Local councils have to "row in and support" the Government's drive to build more homes to address the housing crisis, Minister for Transport and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said.

Responding to questions about plans for housing being blocked by councillors, he said that the planning system needed to be reformed and the Government would deliver that in the next year and a half.

Mr Ryan added that Land and Development Agency and cost rental would also play a role in addressing housing crisis.

He was speaking at the beginning of the Green Party think-in which is being held in Dublin today and tomorrow.

Regarding criticism from the National Women’s Council of a decision by the party not to sanction Brian Leddin TD over his comments on a WhatsApp group, Mr Ryan said the Greens had the highest representation of women in any political party.

He added the party needed to maintain a "culture of dignity and respect" to promote women in politics and confirmed the issue would be discussed at the party’s think-in.

Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin said she had made her views known on the issue and had spoken to Brian Leddin but she would not comment further as the matter "is subject of a garda investigation."

On the upcoming no confidence motion in Foreign Affair Minister Simon Coveney, Mr Ryan said "we don’t want surprises [but] we should have been better informed" about the planned appointment of Katherine Zappone as envoy.

He added that the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister Coveney had "acknowledged that".

Speaking on this issue to RTÉ's Morning Ireland earlier, Mr Ryan said the Government is a functioning one and there is good faith and collaboration.

Mr Ryan said the Green Party has a sense of responsibility to play its part and take the opportunity to serve the country.

He added that the three parties work together closely and very well.

He said he expected that Green Party TDs would not support Sinn Féin's no-confidence motion in Simon Coveney.

Mr Ryan said that he does not believe the Irish people would support the collapse of the Government on this issue and it needs to "focus on the key housing, health care and climate issues ahead of us".


Stand firm on climate measures

Speaking ahead of his party's think-in in Dublin, Mr Ryan said that the Green Party will stand firm and push through climate action measures.

'While they may be difficult on the scale of challenges beyond compare, they will be good for the country. We won't achieve this, if we're just wagging a finger telling people what to do, if it's all punishment and so on. I think this will lead to a better country.'

Mr Ryan said that measures will ultimately be better for the country; resulting in better agricultural and forestry systems, as well as resulting in better transport and energy systems.

Eamon Ryan said the housing for all plan "is very green at its core".

He said it is critical to make it safe for children to walk and cycle safely to school.

He said the Green Party listened to the community in Moyross, who had been deeply frustrated at being left behind in conversations over a proposed road.

He said the review of the National Development Plan will examine the cities of Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick and examine how existing rail lines can be expanded.

The party is gathering just before a key priority for it - a carbon budget - is set to be announced within a matter of weeks.