FF candidate to challenge gender quota law

A Fianna Fáil candidate who was backed by Bertie Ahern is taking a High Court case against the State as he believes gender quotas are unconstitutional.

Brian Mohan had hoped to get on the Fianna Fáil ticket in the Dublin but a diktat from party headquarters that a woman be selected ruled him out. He is taking a High Court challenge over gender quotas.

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern had spoken out against gender quotas and in favour of Mr Mohan as a candidate in Dublin central ahead of the party convention last month.

Mary Fitzpatrick was selected as the unopposed candidate at the convention in Drumcondra after Fianna Fáil’s National Constituencies Committee ordered that a woman be selected in that constituency.

Mr Mohan is being represented by senior counsel and former tánaiste Michael McDowell with Fahy Bambury McGeever listed as his solicitors.

Mr Mohan will argue that the law cannot be used to interfere with candidate selections and the Government cannot discriminate against those hoping to run by using a policy that dictates that specific types of people — in this case women — be put forward.

It is understood that Mr Justice Nicholas Kerins is to decide on whether the case, which Mr Mohan will take under Section 40 of the Electoral Amendment Act 199, will be heard or not.

Mr Ahern described gendered quotas as “zany” and “mad” in September when Mr Mohan was knocked out of the running.


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