GREEN Party Councillor Cadogan Enright hosted the final hustings for the All-Island contest for Green Party leader at the Canal Court Hotel in Newry last week, with voting concluding by Saturday morning.
The Down District councillor recently elected for the Downpatrick area, welcomed the three contestants, and Party members from around Northern Ireland and from Counties Louth, Cavan, Monaghan, Meath and Donegal. Councillor Enright said, “This was the last of four hustings which had taken place in Galway, Cork, Dublin and finally in Newry to allow the members in the Northern part of the country to attend.
“Each candidate was invited to speak in turn and a question and answer session was mediated by the new North Down Green MLA Stephen Agnew who had only moved into his new Stormont office that day.
“Green Party founder and NEC member Phil Kearney spoke first, and was followed in turn by Councillor Malcolm Noonan from Kilkenny and finally ex-Dublin Minister Eamonn Ryan. Members vigorously cross-questioned the candidates on both policy and leadership style issues.
“We were delighted that South Down seems to have become a regular venue for big Green Party meetings. Geographically we are well placed to host meetings where the majority of our membership is on the East Coast and public transport between to both Dublin and Belfast is good.
“The results of the contest were announced on Saturday with Eamonn Ryan of Dublin holding off the challenges of two other candidates. Ryan was first elected as a TD in Dublin South in 2002. He was re-elected in 2007 and was a cabinet member as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
“Clearly Eamonn Ryan will have a big job in front of him. The leadership election has been a positive experience. I hope that Eamonn has taken on board the criticisms during the campaign and has learned lessons from being in Government,” added Councillor Enright.