TUAM Cllr Karey McHugh says part-time political life is challenging. Photo: Ray Ryan

Taking a seat, giving a voice

Six female politicians discuss their lives in politics

WOMEN in the West have a record of achieving firsts when it comes to politics. Galway West TD Catherine Connolly became the first woman Leas-Cheann Comhairle in the Dáil in 2020 and since last December Lisa Chambers, Fianna Fail Senator in Mayo, is the first woman to serve as Leader of the Seanad.

At the age of 22, Sally Anne Flanagan became the first female Mayor of Tuam in 2006, having been elected as a town councillor in 2004. Last year, Independent Cllr Evelyn Parsons became the first female Cathaoirleach of Ballinasloe MDC. In the 2014 local elections, Tuam’s Karey McHugh was the youngest and only female Independent councillor elected to Galway County Council that year.

Many voters in next year’s local elections might not even know of Eileen Costello. Eileen, although not originally from Tuam, moved to the town when she married doctor Thomas Bodkin Costello.

She has been described as Tuam’s ‘first lady’ and was the first woman district councillor in North Galway when she was elected for Sinn Féin in the 1920 local elections. In 1922, she was one of only four female senators elected when the Irish Free State was formed.

In the last European elections, Headford and Shrule woman Maria Walsh was elected as Ireland’s youngest MEP…

For more interviews and photos, check out this week’s Tuam Herald or log onto our digital edition HERE