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Dáil women's caucus calls for audit of harassment and bullying in the Oireachtas

The group has called for a survey of the working conditions of elected officials in Leinster House.

15/11/2017 Past and present female Oireachtas members At Dail The Oireachtas Women's Caucus, pictured outside Leinster House last November Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

A DÁIL WOMEN’S group has called for an audit of the working experiences of elected officials to see to what extent bullying and harassment are issues in Leinster House.

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin made the announcement this evening on behalf of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus, of which she is chair.

The goal of this survey is to ensure that each and every person working in Leinster House works in an environment of dignity and respect,” she said.

No workplace is free from stress or occasional conflict, but this survey will reveal if there is a culture of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment in Leinster House, and if there is, we must put in place robust measures to address this issue.
For this survey to have weight it would need input from independent experts in this field, and we would hope that any such survey would be carried out as soon as is practicable.

Bullying and sexual harassment are hot topic issues across the globe at present, with political circles being far from an exception.

The news regarding the prospective Dail survey comes in the wake of revelations by Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone that she had allegedly been subjected to bullying and sexism at the hands of a male colleague.

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In the aftermath of those revelations, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that bullying and sexism would not be tolerated in Fine Gael, and that the matter would be dealt with.

A similar survey in Westminster published earlier this month suggested that one in five people working in the Houses of Parliament had experienced sexual harassment within the previous year.

The next step regarding today’s announcement will see the caucus will write to Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail to formally request that the survey take place.

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