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'I regret it deeply': Eamon Ryan accepts his Dáil doze could hurt his Green Party leadership bid

Footage of Ryan asleep in the Dáil on Thursday night went viral.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Eamon Ryan has said there is “no excuse” for falling asleep in the Dáil, after he was spotted napping in the Convention Centre this week.

Footage taken from inside the makeshift Dáil on Thursday showed Ryan sleeping as he was called on to vote during a motion on workers’ rights.

A video of the went viral, and led to online criticism of the Green Party leader for sleeping on the job. On Friday, Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman described the incident as a “moment of human frailty”.

But despite having to be woken up by Chief Whip Jack Chambers, Ryan confirmed that he did in fact vote on the motion after being called upon.

“I voted. I think I was one of the few party leaders who were there, but I regret it deeply,” he told RTÉ’s This Week programme.

“It was a moment of human frailty, but that’s something I regret. You have to make sure that you continue and actually make sure you learn from such mistakes and stay alert every time, and I will be doing that.”

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He also acknowledged that the incident could damage his prospects in the Green Party’s upcoming leadership election.

“It may well do, but I’d have to say to the members of the Green Party that under my leadership, which has been the most successful period in the history of the party… we’ve a parliamentary party of [12 TDs and 4 senators] in the Dáil.”

Ballot papers for the contest are being sent to party members, and must be returned by 22 July. The result of the contest will be announced on the evening of 23 July.

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