Tuesday 21 February 2017

Fianna Fail youth chief quits over sexism row

David Forsythe

Published 15/03/2011 | 05:00

FIANNA FAIL has become the latest party to be embroiled in a sexism row after the chair of the party's youth wing resigned her position in protest.

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Una Lordan (23) was the chair of Ogra Fianna Fail, the party's youth section in leader Micheal Martin's own Cork South Central constituency.

But the UCC law graduate said that she had felt marginalised and ignored after standing up against bigotry and sexism within the party and has since quit to join the campaign to elect Senator David Norris as president.

According to Ms Lordan, women in Fianna Fail are "good for a photo shoot and little else".

In an open letter to the party leader, Ms Lordan said she could not remain a member of the party because of derogatory remarks made by UCC cumann chair Eoin Furlong on his blog.

Mr Furlong described gay people as "prancing around half naked, sporting a tutu and sprinkling fairy dust" in the blog. Mr Furlong later apologised for the comments but, according to Ms Lordan, she was blamed for leaking them to the press and had been marginalised within the party as a result.

"I thought I could change Fianna Fail from the inside but I really don't think that is possible," she said.

Critical

Ms Lordan was also critical of the selection of Mr Martin's former driver Cllr Terry Shannon as the party's candidate for Lord Mayor of Cork ahead of popular female councillor Mary Shields.

"It is difficult to stomach that in 1926 Fianna Fail gave greater precedence to women in politics then they do today and a great opportunity was missed in not having Cllr Sheilds become Lord Mayor," she said.

When contacted about Ms Lordan's departure, a Fianna Fail spokesman said it was disappointing when anyone decided to stop being involved in politics. "Hopefully she can find a way to continue to contribute to Irish politics," he said.

He declined to comment further on the allegations of sexism within the party.

Irish Independent

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