How quickly they forget…. February 24, 2010Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
Under the heading ‘Greens’ first TD and leader who won over sceptics’ you will read in the Irish Times today:
PROFILE: IT WAS while he was working as a teacher in Dunmanway, west Cork in 1982 that Trevor Sargent joined the Ecology Party, as the Green Party was then called.
Elected on his third attempt to Dublin County Council in 1991, he was manhandled when he raised the issue of corruption by waving a cheque sent to him by a developer seeking to have land rezoned.
Fianna Fáil’s Don Lydon, who caught Mr Sargent in a headlock, would go on to dismiss the incident as nothing but “a bit of craic” and “pure devilment”.
The respected Green TD is based in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, and has a constituency office on the main street of Swords. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he also attended the Church of Ireland College in Rathmines. He contested the general election in 1987 as a Green Alliance candidate in the old three-seat Dublin North constituency and the 1989 general election as a Green Party candidate in the same constituency.
Mr Sargent became the sole Green TD in the Dáil in 1992 and was elected as the party’s first ever leader in October 2001. He held this position until 2007, when John Gormley became leader.
In 2002, Mr Sargent was re-elected in Dublin North with five Green colleagues. When his party voted to enter government with Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats following the 2007 election, he caused surprise when he stood by his pledge to step down rather than lead the Greens in Coalition.
Mr Sargent was appointed by then taoiseach Bertie Ahern as a minister of state. It appeared to be Mr Sargent’s dream job, given his impeccable green credentials and personal interests: his full title was Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries with special responsibility for food and horticulture.
Traditionalists in the department were unhappy about the appointment and the farm organisations were upset to think anyone with the slightest tinge of Green politics should be allowed near their operations. But Mr Sargent won respect with the manner he carried out the job and in recent times even the Irish Farmers Association and Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association rank and file was no longer suspicious of him.
A keen gardener and a committed environmentalist since his early 20s, he maintains a blog on growing organic food.
This man might wonder, entirely reasonably, about the headline and the sentence above…