Seanad Eireann Committee discusses Gender Quotas today


(1) Senators Fiach Mac Conghail, Jillian van Turnhout, Mary Ann O’Brien, Marie-Louise O’Donnell, Martin McAleese, Katherine Zappone  propose this change to the Gender Quota Bill:

delete “30%” & substitute “40%”.

(2) Senators Fiach MacConghail, Jillian van Turnhout, Mary Ann O’Brien, Marie-Louise O’Donnell, Martin McAleese, Katherine Zappone propose :

delete “general election” & substitute  “general election, Seanad Éireann or local elections”.

(3) Senators Averil Power, Thomas Byrne, Mark Daly, Terry Leyden, Marc MacSharry, Paschal Mooney, Darragh O’Brien, Brian Ó Domhnaill, Denis O’Donovan, Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ned O’Sullivan, Jim Walsh, Mary M. White, Diarmuid Wilson propose :

Once number of women elected to Dáil reaches at least 40% of total number of TDs elected in one general election, 
remains at that level following next 2 general elections,

gender related criteria for State funding to political parties shall no longer apply to general elections to Dáil

Dynamic fearless people – by Deirdre O’Halloran

by Deirdre O’HalloranChair Cork branch of The 50:50 Group…

When asked to offer my immediate reaction to last Thursday’s historic Seanad debate on gender quotas, my first thoughts turned to those people who have campaigned tirelessly for this important legislative change.

Many such as Gemma Hussey, Monica Barnes, Mary Henry & Yvonne Galligan have been campaigning for more than 30 years on this issue.

Our own group has campaigned tirelessly on the issue for over 12 months now.

This campaign would not have withstood the test of time without dynamic fearless people, empowered by each other, to lead & manage other like-minded people towards change.

I sat in my seat in the Seanad gallery, peppering with excitement & anticipation, surrounded by fearless women & men, all dedicated to an overall objective of achieving equal representation in Irish political life.

I listened to the members of the Seanad who supported us so strongly & I thought “gosh, the hard work and dedication is paying off”! 

I do not use the word ‘fearless’ lightly.  I see how fear stifles creativity, but last Thursday we saw creativity & strength of character moving together in a progressive manner.

We have “the profound knowledge” (Deming:1950) that is needed to make the move to equality.  I continue to campaign happily.

Join us:
If in or near Cork area, and would like to join The 50:50 Group, please email me at or tweet @foley62 for more information.