Women in politics: No female FF or FG voice from Limerick in Dail despite spend

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Sarah Jane Hennelly’s Social Democrats party, which has 60% female membership, did not spend any money on promoting women in politics

Sarah Jane Hennelly’s Social Democrats party, which has 60% female membership, did not spend any money on promoting women in politics

FIANNA Fail and Fine Gael have been criticised for spending large sums of money in promoting women in politics, yet neither party has a female voice in the Dail representing Limerick.

The Standards in Public Office Commission published annual figures this week, revealing that political parties pumped €134,398.65 into their attempts to include women in politics in 2017. 

FG spent €50,098; FF spent €46,609; Labour spent €22,641; Sinn Fein spent €14,569; the Green Party spent €389; while Solidarity and People Before Profit spent €92.65. Social Democrats and Renua Ireland did not spend any money on the promotion of women in politics in 2017.

Social Democrats general election candidate Sarah Jane Hennelly said that, despite the “enormous spend and a surge in women’s engagement since the [abortion] referendum”, Fianna Fail intend to run all-male tickets in the city and county. 

Fine Gael will run Senator Maria Byrne while Labour will run Deputy Jan O’Sullivan in the next election, a date for which has yet to be announced.

“There are, and have been, many women capable of advocating for and representing the people of Limerick City, so there is clearly a structural problem when they can commit large sums of money and still not present a female voice in the constituency,” said Ms Hennelly.

 “Having a healthy balance of men and women in government, business and all sectors results in better outcomes – this is proven across the world. States where gender balance is good, such as Iceland, have higher living standards, better health services, and embedded accountability for anyone involved in corrupt practices,” she added.