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03rd Dec 2023

Eamon Ryan flying back from a climate summit in Dubai for Helen McEntee confidence vote

Patrick McCarry

Eamon Ryan

We wish we were making this one up.

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan is going to make a 12,000 kilometre round-trip, next week, from Dubai to Ireland, all for a confidence vote in the Dáil.

Eamon Ryan was due to be in attendance at a number of events at the COP28 Climate Summit, in the United Arab Emirates, for much of the upcoming week. He must now interrupt his attendance there to fly back and vote in a confidence motion regarding Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.

UPDATE: On Monday (December 4), it was announced that Minister Ryan would stay on in Dubai as Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore offered to pair up on the motion. She stated:

‘Considering the importance of Ireland being represented at COP28,  I have offered a pair to Minister Eamon Ryan for the no confidence motion. This won’t change outcome of the motion as our votes will simply cancel each other out, but will allow for continuity at climate talks.’

Sinn Féin tabled the motion of no confidence in Minister McEntee following the Dublin riots. While government figures stress they are confident of winning the vote, the desire for a comfortable margin would have seen Minister Ryan trekking back and forth from the UAE on long-haul return flights.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told reporters at COP28, where he was in attendance, that Minister Ryan did not have ‘any choice’ and must return to Dublin for the Dáil vote. He told RTÉ:

“There are no pairs for confidence motions other than for illness, so as a result of that, Minister Ryan will have to go home and come back again… given the circumstances, I don’t think he has any choice.”

Eamon RyanMinisters for Justice and the Environment, Helen McEntee and Eamon Ryan. (Credit: Rolling News & Getty)

“There you go” – Eamon Ryan

Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green Party, would have had double the carbon footprint, due to a round-trip that would tick past 12,000 kilometres. Speaking to reporters in Dubai, he remarked, “the Dáil comes first.”

Vardakar called the Sinn Féin no confidence motion ‘a stunt’. He believes now is a time for all parties to work together to improve law and order, and that Sinn Féin has misjudged the mood.

Asked about having to haul back to Dublin for the vote, Minister Ryan admitted it was disappointing but “there you go”.

The Taoiseach added that the government have a mechanism in place for offsetting the additional emissions, in such circumstances.

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