“It’s just a different style, you know, maybe newer people in the Greens might want him to go in and bang the table and roar at Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael all the time, that is not not his style and it’s just as effective as someone who goes in and roars the odds working with people…
Dermot Ahern… speaks really highly of Eamon Ryan… said he and Trevor Sargent were two of the most effective ministers of the recent decades and a lot of people round that cabinet table they really appreciated he could reach out and work across them…
…with Ryan they saw someone who reached across the table across subjects and was well able to work and, you know…
Someone who knows him a while says it’s kind of like that Gonzaga type, you know, patrician quality you know we will get things done, that himself, Brian Lenihan, Simon Coveney, they kind of have that ‘let’s get along and everything needs to be done’ mentality, but I think his method of working is conciliatory but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.”
Fiach Kelly, Deputy Political Editor of the irish Times on the ’Inside Politics’ podcast with Hugh Linehan
Four Green Party councillors have written to deputy leader Catherine Martin “urging” her to challenge Eamon Ryan for the leadership of the party.
Cork City and County Councillors Lorna Bogue, Oliver Moran, Colette Finn and Liam Quaide wrote to Ms Martin yesterday evening, saying they believe she and not Mr Ryan is “prepared to make difficult choices for the greater good”.
“In February, Ireland voted for change. We believe with your style of leadership, your convictions and your work ethic, you are the right person to lead the Green Party,” reads the letter, which has been seen by RTÉ News.
During the debate on the emergency legislation The Health Preservation and other Emergency Measures Bill…
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan addressed the Dáil and spoke about “Temple Of The Bars”, Neil Diamond’s song Sweet Caroline, his mam, anti-viral Olympics, Chinese “limp wimps” and salads ‘to go’.
“Taoiseach, I would like to commend you for your speech the other night. I think it articulated the desire for our people, for us, to show solidarity and collective action in response to this unprecedented crisis.
“That sense really came home to me I think was it Friday night or Saturday, people watching online, there was that video from The Temple of the Bars, where a good-time crew was singing ‘Sweet Caroline’.
“Hands holding hands, touching me, touching you. Sweet Jesus, you could not make it up for being out of tune with where we all were.
“And in some ways, I felt at that moment, do you know the same way back in the Eighties when ever [inaudible] soccer supporters abroad, ‘well if other people are gonna be hooligans, we’re going to be the number one, best behaved people in the planet’ collectively.
“That same sense there, at that moment, we’re not gonna do that, hands touching hands, we’re going to look after each other. And I know there’s questions, people say ‘well, will we get fatigue’ in terms of our behavioural response.
“Anyone who thinks that, any scientist has yet to meet my mother, Mary Ryan who’s at home, I’m sure, watching this maybe like many a mother and father, grandfather out there.
“If there was an anti-viral Olympics, we’d win gold.”
“She’d make the Chinese communist government look like limp wimps when it comes to the measures that will be taken to hold this threat at bay.
“We’re going to be good at this, we’re gonna take it on. We’re gonna pull together as Taoiseach, you and others, have said.
“It’s interesting, we were chatting at one of our meetings, discussing, I hope I’m not breaking confidence, we’re not breaking confidence here, just this issue. We’re agreed that we’re gonna go the suppression route, not the mitigation. We have to, if things go wrong, we may have to go down the line in mitigation.
“But, for the moment, we’re going to take on the suppression route. Now how we do that, where we maintain the mental health of our people is important.
“And I was cited the example the other day, could be keep our hardware shops open. I know that’s not the most important thing, whatever, but if we kept our hardware shops open and if we have to work from home, or be at home for a period, well let’s paint the back of the house with the paint from that hardware shop.
“Or let’s get every south-facing windowsill in this country and let’s plant our seeds in the next week so that if there is any supply crisis and food in two or three months time when this really hits hard, we’ll have our salads ready to go.
“Everyone’s home, every windowsill. All of us being part of the solution.
“And equally Taoiseach, we were saying this to you yesterday, as leaders we agreed it, we need to come together and get more political involvement and the solutions are great.”
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan (middle) surrounded by Green Party members
The Green Party leader Eamon Ryan released a statement calling for a national unity government, his party’s second such call. He said:
“Right now, the country is in the midst of an acute crisis. The kind not seen before. Around the country, communities are standing up together to protect the vulnerable and make sure everyone has what they need.
“We need this cooperation amongst our leaders too.
