Catherine Martin on Green leadership: Never say never

Catherine Martin On Green Leadership: Never Say Never
Catherine Martin announced she would step back as deputy head of the Green Party. Photo: PA
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By Cillian Sherlock, PA

Catherine Martin has refused to rule out a bid for leadership of the Green Party after the general election.

Earlier this week, Ms Martin announced she would step back as deputy head of the party after Green leader Eamon Ryan also declared he was resigning from his role.


It spawned a leadership contest within the party where Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman and Senator Pippa Hacket, who holds the title of Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, have emerged as contenders.

Mr Ryan said he was “stepping down to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders”.

Following that announcement, Ms Martin said she would not be seeking the job “at this point in time”.

The new leader of the party will lead the Greens into the next general election.



However, according to the Green Party’s internal constitution, another leadership election must take place no later than six months after the election of a taoiseach following a general election.


This could potentially leave other members of the party who did not enter this leadership contest to put their name forward following the general election.

Ms Martin, who said Mr Ryan informed her of his intentions “many months ago”, has chosen not to endorse either Ms Hackett or Mr O’Gorman.

She said: “It has always been our approach that we don’t endorse any candidate in internal elections.”

Ms Martin unsuccessfully challenged Mr Ryan for party leadership in 2020, losing by a narrow margin.


Irish Migration
Roderic O’Gorman announced he would contest the leadership race (Brian Lawless/PA)

Asked on Thursday if she believed she would never be leader of the party, she said: “Never say never and I’ve made it clear that it’s just at this point at time.”

Speaking to reporters at the launch of the Puca festival at Dublin Castle, she added: “And I think it’s really important, as well, for a woman in leadership never to rule themselves out so who knows.


“But for now, I’m absolutely committed to supporting the next leadership of the party.”

Pressed on whether she was “biding her time” until after the general election, Ms Martin said to phrase it that way would be a “great disservice” to the candidates who put themselves forward.

Asked if an ongoing crisis around financial management at RTÉ affected her leadership hopes in the current contest, the Minister for Media said: “Absolutely not. That didn’t influence my decision whatsoever.”

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