Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he still has confidence in his deputy Catherine Martin despite her objection to entering into government talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
r Ryan also said Ms Martin’s opposition to government formation talks will not prevent her from being on the party’s negotiating team.
“That’s healthy in politics that you have different views and you’re allowed to articulate them so I don’t see that being a factor one way or the other,” Mr Ryan said.
Asked directly if he has confidence in his deputy, he said: “I do.”
The Green party leader was speaking after his first meeting with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the Fine Gael leader.
He said his party will meet to decide the make up of their negotiating team in the coming days.
He said also the Green’s parliamentary party will “feed into” the negotiations.
The talks officially begin on Thursday. Mr Ryan said he hoped to have an agreement on the programme for government by the end of the month.
He said the final deal will be put to a vote of Green Party members in the North and South of Ireland before it is ratified.
“We probably will have to have postal vote so that’s going to take a bit of time but I think the Irish public would expect this to be done in a matter of weeks, rather than longer and I share that view,” he said.
Mr Ryan also revealed the commitments he received from Mr Martin and Mr Varadkar on reducing emissions by 7pc per year on average over the next ten years.
The clarification from the two leaders said: “We are happy to confirm that a new government comprising our three parties will commit to developing measures to achieve an average 7pc per annum reduction in annual emissions for the next decade.”
They said they “fully accept” that reducing emission will provide better air quality and better quality of life. “It will create jobs and allow for economic opportunities to develop across Ireland as a result of deep retrofitting, renewable energy, peat lands management and green technology,” they added.
They said it is important that they work with the agriculture sector and rural communities to achieve this goal and ensure there is a just transition built into the process.
“We will of course seek to improve farmer incomes and protect the family farm mode as part of the European Green Deal and a revised Common Agriculture Policy,” they added.