Taoiseach Enda Kenny is facing a backlash from backbenchers after his decision not to promote any female Fine Gael TDs to junior ministerial posts.
Disappointed female TDs last night questioned how the party could persuade women to run in the next general election when gender quotas are introduced.
While two of Labour’s six junior promotions went to women, none of Fine Gael’s nine went to female TDs.
TD Regina Doherty said: “I am miffed as are my female colleagues. We have smart articulate women in the party. We’ll need to find women to run. It’s a missed opportunity.”
While the Meath East TD missed out on a place, party colleague Damien English, in Meath West, was made a junior minister. Ms Doherty said he was “more deserving” of promotion.
Even though the number of senior female ministers were last week doubled to four, these appointments were “not compensation” for no female juniors, she said.
Cork North West TD Áine Collins said that she was “disappointed” party women were overlooked for a post. She said it was “not a good example”, especially when gender quotas were coming down the line.
Party sources close to Dublin TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor said she was sore about not getting a junior post, after previous speculation she might get a senior one.
Most Labour TDs were happy with Tánaiste Joan Burton’s choices but also pointed to Mr Kenny’s decision to leave women out.
Waterford TD Ciara Conway said: “I’m delighted for my own colleagues but it’s outrageous how male the Fine Gael side is.”
Mr Kenny’s spokesman said many criteria were used for the reshuffle and that gender was just one aspect to it.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved