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Eamon Ryan lashes RTÉ and says Ireland needs the Greens like never before

The Green Party leader has been rallying members in Dublin today.
Jan 16th 2016, 3:53 PM 15,504 106

EAMON RYAN HAS accused RTÉ of being rooted in the past after the broadcaster failed to include the Green Party in its general election debates.

The Greens have sent RTÉ a legal letter over the party’s exclusion from two general election debates that are due to take place in the coming weeks.

Ryan called on the national broadcaster to facilitate a debate involving his party in a wide-ranging speech at the Greens’ pre-election convention in Dublin today.

Around 200 members are attending the event with the party promising to run candidates in all 40 Dáil constituencies.

Watch a livestream of the convention:

Source: justmultimedia/YouTube

Ryan, who is targeting a Dáil seat in Dublin Bay South, told fellow members that the broadcaster is “rooted in the past”:

We are in a row with RTÉ because they have decided to exclude us from their leadership debates. Like the Government, their criteria for inclusion are rooted in the past.

Ryan said that if RTÉ does not facilitate a debate he wants the Taoiseach to suggest another forum where they could debate “the climate change challenge”.

The former communications minister also accused the Fine Gael-Labour government of pursuing a failed economic model.

“Both parties seem to think that adhering to the economic orthodoxy that held sway for the last thirty five years is still the only way to go,” he said.

They seem blind to the fact that the international financial crash in 2008 changed everything. It exposed the innate instability in the current model.

He said the government is returning to “McCreevy territory” – a reference to the former finance minister Charlie McCreevy’s infamous ‘if I have it, I’ll spend it’ remark. Ryan said:

You would think some caution was called for after what we have just been through. But not a bit of it.  We are back in McCreevey territory, if we have it we spend it. If we don’t, we won’t.

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Ryan also said that the country needs to reduce its “dependency” on the car “no matter how clean its supply”. He called for greater investment in cycling, bus and pedestrian alternatives.

“Unless we build a proper public transport alternative then our cities are going to choke and our economy with it,” he said, describing it as “the big social as well as environmental issue of our time”.

He concluded by saying the Greens will be open to work with any party or grouping that is elected to he next Dáil and will play “a constructive role” in the formation of the next government.

In an interview with last year, Ryan said the Greens would be open to governing with any other party. But he added that the focus is on getting “a team” of Green Party TDs into the Dáil, which would more than likely be in opposition.


On current polls, the Greens believe that, on a good day, the party could win between three and four Dáil seats with Ryan considered the most likely to take a seat in Dublin Bay South.

See who the Greens are running in all 40 Dáil constituencies > 

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Hugh O'Connell


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