Belfast Telegraph

Fianna Fail leader denies his party is a ‘boys club’

Micheal Martin said he hopes to increase the number of female TDs from his party at the next general election.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin (Brian Lawless/PA)
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said he hopes to increase the number of female TDs representing his party after the next general election.

Just 21% of Fianna Fail’s candidates at the local government elections earlier this year were women.

This figure caused Fianna Fail, as well as Fine Gael, to fail to meet the 30% minimal number of female candidates to qualify for full payments from a 500,000 euro gender-balance electoral fund.

We have a strong team across the country of women who I think will do very well in the general election Micheal Martin

Mr Martin denied a suggestion that his party is a “boys club”, and said it is still rebuilding from heavy losses it suffered at the 2011 general election.

“When we lost heavily in 2011, we had issues, we’d only 20 TDs. We made a significant recovery in 2016 with 45 TDs, six of those being women.

“We still have more work to do, we have added some fairly good female candidates on this occasion.

“We have a strong team across the country of women who I think will do very well in the general election.”

Mr Martin said he believes his party will come back with more female TDs than it has now after the general election in 2020.

“I’m not going to be presumptuous, we have 45 seats now and we are going to go into the general election to win as many seats as possible and then seek to form a government,” he added.

PA

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