Over 90 female politicians gather ahead of suffrage centenary

Ceann Comhairle calls for increased participation of women in politics

Current and former female Oireachtas members gathered on Tuesday. Photograph: Helen McEntee/Twitter

Current and former female Oireachtas members gathered on Tuesday. Photograph: Helen McEntee/Twitter

 

More than 90 current and former female members of the Oireachtas gathered in the Dáil chamber on Tuesday to celebrate the centenary of women voting and standing for election for the first time.

The Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, called for increased female participation in politics ahead of the anniversary on December 14th.

Present in the Dáil chamber for a group picture were former president Mary Robinson, former tánaiste Mary Coughlan, retired Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness and former minister Mary Hanafin.

Current TDs included Frances Fitzgerald, Helen McEntee, Kate O’Connell, Hildegarde Naughten and Maria Bailey.

Addressing the chamber, Mr Ó Fearghaíl said improvement was needed to increase the number of women participating in politics.

“It is 10 years since the last photograph was taken and certainly the situation for our female membership of the Oireachtas has improved.

“It has to improve a lot more. But hopefully the work done during Vótáil 100 will help to encourage more women across the country to become actively involved in politics whether through parties or whether as Independents. Because at the end of the day every one of us here knows that there is no better way to serve this country and the people we care about then by going forward, getting elected and making a difference.

“That is what you have all done and what more and women will do into the future.”

1918 was the first time Irish women were permitted by law to stand and vote in parliamentary elections.

December 14th, 1918 marked the first general election to be held after the Representation of the People Act giving women over the age of 30 the vote.