Green party leader Eamon Ryan has defended President Higgins’ comments on US President Donald Trump’s attitude to climate change.
At the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) trade union conference in the RDS, Dublin on Tuesday President Higgins criticised his US counterpart’s policy on climate change as “regressive and pernicious”.
Mr Higgins said the US should be urged to reverse its decision to withdraw from the international 2015 Paris accord, which sets targets for countries to reduce emissions in order to lessen the impact of global warming.
On RTE radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show Mr Ryan said the use of the word "pernicious" by President Higgins was appropriate.
Mr Ryan said that President Higgins’ comments were a criticism of “policy not the person”. This was appropriate when “a country goes rogue,” as the US had.
It was pernicious and such a policy caused harm, he added.
Mr Ryan also defended people who planned to protest the US President’s visit.
“It is right to protest to show that not everyone is happy to see him here," he said.