Former Green Party TD Eamon Ryan Screengrab
One Year On

Eamon Ryan: Greens predicted property crash but didn't do enough to warn people

In the final part of the series of interviews with politicians, Eamon Ryan explains how he hopes people will be willing to vote for the Green Party again by the next election

THE CURRENT LEADER of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan says that his biggest regret after being ousted from the Dáil is that he was not vocal enough about his party’s prediction of the property crash.

The former Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources said that the Green Party had predicted the demise of the Celtic Tiger for years, but were not as pro-active about warning people as they should have been.

“We had said ‘this thing is overblown; this thing is going to crash; this thing is not sensible’ and I think we should have had, maybe, the courage of our convictions when we went into Government in 2007 to say [that] we got to start cutting budgets now in advance of the bust. We didn’t get that done,” he said.

The former TD for Dublin South added that over the following years social welfare and public sector pay increased, which he said was not what should have been done.

“It is much easier not to give the pay rise and not to give the social welfare increase than it is to take them away, which is what we had to do three years later.”

Mr Ryan also said that there is no one as in touch with Irish society as politicians, especially when it comes to general elections.

“Sometimes you hear on the radio that people are saying that Irish politicians are not in touch with people. They don’t realise that there is no-one as in touch with people compared to Irish politicians. There is nowhere else goes knocking on doors the way Irish politicians do to the extent, I think,” he said.

Irish politicians are more in touch with people probably than just about any other section in our society, literally by physically going out. Even if you are in the Dáil; even if you are elected; even if you are a minister, you go out and talk to people.

Ryan said that he hopes that by the next general election, people will be willing to vote for the Green Party once again.

“Politics is about perseverance. You take knocks and you accept them. If you believe in what you stand for you should be willing to go back [and say] ‘give us another chance. This is what we stand for and you may not have agreed with it six months or a year ago, but think about it again and look at it this way’ and you hope to maybe represent that idea again in the future,” he said.

Watch the interview with Eamon Ryan:

This interview is the last in a series of interviews with politicians one year on from the 2011 general election. Read the previous articles in the series here:

Paul Gogarty: I’m considering joining Fianna Fáil >

Mary O’Rourke: Current Dáil TDs are ‘not very bright or intelligent’ >

Barry Cowen: I want to be seen as more than just Brian’s brother >

Do I regret accosting Bertie Ahern? Not at all, says first-time TD >

Read more of‘s look back at one year since General Election 2011>

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