In an interview with The Irish Sun, Ryan said energy prices had unexpectedly dropped in the past few weeks due to a relatively warm winter across Europe and stronger gas supplies across the continent. The TD said prices may continue to drop in the coming weeks, which should prove a relief to hard-pressed Irish households.

The minister told the newspaper that gas prices, which skyrocketed globally after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, were used as a “weapon of war” by Russian leader Vladimir Putin to undermine Europeans’ support for the Ukrainian cause. Ryan said that the combination of a warm November and the citizens of Europe reducing their gas use helped to thwart this.

Regarding the €200 energy subsidies given to Irish households this winter, Ryan said that they will not continue into the summer months but may return next winter should energy costs rise again. Nevertheless, he insisted that the government will have a plan in place in the event that prices do increase again.