Ten committee members of UCD Young Greens have resigned from the youth branch of the party and from their roles on the committee. This mass resignation amounts to almost two-thirds, 10 of 16, of the committee members having resigned at one time.
This number includes the Auditor, Treasurer and both Public Relations Officers of the society. The only committee members not to have resigned are the Secretary, Theo Dillon, two of the existing Campaigns officers, the Policy Officer and two of the four Ordinary Committee members. The outgoing Auditor for UCD Young Greens stated that he expected there to be more resignations from within the existing committee members in the near future.
UCD Young Greens (UCD YG) has now announced that they have reopened applications to fill the positions left vacant by the recently elected committee members who have now resigned. The College Tribune has learned that the resigned members of the society will remain in their positions until an Emergency General Meeting of the Young Greens Society has been held.
Speaking exclusively to The College Tribune, outgoing Auditor, Adam Lawson, explained that this mass resignation was not initially a coordinated effort. “After the Programme for Government was voted through, I said that I would probably be resigning… Conall Gunnigan, one of our PROs (Public Relations Officer) said that he was going to resign. After the leadership vote and Saoirse McHugh’s resignation, I decided that it would be better for me to go when he was going to make more of a statement.” Lawson explained that when he made his plans to resign known to other members of the society, a number of other committee members stated their intention to resign in solidarity with Lawson and Gunnigan. “While [the resignations] organically started, but we did organise it a bit.”
Lawson explained his reasons for resigning: “The Programme for Government (PfG) and the current government the [Green Party] is supporting are making things worse, not better.”
“If I were to stay in the Green Party and be [Auditor] for a society now affiliated with the Green Party, I feel I would be contributing to the problem, not the solution”
Sonia Ellen Lynch, Events and Inclusion for UCD YG said: “I resigned as I could no longer, with [a] good conscience, contribute and be associated with a political party that has forsaken its promises to the working classes. The Green Party has proven to be a one-issue party, divided by what they call Soy Sinn Féiners and Fine Gaelers-on-bikes, unfortunately, the latter seem to have prevailed.”
The resignations were not solely based on opposition to the PfG, Young Greens’ PRO Gunnigan announced his resignation on Twitter, alleging that he had experienced ageism and his friends experienced sexism within the party.
The College Tribune has reached out to the Green Party for comment on these resignations. We have not heard back at the time of publishing.
Hugh Dooley – Deputy News Editor