Fianna Fáil councillor calls party’s gender quota policy ‘disgusting’

Catherine Ardagh automatically selected in Dublin South Central over Daithí de Róiste

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: a Dublin councillor has referred to the party’s gender  quota policy as ‘disgusting, degrading and deplorable’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: a Dublin councillor has referred to the party’s gender quota policy as ‘disgusting, degrading and deplorable’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

A Dublin councillor has launched an eviscerating attack on Fianna Fáil’s headquarters over its “disgusting” gender quota policy.

He has said that a diktat that denied him the chance of a Dáil nomination was “disgusting, degrading and deplorable” and likened the approach of the party to that of Sinn Féin.

Daithí de Róiste, a councillor representing Ballyfermot, had put his name forward for the selection convention in the Dublin South Central constituency. He was denied an opportunity after the party’s National Constituency Commission issued an instruction that a sole candidate be selected and it would have to be a woman.

It meant Catherine Ardagh, the other contender, was automatically selected. She was ratified unopposed at the convention last night.

In a hard-hitting speech that excoriated the party, Mr de Róiste said the party had introduced a “one member, one vote” system in 2011 to encourage its membership to select candidates.

‘Disgraceful’

He told delegates that the events that had conspired to remove him from the contest were farcical and disgraceful. He said party headquarters in Mount Street had tried to coerce him to remove his name from the convention and then told him it would issue a diktat if he persisted.

“What has occurred with me in the last number of weeks is scenes more likely to be seen in Sinn Féin,” he said. “This is scurrilous behaviour. I am not looking for preferential treatment. I am only looking for a fair shake.”

He said he had no ill will towards Ms Ardagh and hoped she would retain the seat.

“I do however have huge issue with how this has been carried out. It leaves a very sour taste in all our mouths here in South Central,” he said.

“My candidacy, however unlikely, could have shown young people in my area [Cherry Orchard in Ballyfermot] in a small way that the norm should not be robbing cars or hanging around on street corners. That it doesn’t have to be falling in with the wrong crowd and getting involved in drugs.”