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FF will find 27 women for election, says Martin

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Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has insisted his party will meet its target of putting forward up to 27 women as general election candidates.

Mr Martin said he was confident Fianna Fail could satisfy the rules surrounding gender quotas and persuade a raft of first-time female candidates to put their names forward.

The Cork TD, who previously admitted that meeting the new gender rules would prove challenging, said Fianna Fail expected to run over 60 candidates in the general election.

And Mr Martin said he was satisfied that Fianna Fail can persuade between 20 and 27 women to contest the election - a target recommended by the party's internal strategy group known as the Markievicz Commission.

"It's not a case of finding them - they are there," Mr Martin told the Irish Independent.

"It's a question obviously of the organisation entirely coming together to make sure that we have the right balance in terms of our candidates and obviously that balance will include meeting that target in terms of women and obviously depending on our overall figure of candidates - but we will meet that target," he added.

New rules introduced by the Government require 30pc of party candidates to be female.

Failure to comply with rules will result in hefty fines and prove particularly embarrassing for party leaders.

As revealed this week, the Markievicz Commission warned that Fianna Fail is facing a "stark challenge" to find enough female candidates to run in the election.

The Commission recommended that the party should consider informing individual constituencies that they must field a female candidate in order to meet the strict new rules.

Irish Independent