New policy to allow women breastfeed in Dáil and Seanad chambers

Catherine Martin insists it is essential Houses are a ‘breastfeeding-friendly workplace’

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin: “The reasons behind a reluctance to breastfeed in our society are rooted in cultural choices across generations”

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin: “The reasons behind a reluctance to breastfeed in our society are rooted in cultural choices across generations”

 

The Oireachtas is to develop a new policy to allow women breastfeed in the Dáil and Seanad chambers.

The matter was raised by Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin, who insisted it was essential the Houses were a “breastfeeding-friendly workplace”.

The matter was discussed at a private meeting of the Dáil committee on procedures last week, and it was agreed such procedures should be developed.

The Ceann Comhairle said he was  willing to make a room available for women if necessary.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl told the meeting he believed there was nothing preventing a woman from breastfeeding in the Dáil or Seanad chamber. He also stressed his willingness to make a room available for women if such a matter arose.

Ms Martin had requested a discussion on this matter be facilitated by the Dáil’s committee on procedures. In a letter to members, she said: “Given the restrictions on non-members entering the Seanad or the Dáil, I believe that the Oireachtas should have a policy in place to assure any woman TD or Senator that she can breastfeed in the chamber.

“The reasons behind a reluctance to breastfeed in our society are rooted in cultural choices across generations.”