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‘TDs attacking me just want TikTok likes,’ says Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

 29th December 2022

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has shrugged off frequent sniping at him by Rural Independent TDs such as Michael Healy-Rae, claiming they are aimed at gaining “a better TikTok profile”.

Mr Ryan said he had good relations with Rural Independents, including Michael Collins and the Healy-Rae brothers, Michael and Danny.

He said he had a Dáil office close to them from 2016 to 2020 and they got on well.

“I’m in a strange situation because I know a lot of them,” Mr Ryan said about the periodical criticisms of him and his party by the Rural Independent grouping.

“I was next-door neighbours with Michael Collins and Danny Healy-Rae in the last Dáil.”

Mr Ryan also said it was important to respect all TDs because a failure to do so risked disrespecting the voters who chose them.

But he said the atmosphere in the Dáil chamber was open to all sorts of “lines”

“Now in the chamber you get a lot of language and a lot of lines. I sometimes wonder is that for social media, rather than for me? And I think this can be the case,” the Environment Minister said. “But at all times I try to maintain a respectful approach.

“You hear all sorts of stuff in the chamber recently, and I think it’s not great, but I think it is in some ways driven by social media. I think there’s a kind of impetus to get the TikTok video out and get the number of views up.

“And I think I’m not sure that, in the long run, is the sort of politics we need.”

Mr Ryan said the green agenda and the impetus to tackle climate change is gaining traction everywhere – no matter what some people may say.

“The whole world is going green,” he said. “You heard Ursula von der Leyen, when she spoke to the Oireachtas, what did she say? ‘Our agenda is a green one’.

“That is the green economic strategy, the Green New Deal.”

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