Thursday, July 16, 2020

4 Social Housing Schemes Designed to Need Retrofitting!

We are planning retrofitting for homes to be more energy efficient but at the same time there is an open competition, from before government was formed to build hundreds of houses. I really wanted to make sure the Housing department had seen it and reconsidered the design to make sure they're up to a reasonable standard for living and environmental efficiency. So I attached the plans. To my eye, they looked modern enough and possibly architect-designed - Although nowhere near as beautiful as Harmony Hall. 

Just because something is architect-designed does not mean the perfect proportion has always been taken into account!

Development of Social Housing Schemes - Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny and Laois.

Environmental Benefit Clause = Must have greenhouse and be off-grid

Obviously for 4 major social housing projects, there will need to be a big housing developer of some sort for each Lot, to manage the process. However, if we put a call out for local quantity surveyors, bigger builders or developers with an environmental objective and a committed 'housing as a right' objective, then they could be encouraged to enter the tender process and commit to use direct labour and ask only a 10% profit for their trouble rather than 30%. 

I was also worried that the property developers must organise the 'sale of the houses'. This part should obviously be managed by a public company/authority. We want builders to come in and build but not end up owning the land and the houses they've built.

We all have a huge investment in changing the system and so hoped the government department had a team that could get their hands on in this first opportunity to manage social housing differently. 


Out of everyone, the brilliant TD, Paul Murphy responded:

But, wow, the situation for planning is worse than we thought. 

'Your proposals are very appropriate and sensible. We fully agree regarding the virtues of direct build – for all of the reasons you mention.

Additionally, the form of housing provided in most new build by private developers is low density, minimum standard / size housing which is expanding the spread of suburban sprawl and is unsustainable because it requires car transport and renders public transport dysfunctional; or it is minimum-size apartment developments without the necessary social infrastructure – which will degrade in the not too distant future but which get approval from Bord Pleanala because the proposals meet the requirements of the regulations put in place by successive FF and FG governments.

In my opinion the primary, overarching housing policy of both FF and FG is to support the profitability of the private construction industry; a second, related element of housing policy is to support the profitability of the finance industry. Providing housing is not the primary objective of FF-FG housing policy: if it was, they would embark on a program of public housing construction – as many, including yourself, are arguing.

I haven't read the full specifications in the Clúid document you sent. But I have to say that I am dismayed / shocked to read on p.57 that the construction specs are based on 2011 regulations and that the target BER is only A3 – not even A2 / NZEB and certainly not passive. It seems climate change is not really of much importance for Clúid?

The Building Regulations lays down mandatory standards for thermal insulation in new dwellings. Technical Guidance Document L – Conservation of Fuel and Energy – Dwellings 2011 – advises on how these requirements may be met. It also provides guidance for efficiency of heating systems, heating controls and requirements for renewable energy resources. All new units are to be designed to achieve a minimum building energy rating of A3. We note that any amendments to the minimum requirements in the Building Regulations standards must be achieved for overall compliance.”
Concepts such as ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘passive-house’ should be investigated to establish their practicality on a project by project basis.”

That said, the government is clearly not at all serious about reducing carbon emissions. The most recent publication of TGD Part L, which deals with energy ratings and thereby carbon emissions from buildings other than dwellings, has again stretched the date for implementation of a 2010 EU Directive by another year from January 2019 to March 2020. See 'Transitional Arrangements' on p.2 here:

And Clúid are probably using the utilising of a similar loophole for dwellings – see slide 6 here:

In fact, as you may be aware, the government intervened in 2015 against Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown’s proposal to mandate the passive house standard for new build.

As the residential developments in Enniscorthy show, it is quite possible to build to passive spec at reasonable cost – which would be even less using direct labour by a state building agency:

Our office does not have the resources to drive a campaign for change at local authority level. We can and will however, pose questions and push for a change amongst the new ministers – though I don't hold out much hope regarding FF and FG.

With regard to tenders, change will be needed at local authority level – particularly in the county development plans. As far as I know DLR eventually did specify passive for all new build in their 2016-2020 Development Plan.

While I was a councillor on Kildare Co Council I argued for a minimum spec of A2 / NZEB for all new build to be included in the Kildare CDP but was defeated by the Exec and by the FF and FG councillors.

Getting inclusion in county development plans of a requirement that all new build should be at minimum A2 / NZEB specification will be essential in order for these specs to be included in tenders. Tenders with higher specs than what is specified in county development plans will be challenged by developers.