“We must work together in an unprecedented way to tackle this unprecedented crisis. That is why we are calling for a cross-party unified approach to government to deal with the crisis.
“Tackling the Coronavirus demands an all of government approach. We can see from other countries that stopping the spread of the virus and rebuilding after will take many months and likely more than a year. Other countries have taken this step and we believe that a crisis of this magnitude demands it.
“We are again calling on parties to suspend talks on forming a majority government and come together around a crisis National Unity Government. This would bring together all parties and independents to form a cabinet split proportionately and could be done in a way to minimise the disruption for departments dealing directly with the crisis.
“There is a difficult road ahead of us but we can get through it if we work together.”
Micheál Martin gets applause from @IFAmedia Council members as he says “We can’t be prescriptive about what people eat, that’s a dangerous trend which is emerging” he adds “people can’t be brow beat into what to eat” #GE2020@rtenews
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin addresses the annual general meeting of the Irish Farmers’ Association in Dublin.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is scheduled to address the meeting at 3pm, while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is scheduled to address it at 6pm.
Last night, during the RTÉ Leaders’ Debate, a man in the audience asked the leaders what they would do, if in Government, in relation to the proposed reduction of the national suckler herd.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Fine Gael does not support reducing the national herd and said “that’s not part of our policy”.
He said there are other ways to reduce agricultural emissions.
He said beef farmers have had a very hard time and they often feel they are being “climate shamed” and “blamed for climate change”.
Mr Varadkar added: “I think that’s wrong. And I think that should stop.”
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he believed the current agriculture system in Ireland is not serving Irish farmers. Instead, he said it’s serving the “big beef processors” and retailers.
He said the Green Party would support a smaller suckler herd while supporting alternative income streams for farmers.
Asked if he specifically agreed with the herd being reduced by 53 per cent, as suggested by Climate Change Advisory Council, Mr Ryan said:
“And at the same time, farmers’ income increase 53 per cent. That’s the change we need to make, so our farmers are better off by spending less, by delivering a product that we get a premium from here and abroad.”
Houses on Inis Mor overlooking the Atlantic towards Connemara, Co Galway
For as long as I have been reading the pages of this newspaper, and observing political debate more generally, public discourse has been gripped by the trials and tribulations of a place called “Rural Ireland”.
While nobody ever defines where this place actually is, by common consensus it seems to be somewhere, or everywhere, out there “beyond the M50 motorway”.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan was the latest to incur the instant wrath of “Rural Irelanders” by having the temerity to suggest that the radical lifestyle changes, which every major political party agrees will need to be brought about in response to climate change, may require a future with fewer cars.
The reality is that the narrative of “Rural Ireland” is now often deployed as a catch-all euphemistic trope to camouflage the deeply reactionary, car-based culture that we have allowed to develop over the past half-century.
We know from the census data that, in general, the vast bulk of “Rural Ireland” is located within 10 kilometres of a large town or city; those commuting greater than 30 minutes to work typically have higher incomes; and live in much larger houses.
“Rural Ireland” has a lot of genuine challenges which need urgent, sustained attention, but it is not a homogenous space.
North Leitrim is not the same as north Kildare. Much of what we class as “Rural Ireland” is, in fact, the sprawling geographical extension of “Urban Ireland”, or what is more pejoratively referred to as middle-class flight.
As the debate on what we do about climate change intensifies, so too will the prominence of “Rural Ireland”.
It therefore behoves us to have more nuanced media reporting. This will require a recognition that; not only does its car-dependent legacy create very many real and practical problems for decarbonisation; it is also a state of mind that needs to be challenged.
Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place,
University of Liverpool.
From top: Ranelagh village; Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan during pre-Budget 2020 submissions last week
Further to the ongoing immense brouhaha over Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan’s proposal that one car could service 10 villagers in rural Ireland.
Of Mr Ryan , whose parliamentary constituency includes Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Journalist and columnist Philip Nolan tweetz:
‘Eamon Ryan wouldn’t dare tell his cosy D6 constituents they shouldn’t have at least one family car to drive Jemima to crèche, or he’d be toast.
So piss off telling rural ireland, where we actually have no public transport, that we somehow should organise a rota.’.
Green Party Councillor for Swords, County Dublin, Ian Carey respondz:
Philip, he didn’t suggest restricting car ownership for anyone. He was proposing something additional to increase mobility. He has been totally misrepresented on this. There are lots of young ppl locked out of car ownership because of insurance costs and need cheaper options.