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Green leader Ryan says Dáil numbers are 'difficult' but 'that doesn't stop us talking to Sinn Féin'

Eamon Ryan made the comments after his party held initial meetings with Sinn Féin today.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan alongside MLA Clare Bailey.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan alongside MLA Clare Bailey.
Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

GREEN PARTY LEADER Eamon Ryan has said the party remains open to “all possibilities” when it comes to forming the next government, after a two-hour meeting earlier today with representatives from Sinn Féin. 

The Greens will continue their talks with Sinn Féin tomorrow morning with today more about “political discussions” and tomorrow focusing on the “detail” across a number of policies.

It has been over two weeks since the general election, and the country remains no closer to having a new government. The result left the future government formation uncertain, with Fianna Fáil on 38 seats, Sinn Féin on 37 and Fine Gael on 35. 

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have repeatedly ruled out working with Sinn Féin, making it more difficult for Mary Lou McDonald’s party to form a government. 

Despite the numbers not looking good for Sinn Féin to form a government without Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, Ryan admitted today that while it is “difficult”, it also “does not stop us talking to Sinn Féin”. 

The Green Party leader said that having exploratory talks with all parties would help to tease out the key differences between his party and others. 

“I think that process helps if we can then move to the stage of proper multilateral talks, that’s it on the basis of substance and is starting on the right path,” he said.

Our preference is for as wider a coalition as possible because the scale of change we seek to address the climate and biodiversity crisis needs that wide cooperation.

When it was put to Ryan that it’ll likely come down to a choice for the Greens between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil together, or working with Sinn Féin and others, he said he didn’t think that was the “immediate decision” to be made now. 

“The immediate decision is sitting down in these exploratory talks and finding out what we have in common with other parties,” he said.

I think we were right to give them the hearing. To work with them in a collaborative way to see what is possible, rather than rule things out straight away.

Health, housing and climate change will be among topics on the agenda when the Greens speak to Sinn Féin tomorrow, ahead of further meetings with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the coming days and weeks. 

About the author:

Sean Murray

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