Tuesday 23 October 2018

Varadkar investigates row between Fine Gael senators, claims of bullying and sexism

Sources say Senator Catherine Noone told colleagues it had got to the point where she "can't take it any more'

Senator Catherine Noone has alleged a male colleague repeatedly speaks down to her, dismisses her views and treats her in a misogynistic way
Senator Catherine Noone has alleged a male colleague repeatedly speaks down to her, dismisses her views and treats her in a misogynistic way
Leinster House (Stock picture)

Kevin Doyle and Philip Ryan

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to probe a row between two Fine Gael senators amid claims of bullying and sexism.

Senator Catherine Noone has alleged a male colleague repeatedly speaks down to her, dismisses her views and treats her in a misogynistic way.

The Irish Independent understands a long-standing disagreement peaked in recent days and that Ms Noone has now made an informal complaint to party chairman Martin Heydon.

She also raised the issue at a private party meeting last night during a discussion on how Fine Gael plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote.

Sources say Ms Noone told colleagues that it had got to the point where she "can't take it any more". She did not name the individual.

In response to her contribution Mr Varadkar said he would not "stand over any bullying or sexism towards colleagues".

Senator Catherine Noone. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Senator Catherine Noone. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

He intends to discuss the situation directly with Ms Noone and has asked Mr Heydon to investigate further.

A number of TDs and senators who attended last night's meeting confirmed that Ms Noone became visibly upset while talking about the need to support women in politics.

"She said it's great to be talking about getting more women involved but we also need to support the ones that are already here," a source said.

Ms Noone claimed a fellow politician acted in a "misogynistic way" and "made her feel uncomfortable".

The politician at the centre of the allegations was unaware of them last night.

Irish Independent

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