Will the Greens take their opportunity to seize the political agenda this weekend?

Party’s brand sails on unperturbed by the polls and is still centred around a chirpy, slightly mossy and fogeyish charm

Good morning,

As the weekend approaches, the Green Party’s ‘annual convention’ is looming into view. The junior Coalition partner has stood slightly to one side in recent weeks as the two larger parties monopolised proceedings: firstly, the dramatic departure of Leo Varadkar and coronation of Simon Harris. Then, the flashy grab of the budget higher ground from Fianna Fáil during its ardfheis. This weekend, the Greens have a chance to seize the agenda for themselves - but will they take it?

The party’s TDs (for the most part) and members are fiercely proud of what it has achieved in Government, but equally for the most part, voters are unmoved. Polls indicate they will lose seats at the next election (although avoid a wipeout), which in turn diminishes the chances of a climate-focused party being in government next time out. The Greens are genuine in their concern over climate in a way that, despite significant progress in recent years, the rest of the political system is not. If the prospect of a depleted green politics after five years in Government doesn’t concern them, what will? If it does, there’s not much evidence of it as the Green’s brand sails on unperturbed - still centred around a chirpy, slightly mossy and fogeyish charm (sessions this weekend include impossibly bubbly titles like: Seven weeks to go!; Don’t forget the other election!; and Meet our newest senator! - exclamation marks not added by us).

The Greens may be steadfast in their faith that the wider electorate will naturally come to the conclusion that its time in Government should be rewarded come election time. But it must also be prepared to make that happen, rather than operating as though it will be a naturally occurring phenomenon.


Meanwhile, as Jennifer Bray reports this morning, chronic problems in Green briefs show little sign of receding as the migration accommodation crisis roars again.

Best reads

Miriam Lord on the icy civility between Simon Harris and Mary Lou McDonald

Newton Emerson on why Harris was right about Belfast, Derry, Berlin and Paris

Jack Power on what goes on inside the room at EU summits

Zingers over tax and Liz Truss’ book in Westminster

Patrick Freyne on the truly awful new sketch show from RTÉ


The last sitting day of the week starts with oral questions in the Dáil for Catherine Martin (9am) and Peter Burke (10.30am), before Leaders’ Questions at midday. Questions on Policy or Legislation is before lunch, followed by topical issues and private members time on the Citizens’ Assembly report on biodiversity loss. The Dáil adjourns for the week shortly after 6pm.

Here’s the full schedule.

Over at the committees, officials from the Department of Children and Integration are in at 9.30am to discuss accommodation for asylum seekers and the funding and staffing of Tusla. Read Jennifer Bray’s front page story on what they’ll be discussing here.

The Housing Committee continues work on the planning Bill, while the joint committee on issues affecting the Traveller community will hear about accommodation, education, employment, health and justice issues. That’s at 11am.

The full schedule is here.

The Seanad is not sitting today.