Garreth McDaid was the Green Party’s candidate in Roscommon-South Leitrim in 2007 and in the Local Elections in Carrick on Shannon in 2009, and has been an active campaigner on environmental and planning issues in the Upper Shannon region for several years. A native of County Donegal, Garreth has lived near Leitrim Village with his wife and family since 2004. Garreth is 39 years old and is self-employed as a freelance software developer and technology consultant.
Garreth’s priorities are:
Sustaining the progress that has been made in Renewable Energy “Ireland now produces nearly 20% of its energy needs from wind. On any given day, that’s enough to power over 800,000 homes, and makes Ireland the 2nd largest producer of wind energy in the EU.” “This also exceeds our renewable energy targets, and puts us at the head of the curve in terms of meeting the challenges of Peak Oil.” “If we are to remain competitive as an economy, this progress has to be sustained, and to do that, we needs TDs who understand how crucial this issue is. Reducing our massive dependence on imported energy is the key challenge in rebuilding our shattered economy.”
Reducing the rates burden for local businesses “If we are to create and sustain employment in small towns across Ireland, we have to stop asking local businesses to pay for services that are provided to domestic households.” “We cannot expect entrepreneurs to take risks, provide employment and provide competitive goods and services, and expect them to finance our Local Authorities.” “More finance for Local Government has to come from domestic households, in the form of usage related water charges and site value levies.” “Local Businesses must pay their way too, but not to the detriment of the local economy.”
Making the Electric Car a reality in Ireland “Thanks to Green Party Minister for Energy, Eamon Ryan, electric cars will be common place on our roads within 5 years.” “For a country that is as car dependent as Ireland, particularly in rural areas, this is of huge importance. The idea that we could produce our own energy, and power our cars with that energy, was a fantasy 10 years ago. Now its a reality, and we need to make sure that it happens.” “Electric cars are frequently viewed as an urban issue, but petrol and diesel dependency is far greater issues in rural Ireland than in urban Ireland. As the technology rapidly advances, Ireland needs to be ready to adopt it, and we need adocacy for this technology in the Dail.”
Introducing meaningful Climate Change legislation. “As part of an EU initiative, Ireland has commited to reducing our emissions by 20% over 2005 levels by 2020. The last time we made a commitment to reduce our emissions, under the Kyoto Protocol, we failed miserably, and ended up having to buy our way out of our commitments. We can’t afford to do that again, which is why we need legally binding targets in relation to our annual emissions. In December 2010, Minister John Gormley published the Irish Climate Change Bill, which allows for a very modest 2.5% reduction in our emissions between 2012 and 2020. If we meet that annual target, we will meet our overall target. The next Government has to take this Bill and enact it into law. To ensure that happens, we need Green Party TDs in the Dail.”
Preventing a return to discredited Waste Policy “The Green Party has fundamentally changed official Ireland’s attitude to waste. The measures we have introduced have incentivsed recycling and disincentivsed the direction of municipal waste to landfill and incineration. Other parties want to reverse this trend, and commit us to a future of Put and Pay waste contracts with private incinerator operators. This has to be resisted. Once we go down this road, we will not be able to come back. It is critical that waste remains high on the agenda of our national parliament.”
Being honest “I don’t do populism. I speak my mind. It gets me in trouble. But its the only way I know how to do politics. I also believe that populism, the practice of telling people what they want to hear for fear of not being popular, is one of the root causes of the dysfunction in our political system. We need more politicians who aren’t afraid of being unpopular. I’m not, and will never will be.”