Eamon Ryan Stepping Down: What next for the Greens?

Eamon Ryan stepping down: What nest for the Greens?

Philip Ryan, Political Editor of the Irish Independent joins Pat Kenny as they react to the news that Eamon Ryan is stepping down as the leader of the Green Party.

Eamon Ryan has confirmed that he is stepping down as Green Party leader.

Minister Ryan said he was leaving his role to “pass the torch to a new generation of leaders, confident in the strength and values I have seen built up in our party over all these years”.

He said he would not be standing for re-election to the Dáil.

He will remain in his role as leader and minister until a new party leader is elected – and will spend the remaining months of this Government in “whatever new role” the next party leader chooses for him.

“Sustainable and secure”
Minister Ryan said he was extremely proud of what the Green Party has achieved in Government – noting that he has helped “set the country on a course to a more sustainable and secure future”.

“Social integration is integral to green politics,” he said.

“Investing in public transport and safe streets helps the disadvantaged the most.

“Relying on our own renewable energy keeps money in our country and creates good jobs that last.

“Paying to restore nature will help marginal farming systems most of all.

“This is the best for rural as well as urban Ireland.”

Minister Ryan said his biggest regret is that under his watch, “a narrative has taken hold that we are not concerned about rural Ireland, that solutions are costing people and that we are not connected to the man and woman on the street.”

He said none of that is true and warned that divisive politics will not work if we are to see “the scale and speed of change that has to be made”.

“Our motivation comes from a love of creation and our place within it,” he said.

“We seek benefits for every place and every community in the transition we need to make.”

Social media
He said convincing people of the party’s vision has not been easy “because we’ve also been the subject of a relentless attack, particularly on social media”.

“It seems, at times, that we are subject to coordinated attacks in the comments section, following any posts we made,” he said.

“I decided to ignore the worst comments even when it included vile statements about my own recently deceased father some five years ago.

“But the level of invective has only increased, especially in the last year, and I think it poisons the well of public thinking about our agenda and not just our party.

“That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important that we cherish and build strong, impartial and independent media and that we put the future funding in place so that people can trust that they’re getting accurate information on what is happening in our world.

“You could despair about the future of our democracy if you were just to live in that algorithm-driven, polarising online world; however, I am so hopeful about what is to come next.”

New generation
He said he spent the last few days talking to the candidates who put themselves forward for the Green Party in the recent elections and was inspired by their continued determination to serve the public.

“In leaving my leadership role, I will be asking a new generation of young people to take up this honourable public role by joining our party and joining us in meeting and listening to the public when the next election comes, as well as making our case,” he said.

Minister Ryan said he will continue to work on climate action – but cannot continue to work the long hours that being a public representative involves.

Eamon Ryan has served as a councillor, TD and Minister during his 30-year career.

He has led the Green Party since 2011.

Credit to : Newstalk

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