Wanted: More female election candidates in 2024

Political parties in Roscommon are actively trying to recruit more female candidates for next year’s local elections as the drive to achieve greater gender balance in politics intensifies.

Roscommon Women’s Network (RWN) hosted an event in the county town last Thursday night on the topic of ‘Promoting Women’s Participation in Politics’. Speaking in Gleeson’s, Rita Kearney of RWN said that women – “particularly those from minority backgrounds” – are vastly underrepresented in county councils.

She added: “This imbalance in local politics leads to deficits in planning and decision-making…there was a consensus at the meeting that by bringing more balance to representation – in this case by having more women involved in local politics – Ireland will be a better place”.

Just four of the 18 county councillors in Roscommon are women – Valerie Byrne, Emer Kelly, Orla Leyden and Kathleen Shanagher. At Oireachtas level, Roscommon’s representation includes Deputy Claire Kerrane and Senator Aisling Dolan.

The Roscommon People understands that Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin in Roscommon are all anxious to run more women candidates in the 2024 local elections. See more on page 32.