If you have a network or links with people on the councils concerned – or any councils – perhaps you might suggest that to them and start working now to get passive building spec included in future county development plans?

I also promoted the ideas embodied in Vauban and Reiselfeld – for high density, ecologically and socially sustainable settlements, by design – as against the developer-driven and unsustainable suburban sprawl of low density estates.

In a context of the need for about 500,000 new housing units in the coming 40 years, there needs to be a move away from sprawling estates of semi-detached houses – which typically require the use of cars for commuting and social purposes, rendering public transport dysfunctional and being therefore unsustainable.

Unfortunately I didn't get far with that either. But my point is that the left must not simply argue for the delivery of more public housing: we must also argue for new settlements which are socially and ecologically sustainable. Living in a semi-D with two cars at the arse-end of a housing estate on the periphery of a town or city – which is where people on low incomes frequently get housed – is neither socially nor ecologically sustainable.

Anyway, unfortunately our office doesn't have the resources to really push this at present. But I would encourage you to check out the building specs in any development proposals and also the settlement design; and to push for passive building specs and settlement designs that are integrated with public transport as part of future county development plans.'

Geoff Colley from PassiveHaus magazine may be of help with interpreting building specs – but he's a busy person so you'll probably need to swot it up yourself!'

Sunday, July 12, 2020

EU? Did You Check His References?

EU,  Always Check References 

Especially if The Future Depends On Your Choice

I have spent many weeks now, exploring public tender opportunities. So many supplies and services needed that could really bring the economy and people's lives back to life. Of course, each RFT says responses must include a case study and 3 references. Seems fair! Except, I can't imagine how Paschal Donohoe was elected to lead the Euro Zone Group 'the most powerful economic group in Europe' without these arbitrary  levels of compliance adhered to. If a case study (such as Ireland) was considered they would have seen how Mr Donohoe has not seen fit to put even 50cent aside to do anything for the environment since 1992, when Europe told us to. 

The twelve years went by that was given for implementation of the EU directive in '92, then 6 more years past the deadline. Currently, Ireland is being fined thousands of euro every day for his decision to neglect biodiversity or rather flout the European law. 

On his watch, any services with a public interest have been starved of supports - the health service, education and housing for example. The whole structure of his Fine Gael economic policy is based on the population also dying of neglect, as they are sold food laced with pesticides and any attempts to supply something different or educate on healthy choices are undermined.  

It is a repeat, I suppose, of when Phil Hogan was minister for the Environment here (God bless us and save us) and then was made EU commissioner for Agriculture, another terrible choice that has clearly led to an increase in our carbon footprint and overlooking tax or regulations for damaging agricultural industries. I don't know if anyone else has noticed but that CAP payment also includes rural broadband now?! So no farmer gets support to do anything positive, he just gets the payments to pass on to big technology, big veterinary pharmaceuticals and big agrichemical companies....while the meat industry are still allowed to import meat if a farmer doesn't stoop low enough on his animal prices at slaughter.  That is where the farmers' payments go: Monsanto/Bayer, big pharma for antibiotics for all the calves separated from their milked mothers and all the chickens and pigs in intensive housing. 

I feel so sad for all those European States now with good practice who care about the people socially or health-wise, or the environment or anything. They are now within Paschal Donohoe's austerity lead too. Worse again, the Fine Gael ex-Central Bank manager has taken up a lead economist post in Europe too. No wonder we're having such difficulty bringing public banking into Ireland. Can i just say, Everyone else, hold on to your public banks! They are your only hope in this recession. Ireland has been shafted and all our public money is being directed to big business - Our government are literally funding marketing exercises for Supermarkets!! Yes, they ask the tenderer to explain how we can get low welfare, processed ready meals into post-Brexit Britain and dairy into Japan. But they stipulate they only want submissions from multi-nationals...can't they do their own marketing, one might ask. Oh yes and he is dishing out farm recovery payments to Larry Goodman's intensive feedlots and millions for his private hospital/s as well. 

I swear there is not one euro Green Deal money being requested for farmers to trying less damaging land use. And if there is, it will be too late as all the money is being frittered through apalling public projects and misspending in the meantime. 
I don't know if anyone else has seen the film 'When The Wind Blows'. It is an animation about a couple after a nuclear bomb. They are so innocent. They try and patch up the windows and have some supplies in place....that to me is how the following Green submission reads.

