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Green TD laments ‘missed opportunity’ by party to promote more women to Cabinet

Catherine Martin said her party is not backing up its talk on diversity and inclusivity with action.

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Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin is now a Cabinet minister (PA)

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin is now a Cabinet minister (PA)

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin is now a Cabinet minister (PA)

Deputy leader of the Greens Catherine Martin has said there was a “missed opportunity” by her party to promote women within its ranks to ministerial positions.

Ms Martin was also critical that Green TDs who opposed the Programme for Government document were excluded from the Cabinet table.

She said that while the party “talks the talk” on promoting diversity and inclusivity, it is not backing that up with action.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is the new Minister for Climate Action, Ms Martin is Minister for Culture and party colleague Roderic O’Gorman is Minister for Children, Disability and Equality.

We talk the talk in relation to promoting diversity and inclusivity, but if we're not acting on it, I think that's regrettable and that's something I would like to see changeCatherine Martin, Green TD

Ms Martin told RTE Morning Ireland on Wednesday: “I guess as a female pilot politician and someone who set up the caucus, I would always seek to promote women in our party. But having said that, all Green Party ministers who are there are good for the job and I respect the decision there.

“That was the prerogative of Eamon as leader but I do feel that forever we have women who have proven that they are ready and very able, then we should always seek to promote because young girls cannot aim to be what they cannot see and we should always be seeking to do that to promote women.

“In relation to the male ministers, I congratulate them and they are all able for the job, but I think it was a missed opportunity to promote women and from our side, it was also a missed opportunity to unite the party as well, that nobody who voted No or advocated No to the Programme for Government was promoted to ministerial position.

“I think that was missed opportunities to unite. We are a party that respects and cherish debate and challenge, and having those voices inside, within government, at a ministerial table would have been welcome.

“We talk the talk in relation to promoting diversity and inclusivity, but if we’re not acting on it, I think that’s regrettable and that’s something I would like to see change.”

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The new Irish Cabinet (Julien Behal/PA)

The new Irish Cabinet (Julien Behal/PA)

PA

The new Irish Cabinet (Julien Behal/PA)

Ms Martin, who started her role as Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht last week, also said she wants the temporary wage subsidy scheme to be rolled on until next year.

“I know that Covid-19 has decimated both international and domestic tourism and we need to look at ideas like the extension of the temporary wage subsidy scheme to April and include seasonal staff,” she added.

“I will bring that to the table. I am on the (Covid-19) Cabinet sub-committee and I am their voice fighting for them.”

PA