Eamon Ryan to resign as leader of the Irish Green Party

PA Media Eamon Ryan Public address media

Eamon Ryan has been leader of the Green Party since 2011.

The leader of the Irish Green Party, Eamon Ryan, will step down from his position, Irish broadcaster RTÉ reports.

The announcement will mean Ryan will be the second leader of the Republic coalition government to resign this year.

Former taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar resigns as leader of Fine Gael in April.

Ryan’s decision comes after local and European elections, in which the Green Party lost both of its seats in the European Parliament.

The number of local party councilors was also halved.

Ryan has been leader of the Greens in Ireland since 2011 and was first elected to the Dáil (Irish parliament) in 2002.

He has been TD for Dublin Bay South since 2016.

‘New generation of leaders’

Speaking outside Leinster House on Tuesday, Ryan said he was stepping aside to “pass the torch to a new generation of leaders”.

While he will remain in his role as environment and climate minister, he said the Green Party “must continue to focus on delivering affordable housing, health reform and climate action in the coming months.”

Ryan said he was “proud of what we have achieved” and has “been an advocate on the global stage for climate justice for developing countries.”

He added that “he cannot continue working the long hours that being a public representative entails” and that he has “parenting commitments at home” that he also wants to fulfill.

‘Relentless attack’

Ireland Green Party leader addresses social media abuse

Ryan went on to note that his party has been “subject to relentless attack, particularly on social media.”

“It seems there were sometimes efforts to coordinate attacks in the comments sections after any post we made.

“I chose to ignore most of them, even when they included vile statements about my recently deceased father.

“I think it poisons public thinking about our agenda and not just about our party,” he said.

He added that he is positive about the future despite highlighting that one could “desperate for the future of our democracy if we simply live in a polarized, algorithm-driven online world.”

“A decent politician”

Shutterstock Eamon Ryan and Simon Harris behind podiums in front of government buildings in DublinShutterstock

Taoiseach Simon Harris today said Ryan is a “dedicated and decent politician”.

Speaking at the start of Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, taoiseach Simon Harris said Ryan has had a “positive impact on Irish politics”.

“He has played an important leadership role in this coalition and I want to recognize that,” Harris said.

The taoiseach said Ryan is an “honest, sincere, dedicated and decent politician”.

“He is an important person, a person who has had a positive impact on Irish politics and I fully respect and understand his reasons and I just want to wish him the best,” he added.

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