Eamon Ryan’s resignation will not destabilise Government, says Harris

Eamon Ryan’s resignation will not destabilise Government, says Harris

By Cate McCurry and David Young, PA

Eamon Ryan’s resignation as Green Party leader will not destabilise the coalition Government nor change the timing of the next general election, the Taoiseach and Tanaiste have said.

The Environment Minister’s announcement that he will step down as party has prompted speculation of an early general election.

However, Simon Harris, the Taoiseach, moved to end the speculation, saying Mr Ryan’s decision does not “alter” plans to have the Government serve its full term.


Mr Ryan made the shock announcement on Tuesday, but will remain in place until his party elects his successor.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan to step down
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan announced he would step down as leader of the Green Party. Photo: Evan Treacy/PA.

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman announced plans to run in the leadership contest, and he will be joined by Minister of State Pippa Hackett.


Speaking in Clones, County Monaghan, Mr Harris described his Government partner as a politician of “real substance that has made a lasting impact in Ireland”.

“I am conscious that he intends to continue to serve until the next general election. I look forward to working with him,” Mr Harris added.

“Obviously, over the next few weeks, it’s a matter for the Green Party to chose who their next leader is, and I wish them well with that process.


“From a Government point of view, the Government continues. There is a programme for government, it’s between three parties, not any individual.

“It’s a programme that was hard negotiated over a long period of time. My commitment as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael, I believe the commitment of all parties in Government now is to keep getting on with the people’s business.

“I don’t think it in any way alters the thinking on the timing of the next general election.”

Micheál Martin, the Tánaiste, took a similar stance on the future of the current Government, saying it will go “full term”.

He made the comments as he attended the completion of phase two of the restoration of the Ulster Canal.

The restoration of the disused water link is a flagship north-south infrastructure project.

Mr Martin said: “In terms of the Government and its cohesion, one of the reasons we are here is to reflect.

“Today is a manifestation of the cohesion and the capacity of this Government to deliver on the programme for government and the shared island initiative is one of those initiatives and it has delivered this wonderful facility here.

“The Government is about the programme for government. Eamon Ryan’s entitled to make a decision to retire as leader of the Green Party, and ultimately not contest the next general election.

“Yesterday, I paid tribute to Eamon’s contribution to Irish public life and, in particular, he has fundamental beliefs which he has stood by over many decades and has made a lasting impact.

“This Government again has been very strong in terms of addressing the climate issues, the biodiversity issues in a way that I would argue previous governments have not been able to do and we’ve had resources to be able to do a lot in terms of retrofitting and public transport.

“The remaining part of the Government is we go full term.”

Referring to former Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar’s resignation from the party in April, Mr Martin said it “hasn’t destabilised the Government”.

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