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Eamon Ryan dismisses suggestion of him becoming the next Taoiseach

When it was suggested to him that Ryan could become Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar replied that he would “listen to any proposal”.

Eamon Ryan speaking to media on the plinth outside Leinster House last week.
Eamon Ryan speaking to media on the plinth outside Leinster House last week.
Image: RollingNews.ie

GREEN PARTY LEADER Eamon Ryan has dismissed claims that he could be Taoiseach in the next government, after it was suggested earlier today. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was asked earlier today whether he would be open to Ryan, or Labour leader Alan Kelly becoming taoiseach, if one of those two parties agreed to go into government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. 

Varadkar replied that he would “listen to any proposal”, including giving Ireland its first ‘Green Taoiseach’: asked if Ryan could become Ireland’s next Taoiseach, Varadkar said it was “absolutely up to him”.

“I can’t speak for the leader of the Green party or the Labour party… We will listen to any proposal that any other party puts forward.”

But, speaking on RTÉ’s Six One News this evening, Eamon Ryan dismissed the suggestion that he could be the next head of government.

“That’s not on our agenda at all,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t be pushing for that as a condition for entering government.

Varadkar said that he and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin have agreed there will be a coalition of equals between both parties.

The leaders are courting the Social Democrats, Labour, Greens and various independent TDs to try to secure the numbers to form a stable administration in the wake of February’s inconclusive election.

Varadkar said: “What we’ve agreed is that we’ll have a coalition of equals between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and obviously Micheál Martin and I have an understanding as to how that would work out.

“We are both absolutely aware that it is not our decision to make.

We really want to make sure that any third party or even a fourth party or fourth group are very much involved in formulating the programme for government and also the agreement on how that government will work.

“The ball is very much now in the courts of those other parties as to whether they want to be part of that or not.”

Fine Gael won 35 seats on 8 February, while Fianna Fáil won 38 seats (though they have just 37 votes in the Dáil, as Seán Ó Fearghaíl is the neutral Ceann Comhairle).

Sinn Féin won 37 seats in an historic result that saw them top many polls across the country, but both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have ruled out going into government with them.

The Green Party have 12 seats, their most to date, and so would be the preferred partner for government. The Labour Party and Social Democrats are on six seats each. 

Solidarity People-Before-Profit are on five seats, Independents4Change are on one seat, and Aontú also have one seat. There are 19 Independents.

- with reporting from PA News

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