Tuesday 18 June 2019

'Support system vital in any job, not just politics,' insists Madigan

80-90 hour week: Culture Minister Josepha Madigan. Photo: Fran Veale
80-90 hour week: Culture Minister Josepha Madigan. Photo: Fran Veale
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

A "support system" for all working parents is "vital" should they wish to succeed, Minister Josepha Madigan said.

Ms Madigan made the remark while addressing the ongoing reaction to comments she made in an interview with the Irish Independent published at the weekend about women entering politics.

In the interview, the Culture Minister encouraged women to enter politics and "get good childcare, get a good husband, have the confidence and don't over-think it".

She appeared alongside Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte on Virgin Media's 'Ireland AM' programme yesterday.

Ms Rabbitte, a mother of three who entered politics 18 months after her husband died, said "fire in the belly" was what was needed to succeed in politics.

Both women appeared on the programme yesterday morning, with Ms Madigan explaining last weekend's remarks.

"When I did that interview it was on the back of last year and I'd just been appointed as the minister for that year.

"I think I was reflecting over the year and what my husband was to me. I mean he has a full-time job, he works 9-6.

"He would do the majority of the extra-curricular activities, parties at the weekend and sports.

"When you become a minister, you're doing an 80-90 hour week effectively, and luckily I had children in a position where they're teenagers.

"The support system we speak of is absolutely vital, but I think that's in any job that you're in if you have children or any dependency.

"I do find that female politicians cross party are all very supportive of each other. I found the men to be very supportive of me on a personal level as well."

Ms Rabbitte said it is mostly from other women that she has received "a handful" of negative comments.

Speaking of her decision to enter the political race, Ms Rabbitte said it was a lack of "fresh faces" that spurred her to enter politics.

Irish Independent

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