Minister says some Green Party members are ‘nutters’

John Paul Phelan made comments during Irish Farmers’ Association dinner

John Paul Phelan: “He said some of them are OK but some were nutters”. File photograph: Tom Honan

John Paul Phelan: “He said some of them are OK but some were nutters”. File photograph: Tom Honan

 

A Government minister has described some members of the Green Party as “nutters” as TDs from all parties prepare for the looming general election campaign.

John Paul Phelan, the Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, made the comments at a dinner in his native Kilkenny on Saturday night.

Mr Phelan and other TDs for Carlow-Kilkenny attended the Irish Farmers’ Association dinner on Saturday. Mr Phelan gave a speech at the event in which he referenced the Green Party.

During their period in coalition with Fianna Fáil during 2007 and 2011, the Greens - who then had a TD in Carlow-Kilkenny, Mary White - pursued a number of policies which were unpopular with rural voters.

Sources at the dinner said Mr Phelan criticised the Green Party record on climate change during their term in office and also attacked some sections of the party.

“He said some of them are OK but some were nutters,” one of those present said. Another source present said: “He said some of them are nutters.”

Another said Mr Phelan said: “There are lots of good people in the Green Party but some are nutters.”

The Greens are expected to increase their number of Dáil seats from their current total of three at the general election, which is expected to be held in the coming weeks.

They are seen as a threat to Fine Gael in middle class urban areas, but party strategists have said they will attack Eamon Ryan’s party on rural issues and taxation.