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Greens will miss Ryan’s leadership amid political challenges

The realities of power

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott
The Irish Times - Letters to the Editor.

Sir, – I am sorry to learn of Eamon Ryan’s intention to step down as leader of the Green Party.

Throughout his term in Government, and before, he has been the leading voice in alerting Ireland to the reality of climate change and the need to act now to prevent a disastrous future for the planet.

He has done this against a backdrop of scepticism, vested interests and often ridicule. He has withstood snide comment from several quarters, both inside and outside Leinster House, and has always managed to be gracious and self-effacing in response.

I hope he will continue to play an important role in environmental issues for years to come. I wish him well. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.

Sir, – I’m sad to hear of the imminent departure of Eamon Ryan as leader of the Green Party. He never resorted to criticising or blaming others, an approach which has become more and more the norm in Irish politics. His responses to questions were clear and well informed, usually based on work that he is already doing, and full of possibility and hope. His approach has given me renewed hope for our politics, for our country and indeed for our planet. I thank him for his enormous contribution, all that he has achieved and the exemplary and wholesome approach to politics he has taken. And here’s to a world in which we work together for the good of everyone and with respect for the planet that we share. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6W.

Sir, – As a senator, the question is, can Pippa hack it? – Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.

Sir, – Tribute should be paid today to Eamon Ryan. For 30 years he travelled the hard road – telling people simple yet crucial truths that no one wanted to hear. History will be kind to Eamon Ryan. Future generations will question the rest of us. I hope we pass that exam. We’re not exactly sitting the honours paper at the moment. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – Pity the Green movement, which will always be in a position where, if they’re effective in creating new regulations, they will infuriate farmers, business, consumers, or all of them; something which will only worsen as they continue to legislate on climate.

The population says they want the Government to solve climate change, but punishes it at the ballot box for trying to do so – and simultaneously brands it as achieving nothing. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – It is a pity to see the Green Party decline in popularity. It was good to associate the colour with growth, progress and non-violence in an Irish context. At least it can be proud of an honest history. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 24.

Sir, – Now we have another new political leader to look forward to, and what a group to choose from. Their various and wide ranging talents run the gamut from A to B. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.

Sir, – For those of us in provincial Ireland, as opposed to rural Ireland, we can point to the Local Link bus service as a success . However, Mr Ryan would seem to have left Bus Éireann relatively unscathed in terms of his green agenda, with poor or inefficient transport links to the capital.

Interprovincial bus routes to Letterkenny from Dublin or Galway have not improved in decades, thus requiring us folk to drive even when we don’t want to, given poor schedules, frequent breakdowns and the odd bus fire. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.

Sir, – What collective mania has gotten hold of the Green Party in their haste to replace Eamon Ryan?

Apparently all their failings in delivering their message and policies to date can instantly be solved by appointing a leader from “down there in the country”.

Is the Green Party message not current to all the constituencies and interests in the country? Perhaps a more enlightened and challenging approach might be to get out from behind the desks and go talk, listen and understand the people “down the country” and persuade them on the veracity and urgency of their message and policies on global warming, economics and social justice and how they can live sustainably with them.

Pippa Hackett and the Green Party in Government have overseen the collapse of the forestry industry in Ireland under her watch, with historically low new forestry plantations this year, just as the EU has set a target of planting three billion trees in the EU in the next five years. – Yours, etc,




Co Galway.

A chara, – It was sad to hear that Eamon Ryan, one of the most honourable of people in our public life, has decided to step down as leader of the Green Party. He can be consoled, however, that he has succeeded in putting green issues permanently on the political agenda for all future governments.

The sad thing is that his Green Party was dumped upon by his Coalition partners in the recent European and local elections, with one prominent Fine Gael candidate even comparing cycle lanes to the Berlin Wall. Like the Labour Party before them, the Greens, as the minor party in Government, has proved to be a convenient mudguard for their senior Coalition partners.

With the Greens in the doldrums for the foreseeable future, one wonders who the grand old dames of Irish politics, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, will be eying up next as potential junior partners in their next coalition government. – Is mise,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The decision of the Green Party to allow its members in Northern Ireland to vote in its forthcoming leadership contest means that, as in 2020, a Cabinet Minister and Coalition party leader will be elected in part by people who will not have live under the policies (including taxation rates) determined by that politician. – Is mise,



Co Donegal.

Sir, – The problem for the Green Party is that it never left its safe, comfortable, well-off, middle-class bubble. It targets seats in affluent areas where people vote Green in the full knowledge that it’s a risk-free vote that’s good for virtue signalling.

They know the Greens won’t implement any of the policies required to seriously address our climate change challenges, especially any that would impede the lives of the well-heeled Green voters, much less do anything to address financial imbalances.

No fear the Greens will do anything that lowers the price of a house, to create a fair chance for others, especially not for those expecting to inherit the homes of their parents or grandparents.

Whoever takes over as leader should have a bit more guts to reach out to a wider audience and to confront its own voters with the reality of how their lifestyle contributes to Ireland’s carbon footprint and be honest with them that it is they who should pay and change.

Oh, and explain that they also need to properly fund services, especially the ones they don’t personally rely on, as that’s what you do in a decent and fair society, and that’s what a social contract is. – Yours, etc,


The Hague,

The Netherlands.