‘We Deeply Regret The Hurt That Has Been Caused’

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Graphic on the Green Party website

This afternoon.

Further to Green Party leader and TD Eamon Ryan’s comments about carpooling in rural Irish villages on Ireland AM on Wednesday

And the subsequent reporting of his comments on The Irish Times yesterday

The party has released the following statement:

“By now you’ve probably read the headline that Eamon Ryan wants to restrict cars in rural Ireland.

This headline has caused a flood of online fury – and rightly so, because a suggestion like that would be ridiculous and impractical. It would be tone-deaf to needs of our rural communities, and frankly insulting to people who are dealing with a total lack of any public transport on a daily basis.

But the truth is – this headline is totally inaccurate.

The Green Party does not stand for restricting car ownership, and to state otherwise is a huge misrepresentation of the party position and of Eamon’s comments.

What Eamon Ryan proposed was that car sharing could provide people in rural Ireland with extra options.

So cars AND car sharing.

The reason for this is simple. Lack of investment in rural transport means thousands of people are locked-in to car dependency. Meanwhile, thousands of young people have been locked-out of car ownership in rural Ireland because of sky-high insurance costs. People want and need options. They need a way of getting around that is much cheaper and may provide an alternative to the cost of owning and running one or more cars.

Car sharing schemes won’t work everywhere or for everyone, but there are rural communities who are already doing this. In Cahersiveen, locals have started a carpooling group, and Clare County Council are piloting a scheme as part of their Rural Development Strategy.

So what are the facts?

The fact is, the Green Party are the ONLY party proposing major public transport investment in rural Ireland, and we were the ONLY party to discuss our commitment to rural transport at our budget launch.

In our budget submission, we committed almost half a billion Euro to public transport. We are the only party with a costed budget to come anywhere close to the level of investment and ambition that will make an impact for people in rural areas.

That means new bus routes serving communities and areas that have never been served before.

It means a big increase in frequency of services on existing routes.

It means cheaper fares.

It means options.

And the Green Party proposal is for sustained investment at that level.

We deeply regret the hurt that has been caused to rural communities. We are facing a climate emergency, and the impact of that will disproportionately hit rural areas.

We want to prevent that. Carpooling is one idea that might work for some people in some areas. It’s not Green Party policy. It’s not even a Green Party idea – carpooling was debated by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, where Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour all voted in favour.

When it comes to climate change, people in rural Ireland are sometimes made to feel like they are part of the problem. Rural Ireland is not part of the problem, but by investing significantly in rural communities, we believe rural Ireland can become a big part of the solution.’

OK.

Everyone stay cool.

*revs up welly-strewn Passat*

FIGHT!!

Earlier: Rota This

Previously: It Takes A Village

Meanwhile…

Dublin Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe tweetz:

Like to join me on a whistle-stop bike tour of decent public housing in Dublin tomorrow?

The bike tour will take place from 2pm until 4pm tomorrow, leaving from The Tram Café, Wolf Tone Square, Jervis Street, Dublin 1.

Bike tour of Dublin Housing (Open House Dublin)

Earlier: “What Is Going On At The Heart Of Government?”

22 thoughts on “‘We Deeply Regret The Hurt That Has Been Caused’

  1. Jeffrey

    What is the point then??? If the exercise is less cars then thats gone. if the exercise is less cars on theroad thats gone too…

    What about pushing for “car pooling” – Something that works super well in France and other countries with the benefit of having less cars on the road and shared cost for those involved.

    https://www.blablacar.com/

    1. george

      That is what he was talking about but it was distorted into the Greens wanting to force people not to own cars.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        No distortion. It took him nearly 24 hours to come up with the “i meant” explanation – he said what he meant initially.

  2. bisted

    …if the dreadful greens had thrown a few quid at our favourite or guru she would have advised them: if you’re explaining, you’re losing…

  3. Hansel

    Good stuff guys, but you’re not owning the narrative here at all. You need better PR and spin people.

    Greens want to increase your taxes.
    Greens want rural people to share cars.
    Greens want to cut herd sizes.

    Better to own the narrative with positives:
    Greens want to pay rural people for extra generated electricity to the grid.
    Greens want more tax back on sustainable initiatives.
    Greens want greater grants for forestry.
    etc

    Rural bus routes is not a strong vote winner: things that matter in cities don’t always work for rural voters. Pick better battles.

  4. some old queen

    Now that makes more sense- if not for the environment then just for cost. Up my way, carpooling is a big thing with the construction fellas- every byroad onto the M1 is lined with cars for as far as possible- I suspect that in some cases, it is the employer who is providing the transport.

    Just my opinion but I really think the Greens need to take it down a level and make practical suggestions- state owned school bus provision for example- in NI they are everywhere and there is little marked difference in congestion between school and non-school days- it also frees up parents and, teaches children how to be independent- they miss the bus it is their own fault.

  5. some old queen

    I worked for someone who felt that we should all attend half day power points on greenery on a regular basis- he is now a director in a popular rail network in Ireland.

    Is that vague enough?

    Absolute w*nker.

  6. D

    what happened to the video where he said restrict car ownership in villages?

    surely somebody still has it on disk?

    1984

    we were always at war with gocar

    1. D

      So I found a link with a recording at the start of it, there’s a follow up at the end of it.

      https://soundcloud.com/oceanfm/green-party-not-anti-rural-ireland-ryan-defends-village-car-pooling-proposal

      ER “and when it comes to cars, to start incentivizing looking at things like car sharing, we don’t all need to own a car, most of our cars are sitting in car parks for 95% of the time”

      Host: “That’s very good, in fairness deputy, for people living in the city this idea perhaps of car sharing or cycling to work or using public transport. What if you live in rural Ireland, and none of those options, realistically, are open to you?”

      ER “There’s no reason in rural Ireland we couldn’t have a scheme, let’s say in a local village, where you know if there’s two or three hundred families, let’s have thirty cars which we share, there’ll always be one available, maybe it’s a short walk to pick one up, you know, this is…”

      Host: “Along country roads, at eight o’clock in the morning, really, deputy?”

      ER “Yeah, I mean, why not, you know, you could cycle down to the local collection point, we, we all don’t have to, on pure economics alone, we’re all worried about how much this is costing and we should be, there are ways we can do it, reorganise and do things differently, that’s better for the environment and better for our pockets”

      Challenged a few days later, he later goes on to ask the radio station to change the facebook post.
      He says he meant car sharing as an extra option or choice.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        +1
        No doubt the soft spoken one (CiunCainteach) will be along shortly to tell us that you’re wrong, despite
        the recording above bringing clarity.

  7. E f

    Still think he needs a straight jacket and a muzzle. At least we now know what we are in for if the Greens ever get into power again.

  8. Joe

    Just when the greens were making a bit of progress politically,, swivel eyed loon Eamon Ryan’s true colors rise to the surface and has made the party as popular as poop in a swimming pool, as unpopular as they were when they were supporting the destruction of the economy by keeping Fianna Fail in government a few short years ago. In Europe most green parties are left wing, in Ireland they are Eco capitalists of the worst sort. Bye bye Eamon and don’t let the barn door smack you in the butt on the way out…

    1. MaryLou's ArmaLite

      When the election campaign comes this will be used against him, but it probably won’t cost him his position as the other loons in the green party probably agree with what he said and they can’t see why the stupid right wing country bumpkins are all upset.

      1. Cú Chulainn

        Yeah, everyone in the GP knows that it’s the rural population who are destroying the environment. !!!!

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