‘I Think It’s Mad… Zany’



They’re breaking up the gang.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern spoke to Pat Kenny on Newstalk earlier after Fianna Fáil’s general secretary directed that the party’s General Election candidates in the Dublin South Central and Dublin Central constituencies must be women – in order to satisfy new gender quota rules which state 30 per cent of a party’s candidates must be female.

Mr Ahern told Newstalk:

“I don’t agree with it, Pat. If you want my honest opinion, I think it’s zany but I think whether it’s a man or a woman, whoever comes through the position [deserves the nomination]. I have served at cabinet table with very formidable ladies like Mary O’Rourke, Mary Harney and Mary Coughlan, who came through the ranks.”

“The idea, like in my old constituency, the ruling is that they’re not allowed not nominate [a male] so there’s no point in a man even contesting the convention because even if he won it, he wouldn’t get through. And, you know, imagine if it was the other way around, if it was only a male person being allowed through? I bet you your programme this morning would be exclusively be on that issue, but some genius thought it up and then, you know, there goes it.”

“I think it’s mad. I think the idea that a person who works their way through the system, works their way through their branch or Cuman or organisation, gets themselves popular with the public, with the local organisations, then comes to the convention of the party and (the party is) saying ‘yes you have done a very good job in the last ten years, breaking your neck in your community, breaking it through with the organisation, but you happen to be the wrong gender, so go away’.”

Listen back in full here


26 thoughts on “‘I Think It’s Mad… Zany’

  1. hans landa

    i can’t believe I’m going to say this but Bertie is 100% correct.

    What an absolute farce. There has to be a better way of encouraging women to get into politics or whatever. I don’t know how many women would be happy with the fact that they are, in some cases, only chosen for nominations simply because of their gender rather than hard work and graft.

    1. deeg

      historically, most men have been able to climb to said positions on the backs of women’s free labour – raring kids, being carers to elderly relatives, keeping the house etc. I’m not 100% comfortable with gender based promotion, but i’m less comfortable with the boys club that is every office of power. This system, even if it is flawed, should reversing an unconscious bias that most of us have.

      1. hans landa

        I certainly agree. I don’t know how we can fix it/change it but quotas are not the way to go. I would think the best person for the job should get it and its up to whoever is picking the ‘team’ to ensure that there is a proper gender balance. But only because gender balance leads to a better team and not because one gender has a formal quota

        1. deeg

          Are we not better off trying it until we come up with something better? Waiting for the perfect solution rarely solves anything.

      2. Paolo

        What a stupid comment. Historically, most jobs were physical and therefore required the stronger partner in a union to do the work. Since the industrial revolution, more and more jobs have become feasible for women but that still doesn’t do away with the hundreds of thousands of years of evolution that saw women raise children.

        If we need gender quotas in politics then surely we need gender quotas in waste removal, nursing and teaching, right? What about the military or the fire service. I can see the policy statements already

        “If two rescue personnel enter a burning building then at least one of them must be female”.

        It’s ridiculous and it does more harm than good. Tokenism helps NOBODY.

        1. sǝɯǝɯ ʇɐ pɐq

          Sorry Paulo, but you neglect the fundamental reasoning behind a move towards gender-equality in government.
          You ignore the positive elements it would bring.

          I’m as male as you are Paulo, but with much bigger balls.

          Nevertheless, I’d ask you to imagine a 100% female government for a minute.
          Imagine the progress we’d make as a nation.

          No more macho-posturing, apart from Joan…
          It would be great.

          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            Nicely put and I’m not sure about that physically stronger asumption, last week at 60 me Ma laid à patio, Da gave helpful hints.

        2. deeg

          yeah, but we are not in industrial times nor the caves and yet there is still a dismal number of women in influential positions. why? many problems. how to fix? fupp knows, but let’s try until we get it fixed, instead if blustering and fluffing our feathers over a pint, eh?

    2. cluster

      Why is Bertie even being asked?

      He was a shambolic, incompetent, corrupt waste of space who has been utterly discredited since his time in office.

      There are any number of other commentators (politicans, academics, dogs on the street) who could give a more thoughtful, articulate opinion on this issue (and on all other issues). Whether they happen to agree with Bertie’s opinion or not is irrelevant.

      1. Caroline

        Because, infamously, he and his cabal ran the Dublin Central constituency like a fiefdom, supposedly stymieing Mary Fitzpatrick’s attempts to get elected in a manner so blatant that even non-partisans started to feel sorry for her.

  2. perricrisptayto

    Why this guy is given any sort of airtime is beyond me.
    As the biggest thief of them all said about him “the most devious and the most cunning of them all”.
    CAB should be looking into this fellows affairs (monetary).

  3. Clampers Outside!

    Who cares what some gobslight cnut thinks.

    He had his time and filled his own pockets and increased his pension and took care of himself. Can we stop giving this gimpy excuse for a man of absolutely no integrity any more exposure.

    1. Weedless

      You don’t need the card any more. There’s a phone app “Sleevn’d”. Bit like Tinder except it shows where the nearest chancer … actually forget that it’s just Tinder.

  4. Frilly Keane

    Christ t’night
    Jaysus knows who we’re gonna get in DCC
    Another Ardagh
    I suppose

    Although Judge Patrica did seek the nomination there one time

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