Alison O'Connor: It's time to end the Dail's 'old boys' club' mentality
It's this season's must-have accessory and no political leader dares to be seen in public without one -- the female candidate, preferably dressed in pastel.
She can be a rare enough species but, nonetheless, party handlers of all hues will be ensuring there is always one available when needed, looking as fresh and fragrant as when she was first plucked off the party selection vine.
Poor old Pat Rabbitte. The Labour warhorse walked straight into the political gender minefield with his remark about new Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin pulling a stunt by putting female party candidates at the front of a photograph.