A seminar to promote the need for more women in politics in the North West will take place this month with former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, Senator Eileen Flynn and Dr Edel McSharry among some of the guest speakers.

Women from Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal are invited to attend the free event on Friday, February 24th in the Central Hotel, Donegal Town.

The event is being organised by 50/50 North West and See Her Elected, a programme run by Longford Women’s Link which supports women in rural Ireland to become County Councillors and prepare for Local Elections 2024.

The seminar entitled ‘What Can You Do to See Her Elected for Local Elections 2024’ will run from 10.30am to 1.30pm in the Central Hotel, Donegal Town on Friday, February 24th. Entry is free but you must register in advance by emailing info@seeherelected.ie

Attendees will hear from a panel discussion with, Councillors Finola Armstrong McGuire (FG, Leitrim), Marie-Therese Gallagher (SF, Donegal) and Niamh Kennedy (Ind, Donegal).

Former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan who has held numerous senior cabinet positions will be one of the guest speakers on the day while Dr Edel McSharry, a former Director of Elections will share her knowledge on campaign management. Senator Eileen Flynn made history when she became the first Traveller to serve in the Oireachtas- she has been an activist and community worker for a decade and she will share her unique insights. Dr Jacqueline O’Toole, Senior Lecturer, Office of Academic Affairs, Atlantic Technological University, Sligo will provide the closing summary.

Nóirín Clancy of 50/50 North West is calling on women from counties Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal to attend the seminar. “Women – and particularly those from minority backgrounds – are vastly underrepresented in county councillors in Ireland.  After the 2019 local elections, women hold just 26% of council seats and the figures are particularly stark in rural Ireland. For example, there are only 4 female councillors out of 37 in a large county like Donegal while Leitrim and Sligo both have just 3 women out of 18 councillors and we want to see those numbers increase for the Local Elections 2024,” said Nóirín.

Dr Michelle Maher, Programme Manager for See Her Elected explained: “This event is for women in the region who are thinking of running in the 2024 local elections to Donegal Leitrim or Sligo County Councils. It is also for women who know they don’t want to be candidates but would like to find out what they can do to help more women in their area get elected.”

There will be plenty of opportunities for questions and conversations to answer the main question of the day: What can you do to See Her Elected in 2024?

50/50 North West invites attendees join them at 1:30pm for a light lunch. Anyone interested in attending the seminar in the Central Hotel, Donegal Town on Friday, February 24th from 10.30am to 1.30pm is asked to register their interest by emailing info@seeherelected.ie