GREEN Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin has been accused of being “detached from reality” after it was revealed she had traveled business class to Dubai, despite Fianna Fáil Economy ministers flying to the same destination.
Green Party leaders rallied around the tourism minister, insisting she was eligible to fly business class despite the higher emissions associated with the more expensive premium seats.
However, former Fine Gael minister John Paul Phelan said Ms Martin’s jet-setting “shouted out hypocrisy” as her party attempted to impose new carbon targets on the farm sector.
“This is a cabinet minister from a party that claims to be pro-environmental, but she gets high office and all of a sudden she decides ‘she’s worth it’ and she should be allowed to travel business class whenever she wants,” he said TD by Carlow Kilkenny Irish Independent.
“I’ve always suspected that many in the Greens are escapist, but this is really a whole new level.”
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, who has also flown business class, said he would not begin to “specify who can or cannot do what” when asked if it was hypocritical that his Party members take flights that the World Bank deemed responsible for three times more emissions than cheaper economy seats.
“I’m very glad I’m not tourism minister because when you arrive somewhere like Dubai as a tourism minister, you might literally be running from one meeting to the next,” Mr Ryan defended spending on Ms Martin premium flights.
Green Party junior minister Malcolm Noonan also spoke out in favor of Ms Martin, saying he believed his colleague’s extra personal carbon emissions were worth it because of her tourism and arts portfolio.
“I think it’s important sometimes that maybe it’s necessary to be able to work while traveling to events,” Mr Noonan said.
TD Neasa Hourigan of the Rebel Green Party also refused to condemn Ms Martin’s business class travel, while her Fianna Fáil Cabinet colleagues flew economy to the same destinations.
“No one is a saint, nor would I expect anyone to be a saint,” Ms. Hourigan said.
The Dublin Central TD supported Ms Martin in her failed attempt to oust Mr Ryan as leader of the Green Party after the government program was agreed.
That Irish Independent It was revealed yesterday that Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly and Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue were flying to an international trade fair in Dubai in economy class, while Ms Martin was traveling in business class.
She and three of her employees brought up a €21,033 note in February, which flew to the fair in the more expensive cabin.
Mr Donnelly flew to the event the previous month and booked economy seats. Mr McConalogue flew Economy to the Expo in February.
Freedom of Information records showed Ms Martin received large bills for business class flights to the United States, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates over the past year.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin defended being the only Fianna Fáil cabinet member to use business class flights, saying: “I work a full day before boarding a plane.”
Mr Martin Fianna Fáil’s cabinet mates all said they did not fly on business when traveling abroad on state affairs.
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I work a full day before boarding a plane. I work on the plane and I work when I get off the plane. Full open,” said Mr. Martin.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/green-partys-catherine-martin-is-detached-from-reality-for-flying-business-class-says-former-fg-minister-john-paul-phelan-41841271.html Catherine Martin of the Green Party is “detached from reality” for flying business class, says former FG Minister John Paul Phelan