Inquiry into allegations of sexism at Leinster House urged

Oireachtas Women’s Caucus writes to Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghaíl over issue

 Green Party TD Catherine Martin: ‘No workplace is free from stress or occasional conflict.’  Photograph: Alan Betson

Green Party TD Catherine Martin: ‘No workplace is free from stress or occasional conflict.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The Ceann Comhairle has been urged investigate whether there is a culture of sexual harassment at Leinster House.

The Oireachtas Women’s Caucus has written to Sean Ó Fearghaíl to ask him to conduct a survey, to include harassment, bullying, sexism, and sexual harassment, should be carried out.

Chair of the caucus Catherine Martin said a similar survey was carried out in Westminster and it revealed that one in five workers in the Houses of Parliament had experienced sexual harassment.

Ms Martin, the deputy leader of the Green Party, said: “No workplace is free from stress or occasional conflict, but this survey will reveal if there is a culture of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment in Leinster House, and if there is, we must put in place robust measures to address this issue.

“For this survey to have weight it would need input from independent experts in this field, and we would hope that any such survey would be carried out as soon as is practicable.”

The request follows allegations of bullying and sexism by Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone against a colleague.

Ms Noone told a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting she had been subjected to harassment by a male member of the party.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed an investigation has begun and is due to be completed by the end of the week.