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Leo says 'bullying won't be tolerated in Fine Gael' following sexism allegations made by senator

The issue was raised as a passing comment at a private meeting where there was a larger debate about women in politics.

Senator Catherine Noone
Senator Catherine Noone
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Updated 5.25pm

SENATOR CATHERINE NOONE has raised concerns about bullying and sexism from one of her male colleagues.

In a private parliamentary party meeting last night, she alleged a male colleague repeatedly speaks down to her and is misogynistic towards her.

The issue was raised as a passing comment during a larger debate about women in politics and Fine Gael’s plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote.

Sources said Noone told colleagues that it had become “too much to take” and had got to the point that she “can’t take it anymore”.

“I just want it stopped,” she told her party colleagues.

She did not name the individual.

TheJournal.ie understands that the issue has been a long-standing issue, but the matter had escalated in recent months since Noone’s involvement in the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment.

Following Noone’s comments at the meeting, it is understood another female colleague made a contribution, supporting Noone.

Fine Gael sources state the Taoiseach was “very strong” on the issue, and told his party members that bullying and sexism would not be tolerated in his party and that the matter would be dealt with.

A Fine Gael spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the parliamentary party chairman Martin Heydon has written to the General Secretary Tom Curran regarding the “internal matter within the party”.

“Due process will be followed and the matter will be dealt with swiftly. Fine Gael expects party colleagues to treat all with the utmost respect, professionalism and dignity at all times.

“Any internal party matters are dealt with the strictest of confidence and Fine Gael will not be making any further comment,” they added.

Senator Noone has declined to comment publicly on the allegations.

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