nominations for the 2019 local government election are in and a total of 819 candidates are running for 462 council seats across eleven different council areas – a decrease from the 893 candidates who sought election in 2014. The DUP was the largest party in 2014 and this remains but the total number of candidates they are running has decreased, from 189 to 172. There has been a slight increase in the number of candidates that Sinn Féin are …

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Malachai O’Hara selected as Deputy Leader of the Green Party

Malachai was selected by the party membership following an Annual General Meeting today (10th March 2019). Speaking about his new role he said; “I am proud to take on the role as Green Party Deputy Leader, supporting Clare Bailey MLA. Clare has brought new energy to the party since she took up the leadership mantle – there is a real enthusiasm amongst party members and supporters. “Our focus is on the local government elections in May and we stand a …

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Pro-Remain Parties “We urge the EU to remain firm in that position and call on the British Government to reconsider the reckless path that they have adopted”

“With only eight weeks until the UK exits the EU, the four pro-Remain Assembly parties – SDLP, Sinn Féin, Alliance and Greens – are united in our support for the backstop negotiated by both the European Union and the British Government. “We continue to believe that there is no such thing as a good or sensible Brexit, and any opportunity to reconsider Brexit should be taken. “We believe that while the Withdrawal Agreement is imperfect, it will mitigate against a …

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Four Pro-Remain parties issue joint statement on the backstop

The following statement was issued by the leaders of Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and the Green Party.   The four Remain parties, Sinn Féin, SDLP, Alliance and Green Party continue to believe that there is no such thing as a good Brexit and our preference is for no Brexit at all. We recognise that the majority of people, businesses and civic society do not want Brexit either. “We have a shared responsibility to protect jobs, economic stability, the environment and …

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When Did We Forget How To Build Peace?

Today marks the UN international day of peace, the General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and across all nations and peoples. So, let’s look at Northern Ireland and ask a difficult but critical question –  have we lost the peace-building tools that we once used to good effect? There is no doubting we have come a long way since the signing of the GFA. Yet, we now find ourselves …

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Joint statement by party leaders on rights after Brexit

The following is a joint statement from the leaders of Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and Green parties. We are at a crucial point in the Brexit negotiations. Guarantees were given in the Joint Report between the British government and the EU in December that there would be no diminution of rights as a result of Brexit, on the rights of people resident here and that the Good Friday Agreement would be protected. “These guarantees have yet to be fully translated …

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Joint Statement from Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and Green Party on Human Rights post Brexit

Joint Declaration on Human Rights and Equality 1. We are strongly committed to the promotion, protection and the vindication of the human rights of everyone. We believe these guarantees should apply to all who reside in NI. 2. We firmly believe in the centrality of equality to the shared society we are working together to create. 3. We share a profound concern that “Brexit” will result in further regression on equality and rights. 4. We welcome the guarantee in the …

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Four parties issue a joint statement on Brexit.

Four party leaders representing 49 MLAs have penned a joint statement on Brexit. On 23rd June 2016 citizens voted to remain within the European Union. Despite this, the British Government intend to exit the EU in March 2019. Sinn Féin, Green Party, Alliance and the Social Democratic and Labour Party all share the common position that we should stay within both the single market and customs union and that there should be no hard border on the island of Ireland …

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Leaders issue a joint statement on Cantrell Close

The following is a joint statement on behalf of the leaders of the DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP, UUP, Alliance Party and the Green Party; We as political leaders condemn all forms of sectarianism, intolerance and threats of violence. Four families have been forced to leave their homes in South Belfast. This is wrong.  Any threat to these families should be lifted immediately. There is also an onus on the PSNI and the statutory agencies to provide immediate and appropriate support …

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Clare Bailey to step down as Deputy Leader of the Green Party

South Belfast MLA, Clare Bailey is to step down as Deputy Leader of the Green Party. Clare has been deputy leader since November 2014 and will remain an MLA within the party. Speaking about her decision she said; “I have been given and gained so much as Green Party deputy leader across the past three years. “The time is right for me to step aside and allow another person to develop the role of deputy leader. “It’s also right that …

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Soapbox: Steven Agnew argues it’s time to look at voluntary coalition

Soapbox: Steven Agnew argues that it’s time to look at voluntary coalition. He says “no party should have the power to tear the devolved institutions down and leave the electorate in Northern Ireland powerless”, adding “that’s why a voluntary coalition can usher in an era of fresh politics and politicians that put people first”.

“Rainy Days Back In Fashion”: The Week In Irish Politics

Another week, another glimpse of ‘new politics’ at work in Dáil Éireann. The Green party’s Waste Reduction Bill, (co-sponsored by Labour as the Greens are short on number in the chamber), passed to committee stage late last night. It did so with the support of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats and a host of Independents. Its supporters argue that it’s by far the best way to reduce waste by putting the onus on companies to reduce packaging while …

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