Sunday 23 April 2017

'You can't kill an idea' - Greens grow back after years in the wilds

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan celebrates with Catherine Martin after he was elected in Dublin Bay South. Picture: Damien Eagers
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan celebrates with Catherine Martin after he was elected in Dublin Bay South. Picture: Damien Eagers
John Downing

John Downing

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Green Party. But to start with the cards on the table face up, I will confess to personal delight at the return of two Green TDs to Leinster House on March 10. I worked for three-and-a-half years as press officer for the Green Party in government.

During that time they took the blows and never complained. Behind the scenes they were a model of courtesy as they faced into tough economic decisions, as the global economy fell asunder and unduly impacted on an Ireland ill-prepared to cope.

They had come to government with Fianna Fáil in June 2007 believing a whole raft of other issues, notably global warming, would be high on the agenda. Soon it became clear that the only issue would be Ireland's economic survival and they stood over political decisions that almost banished them from public life.

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