Head of Ireland's junior coalition Green Party to step down

United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai

DUBLIN (Reuters) -The head of Ireland's Green Party, the smallest part of the three-party governing coalition, on Tuesday said he is to step down as party leader "to give a new leader a chance" ahead of elections due in the coming months.

Eamon Ryan said the decision was not related to relatively poor results in recent elections, in which the party lost around half of its local council seats and both of its members of the European parliament.

But he said the party did need to reverse a narrative that it was anti-rural and was adding to the cost of living.

Ryan, who is minister for environment and transport, told journalists he was confident the government would serve its full term, which runs until March next year.

He said he would continue to serve in government if his replacement as party leader agrees, but that he would not stand in the coming general election.

(Writing by Conor HumphriesEditing by Peter Graff)