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Just 5 of Fianna Fáil's election hopefuls are female*

*So far.

Councillor Lisa Chambers
Councillor Lisa Chambers
Image: Facebook/Twitter

JUST FIVE OF the 28 candidates Fianna Fáil has so far selected to run in the general election are female.

With 22 out of 40 selection conventions held so far, Micheál Martin’s party is currently significantly short of the requirement that a third of its candidates are female at the next election.

All political parties must ensure that at least 30 per cent of their candidates are women or face having their state funding cut in half in the next Dáil term. On current numbers just 18 per cent of Fianna Fáil candidates are women.

The party is coming under particularly scrutiny over gender quotas in the wake of the high-profile departure of Averil Power last month.

That has left Fianna Fáil with just one female politician in its parliamentary party, Senator Mary White. She is one of the five women already selected to run in the next general election and hopes to take a seat in Dublin South.

The others selected include Lisa Chambers in Mayo, Mary Butler in Waterford, Mary Hoade in Galway West and Norma Moriarty in Kerry.

00154147 Senator Mary White Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

The party has repeatedly insisted it will meet the gender quota target.

Fianna Fáil has yet to definitively determine how many candidates it will run at the next election but running 60 would require that at least 18 of them are women.

Earlier this year, the Markievicz Commission, chaired by Professor Yvonne Galligan, said Fianna Fáil will be required to field between 20 and 27 women candidates depending on the overall number of candidates put forward.

The same report also recommended that some female candidates be asked change constituency in order to spread the numbers available to run. The commission also said that some constituency branches should be issued with directions to select a woman at conventions.

Responding to that report in January, Micheál Martin said the gender quotas law would mean tough decisions for the party.

“It will mean hard decisions, tough decisions, very difficult decisions, but that is the nature of political leadership: it’s the nature of politics,” he said.

Fianna Fáil anticipates that the majority of its general election selection conventions will have been held by the end of July.

Read: Shock in Fianna Fáil as former president’s son will NOT seek Dáil seat

Read: After Averil’s shock departure, how do other parties shape up in terms of women?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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