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McDowell correct

Sir -- It was most enlightening for me and many other women to read Ivana Bacik's response to Michael McDowell's claim that the proposed gender quota law is unconstitutional (Sunday Independent, Nov 11, 2011). In her not-so-surprising dismissal of Mr McDowell's arguments, Ms Bacik has finally shown her true colours. I welcome that.

As a woman who has stood for election, I quickly learnt that the women's libbers were not so much interested in promoting women in politics, as in promoting a particular ideology. Like most enlightened individuals, I have absolutely no problem with anyone holding a particular ideology, but I do have a major problem with ideologues hiding behind some mask or other, as the women's libbers have been hiding behind the skirts of womanhood for several decades.

The proposed gender quota law is an insult to the intelligence of women, and of men also, and Ms Bacik's argument that it is "in the public interest" is completely without substance. It must be clear to her that what is needed in government today is people of vision and integrity, be they men or women.

Imposing candidates on the electorate, based on gender rather than on ability, is irrational and illogical, and -- contrary to Ms Bacik's ideological mindset -- does impinge on voters' choice, is not in the public interest and is, in my opinion and as Mr McDowell believes, unconstitutional.

Nora Bennis,


Jealousy of Pat consumes Declan

Sir -- Declan Lynch seems to be consumed with jealousy for Pat Kenny. His regular rants are so unjust. Who gave him the ego to disparage someone else's self- confidence? Since when did having confidence in one's ability become something to be sneered at? Mr Lynch will never have what it takes to be where Pat is, his confidence and his ability.

Carmel O'Reilly,


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