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'It was bad judgment' - Lord Mayor hopeful sorry for comment

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Fianna Fail’s Tom Brabazon

Fianna Fail’s Tom Brabazon

Fianna Fail’s Tom Brabazon

A Fianna Fail councillor has said he hopes a controversial comment he made about women in politics won't hurt his chances of becoming Lord Mayor of Dublin tonight.

Tom Brabazon faced criticism after he claimed in 2015 that voters should pick "real women with real life experience of childbirth".

Mr Brabazon has been nominated to replace newly-elected TD Paul McAuliffe as Lord Mayor of Dublin in a city council vote tonight.

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He was unanimously selected at a Fianna Fail meeting on Friday.

Mr Brabazon told the Herald he has apologised for the comments and said he hopes the controversy will not affect tonight's appointment.

His remarks came in an article he wrote for the Northside People in 2015, in which he criticised the legislation bringing in gender quotas.

"We should want real women with real life experience of the education system, the workplace, childbirth, childcare, managing money in tight situations and general life," he wrote.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said at the time that Mr Brabazon's view was "unacceptable".

Mr Brabazon initially stood by the remarks when the controversy erupted in 2015, but last night said he was willing to apologise for what he wrote in the weeks that followed.

"They were ill-chosen words. It was bad judgment on my part at the time and I accept that. I withdrew the remarks and I apologised for any hurt caused to anybody at the time," he said.

Asked whether he had any concerns that his article could affect tonight's vote, he replied: "I would hope that it wouldn't, once people are made aware that there was a fulsome apology.

"Anybody who knows me knows that I'm not in any way anti-women."

He said gender quotas have seen more women candidates stand for election, and "it has succeeded to the extent that for young people there are female political heroes that are there, they can look up to, and try to emulate".

A deal between Fianna Fail, Labour and the Green Party should see Mr Brabazon elected, but he said he is not taking this for granted.

Mr Brabazon said that, if elected, he hopes to use the office of Lord Mayor to push to make Dublin more accessible for people with disabilities.


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