The Green Party has today insisted that it remains united in the wake of the resignation of high-profile senator Deirdre de Burca today.
The junior Government coalition party admitted that it had been expecting the move for some time.
"We are disappointed by Deirdre's decision. We are aware that she has been unhappy with her situation for some time," said the statement.
"The Parliamentary Party is totally united. We will continue to operate in a collegiate way."
It also refuted de Burca's claims that "staying in Government appears to have become an end in itself" for the party.
"The Green Party is about implementing progressive policies and improving our society," the statement continued.
"We are serving in Government at a critical time for the country, and we have made tough choices that are vital to the peoples' interests.
"In Government we have brought about huge changes in Ireland's energy, planning and enterprise policies. In recent months we have introduced civil partnerships legislation, a levy on carbon and a major programme of political reform, including a directly elected mayor for Dublin this year. Our policies have created tens of thousands of new, valuable jobs.
"Our position has remained the same since entering Government in June 2007. We have come to do a job and as long as we are getting that job done we will stay. If we are not making progress, we will think again."
The party also insisted that the majority of its members have backed the party's performance in Government.
"Eight out of 10 of our members backed that view in 2007 when they endorsed the Party's entry into Government," the statement concluded.
"Precisely the same number again backed that view in October 2009 when they were presented with the Renewed Programme for Government."