Thursday 29 September 2016

Irish politicians and social media users criticise Sunday Times for 'childless politicians' piece alongside Nicola Sturgeon interview

Catherine Devine

Published 04/09/2016 | 17:42

Nicola Sturgeon Photo: PA
Nicola Sturgeon Photo: PA

Irish politicians and social media users alike have condemned the Sunday Times for its presentation of an interview with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about never having children.

  • Go To

Sturgeon spoke to the Sunday Times in a brave interview about her miscarriage and how “children never happened” for her.

Alongside the article, the newspaper featured a panel entitled “Childless Politicians”.

Many have referred to the panel as “irrelevant” and “crass”.

The 'childless politicians' panel appeared alongside the interview with Nicola Sturgeon
The 'childless politicians' panel appeared alongside the interview with Nicola Sturgeon

Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte, spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, told Independent.ie that she was “outraged” at the article.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous. What has having children got to do with politics?” she told Independent.ie.

Anne Rabbitte said she was
Anne Rabbitte said she was "outraged" by the article

“Would they do the same on an article about nurses and teachers? What has it got to do with the job?”

The panel of “childless politicians” featured a range of UK and Europe-based politicians including UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“I’m a female politician with three children and, yes I understand education and childcare, but if I didn’t have children I’d still be doing the same thing,” said Rabbitte.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s irrelevant. What has this got to do with politics?

“As long as the elected person is doing their job, who cares whether they have children or not?”

Rabbitte asked if it was an attempt to scare women out of politics.

Maureen O'Sullivan. Photo: Tom Burke
Maureen O'Sullivan. Photo: Tom Burke

“Are they trying to scare women? Are they afraid of us?” she asked.

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan described the panel as “strange”.

“You shouldn’t have to explain whether or not you have children. It’s a personal matter for every man and woman and nobody else.

“I’m not defined as a person on whether I’m fertile or infertile,” she told Independent.ie.

Social media users were also united in condemnation at the article.

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News