Eamon Ryan pays little heed to new left, green-focused party rumours

Green Party leader is concentrating on the work that has to be done 'for the public good'
Eamon Ryan pays little heed to new left, green-focused party rumours

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan insists he has paid little attention to rumours of a new left-leaning party with a green agenda. Picture: Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography.

The Green Party leader has said he is not concerned by rumours of a new splinter party.

Eamon Ryan has defended the decision to enter Government and said the party is "far from disintegration".

Mr Ryan said his focus "is not on" rumours that a new left-leaning political entity with a green agenda is being formed.

"I haven't even really had much of a discussion with any colleagues on it because I read the rumours like everyone else, but it's not my focus, my attention is on the work we have to do for the public good."

Mr Ryan added: "My focus is on how we protect our people from this virus, how do we get the scale of change on climate that we need. 

You can read rumours and spend the whole time worrying about them, but I prefer to worry about public health and about how we address the climate challenge.

It comes after Mr Ryan's parliamentary party split over the decision of Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu to run in the Seanad by-election as an Independent.

Mr Ryan urged members to stick with the Government pact and back a Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael candidate for the two seats.

However, a number of Green party representatives, including deputy leader Catherine Martin, have backed Ms Chu's Seanad bid.

Asked about the ongoing strife in his party, Mr Ryan said: "I am proud of the work of colleagues right across the party, all four government departments where we have ministers in Cabinet and our junior ministers, our councillors right across the country as well as our TDs. 

I think actually, far from disintegration, we're showing real strength and real capability, and are delivering on the things that people voted for us."

He added that he would prefer to be in Government at "this time of change" which he said is critical when it comes to climate change and tackling the pandemic.

We are representing the tens of thousands of people who voted for us, who wanted us to deliver what we're delivering.

"I'm absolutely confident that if we keep doing that for the next four years, which I intend to do, that we will go back to the voters with our heads held high, saying we're willing to take the hard decisions be in Government in a tough time, working with colleagues on a collaborative basis because that's what this climate change challenge requires. It requires good collaboration.

"I'm absolutely confident that the real strength of skills in our party will serve us well and serve the Irish people well," said Mr Ryan.

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