The deputy leader of the Green Party has said that members of her party are being asked to make a decision to bring certainty to a precarious political situation.
Speaking at a special online party convention which is discussing the programme for government, Catherine Martin told her colleagues that it is worth giving government a chance and an opportunity like this is rare.
She said if the party membership vote for the deal they need to enter government with their eyes wide open.
"I have decided to vote to enter government, because I believe it is within government that we have the potential to make real change," she told the 2,600 party members who had registered to watch today's convention.
Ms Martin said that from a climate and social justice perspective the party would dearly love to achieve so much more.
"All I can say about what is not in this deal is that we must never give up," she said.
"There is of course an easier place to be, opposition is a safer option but the extend of the wins achieved in the negotiations makes it the wrong place to be at this crucial and pressing time for Ireland and the planet," @cathmartingreen tells her party conference. @rtenews— Mícheál Lehane (@MichealLehane) June 18, 2020
Ms Martin said that staying in opposition is a safer option but the wins achieved make it the wrong place to be at this crucial time for the country and the planet.
Dublin South West TD, and husband of Catherine Martin, Francis Noel Duffy, severely criticised the programme for government agreement.
He said it may well be a good deal for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael but not for the Green Party.
He said it would give Green support to those parties' "regressive policies".
"As long as there are any other options available, I will vote no to this deal," he said.
Separately, comments by TD Ossian Smyth at today’s online Green Party convention have also caused controversy.
He said that he did not think the Galway city ring road and the planned M20 route from Limerick to Cork would proceed in the next five years.
Fine Gael Junior Minister Patrick O’Donovan insisted this evening that what he called, commentary from a political meeting in Dublin, would not sidetrack the M20 project.