Elisa O'Donovan writes to Green Party to call out sexism 

Elisa O'Donovan writes to Green Party to call out sexism 

Elisa O’Donovan was the subject of offensive and inappropriate comments in a WhatsApp group

A Limerick councillor who was the subject of offensive and inappropriate comments in a WhatsApp group has written to the Green Party to call out "double standards" and sexism in politics.

Limerick TD Brian Leddin has apologised for calling Elisa O'Donovan "unhinged" and for claiming that she "craved fame" in a WhatsApp group.

However, Mr Leddin was not formally sanctioned by the Green Party Executive for his remarks.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said dignity and respect were not on display in Brian Leddin's exchange but agreed with the decision not to take further action on the matter.

Mr Ryan added that his party now has mechanisms in place "so if someone is actually showing disrespect, you do intervene, you do say sorry."

Mr Leddin was not formally sanctioned by the Green Party Executive for his remarks. Pic Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos
Mr Leddin was not formally sanctioned by the Green Party Executive for his remarks. Pic Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

Writing to the Green Party Executive Committee, Ms O'Donovan, said: "It is unacceptable to me that men can accept apologies on my behalf. It is unacceptable to me that actual evidence of these sexist mindsets that are so prevalent are given no sanctions.

"This week I have had enough of this unfairness. It is simply unacceptable to me that I must live with these levels of double standards.

"I will not tolerate it for the next generation."

The Independent councillor said she wants to "move on" from the issue and imagines the party feels the same way.

But she added that since the messages were made public "I have had my personal, profession and political reputation discussed in national and local media as well as across social media".

"I have been told of the impact this has had on the TD and their political career. I have been told that I have been apologised to and that should be enough.

"I have been told about respect and dignity policies in political parties. I have been told that sexism in politics is being tackled through workshops and policy changes around communication.

"These conversations have been dominated by men who don't know me, who don't care to know my experience and who have never had the experience of being shamed, degraded and demeaned because of their gender," she wrote.

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