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Leah Farrell/
Green Party

Ryan sets target of 10% of electorate voting Green in 2024 elections

Ryan was delivering the keynote speech at the Green Party conference in Athlone.

GREEN PARTY LEADER Eamon Ryan has said he wants 10% of the electorate to vote for his party in the 2024 local elections, which would see a total of 100 Green city and county councillors.

Speaking at the party’s conference in Athlone this evening, Ryan said the Greens were “proud to be the antidote” to populism and “shallow, quick fixes that won’t work”.

He said: “Some politicians play off people’s fears for the future to ferment uncertainty and division. They promote simplistic and divisive solutions to complex problems.

“You don’t solve difficult issues with populist rhetoric, you do it with hard work, and honest negotiation. You do it by putting the country’s long-term interest first even if you might have to take a short-term hit.

The Green Party is proud to be the antidote to such populism. We are willing to be the party that offers lasting solutions to this country’s problems rather than shallow quick fixes that won’t work

Ryan spoke extensively of his party’s track record on environmentalism since entering government in 2020, including how “we Greens stand up for the Irish family farm.

“We want a whole new generation of farmers and foresters who will be paid well for managing our land, delivering high quality food and protecting nature. They will be our heroes, who help save the world one field, one parish and one county at a time.”

He also listed Green ministers’ achievements in government, including Equality and Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman: “I saw how he set about the herculean task of temporarily housing the 65,000 displaced Ukrainians and international refugees that came to our country over the last year.”

O’Gorman did this, Ryan said, “not [by] passing the buck or running for cover but working in a calm and compassionate way to provide refuge for people in need.

“That kind of delivery is what the Greens in Government are all about, promoting real measures that help people in their everyday lives.”

Returning to climate action, he said: “We do all that while also keeping an eye to the bigger picture.

It’s astonishing how other parties in the Dáil say they are all for climate action and the environment but they run for the hills the minute a tough decision comes their way.

“Or worse still, they cite all the reasons why it shouldn’t be done without ever suggesting an alternative.

“You don’t overcome generations of environmental neglect by making sympathetic comments. You don’t cut emissions just by tweeting about it.

He said that by the time the current government finishes its term in 2025, the country “will be powered by the sun.”

“As I speak, some 70% of the power of this country is coming from renewables.

“We will focus on that responsibility and then head into the next local and European elections with a determination to deliver even more. I am setting set a goal tonight that one in ten Irish people will vote for this green future in those next elections.

“Such a result would bring in 100 green councillors, a new generation ready to serve both our people and the planet. I am confident that one in ten will cast their vote for the interests of the next generation. For their grandchild, niece or nephew, son or daughter or child next door.

“This is not a time for staying on the bench or sitting on the fence. We are in the fight of our lives and we are all in it together.”

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