It is educational, it states what Ireland grows and can grow. It states what  we need to do for a secure food supply. It talks about people's diet and the environmental affects. Lord, it would be really good if Europe had Stiofan Nutty or someone else who was involved in this DAFM report in that European group. It is too much to ask for someone compus mentus, capable of evaluating a nuanced economy of environmental, social and economic dynamics. But please read on and skip the link. 

These are the green economic plans we could deliver if we have our wits about us, while Mr Donohoe is hopefully away, busy planning how to ruin the rest of Europe.  I really would apologise but the EU should know to always check references.

  C. Food Security – Scientists expect that Climate Change and soil degradation will cause world food production to become increasingly volatile. Ireland needs to implement an effective national policy on Food Security to meet the threats posed by Brexit and Climate Change to our food supply; 
➢ Ireland grew enough Carrots in 2014 to feed its population for 268 days, Tomatoes for 48 days, Onions for 32 days and Strawberries for 306 days7 
➢ The increasing impact of Climate Change will make the growing of fruit and vegetables ever more challenging in Ireland and the UK
 ➢ As an island nation imported food must be flown or shipped into the country, which makes Ireland even more vulnerable in the event of food “shocks” and points to the need for Ireland to maintain and develop its capacity to produce food

 2025 Deliverables 
• A significant increase in supply of Irish fresh produce to the domestic market to support a drive to make Ireland more Food Secure in an increasingly volatile world 
• Improved cultivation practises to protect soil fertility and the sustainability of production 

D. Climate Change – Horticulture production can reduce the levels of greenhouse gas emissions of the agriculture industry and support Ireland’s efforts to meet our international climate change obligations. A 2014 study of British people’s diets , conducted by University of Oxford scientists, found that meat-rich diets - defined as more than 100g per day - resulted in 7.2kg of carbon dioxide emissions. In contrast, both vegetarian and fish-eating diets caused about 3.8kg of CO2 per day, while vegan diets produced only 2.9kg.

 2025 Deliverables
• An increase in the proportion of agriculture land devoted to horticulture production, which would deliver a reduction in national greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture  

Friday, July 3, 2020

Green Investments Success Indicators

The indicators for a doughnut economy, as it is being heralded, include social protection, environmental protection and public health. 

As I identify the 5 pillars and therefore a pentagon as the economy's foundation, I am reminded of the geodome at Harmony Hall: Similarly, a green economy can provide sheltered growing spaces for plants, biodiversity and productive and social enterprises....rather than leaving them exposed to the elements.

This is what I've been working on today. How to build in to the public procurement system a wider award criteria - with social, health and environmental protection compliance. At the moment there are only two capacities in which you have to comply; Technical Capacity, in that you have enough qualified people to manage the contract and financial capacity; do you have an annual turnover of €1 million a year. For most businesses, after the pandemic and quite probably before it, they wouldn't be a contender!

I have made it my mission to explore this situation and match competencies to funding. As there is a lot of despondency about the Department of Finance, Bord Bia, Teagasc or any party, apart from the Greens and all the opposition, asking for this shift in economic model, I believe we need to empower Local authorities to enter EU Green Deal funding applications themselves.

This is also crucial as one of the concerns about the Programme For Government was that it suggests they (representing Ireland) don't intend to draw down a significant amount of this major financial stimulus from the EU. Implicit in that is that they don't envision much greening let alone a whole green transition and fair circular economy ahead for Ireland.

Once we have evidence that the five pillar award system works - This evidence might include the measurement that meaningful and gainful employment has been created and city centres are thriving and that residential care and health facilities are being managed by organisations with some semblance of an ethos - then we can revisit the Public Banking plan and the Indecon Report (which is a very long winded study that asked irrelevant questions about lending in Ireland but succeeded in blocking the legislation needed for a public bank, last year).

The fact remains that Ireland pays 16.5 billion a year in interest to private banks. That correlates to €3,600 for every man, woman and child. And I'm sure that figure has gone up in the last 5 years again.

Credit is a public utility. Well, it should be! At the moment the State's entire Sovereign right to create money has been handed over to the private banks. They have our whole market in comparison to, say, Germany (who have offered to help us) where private banks only have 12% of the market.

