https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2020/0 ... overnment/
Ireland had an election in February. The ruling Fine Gael party didn't too terribly well. Their rivals of 70 years (since the civil war) - Fianna Fail - didn't do much better. Sinn Fein did very well, as did the Greens. The trouble was that neither FF nor FG wanted to go into government with SF. It wasn't so much their past and their association with the IRA (although some of them proved that those associations weren't as distant in the past as we'd like to see!), but their hard left, populist policies.
So, what has happened in the past four months? Horse trading. The two civil war parties have banded together, but the two didn't have the numbers necessary; they needed 79 seats to get a majority in the 158 seat Dail (pronounced Daw-il), the Irish parliament. So the Greens got involved. The Programme for government was agreed last week and normally, this would be agreed by meetings of members, BUT with Covid, the agreement of parties had to be done by mailing in ballots. Today, the votes were counted and the membership of all three parties agreed.
So, we have a government. Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach (or PM) for the last three years, will now be the deputy PM (or Tainiste, in Ireland), a post he will hold until the end of 2022. Our new Taoiseach will be Micheal (pronounced Mee-hall) Martin, a TD from the largest county, Cork, who will be elected tomorrow.
The Greens have got a lot out of the Programme for Government and there are some very ambitious targets. It's expected that the leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan TD (Teachta Dala, or member of the Irish parliament) will be Minister for Climate Change (good) and Transport (less good). The Greens have always been hostile to aviation and Ryan was on radio as recently as last year criticizing the fact that Dublin Airport handled so many passengers. Expect a very hostile relationship between Ryan and the major Irish carriers, Ryanair (how ironic!) and Aer Lingus and most probably the DAA. It would be interesting to see whether he will keep aviation under his wing (so to speak!), because it has to be unprecedented for a minister to have stewardship of an area which he has openly said that he is hostile to. Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a very bumpy ride!
That said, I wish the new government luck; it takes office at a very difficult time, for obvious reasons and Ireland needs a strong, able government to get us through the challenges of the next few years.