Ciaran Cuffe bemoans Green 'Faustian pact'Sunday 27 February 2011 20.20
The Green Party has claimed its dramatic collapse into political oblivion is the price to pay for a 'Faustian pact'.
The party has lost all of its Dáil seats, with senior figures quick to rue their decision to form a coalition government with Fianna Fáil.
But leader and former minister John Gormley faced up to the shattering defeats and has vowed to regroup and rebuild.
'We have suffered a major defeat, but the party will regroup. We will continue. We’re a party with a set of beliefs and values and a vision for the future'.
'We’re going to rebuild this party.'
Mr Gormley had always faced a tough battle in Dublin South East and blamed his failure on being in a government which made savage cuts.
Ciaran Cuffe was hardest on his own party, branding the four-year long coalition a 'Faustian pact'.
The defeated Dún Laoghaire representative said the decision to share power had come back to haunt the party. But he has backed his leader and is insisting the party can rebuild.
Mr Cuffe also spoke of the party's achievements in reforming planning and introducing civil partnership.
The Greens were hit by the same fate other small parties have suffered after joining a coalition - their support was simply not strong enough to withstand severe public anger with an outgoing government.
'We worked hard for the country,' said Mr Gormley. 'We actually called this election because we believed it was the right thing to do.'
Mr Gormley said his party also suffered because it agreed to support the passing of the budget just days after pulling out of the coalition only a matter of few weeks ago.
'We also believed it was the right thing to do to go through with the budget. We did that. It was not in our political interest but it was in the country's interests,' he said.
Mr Gormley would not be drawn on his future as leader, adding only that he would not make a rash decision.
He rejected any similarities between the Greens and the now-defunct Progressive Democrats, which also propped up a Fianna Fáil government and later suffered at the polls.
'We were there before the PDs; we're outlasting them,' he said.
'We will continue and we will continue because we have a core set of values and we will follow through on that. We will rebuild this party make no mistake about it.'
Trevor Sargent, a former party leader and junior minister, was initially put up as the only possible survivor.
He earned respect after resigning from office last year after intervening in a criminal investigation on behalf of a constituent who felt wronged.
Despite that, and standing down without accepting a ministerial pension, Mr Sargent failed to secure sufficient transfers in Dublin North.
Paul Gogarty was the first to accept the party's collapse, using Twitter to concede defeat in Dublin Mid-West.
His more senior colleagues followed suit and admitted the utter failure after Mr Gormley and former minister Eamon Ryan (Dublin South) only managed to pick up a third of the quota in their constituencies in the capital.
Mary White lost her seat in Carlow-Kilkenny.