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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 28 January, 2020

Eamon Ryan: 'I remember our darkest hours, hopefully today will be a good day'

The Green Party could take three seats in the European election.

Image: Sam Boal/

GREEN PARTY LEADER Eamon Ryan has said he will be “ecstatic” if his party wins three seats in the European election, as the RTÉ/TG4 exit poll shows strong support for his colleagues.

According to the exit poll, Ciaran Cuffe is set to top the European election poll in Dublin and candidates Saoirse McHugh and Grace O’Sullivan are in strong contention for seats in the other two constituencies.

Speaking to RTÉ, Ryan said three successful candidates would be a “huge benefit” to the European greens in parliament and would give them a stronger voice.

He said there is a sense that the party has crossed boundaries that existed previously, particularly in rural Ireland.

Ryan said he hopes “today will be a good day”, as he remembers the wipeout his party suffered in the 2011 general election. 

I remember the difficult days back in 2011, that time, the darkest hours, a tough time for us. But I remember seeing [RTÉ's] John Bowman and he said something that night; the Greens will actually come back because we represent a philosophy, an actual world view around it. I think the tide comes in and comes out, in terms of green thinking, but it continues to rise, the overall level of consciousness thinking. We have to make this leap. 

He said the party, despite the events of the past, would still be interested in going into government, but the priority now is to get its European and local seats “working successfully” so they can transfer this success into Dáil seats. 

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