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Dublin: 15°C Monday 21 June 2021

Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin make final pitches to be leader in Green Party hustings

Experience is a ‘valuable attribute’ but it should not be a ‘prerequisite’ to be the leader, said Martin

THE GREEN PARTY leadership candidates Catherine Martin and Eamon Ryan this evening took part in their final online hustings. 

Making her pitch to be the next leader, Martin said she wanted to be the next leader of the party so she could work for her membership to realise the party’s goals in government. 

She said the word “experience” had been repeatedly mentioned in the other hustings. 

Martin said the party leadership “must be committed to the greenway or the highway”.

Of course, experience is “a valuable attribute”, said Martin, but added that it should not be a “prerequisite” to be the leader of the party.

“We have to be careful not to over emphasis” it, she said, stating that experience and leadership should not be put on a pedestal. She said now is the time for new, calculated risks to be taken. 

If she becomes leader, Martin said she will of course draw on the “rich bank” of experience in the parliamentary party.

She said going into government “comes with risk” and promised to “constantly review” the programme for government to ensure that Green policies are being implemented.

The party cannot be undermined by being in government, she said.

The current Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said: “I want to stay on as leader, I want the job.”

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He said his experience as leader of the party is important, highlighting that he will be chairing the government’s sub-committee on climate action. He said he has experience dealing with Europe and said he has worked hard over the last ten years to get the party where it is today.

Speaking about Dublin, he said over the years he has looked at each street in the capital and thought about how it can be changed around to make it more accessible to all. 

Now is the time to “grab” Covid as an opportunity to deliver that change. 

Ryan said he wants to turn “decades of thinking and put it into action”, stating that as leader with the most experience he has the ability to make changes “quicker, faster, bigger and better for all”.

Ballot papers will be sent to party members in the coming days, and must be returned by 22 July. The result will be announced on the evening of 23 July.

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