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All parties must do more to attract women into politics, says Green TD

TD Neasa Hourigan said ‘every single party has a job of work to do around attracting women into politics’.

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Green TD Neasa Hourigan said Irish parties need to do more to encourage women to enter politics (Niall Carson/PA)

Green TD Neasa Hourigan said Irish parties need to do more to encourage women to enter politics (Niall Carson/PA)

Green TD Neasa Hourigan said Irish parties need to do more to encourage women to enter politics (Niall Carson/PA)

Irish political parties need to do more to encourage women to enter politics, a TD has said.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced his ministerial line-up on Saturday, with female politicians taking just four of the 14 Cabinet roles, and five women receiving junior ministries.

Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan missed out on a junior ministry despite being one of the party’s negotiators on the programme for government deal.

Ms Hourigan was a vocal critic of the programme and opposed her party going into coalition with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

She said she does not know if this was a reason for party leader Eamon Ryan not promoting her, and said the party needs to do more to encourage women to enter politics.

“As a female TD, I don’t think it is my role to explain away the decisions of other people, particularly if they are senior men,” she told RTE radio.

“I think every single party has a job of work to do around attracting women into politics. When you’re in one of the areas that has historically been male-dominated, you have a little more of a mountain to climb.

“I think the Green Party was the same as the other parties in that we have 12 TDs and only two of them are women.”

She added: “I think there was more going on there than just the gender issue, but I definitely think we need to do work on attracting more women and people from diverse backgrounds into the party. We need to get better at that and do more.”

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail TD Christopher O’Sullivan criticised party colleagues who spoke out about missing out on Cabinet roles.

Limerick Fianna Fail TD Willie O’Dea said he is “bitterly disappointed for the people of Limerick” that there is no senior or junior minister representing the county.

Mr O’Dea said he had been inundated with messages from people who felt “let down and grossly insulted” over the issue.

Mr O’Sullivan said TDs have to get on with their work and not feel sorry for themselves.

He tweeted: “Now, more than ever, FF need unity and focus. There’s so much work to do.

“There’s no time to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves and being pissed off about being overlooked for certain positions. Let’s get the job done.”

PA Media