(Public banking proposal and related works in the search bar. Based on work with Richard C Cook (Credit as a Public Utility (Six Part Youtube Series and author of 'We Hold These Truths')

Thankfully, we still do have public contracts which are grants rather than loans, so we can stimulate local economies that way. With good governance at local authority level and competence in devising this new award criteria, we can direct the public money there is to the right businesses and Cooperatives. Even better, we empower them to access more Green Deal funding as confidence in greening methods, well building institute methods and materials, re-purposing and retrofitting initiatives grows and they learn how to put a monetary value on conservation and health and other societal benefits that currently flounder around underfunded by increasingly depended upon.

Equally, we depend on our biodiversity and the Independent said today that we are neglecting that too. To the extent that the EU are taking us to court. We really have to do better and I'm here to help connect you to supports for what every environmental solutions you've got...or are prepared to try!

Today I connected a local conventional farmer to a regenerative farming group and the Irish Rural Link who offer tangible help and courses in accessing farm payments, otherwise very difficult and time-consuming to fill in. We can have good news for the environment and good news for farmers too we just have to understand what's important and advocate for each other.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Four Seasons Harvest? Four Generations Harvest!

The Merits of Going Organic 

That sheen is because the one on the left is coated in plastic wax from a new Laois Recycling Plant: Trifol.
Back into the food chain of all places. The one on the right is from Harmony Hall

The Organic Trust stipulates that it takes 6 years to get organic certification because it only takes that long to eradicate all trace of chemicals. I say 'only' because imagine our whole landscape, in just six short years, if we started nation-wide now. We only have to say goodbye to the jobs we did not want anyway and take up the extraordinary gift of participation in this system change. 

Maybe You're Already There

Maybe during the pandemic, you have put the time in, in the garden, setting up a subsistence-plus lifestyle, just in case: Enough vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans and berries to feed your household and potentially surplus to sell or exchange when you really get going. Small food producers are going to be heralded as central to Ireland’s food security and supported. Manufacturers will be asked to revision their practices. Innovators will be expected to generate useful products and responsible technology.

Organic apple cider vinegar, vodka and syrup from Highbank Organic Orchards, Kilkenny

Get With the Programme

There is so much work to be done, well paid and recognized. Just think, from green design, to horticulture, on the land too for natural agriculture, to retrofitting, repurposing and developing education materials, in line with the knowledge we need everyone to have. Everything you have studied, looked into in your own time, experienced and dreamed of was preparing you for this moment. Decide what you’re going to do and create an action plan and road map. 

Organic Vegetable and Fruit box from the Castlecomer Road 

We weren't born yesterday

None of us are starting a new journey, as if we were born yesterday. We have interests, skills and priorities. We even have possessions. Cars that could be converted to waste chip pan oil or biodiesel, or ethanol, or even converted to electric. Other people have nurtured plants and crops that in the past would only be successful in warmer climates. We needed sheltered growing spaces first to protect from frosts but not so much now with global warming. Instead, we need them to be robust to withstand the erratic weather and destructive storms. Let’s not just aim for a ‘four seasons’ harvest, where there’s something to eat in the garden all year around. Let’s press on and aim for a ‘four generations’ harvest so there’s something to eat for our children and our children’s children.

Yes that's my New Directions radio show episode on going organic and vegan and it didn't end there!
At Harmony Hall we started to teach raw, vegan  food prep too
where consumers get to benefit from the full vitamin and mineral profile of the ingredients, detox from processed foods, toxins and addictive sugars and yeasts,  nourish every cell, easily absorb the lot and everything delicious without needing a huge plate full 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Financing the Gossamer Web of Life Instead of the WWW. of Technology

"Gossamer" is something super fine and delicate — like a spider web or the material of a wedding veil. The original gossamer, from which these meanings come from, is the fine, filmy substance spiders excrete to weave their webs. Biodiversity is gossamer-like, wings and leaves of a fabric  so sheer as to be almost see-through.

Sprayed reeds led to grass-sick land

You might ask where is the money going to come from to support this emerging social economy, carbon tax on top of everything else? No! Focusing on tax is always going to be seen as punitive for us, here in the country, where we need our cars and to manage an acre or few acres of land. Think instead of how many incentives are on their way; solvent businesses, rewards for protecting our environment and future, democracy, fairness, food sovereignty and a tangible rise in our quality of life.   

Making sheltered growing spaces = microclimates supporting avocado, olive and orange trees as well as seed beds for the usual suspects kale, beetroot, edible pansies, cauliflower, chard and beyond. 

