Green Party 'swamped' with bullying complaints from members

Eamon Ryan is facing a challenge to the Green Party leadership by Catherine Martin. File photograph

The Green Party's head office has been "swamped" with more bullying complaints than party structures can deal with.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan made the admission on Tuesday night during the final hustings of his party's leadership election.

The race is going into its final week, with Dublin Rathdown TD Catherine Martin the only challenger to Mr Ryan.

Answering a question from former election candidate Saoirse McHugh, Mr Ryan said the party had fallen short after a period of rapid growth in its membership.

"I'm not being critical of the people involved in the current system. We have just grown so fast and been in such contentious and difficult space that I think we haven't managed and coped well," he said.

"That's the first job of the leader, is to help with the executive to put the resources in place to manage that."

Responding to a question on bullying, Minister Ryan said party social media networks were a problem:

"The characteristics of these networks is that it can lead to really heightened emotions and bullying and abusive behaviour," he said.

"It's not just in our party, it's not just in our country, it's all over the world."

Ballot papers from members are due back on July 22nd – with the results to be announced on July 23rd.

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