Three national organisations call for greater respect and diversity in politics
“Cheap political discourse makes Irish politics and society poorer”
Women for Election, the National Traveller Women’s Forum and the Immigrant Council of Ireland have raised concerns about the coarsening of debate and discourse in Irish politics, in particular the targeting of minority and other vulnerable groups in Ireland.
The organisations spoke out against the use of populist rhetoric to score political points and said that such practices made Irish politics and society poorer.
Brian Killoran, CEO, Immigrant Council of Ireland, said: “When politicians appeal to a small minority of the electorate by targeting specific groups of people, it has real world negative consequences for the day-to-day lives of those people and Irish society as a whole. Politicians from all parties and none need to be aware of the impact their words can have. This kind of politics has no place in Ireland and it is vital political parties take greater action to prevent it.”
The three organisations called for greater respect in Irish political debate and more diversity in Irish politics as a whole, saying that the route to inclusive and respectful politics lies in making sure all voices are represented.
Maria Joyce of the National Traveller Women’s Forum said: “We need to be able to have robust political debate without relying on stereotypes and racist language that cheapen our politics and does little to solve the real issues experienced by these communities and groups across the country. That can only happen if we foster a culture of respect in political discourse and ensure racism and sexism is addressed head on by politicians and political parties by holding their colleagues to account.”
Ciairín de Buis, CEO of Women for Election, said: “The best way to make sure our politics include all voices in Ireland is to have representatives from all walks of life involved in local and national politics. We need more women, in all our diversity, in Irish politics. We saw increasing diversity on the ballot paper in the local elections this year but there’s still a long way to go. Political parties need to be doing more to increase diversity and ensure a better gender balance on the ticket in the run up to elections.”
Note to Editors:
All spokespeople are available for comment.
Women for Election is an independent, not for profit, non-partisan organisation that works to see more women in Irish political life. Our mission is to inspire, equip and support women to succeed in politics.
Ciairín de Buis, CEO, Women for Election 087 1207103
The National Traveller Women’s Forum (NTWF) wants Traveller Women to achieve full equality and have their identity celebrated. NTWF believes in human rights principles of equality, cultural diversity, partnership and freedom from discrimination and persecution. We believe all women have a right to equality, dignity and respect and in this, we recognise the particular and additional oppression of Traveller women.
Maria Joyce, National Traveller Women’s Forum, 086 1933866
The Immigrant Council of Ireland is a human rights organisation and Independent Law Centre. It supports and advocates for the rights of immigrants and their families and acts as a catalyst for public debate, legal and policy change.
Pippa Woolnough, Communications & Advocacy Manager, 085 8640682