Country's first Muslim TD points to 'very poor' level of diversity in politics

Country's first Muslim TD points to 'very poor' level of diversity in politics

The country's first Muslim TD has said we have a "very poor" level of political diversity, despite the fact that nearly one in five people living here was not born in Ireland.

The change in our population has not been reflected in our politicians according to Dr Moosajee Bhamjee, who believes people usually want to become part of the community before entering political life.

Dr Bhamjee was elected as a TD for Co Clare in the 1992 General Election.

Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration David Stanton has previously called for more people from ethnic minorities to run for office.

But Dr Bhamjee, who was elected 25 years ago in Clare, thinks cultural barriers could still be getting in the way for many.

"It is very poor at the moment. First of all, the must learn the Irish style of politics - most of it is local, parish politics," he said.

"The other factor could be that a lot of (people from other cultures) may be afraid of going into politics, because in their countries, politics is kind of a dirty game."


More in this Section

Pair held on charges connected to killingPair held on charges connected to killing

Varadkar condemns ‘cowardly and brutal’ attack on Quinn executive Kevin Lunney Varadkar condemns ‘cowardly and brutal’ attack on Quinn executive Kevin Lunney

From dust to dustbin ... Urn containing human ashes found at Navan recycling centreFrom dust to dustbin ... Urn containing human ashes found at Navan recycling centre

'Irish citizenship through birth or descent' the most visited document on Citizens Information website'Irish citizenship through birth or descent' the most visited document on Citizens Information website


Lifestyle

Audrey's been sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: C’mere, what’s the story with Chris O’Dowd thinking he’s better than Cork people

So, I put a link to a short story up for my students the other day. The story was by Michael Morpurgo and I was delighted to find an online copy. It can be challenging when you are relying on non-paper texts to teach.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I love physical books and always will

Celebrated actress Siobhán McSweeney may have found fame starring in a TV series set at the other end of the country, but Cork is never far from her thoughts, writes Ciara McDonnellHome is where the art is for Derry Girls actress

There are literally hundreds of free events on offer this evening for kids and adults on Culture Night. Marjorie Brennan selects the best of them, in Cork and beyondCulture Night: Get out and make the most of it

More From The Irish Examiner