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Saturday 1 April 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Sam Boal/
# diversity and inclusion
'Missed opportunity' to promote women - Catherine Martin criticises Greens' cabinet appointments
While Minister Martin respects those appointed, she would’ve liked to see a woman promoted.

MINISTER CATHERINE MARTIN has said that the Green Party junior ministerial appointments were a “missed opportunity to promote women”. 

Martin, who is currently engaging in a leadership contest with Greens leader and cabinet colleague Eamon Ryan, first marked her disappointment at the leadership hustings last night. 

Speaking on Morning Ireland today, Martin said that while she respected the appointment of the new Green ministers, she would have liked to see a woman promoted.

During the appointment of junior ministries, Ossian Smyth, Malcolm Noonan and Joe O’Brien all received positions. 

Neasa Hourigan, the party’s finance spokesperson, was overlooked for a junior ministry in the Department of Public Expenditure, with the role instead going to Smyth.

“I do feel that wherever we have women who have proven that they are ready and very able then we should always seek to promote,” said Martin.

“Young girls cannot aim to be what they cannot see.”

When asked about misogyny in the party, Martin said that they need to do more as a party to promote diversity and inclusion within it.

“We talk the talk in relation to promoting diversity and inclusivity but if we’re not acting on it I think that’s regrettable and that’s something I’d like to see changed”.

Martin originally set up the Irish Women’s Parliamentary Caucus in 2017, as well as the Mná Glasa, which is used to give a forum to discuss safeguarding and promoting women’s equal participation in politics. 

According to Martin, the appointment of junior ministers was also a missed opportunity to unite the party after the programme for government debate, as no TD who campaigned against the PfG was promoted to a ministry.

At the leadership hustings last night, Martin promised “a new unity” in the membership if she is elected leader in the coming weeks. 

She said that she would “work tirelessly” to achieve climate justice in Ireland.

Both Martin and Ryan said at the hustings that they would be willing to pull down the government if Green Party policies weren’t being delivered.

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