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Question Eamon Ryan's capabilities if you wish, but leave his character alone

Dr Ciara Kelly


Neither the context, nor intention, behind what Ryan said seems to matter when political opportunism is in the air, writes Ciara Kelly

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UNDER-FIRE: Green Party’s Eamon Ryan. Photo: Caroline Quinn/PA Wire

UNDER-FIRE: Green Party’s Eamon Ryan. Photo: Caroline Quinn/PA Wire

PA

UNDER-FIRE: Green Party’s Eamon Ryan. Photo: Caroline Quinn/PA Wire

Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green Party, could be accused of a lot of things. Impractical idealism. Political naivety. Occasionally missing the point even.

Lest we forget in the past few months alone, he's suggested communal cars and the reintroduction of wolves as good moves for rural Ireland. Not to mention growing salad on south-facing window sills as a response to the Covid-19 crisis. But few people would ever have added racism to that list. And with good reason, Eamon Ryan is, without a doubt, a decent man.

And yet this is exactly where he now finds himself with accusations of being 'morally reprehensible' and unfit to lead - coming from within his own party. With one Green Party councillor stating Ryan joined the Greens to 'stand up to racism - and will continue to call it out when he sees it'.