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Taoiseach says it's up to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan as to how he disciplines his own TDs

Eamon Ryan briefed his coalition partners about the sanction last night

Image: Sam Boal

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said it is up to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan as to how he disciplines his own party members.

His comments comes after Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan lost the whip and another Green Party TD Joe O’Brien was sanctioned for voting against the government yesterday.

Legislation was tabled in the Dail yesterday to replace the rent freeze and eviction ban, brought in at the start of the pandemic.

“As far as I am concerned, there are different ways one can approach this but parties are different and we want to keep the focus on the policy agenda,” he said.

Martin confirmed that Ryan had briefed his coalition partners on the sanctions that would be taken against the two Green Party TDs.

“I have been in government before, I don’t get totally fazed by events,” he said.

Today, Ryan has warned his party that they cannot vote against the government.

The Green Party issued a statement late last night to say the pair have lost speaking rights for the next two months.

Ryan confirmed today the suspension would include the Dail recess so their speaking rights would only be lost for two weeks.

Ryan said he believed the sanction was sufficient.

“Our way of managing this is that we go back to our parliamentary party and we decide as a Dail parliamentary party and that was the approach we decided to take last night.”

He said failing to vote with the Government “weakens” the Government.

“We agreed, and it is absolutely clear, you cannot vote against the Government if you’re in Government. You cannot abstain if you’re in Government. It weakens our strength, it weakens Government, it doesn’t work.

“Our own party knows that, our own members know that,” he said.

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Ryan said it is up to individual parties to deal with disciplinary matters in their own way.

“Every party has a different approach. This is not usual circumstances but we had to take into account precedent and also just the circumstances of this moment.

“It is the last day in the Dail. We want to regroup and come back stronger, working together as a team in September, because I think the country needs stable, strong Government.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sarah McInerney this morning, Hourigan said she didn’t plan to make a habit of voting against government, adding that she wants to remain in the Green Party.

With additional reporting by Press Association 

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