‘It’s The Old Boys’ Club In Action Again’


Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 13.45.26

Ciara Conway, Labour TD


This morning it was reported that Fine Gael’s candidate for the upcoming Seanad by-election on October 10, John McNulty, of Donegal, was appointed to a state board – the Irish Museum of Modern Art – a week before his nomination.

Mr McNulty, who previously ran for election in the local elections for Fine Gael but failed to win a seat, was appointed by Fine Gael’s Heather Humphrey.s

In addition, the Irish Independent reported this morning that Mr McNulty was not on Fine Gael’s national executive’s candidate shortlist for MEP Deirdre Clune’s vacant Seanad seat.

The group put forward Stephanie Regan, Samantha Long and Councillor Kate O’Connell.

Further to this, Labour TD Ciara Conway spoke to Jonathan Clinch for today’s News At One on RTÉ about the matter.

Ciara Conway: “I think for a government that has brought forward the legislation about having 30% female candidate in the next general election that it’s a missed opportunity for a woman to make her mark in national politics. I think that the fact that the seat was vacated by a very able politician in Deirdre Clune, you know, is a lost opportunity. If you look at how the Irish parliament and the Oireachtas rank, internationally, we rank, well up in the eighties, 86, in terms of female participation and, you know, all other things being equal, in terms of ability and capability, my preference would have been for another woman Senator to join the team. But it’s endemic, across the political spectrum, it’s the old boys’ club in action again. And it’s very disheartening for people who are engaged in politics because, you know, there are barriers there and gender is one of them. I do believe that a woman should be there and the fact that, you know, the seat had been vacated by a female senator, it is hugely significant, because it’s a loss, we’re down another woman. And I don’t even know what that will do to our rankings further – will that bring us further down the international ranking in terms of female representation.”

Jonathan Clinch: “Do you believe that the Taoiseach is committed to gender parity in politics or does this betray an absence of such commitment?”

Conway: “I think, you know, the question can be asked of all political leaders in relation to their…”

Clinch: “But we’re looking specifically at Enda Kenny in this regard.”

Conway: “I mean that’s a question…I mean, it doesn’t look well, it doesn’t look well. You know we’re only 18 months/two years away from a general election. You know, where are the female candidates going to come from. They’ve been turned down at this opportunity here.”

Listen back here

FG’s Seanad nominee given job on state board (Today FM)

Kenny rejected three women to appoint male crony to Seanad (Irish Independent)


Sponsored Link

43 thoughts on “‘It’s The Old Boys’ Club In Action Again’

    1. scottser

      unbelievable stroke there from kenny. with any luck it’ll come back to bite him in the @rse next election.

  1. Bobby

    The two things that strike me about this are:

    1) It’s the Seanad, so is utterly irrelevant.
    2) Conway seems to be arguing that a woman should have been put forward so that they can say they put a woman forward, which kind of completely goes against the whole point of equality.

      1. Bobby

        I know it’s easy to discount people as shills instead of actually paying attention to what they say, but can you make an effort to comment on the actual words I typed?

          1. Bobby

            You said “you haven’t said anything that warrants sensible comment.”

            Which would imply that my comment wasn’t sensible either. So if you don’t believe my comment was sensible, it would imply that you believe them to be wrong. Now considering my two points were that the Seanad is irrelevant and that Conway seems to be arguing for a woman to be given the job just so a woman would have the job, it isn’t beyond the realms of comprehension to come to the conclusion that you both believe the Seanad to be relevant and that there’s nothing wrong with what she is saying.

            Now, if you want to elaborate as to why you believe this, or correct these assumptions I’ve made due to you not elaborating, then please do. Otherwise why would you bother to post?

          2. Bacchus

            You use a lot of words to say nothing.
            Your first “point” is uninformed and democracy has recently decided you’re wrong. But keep shouting it if you want.
            Your second attempt to make an impression hangs on “Conway seems to be” and “which kind of completely” so you’ll understand if I don’t believe you’re convinced either.
            Now stop trying to pretend you have a working grasp of English or the world around you.

          3. Bobby

            @Sidewinder The whole statement I made was asking if that was her intention as it seemed like it was what she was saying. Read the comments she made. They don’t come across as complaining about how he was given the job, but that it wasn’t one of the women put forward before.

            @Bacchus As you can only resort to childish insults, I’ll take as meaning you didn’t actually have a point to make in the first place.

