Eamon Ryan hopes ‘last-minute’ switches to Green Party can yield 15 seats

Dublin Bay South TD says strong poll for Kerry candidate shows party in with a shot everywhere

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he believes people are going to “switch green at the last minute” and has admitted climate change has not featured in the general election campaign.

Mr Ryan stressed that people do care about climate action but that it is “a difficult issue to cover - it’s so huge”.

“It hasn’t featured and if it has featured it has only ever featured as a negative or as a divisor or as a cost issue. What hasn’t featured is a sense that this is an opportunity for our country,” the Dublin Bay South TD said on Wednesday.

Mr Ryan said the party is “doing well” and there is a “real possibility” the Greens could win 15 seats across the country.


He said the TG4/Ipsos poll of Kerry, which put Green Party candidate Cleo Murphy on 9 per cent of the vote, gives the party “real hope”.

“If we’re going to win in Kerry, which is a chance, then we can win everywhere,” Mr Ryan said.

“I think actually this election isn’t finished yet, this isn’t set. People are still making up their minds, I think they’re going to switch green at the last minute, a lot of people, those swing voters because they realise it’s the change we need.”

Separately, Mr Ryan said he “didn’t know” what impact Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald’s handling of comments made about Paul Quinn by Stormont Minister for Finance Conor Murphy would have on the party in the election.

He said Mr Murphy should make “an absolute frank disclosure and apology and explain why the comments were made in the first place”.

“The days of violence and excusing or accepting violence in any aspect of Irish society is over, has to be over,” Mr Ryan said.

“I’m glad that Mary Lou apologised last night, I can’t understand how it was so unclear the previous day but our party comes from a perspective that actually peaceful politics is the way forward.

“I think the Irish people have a similar view, we have to face this future in this country in a way where no family is ever harmed in the way that the Quinn family were, both in the murder of their son but also then in the way that he was depicted afterwards, that was a shame.”

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times