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Saturday 20 September 2014

Ryan won't quit as Green Party leader even if his European election bid fails

Published 07/05/2014 | 02:30

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Green Party European election candidates (from left) Eamon Ryan, Grace O'Sullivan, Ross Brown and Mark Dearey. Picture: Tom Burke

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

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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.

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

"What we don't have in our party at this time is 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 would oppose them once it got into power.

Mr Ryan claimed he was against the plans when he signed off on them as a cabinet minister in 2010, a few months before a general election.

"We actually signed that on the clear understanding in our own minds that the Labour Party would be in government the next time – and they are not going to to do it," he said.

Irish Independent

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