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O'Connell left isolated in Fine Gael row over 'jobs for boys'


FG TD Kate O’Connell (Picture: Tom Burke)

FG TD Kate O’Connell (Picture: Tom Burke)

FG TD Kate O’Connell (Picture: Tom Burke)

A Fine Gael TD who spoke out against what she said was a gender imbalance in Enda Kenny's ministerial appointments has been isolated by her colleagues.

Dublin Bay South's Kate O'Connell heavily criticised the selections of Mr Kenny and said bias towards male Seanad nominee was the "final nail in the female coffin".

However, several other high-profile women in the party have failed to back up her view, insisting they are happy with the Taoiseach's appointments.


Ms O'Connell said the fact that just three out of 18 junior ministers were female was "outrageous".

However, new Health Promotion Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy - who previously complained about the lack of opportunities for women in the party - told the Herald she couldn't fault the new line-up.

The Offaly TD said the promotion of herself, Helen McEntee and Catherine Byrne to portfolios relating to health was "a very good thing".

"There are only so many places. There are tons of very talented men as well that were left disappointed," she said.

Senator Catherine Noone said she hoped the "good work previously in the area of gender quotas in Fine Gael will continue. I'd like to see more women promoted on merit," she said.

Dun Laoghaire TD Mairia Bailey said all of Mr Kenny's appointments were warranted.

Josepha Madigan, who represents Dublin Rathdown, said: "I always want to see women being promoted to senior roles but I believe in a meritocracy above all."