Greens 'committed to Government'

Fri, Feb 19, 2010, 00:00

Green Party chairman Dan Boyle today declared his party's intention to stay in Government but said there was a need to understand that different political cultures existed within it.

Speaking in the wake of Willie O'Dea's resignation, Mr Boyle said: "Our intention is to remain in Government to fulfil the programme for Government . . . and we have already done so in very difficult circumstances, particularly economic where we've had to make very unpopular but necessary decisions to right this economy for policies that we weren't responsible for in the first instance."

"I'm confident that we're performing in government . . . and we punch well above our weight, and come an election, we will be able to present a significant body of achievement for being in government," he told RTÉ's News at One.

"Fianna Fáil is a government that is used to government. This is our first term in government, and it's very much a learning experience for us. Every day in Government is difficult, but we face those challenges. We've come into this situation with our eyes open . . . we believe we can get more of what we believe in . . . by being in Government," Mr Boyle said.

"We see this as a Government that exists because the Green Party is prepared to support a joint programme for Government. We have different political cultures, and for a Government to work, it has to be understood that those cultures do exist, and that you have to accommodate those differences."

He said the Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern's comment earlier in the week that the Greens had been accommodated by Fianna Fáil in Government was an "unfortunate use of terms".

Referring to his public expression of his lack of confidence in Mr O’Dea, despite the Dáil vote of confidence, Mr Boyle said his tweet was made in a personal capacity and had reflected calls and emails he had been receiving during the day.

He said that given the circumstances that existed on Wednesday, "given the facts as they were portrayed, they [the Green TDs] behaved as they had to then [in the vote of confidence]".

However, the Green senator said he regretted some more time was not available before the vote but added: "I don't foresee circumstances that arose on Thursday happening again, but obviously we were unhappy that they played out the way they did, and there are lessons as to how we can better organise the business."