Greens defiant despite election losses

The Greens are determined to stay in Government despite a collapse of their vote in the local elections, minister Eamon Ryan said today.

The Greens are determined to stay in Government despite a collapse of their vote in the local elections, minister Eamon Ryan said today.

The party has lost all its seats in Dublin and could be left with just three of its national total of 18 councillors.

Only two candidates have been elected so far, in Co Clare and Co Louth.

But communications minister Eamon Ryan he and his colleagues will take the punishment and continue to work in the national interest.

He denied any TDs would waver in their support for Brian Cowen in the forthcoming Dáil motion of no confidence by Fine Gael.

“We’re highly disappointed. We’re licking our wounds at the moment,” Mr Ryan said.

“We worked extremely hard on the campaign but unfortunately the results are very disappointing today.

“It’s a real body blow to the party and to our candidates who worked hard and put themselves up for election.

“But we’re still very determined and full of conviction in terms of our political vision and our policy agenda while in Government.”

The ruling body of the Green Party is expected to meet in the coming days to discuss the planned review of the Programme for Government.

The Green Party won 3.7% of the vote in the last local elections in 2004 and expanded from eight to 18 seats.

However, that will be whittled down to only two or three by tonight after shipping losses so far in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and Fingal in Dublin as well as in Carlow.

Former mayor of Galway, Niall O Brolchain, who was tipped as a future Dáil TD, also lost out in Galway city.

Councillor Brian Meaney, who was elected to Ennis Town Council and Clare Co Council, said he was delighted with his own performance but felt sorry for his party colleagues.

“Of course a fresh mandate would be preferable but a knee-jerk General Election would turn us into a political basket case as well as an economic basket case right now,” he said.

Mr Meaney, who has been critical of party policy in the past, added: “The Green Party ministers have been quite effective in Government but some policy decisions were very hard to take by people on the ground.”

Mr Ryan also attacked the Opposition parties for being populist and said their policies were not subject to the same scrutiny as those of the Coalition.

“There have been no serious alternatives offered by Fine Gael or Labour on how they would address difficulties in the economy.

“The hard questions have not been asked of them yet.”

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