Dr Mark Garavan’s declared intention to run for Seanad Éireann is directly related to his strong conviction that the Corrib gas debacle is a political problem which will only be resolved by a political solution. Earlier this week, in a joint statement with Independent TD Dr Jerry Cowley, the two leading Shell to Sea proponents announced their commitment to working together to achieve a solution to the controversy.
They also stated: “From the outset, there has been a failure to politically address the issues which have given rise to the conflict. There has been a refusal by those in political authority to recognise the depth and legitimacy of community opposition to the project. We call again on political representatives to show leadership and proactively seek to resolve this dispute.
“Washing one’s hands of the issue is simply not good enough. A political solution offers the only viable solution,” the statement concluded.
Dr Garavan also told The Mayo News that support by both the Labour Party and the Green Party should not be underestimated in light of both parties’ possible leverage in holding the balance of power after the General Election.
“I believe the Greens will be addressing the issue at their upcoming conference, while both Labour’s Tommy Broughan and Michael D Higgins have also made clear statements about their support,” said Dr Garavan.
Dr Garavan’s political pedigree dates back to the founding of the Land League, with his great-grand-uncle, John Daly, along with Michael Davitt, being co-founders of the organisation attributed with breaking the British ascendancy stranglehold on rural Ireland. Mark’s father is retired Judge John Garavan who was at one time a Fine Gael Town Councillor and Chairman of Castlebar Town Council. His brother, Eoin, a barrister, was also a former Chairman of the local authority.
Dr Garavan, a sociologist at the Department of Nursing at GMIT, Castlebar, will run for one of the three seats which graduates of the National University of Ireland are entitled to fill. While the Corrib gas controversy will be central to his campaign, he will also focus on the quality of democratic engagement with communities, the management of the State’s natural resources and plans for our future energy requirements. Global warming and its many implications will also be a priority.
Mark Garavan lives in Castlebar with his wife Pauline and two children Eve (15) and Stephen (12).