Yes, there is about to be more money for sustainable and social projects. Crucial services that had to fundraise before will now get the stable funding they need. How though? System change isn’t only about implementing positive initiatives. It requires also that destructive practices stop and this will be surprisingly lucrative. For example, if the bill is passed to ban hare coursing, the public money that went to the Greyhound Board can also be ring-fenced for Ireland’s recovery. Think about the EU subsidies that farmers must pay out mainly for veterinary pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemical companies. Imagine that the farmers get to keep that money and produce clean food; high welfare, free range, organic becomes the norm. Imagine, no imports being allowed that would undermine our producers. 

Diversify so that there is always something in flower for the pollinators and making a 4-seasons harvest possible

It is a win win win; Our health improves, the hare and other wildlife re-establish themselves, biodiversity comes back to keep the crops pollinating, even the worms, our master composters, return. On what authority do I speak? I have completed Masters studies in Business and Education but most applicable of all was the Master Composters training I did with Carlow County Council, run by Stop Food Waste. Soil supports 95% of our food production and yet it amounts to less than a coat of paint in thickness if spread around the whole planet. This film of 2018 shows what happens when drought or other severe weather events, over-grazing and chemical practices demonstrate how the living soil is not invincible. 

There are many subsidies that have come to our attention and therefore to our public representatives’ attention. With the majority of people unanimously behind them, we now have a critical mass in government to decide that those misdirected subsidies and monies lost through tax breaks, for destructive industries, should be used to support social and environmental enterprises instead. This money can be ring-fenced too like carbon tax to ensure it goes to good use. 

For the first time in Ireland’s history and maybe it’s the same for all countries, we can legislate for both nature and nurture. Our nature drives us to adapt for survival. It turns out that it’s our ability to nurture rather than exploit that may yet achieve it.  

Saturday, June 27, 2020

We have Eamon Ryan as Minister for Climate Action - Good News!

Maybe It Was Not a DIY Phenomenon, 
Maybe We Just Made The Transition

Climate action is something we all want. In the last couple of years we’ve been out on the streets demanding change. Thankfully we now have a strong posse in the Dail, including twelve specifically Green TDs planning a sustainable economy, through interest-free lending and cooperative businesses – which are owned by the people that work there and profits are shared. 

Seedlings and avocado trees at Harmony Hall

The policies being discussed will also mean that the labours of love you put in at home, during the lock-down, can reap rewards. New Housing policies intend to make it possible to earn a little extra money for renting the loft or garage you’ve just done up, so that you’re not means-tested as you are now, while being allowed to offer B&B without risking your income support. 

Girl power patio

Common dilemmas can be resolved at policy level. There’s going to be at least 150,000 homes built for social housing, on public land. They will be built around natural parks with meadow areas, allotments and orchards, designed to high spec insulation and non-toxic materials. Planning will observe energy saving factors and public transport availability. They will be so affordable, in the Cost Rental scheme where low-income families can realistically hope to buy their home, if they want to, for the exact price it cost to build.  
Property Developer - Frances Micklem

In every shape and form, there’s a fine-toothed comb been run through every system and policy that has not been working, in negotiations and in Green Party policy groups, of which I am a participant in several.  Already an abundant harvest is taking place of reforms that will correct everything from unfair competition in all sectors to the prohibitively high cost of taking legal action when you need to. 

The reason we voted in so many of the green party public representatives was that we needed a party to lead this change. What’s more, we have the backing of Europe, as there is the global push to meet climate action targets. That makes it a good time to be alive. We have nearly the makings of a democracy. We have potentially a shared social vision for a better quality of life now and a future for the next generation. I think we should join in, in every way we can.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ireland's Government Negotiations = Nuremberg Trials Part 2

The Programme For Government
What a truth telling exercise! Unprecedented!

Speaking for myself, as storyteller, Frances Micklem: Let me reiterate that voting either way for the Green Party to enter a coalition or not is totally valid. 
What is actually important is for everyone to remember the Truths they exposed. The work that has been done has never been done before in any government in any country. All the questions have been raised about how the country is being run and how that can be changed in every sector to meet the needs of society and protect the environment. This didn't take place in a pub or a social justice forum. It took place in the halls of the Dail, with each party present with equal influence. 

Focus your imagination only on Fine Gael's contribution to those negotiations; they must have been fighting tooth and nail against climate action, against animal rights, against social housing, against clean food against public health. The only things they were 'for' were to protect the profits of damaging industries, to refuse taxation, all 'for' offering immunity and fostering relationships with those governments and industries committing crimes against humanity. Showing blatant disregard for ordinary people, let alone their habitat. 

