Mark was the first Green Party Councillor to be elected in Louth in 2004 when taking a seat on Dundalk Town Council with 18.3 per cent of first preference votes. He was re-elected in 2009 with an increased vote as a town councillor and also as a county councillor along with two other Green councillors in Ardee and Dundalk. He was appointed to Seanad Eireann in February 2010.
“The banks are simply not lending to viable businesses and entrepreneurs. I still see people who are doing their best locked in a cash flow crisis, afraid of what the future might bring. We will stifle any recovery if we do not unlock this cycle of retrenchment.
“Article 123 of the Lisbon treaty provides for the European Central Bank to capitalise public lending institutions. I want to see this facility put to work for Ireland. By establishing a public bank with a specific remit to lend to the indigenous SME and agricultural sectors, we can end the credit constriction that is choking job creation across the country. We can also keep interest earned on loans within the productive economy and not lost to US hedge funds or a German development bank.
The efforts by government to bring credit to productive businesses have not penetrated the SME sector, which is the lifeblood of our economy. Small business needs an accessible lender and Ireland desperately needs a third force bank. This will help avoid the deflationary spiral,” he said.