Council Brief: New Green Party Councillor Co-opted

A new Green Party councillor was co-opted onto Dublin City Council at Monday’s monthly meeting at City Hall.

Janet Horner took over the north inner-city seat vacated by the Green Party’s Ciarán Cuffe, who in May was elected as both a councillor and an MEP – and chose to serve in the European Parliament.

Horner, who is 32 years old, is an assistant to independent Senator Alice Mary Higgins.

At Monday’s council meeting, Green Party Councillor Neasa Hourigan spoke about her confidence in her party colleague.

“I know Janet from our work on the Repeal campaign where we were involved in the Dublin Central group,” she told the chamber. “Janet was a stalwart in that campaign, a leader.”

“She canvassed with Ciarán in 2014 and has all sorts of links with members in our group. She is an activist in feminism, environmentalism; very interested in trade unionism and active travel,” Hourigan said.

Horner is a committee member of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, which last week blocked off motor vehicle traffic from Liffey Street, for the Streets are People campaign to pedestrianise parts of the city.

She is also a member of Women on Wheels, a group within the campaign that researches women’s experiences of cycling in Dublin.

“I really feel that Janet would make an excellent representative for everyone in Dublin’s inner-city,” Hourigan said.

Hourigan said Horner would particularly relate to people experiencing issues with rental uncertainty, the gig economy, pollution, addiction and access to green space.

Fianna Fáil Mayor Paul McAuliffe noted “multiple” second nominations from Green Party councillors and took down Councillor Patrick Costello’s name.

He then deemed Horner elected to Dublin City Council, and invited her to take her place on the bench.

Horner thanked her colleagues and the other north inner-city representatives. “I’m very conscious of joining the council at such a critical time,” she said. “Particularly around issues of housing and issues of climate change.”

“There are bold decisions that will be taken in the next number of years about the future of the city and about how we want to live together,” she said. “So I’m conscious of that and I’m looking forward to working in a cooperative and cross-part way.”

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Aura McMenamin: Aura McMenamin is a city reporter.

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