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Carlow Nationalist — Ryan warns of ‘easy false promises’ ahead of election

By Cillian Sherlock, PA

People are not convinced by “easy false promises” on the Budget, the leader of the Greens said, as he set out his party’s campaign priorities.

Eamon Ryan also warned against other parties “fudging” pledges when it came to difficult decisions about the environment.

Seven weeks out from the forthcoming local and European elections, Mr Ryan said “dramatic change” was needed to protect people and the planet from the climate crisis.

It comes after his coalition partners Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil held their ard fheis conferences this month.

 

Speaking before his speech at his party’s convention rally at the RDS in Dublin, he said: “You can’t mince your words on that. There’s a form of climate denial where you’re saying ‘oh, we’re all for that’ until it comes to a hard decision.”

He added: “We’re just asking the questions.

“What are you saying in your manifesto about what we’re going to do in the environment? How are you going to fund it? Are you agreeing with the scale of change that we need to make?”

Asked if auction politics involving coalition parties making bigger and bigger promises ahead of the next election will undermine the stability of the Government before the Budget, Mr Ryan said: “I think we should do the budget in October and I think we should be careful about promising all sorts of promises in the interim.”

He told reporters that the only Budget promise should be that it will “protect the poorest people first”.

Mr Ryan added: “I don’t think the electorate are won over by easy false promises in April for what’s going to happen in October.”

He said the election would be about climate change and threats against democracy.

Asked if his comment about easy false claims was about his coalition parties, Mr Ryan said he was not referring to anyone directly, but added: “I get on sufficiently well with my Government colleagues that I can say yes, sometimes, it is easy to promise.

“But actually we should be careful because we have to deliver in the end.”

Elsewhere, Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman spoke about a recent protest outside his home.

Gardai were called to the property on Thursday after reports that up to 12 masked men were staging a protest, some with anti-migration placards and banners.

Irish constitution referenda
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman. Photo: Damien Storan/PA.

Speaking to reporters at the conference, he said: “I think it is hugely important that we protect politics in our country – and that isn’t just about a member of Cabinet or a member of the Oireachtas.”

Asked about a Bill that would ban protests outside individuals’ homes, Mr O’Gorman said the legislation had to be considered by the justice committee and added: “It has to be proportionate because we can’t create a barrier between politicians and the public.

“That openness, that accessibility, is an essential part of the Irish political system and is really valuable.”

Mr Ryan said he also had people outside his own door and added: “This is a key issue about protecting and strengthening our democracy.”

He said he believed the protesters “don’t represent the people” of Ireland.

He said there was only a “small number” involved in such protests and expressed concern that some wore balaclavas.

Mr Ryan added: “They don’t honour the flag, they don’t represent, to my mind, the traditions and strength of Irish democracy.”

He also said the amount of “abuse and hatred and bile” directed at politicians online is not reflected in the “real world”.

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