Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has claimed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is leading a party which protects the interests of the well-to-do and big business.

He said the Taoiseach has a 1990s world view where the market knows best and Government should have a minimal role in shaping our future.

In his keynote speech to delegates this evening, Mr Ryan will say that the Taoiseach stands for the status quo in Irish politics and Fine Gael represents the interests of the well-to-do and big business.

He also said he was mortified last week when the Taoiseach praised US President Donald Trump for copying Ireland’s low corporation tax regime and said Ireland should do more to retain more tax from multinationals.

Mr Ryan will criticise the Taoiseach’s record on tackling climate change and claim he has not lived up to his promise to make the issue a priority.

He said the Greens in government would devise a land use plan for the entire country, invest in urban renewal, and create a Wild Atlantic Way national park.

Mr Ryan will tell delegates at the party’s annual conference in Dún Laoghaire today that he expects there to be a general election within the next year.

The Greens are targeting six seats at the next election, a trebling of their current Dáil representation.

They are also seeking a three-fold increase in their councillors, of which they currently have 12.

After suffering a near wipe out in 2011, the party regrouped, winning back Dáil representation at the last election and has returned to core principles on environmental and quality of life issues.

Those will again take precedence at today’s convention, but the party will also discuss Brexit, housing, rural development and will hear stories from surfers, artists and activists.

Mr Ryan will also use his address to guide the membership toward more traditional political concepts and campaigning.

He will tell delegates that he expects an election to be held within the next year and will urge his party to organise, and prepare for the big task.

Deputy Ryan will also tell party members that if those goals are to be achieved the party will need a small army of volunteers to go out and convince people on the doorsteps.