Bertie Ahern: Gender quota system is 'mad'

Bertie Ahern: Gender quota system is 'mad'

Former Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern has labelled the gender quota system "mad".

His comments come after Fianna Fáil Councillor Daithí de Róiste was told his name cannot be considered by members to contest the General Election because of his party's struggle to meet gender quotas.

Instead, Catherine Ardagh is the sole Fianna Fáil candidate in the Dublin South Central constituency.

Bertie Ahern said that basing the decision on who gets to contest a seat on gender is not acceptable.

"Mad, I think the idea that a person who works his way through the system, who works their way through their branch, their Cumann , or organisation, gets themselves popular with the public, with the local organisations, then comes to the convention of their party and saying: 'Yes, you have done a very good job for the last 10 years, breaking your neck in your community … but you happen to be the wrong gender, so go away," he said.

Daithí de Róiste said that he agrees with Ahern's assessment.

Bertie Ahern: Gender quota system is 'mad'

"I'd have to agree with the former Taoiseach - it is mad," he said.

"What you have now is, are we really giving a rise now to say discrimination leads rights to more discrimination - that doesn't solve any problems.

"Essentially the former Taoiseach is right when he classifies something like this as mad, for the simple reason it's not serving a purpose."

Suzanne Collins of Women for Election says there is widespread support for sometimes preferring women over men.

“The legislation for gender quotas for selection was proposed by an all-male, or a male-dominated Cabinet, and it was voted through by a male-dominated Dáil,” she said.

“So there are obviously men, and men in power, who want to see more women in politics.”

Fianna Fáil's finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said that the party has to meet the 30% gender requirement in the General Election.

"That was deemed to be the right thing to do by all parties when it was introduced by the Government," he said.

"It has posed an enormous challenge for us because of the terrible base that we're coming from with no female TDs.

"It is very unsatisfactory it has come down to a situation where individuals are not being allowed to go before convention.

"It is, unfortunately, the work out of that national policy at individual constituency level, and I don't blame people for being very sore about it."

More in this Section

Anonymising abuse records expensive, archives council toldAnonymising abuse records expensive, archives council told

Restructure will see 1,800 more gardaí on frontlineRestructure will see 1,800 more gardaí on frontline

Q&A: What you need to know as the Government decide to publish report on Public Services CardQ&A: What you need to know as the Government decide to publish report on Public Services Card

‘Continuity IRA’ bombing a ‘deliberate attempt to kill police’‘Continuity IRA’ bombing a ‘deliberate attempt to kill police’


Lifestyle

RP O’Donnell says it is hard to find anywhere better than Boston to show your family a great time as he returns to a city he used to call homeA family friendly holiday guide to get the best out of beautiful Boston

More From The Irish Examiner