Greens open to coalition with Sinn Féin, Eamon Ryan says

Green Party leader says Sinn Féin needs to take environmental issues seriously

The Green Party would be open to entering a coalition with Sinn Féin if the party started taking environmental issues “seriously”, party leader Eamon Ryan has said.

The Dublin Bay South TD said the Greens would work with “all parties” in the future when it came to tackling the climate and environmental crisis.

Asked if he would consider forming a future government with Sinn Féin the Green Party leader did not rule it out.

“I’ve always said that the scale of change needed on the environmental side and the urgency means that we can’t sit back and wait for the ideal partners and the ideal opportunity to go into government,” Mr Ryan told RTÉ Radio 1’s This Week.


“I believe every party, every political viewpoint, has to be part of this change. So yes, we will work with all parties to make it happen.”

The Green Party leader added that, in such a scenario, Sinn Féin would have to “change” on the environment.

“They have to start taking the environmental agenda seriously, and show the ambition and the scale of response, and the funding and the resources that need to go with that in their policy approach,” Mr Ryan said.

“So we would enter any such negotiations with absolutely honest respect to all parties, respecting their mandate, but also holding a line.”

Mr Ryan said politics could not “delay” when it came to tackling climate change. “You can’t put off the environment, you can’t put it down as some kind of nice tick-box greenwashing option, it has to be real.”

Separately, Mr Ryan said there were “legal issues” around extending the current moratorium on evictions, and advice would have to be sought from the Attorney General in any Cabinet discussion on keeping the ban in place.

Efforts had been ongoing in recent days to find accommodation for asylum seekers who the State was not able to provide shelter to earlier this week when they arrived in the country, he said.

“Even this week where we did run out of accommodation, I got informed even in the last few days we’ve found that additional accommodation, which means we can go back to those who arrived in the last week to see can we make sure we get them out of that homeless situation,” Mr Ryan said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times