Councillor resigns due to family commitments

By Hayden Ó Mórdha

A GREEN Party councillor has called for greater supports for new mothers working in politics following her resignation due to family commitments.

Cllr Clare O’Byrne handed in her official resignation on International Women’s Day, stating a lack of maternity leave as the main reason.

Cllr Clare OByrne Green Party 1

Former councillor Clare O’Byrne

The new mother attended her final meeting in South Dublin County Council on Monday, where she stated how the absence of maternity leave is an obstacle for women in politics.

“Since I took on the role of Councillor in February 2020, I’ve been committed to bringing about positive change in my locality for the benefit of the environment, the community and our children’s future,” the Firhouse-Bohernabreena representative said.

“It’s been both a rewarding and challenging role, which I have enjoyed immensely.

“Unfortunately, with the arrival of my firstborn, I have come to realise the impossibility of balancing my role as a new mother with that of a councillor.

“The unavailability of maternity leave for elected representatives is a serious obstacle that prevents women from running for and remaining in office.

“Things need to change, not only for my daughter or the next generation of women in politics, but this generation.

Cllr O’Byrne was co-opted onto the council in February 2020 to fill in the vacancy left behind by Francis Noel Duffy, after he was elected to the Dáil.

The issue of no maternity leave for elected representatives has garnered prominence recently after Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced she is pregnant.

“I greatly admire both the women and men within my own party and across the political spectrum who have to balance political and family life while being denied their basic right to maternity or paternity leave,” now former Cllr O’Byrne continued.

“I will continue to support my colleagues in the Green Party as we strive for better and healthier lives for our communities and our children.”

Finding a replacement for Cllr O’Byrne is already underway with local Green Party members engaging in a “competitive selection process”.

A Green Party spokesperson told The Echo that the “name of the co-optee shall be presented to the council by mid-April”.

The original Green Party team on South Dublin County Council following the local elections in 2019 consisted of Cllr Francis Noel Duffy, William Priestley, Peter Kavanagh and Liam Sinclair.

At present, none of those originally elected councillors represent the party on the council after the latter two left the party in recent months – they are now independent cllrs.

Meanwhile, Cllr Priestley resigned citing poor pay last August.

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev Caught moving cocaine in specially modified car
Next Vulnerable forced to queue for Covid vaccine with no social distancing guide
  • Light House in Kilnamanagh gets decorated for Easter
  • Scrap yard fire Greenhills Road
  • A Happy St Patrick’s Day from Dublin Fire Brigade
  • Happy St Patrick's Day 2021
  • Food table in Tallaght

Will you watch the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah?

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.