herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Marian's plea for more men at RTE

Marian Finucane has revealed she tackled RTE management about the lack of men working at the station.

The veteran presenter said the gender balance appears to have at times tipped too far in favour of women.

"I know that when I first came into RTE there was one female current affairs producer, and there had been one female on air in current affairs," she said.

"I have actually gone to management here at times and said, 'We are going to have to change the balance here because we need more fellas'.

"It got to the stage that it was nearly universally women who were producers. I know there aren't that many still on air, but certainly in the background in production."

Speaking on her radio programme, she said she believed it was the policy within RTE to "give weight to a balanced group of people within the place".

She added: "I did go to the authorities here and say we need more fellas.

"That was a few years ago, and look outside now, not a woman in sight today on the other side of the glass."

cronyism

Finucane made her remarks as a panel discussed the cronyism controversy that erupted in Fine Gael last week after women candidates were overlooked for the Seanad by-election nomination.

The panel included potential candidate Samantha Long, who quit Fine Gael last Thursday, claiming the party's decision was a "regressive step", particularly for women.

Speaking on the show, Ms Long said that although she had run in the local elections in the Rathgar-Rathmines ward, she was not elected, which she accepted was democracy.

However, she was then telephoned by the Fine Gael constituency office on June 18 and told she had been put forward as a name that was mooted for selection for the Seanad seat vacated by Deirdre Clune.

"I was asked to write a letter indicating why I may be a suitable cand idate, which I did," she said.

After that, nothing happened, and Ms Long subsequently learned that the Taoiseach's chosen candidate was going to be John McNulty.

"So it was a very closed process that I didn't understand," she said.

fdillon@herald.ie

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