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