McManus is ultimately a victim of political system
Published 04/09/2010 | 05:00
LIZ McManus has always been a most unusual and intriguing figure in Irish politics -- beginning with her upper-middle-class origins and ending with her unexpected decision not to contest her Dail seat at the next general election.
Her father was an ambassador and she was born in Canada. But from her youth, she embraced both socialism and feminism and campaigned strongly for the feminist cause.
In this respect at least, she can now, at the age of 63, reflect with satisfaction on the successes of that movement. Most of its aspirations have been fulfilled -- to such an extent that the younger generation can scarcely imagine an era in which contraceptives were banned and the mantra "a woman's place is in the home" was actually taken seriously.