Friday 20 April 2018

Leinster House 'safe place for women despite macho culture'

Maire O’Connor, chairperson of the Gender Equality Taskforce for Higher Education, and Junior Minister with special responsibility for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Photo: Jason Clarke
Maire O’Connor, chairperson of the Gender Equality Taskforce for Higher Education, and Junior Minister with special responsibility for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Photo: Jason Clarke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

"Macho behaviour" is present in Leinster House but it's a "safe place" for women to work, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has insisted.

Junior Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor, meanwhile, has outlined her belief that there is "sexism" in the Dáil and that women need to be protected.

Their remarks came as a series of allegations about inappropriate behaviour by British politicians are being investigated by parties in the UK.

Mr Varadkar was asked if he thought a similar litany of incidents could emerge in Ireland and if Leinster House was safe for women.

"From my experience, it is a safe place for women to go about their daily lives," he said.

"That's not to say there isn't macho behaviour on occasion in the Oireachtas," Mr Varadkar added.

He said the perpetrators of such behaviour were political opponents of both sexes, rather than exclusively male TDs.

Irish Independent

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