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John Downing: The Green Party’s role in coalition need not mean rural carnage

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DIFFICULT PROCESS: Green Party TDs Malcolm Noonan, party leader Eamon Ryan and Roderic O’Gorman outside Leinster House. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

DIFFICULT PROCESS: Green Party TDs Malcolm Noonan, party leader Eamon Ryan and Roderic O’Gorman outside Leinster House. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

DIFFICULT PROCESS: Green Party TDs Malcolm Noonan, party leader Eamon Ryan and Roderic O’Gorman outside Leinster House. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

SO, what are the odds on Fianna Fáil and/or Fine Gael abandoning the farmer vote to get Green Party support in the slow moves towards coalition-making?

It seems clear that the 7pc reduction in carbon emissions is in play and likely to be conceded in some form by the two bigger parties. That means radical changes for farming and the transport sector – both big rural issues.

It has all been painfully slow since the general election 87 days ago. But the potential building blocks are now in place: First we learned that Sinn Féin could not pull together the numbers to fashion a government majority.