Tánaiste enters row over number of female ministers

The new Tánaiste Joan Burton says she wishes there were more women holding ministerial ranks.

Ms Burton was speaking after several backbenchers lashed out at Fine Gael for not appointing more women.

Disappointed female TDs last night questioned how the party could persuade women to run in the next general election when gender quotas are introduced.

All nine of Fine Gael's junior ministers are male, while two of Labour's six junior ministers are female.

TD Regina Doherty said: "I am miffed as are my female colleagues. We have smart articulate women in the party. We’ll need to find women to run. It’s a missed opportunity."

The Tánaiste says she would like there to be more women in power, but she is happy Labour is doing its bit.

She said: "Would I like to see more? Of course, the answer is always yes.

"But I'm glad that, of the seven women that's in Government at senior level - two now at the Cabinet table and the Attorney General - that in fact the Labour Party has produced far and away the vast majority of those."

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