A Fine Gael by-election candidate has hit out at gender quotas, claiming they turn female politicians into "damsels in distress".
Emer Higgins said she did not feel empowered by quotas, although she admitted they had worked.
The councillor is seeking to hold the Fine Gael seat given up by ex-Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald when she was elected as an MEP in May.
Ms Fitzgerald is a big supporter of gender quotas, previously arguing the requirement for political parties to have 30pc of all candidates women in a general election was a "really good initiative".
But Ms Higgins told a selection convention over the weekend: "I don't feel empowered by the idea that the rules need to be changed for women to succeed. I find that oppressive."
Other candidates in the race include Shane Moynihan (FF), Patrick Kavanagh (Green), Kelly Sweeney (PBP), Anne-Marie McNally (Soc Dems) and Paul Gogarty (Ind).