The percentage of women in the 32nd Dáil will hit a record high according to the Director of Operations and Campaigns for Women for Election, Suzanne Collins as 35 women were elected in GE16. Speaking about the result, Suzanne Collins said,
“The general election in 2011 saw 25 women elected. They were joined by two additional women, Ruth Coppinger and Helen McEntee following by-elections. Which meant that the outgoing Dáil had a record high of 27 women making up 16% of the TDs.
“Thirty-five women in the 32nd Dáil will mean that 22% or one in five TDs are female.
“The result is even more remarkable given the fact that the Dáil has reduced its seats from 166 to 158 and a number of incumbent female TDs lost their seats including, Fine Gael’s Áine Collins, Gabrielle McFadden and Michelle Mulherin; the Labour Party’s Anne Ferris, Ann Phelan, Kathleen Lynch, Joanna Tuffy and Ciara Conway; and RENUA Ireland’s Lucinda Creighton. Of these nine women, five lost their seats to a male candidate. Two other women, Fine Gael’s Olivia Mitchell and Sinn Féin’s Sandra McLellan opted not to contest the election.
“This election also saw the 100th woman elected to the Dáil, Fine Gael’s Maria Bailey who won a seat in Dun Laoghaire.
“Just over 26% of first preference votes were cast for women with a high in Dún Laoghaire of 61%. In fact, 19 of 40 constituencies gave women over 30% of their first preferences. In GE2011, voters cast 15% of first preference votes for the 15% of female candidates.
“This is an incredible result for women nationally in GE16. The gender quota for selection was successful in getting them on the ticket and the voters were successful in getting them elected.
“Women for Election campaigned urging voters to find the women who best represented their politics, policies, views and values and give them the highest possible preferences. It would seem that the electorate did just that and we have seen the incredible difference it has made. Women for Election trained and mentored many women for this election and we were delighted to see that 40% of those newly elected women have come through our core training programmes.
“There was a huge interest in how women were doing in this campaign. Women for Election acted as a cheer squad for women on-line and our Twitter account had close to half a million impressions over the last month as people engaged with news and updates and results of the election.
“The success of women in this election nationally is only an indication of the potential of the positive change that can still happen. It is interesting that of the 18 newly elected female TDs, 16 of them are sitting councillors and two are Senators. This reinforces Women for Election’s call for a gender quota for selection at local government level. It is essential to create a pipeline into politics and create a pool of strong viable candidates who can successfully contest national elections. One positive knock-on effect of the gender quotas for selection saw a doubling of women running as independents and in smaller groupings. It is likely that this could be replicated at local level.
“GE16 was an important first step in attempting to create a gender balance in Dáil Éireann. It is vital that women who were elected get the support and training they require to flourish because they will act as an encouragement to other women in around the country to step forward or stay in political life. Women for Election are excited about playing our part.”
26% of first preference votes were cast for women (over half a million votes – 533,092)
61% of first preference votes were cast for women in Dún Laoghaire (highest)
100th woman elected to the Éireann (Maria Bailey Dún Laoghaire)
18 of 35 women TDs will represent Dublin constituencies
3 constituencies elected women for the first time:
Louth (Imelda Munster SF)
Kildare South (Fiona O’Loughlin FF)
Cork South West (Margaret Murphy O’Mahony)
Cavan also elected its first woman (Niamh Smyth FF) although two women have represented the constituency of Cavan/Monaghan both Margaret Conlon (FF) and Heather Humphreys are from Monaghan.
List of female members of the 32nd Dáil
Kathleen Funchion Sinn Féin
Heather Humphreys Fine Gael
Niamh Smyth Fianna Fáil
Cork South West
Margaret Murphy O’Mahony Fianna Fáil
Mary Lou McDonald Sinn Féin
Maureen O’Sullivan Independent
Dublin Bay North
Denise Mitchell Sinn Féin
Dublin Bay South
Kate O’Connell Fine Gael
Clare Daly Independents4change
Louise O’Reilly Sinn Féin
Frances Fitzgerald Fine Gael
Dublin South West
Katherine Zappone Independent
Dublin North West
Roisin Shortall Social Democrats
Josepha Madigan Fine Gael
Catherine Martin Green Party
Dublin South Central
Joan Collins Independents4change
Catherine Byrne Fine Gael
Brid Smith AAA-PBP
Joan Burton Labour
Ruth Coppinger AAA-PBP
Mary Mitchell O’Connor Fine Gael
Maria Bailey Fine Gael
Anne Rabbitte Fianna Fáil
Catherine Connolly Independent
Hildegarde Naughton Fine Gael
Catherine Murphy Social Democrats
Fiona O’Loughlin Fianna Fáil
Jan O’Sullivan Labour
Imelda Munster Sinn Féin
Lisa Chambers Fianna Fáil
Helen McEntee Fine Gael
Regina Doherty Fine Gael
Carol Nolan Sinn Féin
Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Fine Gael
Mary Butler Fianna Fáil