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Roderic O’Gorman is out suspiciously fast with a video he prepared earlier

Nerve-jangling continues amid much-changed Dáil but sense of pre-prepped choreography to some of the political dance

Minister for Children and Integration Roderic O’Gorman and Senator Pippa Hackett: Former has a vision of 'a Green Party that speaks to a broader range of policy issues' and the latter would be 'a non-Dublin leader' in the top job. Photograph: Gareth Chaney and Stephen Collins/Collins

Honest to God, your nerves would be in flitters with this government.

A taoiseach quits out of the blue on short notice before his emotional resignation.

An energetic new taoiseach is installed, and he has everyone worn out in a fortnight.

Sinn Féin’s poll numbers slump, the main parties’ numbers improve and general election jitters set in.


Those jitters get worse after the local and European elections results last week.

There’s a big job going in Brussels. Could the Tánaiste be tempted?

On Tuesday, the Green Party leader resigns, giving the media very little time to get to Merrion Street and witness him fall on his carrot outside Government Buildings.

That announcement means Micheál Martin is the last remaining member of the original Coalition band.

“Hold me coat!” says Wednesday.

The excitement never stops.

And Wednesday begins with speculation over whether the Greens will hold a leadership election. Supporters of two prospective candidates are wheeled out on the morning news shows in the traditional fashion

Roderic or Pippa? Pippa or Roderic?

With names like that they might have stepped from a Midsummer Murders script.

Green Party leader: Hackett announces she is entering race against O’GormanOpens in new window ]

Roderic O’Gorman, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, is out suspiciously fast with a video he prepared earlier.

Meanwhile Pippa Hackett, Senator and “super junior” minister with a high chair at the Cabinet table, is said to be seriously considering a tilt.

And an election over the next few weeks would raise the party’s profile and give everyone a little bit of a boost.

After a nerve-jangling few hours, Pippa declares in the afternoon.

This will have been welcomed as people were falling over themselves saying how they think it is important to hold a contest because the Greens don’t do coronations.

They may not do coronations but they do like carnations.

By the end of the day, the eventual Carnation of Rodders seemed likely after more than half the party’s councillors publicly indicated they would be supporting him. With Pippa his political consort.

Eamon Ryan’s decision to abdicate came as no surprise to senior figures in his circle. Sources in the two other Government parties were saying it came as no surprise to them either.

“The Greens are more leaky than leafy,” said a Coalition pot calling the green kettle black.

How the Green Party leadership contest worksOpens in new window ]

Given this advanced state of knowledge, the idea that a few bright sparks hadn’t cooked up some sort of accession plan is hard to swallow.

It is also hard to imagine that the staggered emergence of two contenders and their sponsors throughout Wednesday happened organically after a frantic day and night taking soundings of elected members and grass roots.

There was a pre-prepared taste to the choreography.

Newstalk’s Ciaran Cuddihy announced he was holding the first of the leadership hustings on his teatime programme, rather ruining the “will she/won’t she” aspect of Pippa’s deliberations.

He interviewed Roderic first, who set out his very detailed stall.

“Are you running for leadership of the party?” was his first question for Senator Hackett.

“Yes, I am delighted to say that I am putting my name forward to be the next leader of the Green Party,” she revealed, breaking her silence but not the suspense, as there was none.

Roderic is standing on his record.

Vastly experienced and can recite a list as long as your arm.

He will listen and respond to the concerns of people who feel the party is out of touch with rural Ireland.

He will continue Eamon Ryan’s legacy, build on policy and build the party.

He has delivered, is delivering and will continue to deliver.

He has a vision. It’s of “a Green Party that speaks to a broader range of policy issues”.

A lot of the boxes checked there.

Unfortunately, Roderic is from Dublin, so this will be held against him until he probably wins the contest.

But perhaps not. Who will win hearts and minds in this Battle of the Red Cow Roundabout?

Green Party leadership race: Candidates set to declare interestOpens in new window ]

According to the Dáil’s Rural Independents and other like-minded TDs, this totemic landmark on the road out of Dublin is where the contentious rural-urban divide begins.

And this is where Senator Hackett comes in.

“I have the opportunity to bring the party in a new direction,” she says. “I believe a fresh start is needed and I believe I can be that fresh start.”

The Greens have never had “a non-Dublin leader” and a woman has never held the top job.

“I live in rural Ireland. I’m a beef and sheep farmer. I’m also a mother. I’ve also been in Cabinet for the last four years.”

Unfortunately, Pippa is from Offaly and is not tipped to win a Dáil seat in that constituency, a fact weighing heavily against her leadership prospects.

No disrespect to either candidate, but the Greens missed a trick here anyway.

Listening to all the early talk about what their ideal leader should be – a change from the metropolitan Ryan and an out-and-out culchie – the party should have brought in the Two Johnnies on a jobshare.

Not a whiff of Dublin Bay South about the lads and they’re even popular in Castleknock.


And if all that wasn’t enough to be going on with, late in the afternoon, Micheál Martin put the heart crossways in everyone by calling a press conference on the plinth with an hour’s notice.

Eamon Ryan profile: Despite aiming at ‘moonshots’, the Greens leader was a realist at heartOpens in new window ]

Heavens above, was the third leg about to go from under the Coalition stool? Was the Tánaiste going to resign?

Or was the Fianna Fáil leader going to announce that Michael McGrath is to be our new EU commissioner?

Micheál arrived out to the stressed-out media with a few colleagues in tow.

The legs nearly went from under the jibbering reporters when he made his announcement as they struggled to contain the roller-coaster of emotion washing over them.

For Micheál had finally put the nation out of its misery and revealed the identity of the new deputy leader of Fianna Fáil, unveiling young Jack Chambers there and then on the spot.

Decompression Chambers, who is so lively people are calling him the new Michael McGrath.

It’s just too much excitement.

We’re off for another lie down.