19 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

As yesterday dawned there was snow on the ground in the Drumlin County, but the nip in the air did not deter Green Party leader Eamon Ryan from visiting its capital with a spring in his step.

The Northern Standard caught up with him at the YWCA and found him to be in a very positive frame of mind with regard to next Friday’s election. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Greens are back in town.

When asked if he thought it was a mistake for the Greens to have gone into government with Fianna Fail, somewhat surprisingly, he felt that it wasn’t.

“I don’t, because we’ve been thirty years involved in politics and we have a certain sense of urgency around the issues we are working on.

“You have to, at some stage, go into government. You could wait thirty years to get the perfect partner but you have to work with all parties, in my mind, as long as they are peaceful and willing to work with you,” he said.

The Green Party leader observed that the interesting thing about the banking enquiry was that it demonstrated no matter who was in government in 2007, the crisis would have come.

“We found ourselves in government at a very tough time. My experience from the eighties was, you don’t run away from that, you don’t say: ‘Listen, this is not our problem. We didn’t cause it, we’re outta here.’ You knuckle down and say I’m going to tackle this.”

Reflecting on his time in the annals of power, he said: “I regret the economic crash and the subsequent severity of it, but would I shy away from going into government? No, I wouldn’t.

“I found you could actually do stuff in your department and effect change. I’m not opposed to being in opposition but I don’t think we should all be opposed to being in government or see it as a poisoned chalice that should be shied away from.”

He felt that was the whole point in running: “Politicians should be willing to form a government, I think, if they are standing, they are willing to take up office.”

It is also worthy of note that Mr. Ryan feels that the Green Party TDs who lost their seats last time out, including himself, were not victimised at the polls:

“No, I enjoyed our time in government, but we also made mistakes. In politics you are not guaranteed a seat, it’s not a right.

“None of us come from political dynasties. None of us were involved in politics before we got involved with the Green Party, we were all campaigners who ended up in politics. So, there is no sense of born entitlement to any seat,” Mr. Ryan commented.

He observed that every other Green Party that has gone into power across…


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