The Green Party's somewhat ill-timed leadership battle was sparked after a group of councillors wrote to Catherine Martin urging her to challenge Eamon Ryan for the top job. The four Cork-based councillors said the party needs a new leader that will "fight for all of our futures".
After two weeks thinking about it, Ms Martin decided to take on Mr Ryan.
It came even as government formation talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael approached a crucial phase - much to the disbelief of those across the table.
The Green Party's constitution requires a leadership contest within six months of a general election and Ms Martin has said she won't campaign until after the government negotiations have concluded.
She was against entering those talks but now leads the Greens' negotiating team and vowed to take part in good faith.
There has been considerable unrest among her supporters that Mr Ryan appears more willing to compromise in his own discussions with Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar when contentious issues are bumped up to party leader level.
Ms Martin's backers in the leadership race have been the most vocal from the start, firstly in encouraging a contest, and then in declaring support by submitting more than 200 nominations for her to enter, around twice the number received by Mr Ryan.
They also appear to be most prominent on social media with much of her support believed to be found among the younger, more radical members of the party.
The race has already exposed the perils of social media for politicians.
Ms Martin's husband and fellow TD Francis Noel Duffy had to apologise for "inadvertently" sharing a Twitter comment attacking Mr Ryan at the weekend. He later posted a statement "disassociating" himself from the post and said anyone who knows him will realise this is not his "approach to politics".
And supporters of Mr Ryan are also cautioning that there shouldn't be too much read into the online debate where Green Party members who are most reluctant to enter government appear to be shouting loudest.
There is a belief in the Ryan camp that there's a silent majority in the Green Party in favour of entering government and - they hope - by extension retaining Mr Ryan as party leader. They will take heart from the small lead Mr Ryan has among the almost 60pc of the Green Party's councillors that responded to today's Irish Independent survey.
The party has ballooned to more than 2,700 members in the last couple of years.
Many are a younger generation inspired by the global Extinction Rebellion campaign and teenage activist Greta Thunberg.
Others are parents worried about what kind of planet is being left for their children.
The vote on whether or not the Green Party enters government requires a two-thirds majority and it is due to take place before the leadership ballot.
Where the wider party membership lands on both issues remains the great unknown.