Eamon Ryan

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Eamon Ryan
Eamon Ryan Green Party.jpg
Leader of the Green Party
Assumed office
27 May 2011
Preceded by John Gormley
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
In office
14 June 2007 – 23 January 2011
Preceded by Noel Dempsey
Succeeded by Pat Carey
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002 – February 2011
Constituency Dublin South
Personal details
Born (1963-07-28) 28 July 1963 (age 52)
Dublin, Ireland
Political party Green Party
Spouse(s) Victoria White
Children 4
Alma mater University College Dublin
Website www.eamonryan.ie

Eamon Ryan (born 28 July 1963) is an Irish politician and leader of the Irish Green Party.[1] He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South constituency from 2002 to 2011, and served as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources from 2007 to 2011.[2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Ryan was born in Dublin and raised in Dundrum where he continues to live. He was educated at Gonzaga College and University College Dublin where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He was manager of the UCD Marketing Development Programme from 1985-86 and following three years of emigration and unemployment in 1989 he founded Cycling Safaris, a company which organises cycling holidays in Ireland and Europe. He married the author and journalist Victoria White in 1998 and they have four children.[3]

Political career[edit]

He first became involved in politics in 1998 when he was co-opted to Dublin City Council. He topped the poll at the 1999 local elections in the Rathmines electoral area. From 1995 to 2002 he served on the advisory committee of the Dublin Transport Office. At the 2002 general election he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a TD for Dublin South.[4] He served as Green Party spokesperson for Transport, Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Communications, Marine and Natural Resources during the 29th Dáil.

He announced on 13 September 2004 that he intended to ask his party to nominate him as a candidate for the 2004 presidential election. However, when it was announced that the incumbent, Mary McAleese, was seeking a second term he withdrew. His campaign was also hit by his admission of cannabis use, an illegal drug.[5]

In government[edit]

He was re-elected at the 2007 general election. Following the Green Party's special convention vote in favour of entering into a coalition government with Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats on 13 June 2007, Ryan was appointed to the cabinet as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources when the 30th Dáil sat the following day.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources[edit]

As Minister, he stated his priorities would be to improve upon the changes underway in the Irish energy sector, with strong emphasis on aiding the adaptation of renewables and building retrofitting. He also aimed to enhance communications infrastructure where Ireland had fallen behind other countries.

Record in office[edit]

During Ryan's period in office, installed wind capacity in Ireland doubled, and by 2010 the average daily energy derived from renewable sources (as a percentage of total demand) had increased to 17%, peaking at 42%.[6][7][8] He also committed Ireland to the European Super Grid programme in 2009 and announced major government investment in Marine energy research projects.[9] Government schemes were expanded for home energy retrofitting as uptake increased,[10] the National Broadband Scheme was completed,[11] a Broadband for Schools Scheme launched,[12] and a national electric vehicle and chargepoint initiative was announced in conjunction with the ESB Electric Ireland and Peugeot Citroën, which was subsequently implemented by the new government.[13][14]


Environmental activists Shell to Sea and its spokesperson Maura Harrington, criticised Ryan for joining Fianna Fáil in coalition as the terms of the programme for government did not include a reversal or renegotiation of the proposed gas pipeline and refinery at Broadhaven Bay, County Mayo.[15][16] Before entering into government, Ryan visibly supported the aims of the Shell to Sea campaign and attended their protests.[17] Ryan was also criticised by Shell to Sea for failing to launch an independent review of the decision, as stipulated by the Green Party in a motion passed at their annual convention in 2007.[18][19]

2011 general election and Green Party leadership[edit]

Ryan resigned as Minister on 23 January 2011 when the Green Party withdrew from government.[20] The following day he helped broker an agreement with Fine Gael and the Labour Party which insured the passing of the 2011 Finance bill prior to the holding of the general election on the 25 February 2011. He subsequently lost his seat at the 2011 general election receiving 6.8% of the vote.[21] As part of his pension Ryan will receive a lump sum of €110,000 and an annual pension of €51,000 when he is 65, in 2028.[22][23][24]

He was one of three candidates to contest the subsequent Green Party leadership election of May 2011. He was elected leader on 27 May 2011, succeeding John Gormley.[1]

In 2012 he became an associate with E3G working on an assessment of the development potential of the North Seas Offshore Grid Initiative in a project which was supported by the European Climate Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. In 2013 he organised two climate gatherings which brought international climate experts to Ireland to examine what new narratives are needed to increase public support for action on the climate issue.

He ran as the Green Party candidate in the Dublin constituency for the 2014 European Parliament election but was not elected.


  1. ^ a b "Eamon Ryan elected Green Party leader". RTÉ News. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mr. Eamon Ryan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "About Cycling Safaris". cyclingsafaris.com. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Eamon Ryan". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "David Norris in Irish presidential campaign row". BBC News. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  6. ^ "EirGrid Policy and Targets". EirGrid plc. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Energy in Ireland 1990–2009". Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "EirGrid Annual Report 2010" (PDF). EirGrid plc. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Jha, Alok (3 January 2010). "Europe Unites Behind Renewable Energy Supergrid". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Retrofit Consultation". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "National Broadband Scheme". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "Schools broadband scheme unveiled". The Irish Times. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Irish Government and ESB sign new electric car deal with PSA Peugeot Citroën". ESB. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Minister Rabbitte launches Electric Vehicle Grant Scheme". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "Shell to Sea challenge Ministers to dismantle illegal Shell pipeline". Shell to Sea. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Corrib gas protesters meet Ministers". Shell to Sea. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Ryan ministry is welcomed by Shell to Sea". Western People. 20 June 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  18. ^ "Greens urge Ryan to consider moving Corrib gas refinery". The Irish Times. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  19. ^ "Green Party General Election Manifesto 2007". Green Party. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Green Party withdraws from government". RTÉ News. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Dublin South election results". RTÉ News. 26 February 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "Outgoing TDs pensions" (PDF). The Irish Times. 5 March 2011. 
  23. ^ "Written Answers - Pension Provisions". Dáil Éireann. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  24. ^ "Pension Question" (PDF). RTÉ News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Alan Shatter
(Fine Gael)
Green Party Teachta Dála for Dublin South
Succeeded by
Alex White
(Labour Party)
Political offices
Preceded by
Noel Dempsey
as Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Succeeded by
Pat Carey
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Gormley
Leader of the Green Party