Dan Boyle: Once More Unto The Breach


From top: Dan Boyle, with then Green Party leader Trevor Sergeant in 2004, is returning to front line politics; Dan today.

I have become a ratified election candidate again. I realise this may cue a torrent of sniggers and face palms among some, but I’m going to try anyhow.

This will be my sixteenth election. I’ve only been successful on three occasions, even though I have been competitive in most – fighting for a final seat, or more often than not gallingly seeing my transfers elect someone else.

Most elections I would have contested as profile raising or flag waving exercises, with little or no expectation of being elected.

Being a candidate for a small, under resourced, political party is bit like running a marathon with a haversack of bricks on your back. It’s hard, often making you wonder why you are doing it at all.

Over that time more than fifty thousand ballot papers have been marked giving me a first preference vote. Of course not enough of them together at appropriate times.

That support has been the incentive for me to try and try again.

So why now and why again? I like to think I still have something to offer. The experience I have gained, good and bad, puts me in a better position than most (I would argue) to try and make a system designed to frustrate, work.

I would be going back to where I started with Cork City Council. That was half a lifetime ago. I began as a naive, green in a more literal sense, twenty eight year old who believed he could change the World. All these years later I now realise that to change even the slightest part of it, would be something.

I’ve kept my toe dipped; in my local community association where we rent out the premises to give local people choices that may not otherwise have existed.

I’ve participated in shadow local government structures that have developed to give some say to voluntary groups; the PPN (Public Participation Network) and the LCDC (Local Community Development Committee), a well meaning but still to find its way sub-structure.

I’m part of a housing association and several arts groups. It has made feel that I’m involved in work that is useful.

I would be trying to get elected to a different council for a new city. A city with an additional 80,000 people, an additional population equal to that of the next largest Irish city, Limerick.

And there will be a conversation about trying to make local government (which in Ireland amounts to little more than local administration) more real.

Cork is to decide, along with Limerick, Galway and Waterford, whether their cities should have directly elected mayors with five year terms. I want to be part of that conversation.

I hope the voters of these cities will bring this about. The continuity and better accountability will make for better local government.

Leaving Dublin out of this experiment should be viewed as a deeply cynical decision. It’s as if the government and senior civil servants are pushing the idea to make it fail.

There are also big local Cork issues I believe could do with a Green perspective, from within the City Council. The cack handed way the Office of Public Works is seeking to treat the city’s quay walls is brutal in its intent and its likely effect.

Where we are all fortunate is to have a system of election campaigning, that obliges candidates for office to interact, on a large scale, with those whose support they seek.

Knocking on doors is one of the more enjoyable aspects of any election campaign. While there is often a lot of indifference, or an occasional hostile person, most people you meet are pleasant, polite, and often good humoured.

I’m looking forward to knocking on those doors again, to face whatever slings and arrows come my way. I’ll be offering a choice by advocating different (and hopefully better) arguments than others.

If I succeed I’ll work hard to meet the new challenges. If I don’t I’ll try to continue to contribute in whatever way I can.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator. His column appears here every Thursday. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboylÉ


67 thoughts on “Dan Boyle: Once More Unto The Breach

  1. rotide

    I’m sure your usual groupies will be along to blame you for everything going back to the Famine but I’m glad to hear this Dan.
    I don’t always fully agree with your policitcs, but I find you thoughtful, reasonable and above all realistic and you’r experience would be an asset to cork. I’d vote for you.

    1. phil

      Might have considered wishing Dan well until I saw rotide supports him, this makes me very suspicious of Dan …

  2. Joe Small

    Fair play. I think anyone getting involve in electoral politics is on a hiding to nothing, given what a thankless task it is. I think I gave you a first preference in the European elections once. I wish you the best.

  3. Awful Knofel

    Best of Luck Dan.
    Which ward are you going to be going in/What Constituency for a GE?
    I was under the impression the Greens were Happy with their current candidates Oliver Moran and Lorna Bogue who seem like capable operators and nice people to be fair, so I presume you’re going in some new fangled South City/Douglas Ward following the merger?

    1. bisted

      …think he’s just going for a council seat…he’s looking forward to being able to vote for himself for a change…

  4. Bertie Blenkinsop

    Fair play Dan.

    (as an aside my old boss used to say
    “Once more into the briefs, dear friends, once more” which always raised a smile)

  5. Brother Barnabas

    glad to hear it, dan. and genuinely wish you all the best. despite my sneery boo boos routine on these pages, i do believe you’ve a lot to offer. occurred to me actually that you’d have been a good presidential candidate. if i was from cork, which thank fupp i’m not, i’d vote for you.

    1. Ollie Cromwell

      Do you honestly think Dan gives a flying f**k about your ” sneery boo boos ” ?
      Time to step away from the keyboard Mr Delusional.

  6. Leon Down

    Dan the Boyle,

    Ex-TD, Ex-Senator, Ex-City Councillor.

    As long as he keeps pushing the Fake Chicken Licken Science of Climate Change let hope it stays that way.

    “You can shove your carbon taxes up yer @4$$!”

        1. Leon Down

          The real stupid is trying to tax the human produced component of the nutritious atmosphere gas CO2 in the vain hope that the tax will change the weather.

          The real stupid is not recognising that CO2 (although only a trace gas in the atmosphere) is essential for all life on earth and then stupidly continuing to ignore facts such as: human activity only produces 3% of all atmospheric CO2 (out of a total atmospheric CO2 volume of .04% in the global atmosphere.)

          The real stupid is promoting subsidy farming to corporations who then litter our landscape with tons of obsolete technology in the form of windmills THAT WILL NEVER BE REMOVED!!

