Green’s Ryan defends Ahern’s Dáil absence

GREEN Party Minister Eamon Ryan has defended the absence of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern from the Dáil last Wednesday.

Mr Ahern skipped his regular Dáil duty to deliver an address at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) conference in Donegal, a decision Fine Gael described as showing “absolute contempt” for the parliament.

When in Opposition, the Green Party repeatedly called for reforms to ensure greater accountability to the Dáil and shorter holidays for TDs.

An absence such as that of the Taoiseach on Wednesday is something the party would have been expected to criticise in the past.

But last night, Mr Ryan said: “The Taoiseach has always, I suppose, put a very large importance on the whole partnership agreement.”

Pushed on why the Greens had become so reluctant to criticise Fianna Fáil in public, Mr Ryan responded: “You accept in government that you work on a collective basis with other parties and you support government decisions. We are going to do that.

“We’re not going into government on every single occasion to say, ‘hold on a sec here, we have a different opinion and we’re going to publicly go out and have a row over them’. That wouldn’t lead to effective government.”

Mr Ryan, appearing on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics programme, acknowledged that the Green Party had failed to get several of its election manifesto commitments included in the programme for government. These included banning corporate donations and reducing the number of junior ministers. But he suggested the party should be judged over its full term in office.

Asked if the party was finding government a comfortable place, he replied: “You don’t go into politics for comfort. You have to work hard; I think particularly in Cabinet you have to work hard because you have a responsibility now to deliver and to be on top of your brief. You have that in opposition too, but I think it’s a slightly different role in government. So I wouldn’t say it’s comfortable, but I think we’re capable of doing it and I think we’re up to the task.”

More in this section

Price info
IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.