Dearey insists Greens were left with no option

Senator Mark Dearey has stated that the Green Party had no option but to leave Government at the weekend following Taoiseach Brian Cowen's decision to stand down as leader of Fianna Fáil.

Senator Mark Dearey has stated that the Green Party had no option but to leave Government at the weekend following Taoiseach Brian Cowen's decision to stand down as leader of Fianna Fáil.

"Yet again we see Fianna Fil focusing on their internal power struggle while the country desperately needs to address the economic situation by passing the Finance Bill in order to secure funding for vital state services.

"I was canvassing all day Saturday and I sat into the car to listen to the Taoiseach's resignation statement. Following on from last week's attempt to give jobs to the boys in his cabinet this was a political blunder too many.

"The Green Party on November 22 gave a commitment to withdraw from Government as soon as the Finance Bill was passed thereby securing funds that are not available to us on the international markets. We have stuck with this commitment despite the extreme instability being created by Fianna Fil's behaviour.

"As part of that process we contacted Fine Gael to see if they would be willing to facilitate the passing of the Finance Bill next week. With my party supporting it from the opposition benches it seems to have created a situation where with the exception of Sinn Fein, there may be all party agreement to finish the Bill and move into election mode this weekend or early next week."

The Spirit Store publican said he was now looking ahead to the election campaign.

He said: "I welcome the fact that the people are now being given the opportunity to mandate a new government to act on their behalf and to provide the political certainty that we as a small party in government have tried to give despite what was going on around us.

"The Green Party will fight this election as a party that has put Ireland first, that has been responsible and willing to deal with the massive economic and regulatory failures of previous jovernments.

"Our experience however, has not made us a cynical and self interested party but one that wishes to play its part in the new Dil in continuing to work for a sustainable economy, good long term jobs, environmental protection, proper planning, a good education system and a reformed system of health care.

"These are the issues that I will be speaking about on their door steps. I will not be making idle promises because there is no doubt that the next few years will be very difficult ones but I have a belief in my town and in the county and the vision for what Ireland can once more become," he said.

l Senator Mark Dearey