Saturday 27 December 2014

Eamon Ryan insists he will remain as leader even if election bid fails

Published 06/05/2014 | 12:52

GREEN Party leader Eamon Ryan insisted he will remain leader of his party even if he fails to get elected in the European elections.

The former minister also claimed he signed off on the proposed introduction of water charges while in Government because he assumed the Labour Party would vote against it once it got into power.

Mr Ryan served as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources under the last Fianna Fail led Government and took over the Green Party leadership when John Gormley resigned.

The party was annihilated at the last general election and Mr Ryan was not re-elected.

Speaking at the launch of the Green Party’s European election campaign, he claimed his position would not be in doubt should he fail to get elected as an MEP.

“It is not an issue in terms of my own work or my sense of where the party’s at,” he said.

“What we don’t have in our party at this time the same manoeuvrings or the same uncertainties or the same in-fighting that seems to be going on in just about every other party.

To be honest leadership doesn’t come into it in terms of our own internal thinking.”

Mr Ryan also claimed he signed off on the Troika agreement, which included plans for the introduction of water charges, on the assumption the Labour Party opposed them once they got into power.

The Green Party leader claimed he was against the plans when he signed off on them as a Cabinet Minister in 2010 before a general election was held.

“We actually signed that on the clear understanding in our own minds that the Labour Part would be in Government the next time and they are not going to to do it,” he said.

Pointing to the new water charge and the selling off of Bord Gais Energy, Mr Ryan said the Labour Party had become “fixated on privatisation”.

He said it was “remarkable” to see members of the Labour Party move from been “Marxists” and “Maoists” 30 years ago towards selling off State assets.

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