          The real stupid is thinking the Green Party will ever put people before dogma.

      1. Ollie Cromwell

        He still looks like the Geography teacher who has spent the night sleeping on a park bench after a crazy staff do the night before.

  7. Bonkers

    Hope it goes well for you Dan. And dont forget the little people of BS when you become Corks first directly elected lord mayor. We shall expect plenty of goodies:)
    Best of luck.

  8. hapfff

    what have you been doing since you last tried to get elected Dan?

    which I don’t think is an unreasonable question? sorry

    given everyone’s asking it of Seán Gallagher…..

    1. Dan Boyle

      Try reading the article. Or looking at my LinkedIn. Or reading any of my social media platforms. Or any of the three years worth of columns I have written for Broadsheet.ie …. I have been hiding.

      1. hapfff

        I have read the article, thanks Dan – where you mostly talk about voluntary activities, unless I’m mistaken? I mean what have you done for a living. Pretty sure BS aren’t paying you for your columns?!

        1. Dan Boyle

          Spent a year in Wales. Wrote a book. Bit and pieces. Consultancy work here and there. Nothing too remunerative.

      2. Cú Chulainn

        Dan, here’s the thing you don’t want to hear. The hero returns a changed man. He sees the errors of his ways. He has learnt to listen and listen he does. From The Oddessy to every film made. You still don’t get it. You still fight over what you got wrong. Admit how you fupped up a generation. Own it. And say you have changed and know how to get it right this time. You might have a chance. Otherwise, why waste everyone’s time.

  9. Ian-O

    Best of luck Dan – I might disagree with you on many issues but I find I agree with you on a whole lot more.

    It seems these days that people want to have candidates who they agree with on every point 100%. Whatever happened to compromise? One look at US politics shows where that sort of mindset leaves.

    Anyway, best of luck and keep up with the Broadsheet blog as well, irrespective of my own views on the issues, also an interesting read nonetheless.

  10. Nigel

    I was in the Greens before they went into government. I thought it was terrible idea then though I respected the reasoning. I knew the backlash would be bad but nobody could have predicted the horrors of the bailout and the Greens being, justifiably, held responsible for keeping FF in power so they could land us in austerity and debt. However the Greens are the only party who actually give a damn about the environment so I’ve rejoined. Go Dan!

    1. Cú Chulainn

      But do they really ? The Greens originally supported the incinerator in Dublin. They voted for the spike, did nothing about Bellbaboy, let the motorway cut through the heart of ancient Ireland (killing something magical in the process). Ryan gave us 10 car charge points and let the ESB and forecourts fub him. They had a go at small farmers cutting less than .1% of turf whilst leaving BnM chop the midlands apart. They have ever led community schemes that clean up rivers. Basically, if they were just shit we could fertilise with them, but they are just useless.

          1. Dan Boyle

            If you were it was an alternate reality. Practically every thing on your list is false. The Greens have never supported incineration.

          2. Cú Chulainn

            It’s all true. Sad for you and the GP. ER was (previously) a vocal supporter of incineration. You know what you agreed to ignore about the motorway. Diesel cars. And a bank guarantee because a senior minister was pissed. Bellnaboy is a fact. One of the few things you could have addressed and you didn’t. None of you have evolved beyond undergraduate level.

          3. Dan Boyle

            Wow. I repeat the Green Party has never supported incineration. Marcus is right the M3 had secured all its permissions before the Greens had entered government. We fecked up on Lismullen. I won’t even dignify the rest of your ‘undergraduate’ slurs.

      1. Marcus briody

        The greens brought in good environmental legislation including a massive increase in insulation and a requirement for a form of renewable energy in every home. Eamon got the ESB to invest 22 billion in renewable energy, they brought in the home insulation grants. I have visited Tara lots of times before and after the motorway was opened and gave not noticed any real difference. The road was almost complete no party would have stopped it at that point

      2. Nigel

        Stuff like that is why I was in despair over the Greens going in with FF. Too much of this stuff was already in the cards or would have to be supported because they were only junior partners. Nonetheless they put the country first by trying to get some real changes made before the crash hit, and they paid for it. Really it’s just an indication of how treating the environment as if it’s a disposable tissue was and is business as usual for the rest of the parties.

      3. Ollie Cromwell

        The Greens in coalition insisted on draconian road taxes for people driving older cars that didn’t have up-to-date emission technology.
        Which,like all middle-class,holier-than-thou,re-cycling Green sandalistas,meant poorer people who couldn’t afford newer cars paid the most road tax.
        Plus the Green’s view on climate change is based on discredited technical research.
        Frankly the Healey-Raes are a more successful and credible faction in Irish politics than the Greens.

  11. scottser

    you’re no claire daly, but good luck to you lad.
    i think it only fair that you take the fanciful and varied musings of the broadsheet commentariat, turn them into a manifesto and use it on your campaign.
    if you get elected i suggest you immediately stage a coup.
    that’s what i’d do anyway.

  12. johnny

    good luck Dan,your like Rocky and those steps outside the Philly libary,run Dan run……..

    “Risin’ up, back on the street
    Did my time, took my chances
    Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
    Just a man and his will to survive”

  13. Cú Chulainn

    How wrong you are. The ESB did exactly as they wanted. The motorway was not nearly finished and the reason to rush it is because everyone in the GP knew it was wrong and knew they should have stopped it and chose money and Power instead. As it turned out FF didn’t give a toss, they just did it to corrupt the team.

    And that’s why the GP are fupped and will stay so while they keep lying to themselves as to why they’re fupped. All the rest was just window dressing.

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