Irish Green Party Leader Steps Down

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The leader of Ireland’s Green Party, Eamon Ryan, is to step down from the position of Irish broadcaster RTÉ reports.

The announcement will mean Mr Ryan is the second leader of the Republic’s coalition government to step down this year.

Former taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar stepped down as Fine Gael leader in April.

Mr Ryan’s decision comes after the local and European elections, which saw the Green Party lose both of its MEP seats.

The party’s number of local councillors was also halved.

Mr Ryan has been the leader of the Greens in Ireland since 2011 and was first elected to the Dáil (Irish parliament) in 2002.

He has been a TD for Dublin Bay South since 2016.

New Generation
Speaking outside Leinster House on Tuesday, Mr Ryan said that he was stepping aside to “pass the torch to a new generation of leaders.”

While he will remain in his role as environment and climate minister, he said the Green Party’s “focus should remain on providing affordable housing, healthcare reform and climate action in the coming months.”

Mr Ryan said he was “proud of what we have achieved” and that he has “been a champion on the world stage for climate justice for developing countries.”

He added that he “cannot continue to work the long hours that being a public representative involves” and that he has “parenting commitments at home” that he also wants to serve.

Mr Ryan went on to reference that his party has been “subject to a relentless attack, particularly on social media.”

“It seems at times there were efforts to coordinate attacks in the comments sections following any posts we made.

“I decided to ignore the majority of them, even when they included vile statements about my recently deceased father.

“I think it poisons the well of public thinking about our agenda and not just our party,” he said.

He added that he is positive about the future despite highlighting that one could “despair about the future of our democracy if you just live in the algorithm driven, polarising online world.”

Speaking at the start of Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, taoiseach Simon Harris said Mr Ryan has had a “positive impact on Irish politics.”
“He’s played a major leadership role in this coalition, and I want to acknowledge that,” Mr Harris said.

The taoiseach said Mr Ryan is an “honest, sincere, dedicated and decent politician.”

He’s a person of substance, a person who’s had a positive impact on Irish politics, and I fully respect and understand his reasons, and I just want to wish him well,” he added

 

 

 

BBC/ Shakirat Sadiq

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