Fine Gael adds four women to general election ticket

Additions will ensure party complies with gender quota regulations for candidates

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny’s party has moved to comply with gender rules. Photograph: The Irish Times

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny’s party has moved to comply with gender rules. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Fine Gael has agreed to add four female candidates to its general election ticket to ensure it meets gender quotas.

Ennis-based councillor Mary Howard is to be added in Clare, where she will stand alongside sitting Fine Gael TDs Joe Carey and Pat Breen.

Senators Martin Conway and Tony Mulcahy will both lose out due to the addition of Ms Howard.

In Wexford, Wexford town-based Julie Hogan will be added to the ticket with Senator Michael D’Arcy and Government chief whip Paul Kehoe.

The party’s executive council also agreed to add two more female candidates in Cork North Central and Donegal.

However it is understood these candidates have not yet been chosen.

The addition in Cork North Central may damage the chances of Senator Colm Burke to be added to the ticket.

Fine Gael already has Minister of State Dara Murphy running in the constituency.

Local elections

Lynsey Clarke

In Donegal, Minister of State Joe McHugh is the sole candidate at present due to the retirement of Dinny McGinley.

Grace Boyle, who ran in the local elections, is believed to be the only name being considered by the party there.

The additions will ensure that Fine Gael complies with the gender quota rules which stipulate that 30 per cent of a party’s candidates must be female.

The move was necessary due to the High Court case taken by Fine Gael TD John Perry.

Mr Perry won a High Court challenge against the party over an October selection convention at which he failed to secure a place on the constituency ticket.

Verdict

Sligo councillor Michael Fleming has now called for the resignation of former Fine Gael candidate William Geraghty from the party’s national executive due to the result of the case.

Mr Fleming has written to the executive and Mr Geraghty insisting he must be removed from his position.

The councillor said the High Court case “highlighted the chaotic running of the convention and the catalogue of irregularities that was a total embarrassment to Fine Gael supporters”.

The case is expected to cost Fine Gael up to €500,000.

Meanwhile, former Fine Gael senior adviser Frank Flannery has insisted that Fine Gael should not go into government with Sinn Féin.

Mr Flannery said he had been listening “with interest” to Fianna Fáil who seem to have “taken a surprising view that they want to sit this one out”.

He said Fianna Fáil would not want to go into government with Fine Gael unless it was the biggest party and “that’s not likely”.

Speaking on RTÉ radio, Mr Flannery said he was “not sure” about Renua.

“Their latest economic policy is a very strange concoction, so I’m not sure what Fine Gael could do with that,” he said.