Taoiseach denies Richard Bruton's shock defeat at party selection convention has called gender quotas into question
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has denied that the shock defeat of Richard Bruton at a party selection convention called into question gender quotas.
Mr Kenny said the failure of Mr Bruton to secure selection in the Dublin Bay North constituency was not down to the Fine Gael directive that a female candidate be put forward.
Instead he said the decision to opt for just two candidates in a five-seater constituency had caused the shock defeat.
“It’s happened before, you’ve had sitting members who were not selected in different conventions over the years. In this case the old constituency still stands with the addition of effectively a brand new constituency so its a five seat area. Obviously the Government introduced the requirement for gender quotas and that’s an important element of this but its not responsible for this particular fact. The executive council issued a directive that there be two selected and the people made their choice,” he said.
“But from the comments that I’ve heard, clearly some people felt we should have had three, it’s a five seater constituency. Richard is a very, very experienced politician and obviously Fine Gael have added him onto the ticket today,” he added.
The Taoiseach dismissed concerns that the outcome raised questions about the gender quota system, insisting the party would continue with the model.
“No it doesn’t raise anything about the gender quotas this is something we believe in very strongly and it’s an opportunity for people in the election next Spring to elect more female members to the Oireachtas and the Dail and that’s something I support strongly,” he said.
He told reporters in Castlebar, at the announcement of a new broadband service for the town, that he believed the three strong Fine Gael team would be formidable.
“This is a huge Dublin constituency now, it’s a five seat constituency, it’s been expanded and both Naoise O’Muiri and Stephanie Regan together with a very experienced Richard Bruton will make a very formidable team so arising from the convention I suppose there will be a little more competition added to it and that’s probably a good thing in a democratic competition and I’m sure they will all strive to do their very best,” he added.