Golf society dinner: Why we must dismantle the boys’ club

Like-minded, powerful elites reinforce the systems that keep women at arm’s length in public life

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has instructed the Government to suggest a man and a woman as candidates to replace former commissioner Phil Hogan. Photograph: Francois Walschaerts/EPA

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has instructed the Government to suggest a man and a woman as candidates to replace former commissioner Phil Hogan. Photograph: Francois Walschaerts/EPA

In all the commentary on the Oireachtas Golf Society (OGS) – or as I prefer to think of it, the Oh For God’s Sake (OFGS) dinner – it’s surprising that there was so little focus on the most visibly dysfunctional thing of all. How few women were there.

Former Fine Gael senator turned consultant Imelda Henry was one of a handful of about six so far reported to have been in attendance. So was former Fianna Fáil minister of state with responsibility for older people Áine Brady. She went with her husband, Gerry, “a former Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare and a local auctioneer”, according to reports.

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