Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell hits out at “jobs for the boys”

Deputy criticises lack of women at top levels of party

Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell hits out at “jobs for the boys”

Fine Gael's Kate O'Connell at Leinster House | Photo: PA Images

Fine Gael has declined to respond to comments from a new TD about female underrepresentation at the highest levels of the party.

Deputy Kate O’Connell earlier criticised the lack of women in senior government roles, referring to new ministerial appointments as “jobs for the boys”.

Only four of 15 junior ministers in the new Dáil - less than a third - are female.

The new TD Dublin Bay South told The Irish Independent she was "absolutely shocked" by the gender disparity.

She also hit out at Taoiseach Enda Kenny for selecting only two women, former TD Michelle Mulherin and Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell, to fill the eight Fine Gael-appointed Seanad posts.

"We have the highest number of women in the Dáil ever and we have a pitiful representation in there. It's the final nail in the female coffin,” Ms O’Connell told the paper.

"He could have gotten away with appointing eight women. There are plenty of Fine Gael women that are potential candidates for the future or that were candidates in the past," she added.

Fine Gael said it would not comment on the remarks, directing that queries instead be referred to the deputy herself. 

Ms O'Connell was among the party's most vocal councillors before her election in February.

Last year, describing her experience of a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis, she said she was in favour of abortion up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Her position is at odds with the views of the majority of her party colleagues.