An Independent candidate in the local elections is aiming to balance the scales in favour of women if she is elected.
Pat Cooper says she was spurred on by the male dominated field.
“It is the absence of ‘women candidates’ from both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, in the electoral area of Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick, that finally pushed me, to put myself forward as an Independent candidate in the 2014 local elections,” she said in a statement.
“We need more women involved in the decision-making processes at all levels within the State and beyond, and the fact that neither FF nor FG are running any female candidates in the Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick area is, to my mind, a negation of the commitment to gender balance in representative politics.
“You might argue there is nothing wrong with our current male representatives and I say, ‘You may be right, but you have to ask the question, “Why are there so few women involved in public life in the 21st century? It’s hardly credible that we have the best representatives when half the population are not at the table,” she said.
Ms Cooper said she is involved with the Coolrain turf cutters and has spent the last year trying to negotiate a relocation plan to Monaincha Bog with the NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife).
“However, my interest and involvement in the life of my community and the broader political world is about much more than turf cutting. I have a Masters in Political science and my primary degree is in Economics and Politics and I know that ‘the role of political representation’ is being corrupted by political parties,” she said.
She said people must send a message that they are not happy with the behaviour of political parties or “accept half-truths and broken promises”.
“I give the people, of the Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick another choice – a non-party, woman who is capable of reasoned debate,” she said.