A leading member of the Shell to Sea campaign in north Mayo is due to declare his intention today to run as a candidate in this year’s Seanad election.
Dr Mark Garavan, a sociologist with the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), will stand as an Independent candidate on the National University of Ireland panel.
The move is understood to be part of a strategy within the Shell to Sea campaign in relation to the forthcoming general election. This may involve canvassing for politicians supportive of the campaign’s stance – currently Dr Jerry Cowley (Ind) in Mayo, and members of the Labour Party, Green Party and Sinn Féin in that and other constituencies.
Dr Garavan is a native of Castlebar, Co Mayo, and a spokesman for Shell to Sea in north Mayo. He is currently lecturing in GMIT’s department of nursing. He was employed as a researcher with NUI Galway’s Environmental Change Institute from 2000 to 2003.
The Corrib gas project will be one of the environmental issues on which Dr Garavan intends to campaign for one of six university seats in the Seanad. Three are held by NUI and three by Dublin University (Trinity College).
It is understood Dr Garavan will also focus on issues relating to climate change and global warming, and he has also expressed concerns about the educational system’s role in preparing students to be responsible citizens rather than “simply proficient consumers”.
"the Senate is not directly elected but consists of a mixture of members chosen by various methods mostly nepotism ,not really a mandate from the people of erris/mayo.
It would be ironic if a person that has preached about transparency and accountability,now decides to jump on the gravy train.