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Dubai

Green Party leader would 'prefer' to stay at COP28 but 'democracy comes first' for Dáil vote

The Green Party leader and Minister for Transport will have to travel home from Dubai for the vote – he will then fly back out to the event.

MINISTER EAMON RYAN has said that he would prefer to stay at COP28 rather than travel back to Ireland to vote in the no confidence vote against Minister Helen McEntee but “democracy comes first”. 

The Green Party leader and Minister for Transport will have to travel home from Dubai for the vote – he will then fly back out to the event.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald announced on Friday that her party has tabled a no confidence motion in the minister in the wake of last week’s rioting in Dublin. 

The Social Democrats have also given their support to the motion. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had explained yesterday there was no way to avoid the flight home and back to the Dubai event because there is no “pairing” allowed in a no confidence vote. 

Pairing is a system by which politicians can avoid a Dáil vote if another TD from the other party agrees to pair with them who will then abstain from participating.

Speaking to reporters, including The Journal, in Dubai this morning Ryan said he would prefer to stay in the United Arab Emirates.

“I prefer to really focus on this, but you have to vote in a confidence motion,” he said. 

The Minister said that he had done some work already with Spanish and German Government representatives.

“I’ll be busy today and tomorrow, I would have to have go home to vote but that’s one of those things and, you know, democracy, that all comes first,” he added. 

When asked was it disappointing that he would have to go home he responded: “Sure is, but there you go”.

Yesterday Varadkar said that it was unfortunate that his Cabinet colleague would have to travel home and go back out to Dubai again but said that there was a mechanism available to offset the emissions from the flights. 

“He does, unfortunately and that’s not ideal but there are no pairs for confidence motions other than for illness.

“Minister Ryan will have to go home and come back again. Of course, he will offset the emissions, we have a mechanism for doing that, but we’d much rather if it weren’t necessary but, like I say, this is the motion put down by Sinn Féin,” the Taoiseach said. 

With reporting from Lauren Boland in Dubai.