Remembering the Green Party betrayal while they held power - why trust them again?


Green Partuy Leader Eamonn Ryan with Rossport solidarity sign outside Dail - Photo William Hederman indymedia.ieWe are in the midst of another full on election cycle. Eamonn Ryan, leader of the Green party, and former minister in the preceding government, was annoyed at not being one of the leaders involved in the TV debate. But let us not forget what happens with the little party in the coalition government. We can witness it in the performance of Labour in this government, but the previous government, lest we forget, was a Fianna Fail and green alliance, with the little party being the greens.

Bertie Ahern appointed on the 14th of June, Eamon Ryan to the newly created portfolio, of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. This was a big test for the greens who had aligned themselves with the Rossport campaign, and their leader, Trevor Sargent, at the time spoke at a Shell to Sea press conference and said that the Greens “supported an independent commission” as proposed by the campaign. The party were also aware of the great oil and gas giveaway, and said that it needed to be reviewed.

But then, along came power, and things changed. Eamon Ryan was now in charge of sorting this out. In power what did Eamon end up doing, he just switches sides, and became an enforcer. It’s like he had to prove that he was never against it. A year later he is talking on the other side about the benefits that will accrue in relation to the gas pipeline - “Mr Ryan said it would give the State greater energy security, help bring down gas prices and bring in €1.7bn in corporation taxes over the project's estimated 15-20 year lifespan."

That Government did not just bring in the pipeline. They supplied €14million in overtime to the Gardaí in order to suppress resistance by the local community. They assumed all the financial debts of the banks, a figure that turned out to be €67billon; they created NAMA and left the country indebted until probably 2055. But let us not forget how the green agenda progressed with energy efficient light bulbs, plastic bag levy, and bikes with which to cycle to work, if you held onto a job in the depression.

Eamon Ryan, for being Minister will receive a lump sum of €110,000 and an annual pension of €51,000 when he is 65, in 2028. He is seeking your no. 1 now, as he would dearly love to progress the green agenda further with another shift as Minister.

Words: Dermot Freeman
Photo: William Hederman