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General News / May 19, 2022

Green Party sanction TDs for national maternity hospital vote but not misogynistic messages

General News / May 19, 2022

Green Party sanction TDs for national maternity hospital vote but not misogynistic messages

Words: Eva O’Beirne

Makes total sense, right?

Two Green Party TDs have been sanctioned for backing a Sinn Féin motion on the National Maternity Hospital, but no such punishment was placed on a fellow TD for slagging a fellow politician in a group chat full of Green Party members.

Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello were suspended for six months after voting against their party in the Dáil on Wednesday night. The decision cuts the Coalition’s Dáil majority to just one.

In a statement from Wednesday night, the Green Party said: “The parliamentary party regrets having to take this step but believes our effectiveness in government relies on unity in every vote. Both deputies will have an opportunity to apply for readmission at the end of this six month period.”

Green Party TD Brian Leddin was previously called out last August for describing Independent councillor Elisa O’Donovan in a WhatsApp group a couple of years ago as “unhinged” and “craving fame”.

A number of other offensive comments were made about O’Donovan by other members of the WhatsApp group.

The comments created such a stir that a protest was conducted outside the Green Party HQ last September.

Protesters handed in a letter to the party’s offices addressed to Eamon Ryan saying: “Deputy Leddin has shown himself not fit to be a TD. We also reminded you that he is chair of a Dáil committee, a paid and prestigious position that the Green Party executive and you as leader have implicitly illustrated you are happy for him to continue to hold.”

“How low can Green Party TDs go before they are sanctioned?”

Apparently, the lowest stance they can take is being concerned for the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital.

Regardless of the issue of “discipline” and “unity” in the Dáil, perhaps the Green Party should call out casual misogyny instead of suspending active politicians for voting for what they believe in.

Elsewhere on District: 50 shades of Earl Grey: the pornographer who owned the National Maternity Hospital land