          4. rotide

            Bobby has very clearly made his point.

            Bacchus has not made any sort of point although I’d be interested to see what he is trying to say apart from ‘bobby is a spa’.

    1. Barry Richards

      Conway is a useless politician who is likely to lose her seat. Can anybody point to an achievement of this lady since her election? The Senate is a useless institution. They can appoint Donald Duck for all I care. The country has much more pressing problems. Now Ms Conway deal with real problems of the country!!

  2. Pablo

    But Ciara Conway isn’t worried about the actual stroke politics. Her only concern is that a woman isn’t going to get the MEP nomination. Because, of course, all political appointments should automatically go to women now, right?

    1. Don Pidgeoni

      “Because, of course, all political appointments should automatically go to women now, right?”

      Not what she says but ok

      1. Bobby

        Is it not one of the things she’s implying though? That this position should have gone to a woman as to not be a “missed opportunity for a woman to make her mark in national politics.”?

          1. Bobby

            No it’s something I’m ASKING if she’s implying.

            “all other things being equal, in terms of ability and capability, my preference would have been for another woman Senator to join the team.”

            What does that mean other than she wants a woman to get the job because she’s a woman? The intent is to create equal footing for both men and women in politics, but if it means picking politicians based on gender, then that’s not equality.

        1. rotide

          She’s not implying it. She’s stating it:

          “I do believe that a woman should be there and the fact that, you know, the seat had been vacated by a female senator, it is hugely significant, because it’s a loss, we’re down another woman.”

          No implying or inferring about it.

          1. Sidewinder

            Oh sorry I didn’t realise this was a conversation between people who only read the extracts and refused to employ critical thinking skills before leaping to conclusions. I’ll be off.

          2. Bobby

            Seriously, what is it with people resorting to insults here? It’s a valid question: is Conway implying a woman should get the job because they are women, for the reason of having a woman in the job? Her entire statement does seem to suggest that.

            Seriously, read what she said. What does she mean by it, if it’s so clear to you?

    2. Kieran NYC


      The egregious part is that they drummed *anyone* into the job on such a flimsy and obvious stroke.

      Most depressing part is that Varadkar defended it. No change to the bs anytime soon then.

  3. Drogg

    The real question here is, why do failed politicians keep getting put into national political positions? if people won’t vote for them it means they don’t want them in any branch of government.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    From the indo – Independent Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames said it was the “greatest cynical stroke in politics in recent times”.

    *slaps knee*

    “greatest cynical stroke” says non-elected official, giving out about appointment of non-elected official, because of gender.

    Fupp off Eames, you muppet.

    1. ABM's Bloodied Underwear

      Not only is she unelected, but hasn’t she ran and lost in a number of elections?

      Yet, there she is.

      1. Drogg

        It’s ether 3 or 4 times she has ran for election and been absolutely annihilated because he local people really don’t like her over privileged money grabbing ways.

    2. steve white

      isn’t this worse though appointing somebody to a board for a few weeks to get them in Seanad its beyond counter claims of hypocrasy

  5. rotide

    This is a bit of a non issue. If it is what it looks like and is a case of pure cronyism, then the gender of the three nominees passed over makes no difference. They could have been 3 white males or 3 lesbian somalian jews and it would make no difference, the job went to Enda’s mate.

  6. Gone North

    Enda must be fearing the worst in Donegal. Gave Joe McHugh the Gaeltacht job despite a lack of qualifications and now he is aggressively pushing this McNulty guy.

  7. SOMK

    Harry McGee writes about McNulty’s IMMA appointment http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/analysis-mcnulty-imma-appointment-seems-like-an-old-fashioned-ready-up-1.1939918

    “The suspicion among the Opposition is that this was a two-step stroke by Fine Gael. They appointed him to IMMA in order to give him the credentials he didn’t have. And then when nominated he could be elected without any question over his credentials. And as soon as he is elected he steps down from IMMA, only a month or so after joining the board.”

    |t really does turn the stomach, this kind of thing, the petty cynicism it involves on one level, the whole I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-corruption stink of it.

    1. Mick Flavin

      I wonder if it ever crossed his mind to say “Nah, wait a minute…I’m not in any way qualified for this. It’d be kind of embarrassing for me personally and disrespectful to those actually involved in the arts, to accept this post. Maybe I’ll sit this one out.”?

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Link