If there is any concern about a lack of respect, in calling the Taoiseach Leo rather than Mr Varadkar, in the script, it is explained in this great Ben Harper song Excuse me, Mister. "I'm taking the Mr.
from out in front of your name, 'cause it's a Mr. like you that puts the rest of us to shame." Full lyrics at the bottom.

Just imagine if we had been watching the government negotiations on TV, all through the lockdown.

 Eamon Ryan said he wished they had recorded them and I do too.
The series could have been called: 

‘Nuremburg Trials Part 2. The Irish people representing all humanity: Victims of unethical human experiments and coerced research under National Socialism’. 

The gas chambers: supplied by Bayer Monsanto. 
Transport to concentrations camps: Animal Body Parts' Larry Goodman, Kepak, Queallys, Kerry group and Glanbia etc via the Food Industry and  
Gestapo farmers doing their bidding
A nation enslaved by poverty, illness, fear and addiction – Yes footage of all those queues at Macdonalds and Penneys would have been shown in evidence, with their complicit blindness to the people, animals and poisons in supply chains.
The negotiations would have been a gripping court drama. 

Protected Disclosure Case

Erin Brockovich (or rather the series' like-minded Irish heroine) gets up and says
I don't remember any other party going in to government demanding and negotiating for comprehensive changes like these. Yes, the final Programme For Government might be a case of controlled opposition, no one can take away the truths that have been told and the agreements that have been enshrined in the programme. 
Nazi Doctors: 
You are accused of racism in not supporting the Occupied Territories Bill, the historic anti-apartheid Irish Bill to ban criminal Israeli settlement products, (currently the illegal annexation, open air imprisonment, of Palestinians) that our community and tens of thousands across Ireland have fought hard for, since 2018.
Leo replies. Guilty as charged but it was Simon Coveney's idea
Pacifism and Neutrality:
Fine Gael, you are accused of being a pro-Israel lobby group in with the US government, against Europe, ensuring racists and war criminals profit from crimes committed in Palestine and the Yemen. And complicit in all the Wars where we provide the stop off for US war planes.  
Leo replies. Guilty as charged but I think that was Simon Coveney's idea too.
We have the choice, because of our Neutral status and the Lisbon treaty, not to take part in Security and Defence but you have refused both the Green Party, Fianna Fail and public will to protect Ireland's neutrality. 
Leo replies. Guilty as charged but it was Simon Coveney who got us so deep in that a year or two ago.

You are accused of avoiding climate action and any commitment to reduction in carbon emissions. Intending, instead, to put Ireland further in debt paying the fines for not taking action, under the pretext of mitigation.
Leo replies. I suppose yes, guilty as charged.
You are accused of dishonesty in your agreement with the Green Party, in your commitments to climate action outside the term of the government. You demonstrate an intention to neglect your responsibility and not honour it when the time comes.
Leo replies: Guilty as charged, I confess to even saying publicly that Fine Gael have only discussed changes for the second half of the decade because the Greens won't be in government by then.
You are committing fraud by giving the agricultural sector arbitrary preferential treatment in rating biogenic methane differently from other emissions, against scientific proof they are equally damaging.
Guilty as charged. I hoped voters would believe me on a trust me, I'm a doctor basis that all those pollutants and chemicals in food are safe for people and the planet.
Against the Public Narrative: 
You are increasing live exports rather than ending it. You are increasing the herd rather than reducing it. 
These should not be seen as violations that the Greens are agreeing to, as much as violations by Fine Gael that the Green Party have exposed during the negotiations. Don't shoot the messenger!
Against smaller farmers and Rural Ireland: You have not sought fair prices for farmers.
Do you confess to 100% social justice failure in your term of office?
Do you confess to pretending to meet the commitment of 20% organic through 1) making small farms go organic or not work their land at all. Meanwhile, 2) you intend to put no cap on herd numbers or feeding/housing/waste regimes in intensive farms?
Leo replies. Guilty as charged. But can I say in my defence, like I did to Paul Murphy TD in regard to the Emergency Payment: Rich people get paid for the work they do, like myself, and poor and/or rural people get paid commensurate to the useless articles they are.
Against national narrative:
You intend to keep hare coursing and greyhound industry financed.
You continue to allow fur farming.
Leo replies. Guilty as charged.
You have increased homelessness to 10,000 Irish people in your last term of office.
Now you intend to sell off public land and disempower local authorities further in providing homes.
How do you plead?
Guilty as charged but those private developers have said they're going to build lots of fine homes and they are surely the best people to do it.
Perverting the Course of Justice:
You are charged with withholding evidence of Ireland's trade and security deals, how do you plead?
Leo replies: Guilty as charged and we were particularly pleased with our success in this. It was mainly achieved by Simon Coveney's brother being head of RTE so we could easily control the media.

