Eamon Ryan confirms Green Party leadership contest will go ahead online

Eamon Ryan confirms Green Party leadership contest will go ahead online

Leader Eamon Ryan has said the Green Party’s leadership contest will take place online in the next month now that a government has been formed.

Deputy leader Catherine Martin announced that she would challenge Mr Ryan for the leadership last month.

“There will be a contest but we both agreed that we shouldn’t be thinking about it until after the Government is formed. Even in the next month when that contest takes places, both of us have a clear understanding is that our first job is doing our job in government,” he told RTÉ’s The Week In Politics.

“We have to get into our departments, get to grips with our brief and have our first Cabinet meeting on Monday.”

Mr Ryan said the leadership campaigns will be conducted online so that he and Ms Martin will not have to travel around the country.

“Our party tradition or constitution says that we should have our leadership contest within six months of a general election. I don’t think it is going to be divisive, I think it will help each of us to articulate our view as to where we are going – not just as a party but as a country and within government.”

Mr Ryan also defended the regional and gender balance in the new Cabinet.

Ministerial roles have been split across Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens, with the leaders of the three coalition parties agreeing to the appointments.

Micheál Martin is the new taoiseach, Leo Varadkar will serve as Tanaiste and Mr Ryan will head a new climate action, communications networks and transport department.

Four of the new cabinet ministers are women – Helen McEntee is the Justice Minister, first-time TD Norma Foley is Education Minister, Ms Martin is the Tourism and Sport Minister while Heather Humpreys is the Social Protection and Rural Affair Minister.

The majority of the cabinet are from Dublin and Cork while there is no minister from the west coast of Ireland.

Mr Ryan said: “I don’t think government can ignore any part of the country be it the south, east or west or any part.

“It is difficult to get that regional balance when you have three different parties so you’re not picking for a full cabinet when you’re making your selection.”

“Each of the leaders was cognisant on the need for gender and regional balance, and it may not be perfect.”

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