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Greens to invite parties to discuss how new government could deliver on housing, health and climate

With 12 TDs elected last week, the Green Party is now the fourth biggest party in the Dáil.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

THE GREEN PARTY is seeking to hold talks with other parties to discuss how a new government could deliver on housing, health care and the climate. 

With 12 TDs elected last week, the Green Party is now the fourth biggest party in the Dáil.

Sinn Fein topped the first preference poll following the general election. Its total of 37 seats is one fewer than that of Fianna Fáil. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael won 35 seats.

The Green Party confirmed this morning that it plans to invite Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Social Democrats to a series of bilateral meetings between 21 and 29 February. 

The party said it will be open to further meetings with other parties who may be interested in discussions regarding government formation. 

Each meeting is expected to take a day and a half and will seek to examine the “points of agreement and difference” in relation to a number of issues. 

“There is broad agreement among a variety of parties that any new government has to deliver on housing, healthcare and climate action, but no discussion yet on how these changes should be made,” Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said. 

“We are doing what we said on the election campaign, talking to each party equally, respecting their mandate but insisting that any new government has to be fully clear on how we meet the big challenges we face.”

Invitations will be sent to other parties tomorrow.

Government formation 

On Thursday, Fianna Fail leader Michéal Martin has said he “can’t rule out another general election” after he rejected speaking to Sinn Féin as part of government formation.  

Martin confirmed the position following the first Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting since last Saturday’s general election.

Martin said he came to this view after speaking with party members who felt that “the economic platform that Sinn Féin put forward in the election was irreconcilable with Fianna Fáil.

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Martin, who said he would like to speak to Fine Gael, would not give a timeline of when he would be meeting with Leo Varadkar, saying it may happen “next week” but that he would first speak to the Green Party and the Social Democrats. 

On Friday, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said that the refusals from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to govern with her party was “a problem of the old guard believing they are entitled to hold power”, and that if there was another election the people wouldn’t change their mind and “decide they don’t want change”.

Fine Gael ministers – Varadkar included -  have repeatedly said that they would consider going into government with all parties but Sinn Féin. 

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