“When There Is Progress From Women There Is Pushback”


Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during the presidential election campaign in 2018

This morning.

Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell, who lost her seat in the last general election, spoke to KFm about the recent Seanad election, during which no female Fine Gael candidate won a seat.

Eleven senators will eventually be nominated by the incoming Taoiseach.

Speaking about a resistance to the progress of women, Ms O’Connell said:

“This stems down, it’s a domino effect from the local elections. But also there was a massive pushback from certain sectors and I’m speaking about my own party because that’s what I have knowledge of.

“When there is progress from women there is pushback from some elements within the party usually the younger, Young Fine Gael wing.”


Listen: O’Connell Says There Is Push-Back From Some In Fine Gael, Against Female Candidates. (KFm, Ciara Plunkett)

Previously: Bay Of Tears


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30 thoughts on ““When There Is Progress From Women There Is Pushback”

  1. MaryLou's ArmaLite

    Kate, no point blaming the boys, you had a chance to prove yourself when you got elected to the Dail, to be perfectly honest you failed miserably. That is what is holding you back, not some invisible male hand.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      kate could very reasonably argue that just about every FGer has failed miserably in recent years – but the boys arent paying the price

      1. Ger

        We now have a caretaker government who constitutionally cannot pass any legislation, yet they are happy to continue this situation in the middle of a crisis because they are self obsessed.
        Why have tds expenses for Feb not been published? Because they all clalimed 100% even though they were not in work and the civil service is trying to bury this fact.

    2. V

      Ah now in fairness
      Kate wasn’t given a chance by Leo

      He opted to promote those that voted for him in the Leadership – which was his leadership choice, so he got the Governement he deserved

      Meanwhile, Kate O’Connell was left on the backbenches watching Regina make a holy show of herself day in day out ffs

      Seriously like, who the púc would take Patrick Donovan, Mary Mitch etc, Paul Keogh, Pat Breen, Brendan Griffen! FFS, and don’t ask me what Catherine Byrne was ever good for
      And I can name another half dozen that on paper she was a better appointment

      Even in her own constituency she was a better pick that Eoghan Murphy

      I’m not standing up for Kate personally
      and I think her and her sisters are done in Fine Gael
      But that doesn’t mean she herself wasn’t ten times a better candidate for either a Ministerial or even on the Fine Gael ticket

      Make no mistake the invisable hand was very present then, and everyday, especially when it comes to mouthy women in politics and in the professions its always present
      Even in Media, old main and new

      If Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are really all that ar5ed about introducing better politicians they need to look outside their own members
      In fact the same goes for Labour and Sinn Fein

      The Taoiseach’s 11 now will be very interesting – lets see how really determined they are about investing in a new breed of politician

      1. MaryLou's ArmaLite

        Politics is about alliances, deals and support. She called Leo’s supporters Choirboys singing for their support, and now she’s complaing those same boys won’t help her. Really? That’s just dumb.

  2. GiggidyGoo

    Poor Kate.
    As soon as she, and others like her, realize that election should always be on capabilities the better. Go cry to Hugh.

      1. bisted

        …while it’s not impossible that the new Taoiseach would nominate Kate, I’m not sure that would feature in her list of priorities…

          1. rolo

            Bisted seems to think our leader will be a she

            I cannot see why we are wasting time with elections or replacing a government as the country faces its biggest crises in the past thousand years

  3. Harry M

    Whatever about the reasons for not being nominated, she was actually a good performer in the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health.

    The JOCs are a forum where TDs can really add value when they are not ministers, beyond simply showing up for votes and getting funding for constituents.

    I’ve watched the JOCs on finance and on health a few times and there have been individuals from right across the policial divides who have impressed me, e.g. Kate O’Connell, Pearse Doherty, Michael McGrath. It’s unsexy work that gets little coverage but i have seen firsthand the positive impact they have had on organs of the state in terms of performance.

    And O’Connell was a good contributor, and has done a lot more than many who were nominated for senator so that one is beyond me.

  4. Nullzero

    Goddam patriarchy. I knew they were behind this. I hate being a man, I’m off to cut off my nethers and dye my hair blue in solidarity.

  5. Smokymo

    She can go back to managing her 13 investment properties now.. and a chain of pharmacies.

      1. Itchysays

        @ Rob_G.

        “Yeah, it does suck how other people are more successful than you, doesn’t it?”

        Based on the ramping up of your comments, especially since the general election, you appear to have taken over the mantle of chief defender nee aggressor regards any and all criticism of FG, a role once coveted by Cian.
        Alas Cian seems to have lost much of the fight he once displayed with such enthusiasm and vigour, a sign of the times maybe ?

        So, rather than post such a puerile retort to Smokymo’s comment, why don’t you coherently address his comment, or the content of his post rather than assume it is based on a chip on his shoulder regards those ‘more successful’ than he, because clearly that could be the only reason right ?
        Who knows, maybe he’s quite a successful person…possibly more so than you, or I or even your very own Kate O’ Connell.

        His comment is valid to the majority of the electorate expected to vote for, like her, those who put themselves forward in the political sphere, as they are often, and rightly so, judged and compared on the level of understanding they possess with regards to how the electorate negotiate their lot in life.

        ‘Play the ball, not the man’…isn’t that the analogy used regularly to highlight a retort such as yours ?

        You have failed to make a coherent point, never mind argument, as to why Smokymo is clearly wrong, in your opinion, to make such a comment regardless of how true or not it may be.

        At best you have made assumptions about whatever insecurities Smokymo may have about, in your opinion, more ‘successful’ people in society…at worst, your comment reveals more about your own thinking regards the electorate and an arrogance towards those who question our elected, or unelected ( i.e Leo) representatives in politics.

        To be honest, based on the last 3 years of FG under Leo, and its arrogance towards the public, I shouldn’t expect anything less from you.
        And with unwavering belief, like a good man, you delivered.

        1. Rob_G

          Blah blah blah – Smoky mo has a chip on his shoulder because Kate O’Connell is apparently successful in business. If he/she wants to run their own chain of pharmacies, there is nothing stopping them going to study pharmacy for 7 years and opening their own one.

          Anyone can put themselves forward for election – Lynn Ruane, Joan Burton, Noel Rock didn’t come from wealthy backgrounds, and they were elected. Kate O’Connell ran last time and was elected – well, good for her. She ran this time, and wasn’t – well, that’s politics, baby; it seems like her chain and pharmacies and investment properties didn’t actually help her at all.

  6. Liam Deliverance

    “When there is progress from women there is pushback from some elements within the party usually the younger, Young Fine Gael wing.”

    And you still want to be a member of that party, why? Either find another party that matches your ideologies or raise the issue you have identified with Young FG within the party and address it.

    Or ignore it and let the rot fester and use the media to whinge about your own chosen party.

  7. george

    Fine Gael should close its youth wing. Anyone joining the youth wing of a centre right party is going to be a weirdo and Young FG is infested with them.

    1. Gabby

      Many years ago FG youth were called the Young Tigers and they regarded themselves as hip. Young Vincent Brown was in their ranks. Were the hip females called Young Tigresses?

  8. Whatevers

    What was it Kate shouted across at Mattie McGrath in the Dail again? Oh yeah:

    “We won. We’ll get our way . . . Ye can talk for as long as ye like. . . Ye lost. It must be hurting”

Comments are closed.

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