Updated: 21/09/15 : 06:09:53
As the current Dáil enters its last autumn session before the General Election, Women for Election have produced a league table of counties who have the best record of electing women.
According to the Director of Operations and Campaigns, Suzanne Collins, when Dublin and Cork with their multiple constituencies are excluded, Sligo is close to the bottom of the league table for electing women over the past 97 years.
“A total of 1,242 TDs have been elected since 1918 and only 95 of them have been women. While Sligo as part of the Sligo-Leitrim constituency has elected a total of two women in that time, only one, Marian Harkin has hailed from Sligo itself.
“Of the other counties around the country, the average number of women elected in each since 1918 is two.
“While the number of women elected since 1918 has been shockingly low – so have the number of women running. In many cases, the electorate will have had little or no choice on the ballot paper. This time, we are already at unprecedented numbers of female candidates. "At 98 candidates the number of women currently running exceeds the number who have ever been elected to Dáil Éireann and make up over 30% of the currently declared candidates. "Currently two out of nine declared candidates in the new constituency of Sligo-Leitrim are female and both Maire Casserly (Independent) and Susan O’Keeffe (Labour) are from Sligo.
“As we enter the last autumn session of the 31st Dáil, it is worth considering the huge potential that there is for it to be the last Dáil with so few women. With the support of electorate for female candidates, the 32nd Dáil could change the face of Irish politics and truly make history.”