The Verdict

Here comes the cliff hanger! 
We expect someone to stand up and say
You are going down!
The Public look forward to an apology and compensation but are maybe willing to forego retribution and incarceration.  
But no!
The court says: 'Go and settle this between yourselves' and off the 3 parties go for nearly six months' negotiations.
The Green Party have all the cards; the number of TDs needed, the plan, the values, the momentum, the public support (oh no, for some ludicrous reason we have reams of people who purport to caring about the environment, their children's futures, their community, their own health and well-being but have decided on a technicality that they won't back the Green Party in their efforts to be a political arm to that movement.)
Still, the time comes and they go back in to court. The judge delivers the verdict.
'Fine Gael you are sentenced to 5 more years Community Service in government but don't worry, you'll be like those mafia guys in prison with all the power and all the mod cons. You'll still be able to do all the things you were doing before this trial. You will be given a new license to operate under 'A coalition with Fianna Fail and The Greens'
Green Party, this was essentially a 'Protected Disclosure Case' (designed by Simon Coveney). This means that:
You will have to pay all the court costs.
You were the whistle blowers so you will be made to regret challenging the status quo.
 None of the evidence that you have exposed of Fine Gael's misspending of public money and bad practices will pass to the Public Prosecutions Office.
You will be made to sign an NDA, a non disclosure agreement, whereby you concede your votes on upcoming bills, to the coalition.
The court will let you know the costs in due course but they will include...and this is not an exhaustive list: All your hard work, votes, the environment, public health and any chance of a social economy.
These outcomes will be publicised as your fault. This will mean that no authority, legal body, industry or individual will be given or expected to take responsibility for any part of Ireland's failure to make a green transition. 
This case is closed.
Just to reiterate, there are valid arguments either way for the formation of a coalition. 
But don't miss the real point:
The Programme For Government tells us things the public never would have known about Fine Gael's corrupt relationships with Israel and the US, totally out of alignment with the European Union and even more out of alignment with Ireland's Neutrality and recent history of oppression ourselves. It tells us of their corrupt relationships with meat, dairy and agrochemical food industries, hospitals, technological and pharmaceutical imports and exports 
 How Fine Gael stand in complete opposition to climate action, housing action, public health and the core values of every Irish citizen.
Think after you read this courtroom drama, about how Fine Gael did not put any of the preceding court proceedings in to their manifesto. 
Excuse Me Mister
Ben Harper

Excuse me Mr.
Do you have the time
Or are you so important
That it stands still for you

Excuse me Mr. won't you
Lend me your ear
Or are you not only blind
But do you not hear

Excuse me Mr., but
Is that natural oil in the sea?
And the pollution in the air Mr.
Whose could that be?

So excuse me Mr.
But I'm a mister too
And you're givin' Mr. a bad name
Mr. like you

So I'm taking the Mr.
From out in front of your name
'Cause it's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

It's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

And I've, I have seen enough, I've seen enough to know
That I've seen too much

Excuse me Mr.
Can't you see the children crying
You say that you can't help them
Mr. you're not even trying

Excuse me Mr.
Just take a look around
Oh Mr. just look up
And you will, you will see it comin' down

Excuse me Mr.
But I'm a, I'm a mister too
And you're givin' Mr. a bad name
Mr. like you

So I'm taking the Mr.
From out in front of your name
'Cause it's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

It's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

And I've seen enough, I have seen and I have seen
I have seen enough to know
That I've seen too much
I've seen enough, I have seen enough, to know that I have seen too much

See 'cause Mr. when you're rattling
On heaven's gate
Let me tell you Mr.
By then it is too late

'Cause Mr. when you get there
They don't ask, they don't ask what you saved
All they'll want to know, Mr.
Is what you gave

So excuse me Mr.
But I'm a mister too
And you're givin' Mr. a bad name
Mr. like you

So I'm taking the Mr.
From out in front of your name
'Cause it's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame
It's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame