Roderic O'Gorman and Pippa Hackett: Who are the Green Party leadership contenders?

James Cox

After Eamon Ryan announced his decision to step down as Green Party leader, there will be a leadership contest between Roderic O'Gorman and Pippa Hackett.

So who are they?

Roderic O'Gorman

Mr O'Gorman is more well known nationally than Ms Hackett.

He is a Dublin West TD and has served as Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth since June 2020.

Mr O'Gorman has earned a lot of respect for serving in the ministerial role that includes varied responsibilities and a huge workload.

Integration has been a particularly tricky area for Mr O'Gorman as he became the face of the Government's struggles to get a grip on the migration issue.

The Taoiseach's Office has shouldered a lot of the burden since Simon Harris took over from Leo Varadkar, but Mr O'Gorman's work to date has made him one of the most respected members of Cabinet.

Before becoming a TD, Mr O'Gorman served as a councillor for Castleknock for six years after being elected in 2014.

He ran unsuccessfully in three general elections before being elected as a TD in 2020.

Mr O'Gorman campaigned extensively in the marriage equality referendum and for repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

He moved quickly to dismiss Ms Hackett would be the better choice for the leadership to appeal to rural Ireland.

Mr O’Gorman said she is a “fantastic colleague” and an “excellent Minister”, adding it is too “simplistic to say if we have someone living in rural Ireland — ‘problem solved’.”

Pippa Hackett

After much speculation, Senator Pippa Hackett threw her hat in the ring in the leadership race.

Ms Hackett has been a senator since 2019. She is a super junior minister, which means she sits at the Cabinet table.

When asked whether she was lacking in experience, Ms Hackett replied: "I believe it's what put me aside and stands me out because we are struggling across the country.

"Right now, to be quite honest, there is no safe seat for any of the Green candidates, perhaps outside of Dublin - maybe one or two in Dublin. So I am in the mix as much as any of them in that regard."

Ms Hackett, from Offaly, was elected unopposed, as a senator for the Agricultural Panel in a by-election in 2019 when Grace O'Sullivan was elected to the European Parliament.

She was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2020 general election.

Ms Hackett was re-elected to the Agricultural Panel in the 2020 Seanad election.

Who has the most backing?

Sixteen party members have backed Mr O'Gorman, while Ms Hackett has five to date.

How does the leadership contest work?

While party backing is important, it is not the deciding factor.

There are over 4,000 Green Party members, and they will each have a vote.

The party has said Eamon Ryan's replacement will be confirmed by July 18th.