Eamon Ryan to stay on at Cop28 as vote pairing agreed for McEntee’s no-confidence motion

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore agrees to pair in Tuesday’s vote

Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan has confirmed he has been offered a pair in Tuesday’s no confidence vote against Minister for Justice Helen McEntee in the Dáil, and will be able to stay on at the Cop28 negotiations in Dubai after all.

He had been due to fly home overnight on Monday to vote and then to return on an overnight flight to the UN climate talks on Wednesday, but TD Jennifer Whitmore of the Social Democrats had offered him a pair, he said at a press briefing in Dubai. He added that he had consulted the Taoiseach and Tánaiste who both agreed it was best that he stay at Cop28.

“The Dáil still has primacy but a pairing arrangement allows your vote not to be marked out as it were,” he said.

Mr Ryan had expressed disappointment at having to return as he is involved in negotiations on behalf of Ireland and the EU but accepted it was necessary because of Oireachtas rules.


In a statement, Ms Whitmore said that the idea of Mr Ryan flying to Ireland for the vote before returning to Dubai “made absolutely no sense from a practical or environmental perspective.”

“Rather than missing the talks for two days to return to cast a single vote, it is preferable that the minister remains at COP28 and ensures that Ireland’s voice is heard,” she added.

The Sinn Féin motion of no confidence, which is expected to be defeated, comes after criticism of the Minister and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in the wake of rioting in Dublin on November 23rd which followed the stabbing of a number of children and their carer outside a school in Parnell Square.

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times