Eamon Ryan remains as Green Party leader

Eamon Ryan will remain as Green Party leader after seeing off the challenge of his closest rival and party deputy Catherine Martin by just 48 votes.

The total ballot was 1,950 with 1,940 valid votes. Ms Martin got 946 votes against Mr Ryan's 994.

"Numbers are tight and it could have gone either way. I'll reflect on that," said Mr Ryan at the count in Dublin city centre. “It’s a really close result – there is no two ways about that. It was tight and could have gone either way.

“I’m really glad to be re-elected as leader of the Green Party and to have been in contest with Catherine Martin – it was civil and it was collaborative,” he said. “There are tough times in the country at the minute and our job is particularly tough because we are in Government and have a certain responsibility to serve all our people and I think the Green Party is fit to do that.

“I am committed to doing everything I can to hep the country through this really challenging period."

There was a 66 per cent turnout among the party's delegates.

Ballots were issued to 2,336 party members in the Republic and 598 members in Northern Ireland.

The Green Party recorded its best ever general election result back in February, winning 12 seats – an improvement of 10 from 2016.

It has entered into Government with larger rivals Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Among the pledges of the new Government is achieving an average 7%-a-year reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2021 to 2030, representing a 51% reduction over the decade, with the aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Hours before the result was announced Tanaiste Leo Varadkar appeared to back Mr Ryan.

Mr Varadkar said: “One upset for today would be enough.”

Earlier in the day, at the announcement of the July Stimulus plan, Mr Ryan also hit back at accusations that the Green Party is not welcoming to female members, following the departure of high-profile party member Saoirse McHugh.

Mr Ryan pointed to the Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin and the leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland Claire Bailey and Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu. “We also have to listen to the thousands of people who are joining the party and while we are in Government, we have an opportunity as we have a large number of female councillors and they have to be at the forefront of delivering the programme for government.”

Most Read in Ireland