Catherine Martin aims to alter Green Party's ‘anti-rural’ image

Her remarks come ahead of the outcome of today's leadership competition between herself and leader Eamon Ryan.
Catherine Martin aims to alter Green Party's ‘anti-rural’ image

Catherine Martin: "I’d like to see the narrative that the Greens are anti-rural change.”
Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Deputy Green leader Catherine Martin has said one of her key aims is to “reserve the narrative” that her party is anti-rural.

Her remarks come ahead of the outcome of today's leadership competition between herself and leader Eamon Ryan.

Ms Martin told the Irish Examiner that she could still run for the leadership again at a later stage if she were to lose out to Mr Ryan.

She said the process of the leadership election had been one of the big wins for the Greens, proving during a delicate period in the Government formation talks that they could debate such a vote.

“I’d like to see the narrative that the Greens are anti-rural change,” said the Dublin-Rathdown TD. 

She said paying for diverse farming and adjusting EU payments would help this.

Ms Martin said she had huge respect for Mr Ryan and, despite the challenge to his authority, the two still got on “like a house on fire”.

“We’ve kept that friendship throughout the process, but I just think it was important the membership [got a chance]. I was being inundated with requests saying ‘please run’.”

Indifferent to the result of the leadership vote, Ms Martin said that she wanted to see Green promises in the programme for government come to fruition.

Minister Eamon Ryan is tipped to retain his position as leader of the Green Party. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie
Minister Eamon Ryan is tipped to retain his position as leader of the Green Party. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

“That’s one thing, to say it is the greenest deal, and the job now is to see it implemented. 

"I think I’m in a position to do that because of how I led those negotiations with our now coalition partners.”

Asked also if she would run again for leader if she loses, Ms Martin responded: “Yes, I think I would run for leader again if I thought it was what the party needed and I had that membership asking me again.”

Party sources say Transport Minister Mr Ryan looks set to see off the challenge of his deputy leader.

Despite her expected loss, Ms Martin is not expected to be asked to vacate her position at Cabinet.

“That is not the Green way, she will not be resigning as minister,” said one senior party source.

Mr Ryan has been leader of the party since 2011 when it lost all of its Dáil and Seanad seats, but Ms Martin shocked many by announcing her intention to stand for the leadership during government negotiations.

Mr Ryan’s supporters have pointed to his record of leading the party back from being wiped out in 2011 to its greatest ever election performance at local, national, and at European level.

The deadline for receipt of ballots for the leadership contest was 5.30pm, with 65% of 2,336 members here and 598 in the North having voted. 

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