Catherine Martin addressed the House of Commons

A local TD has made history as the first female TD to speak in the House of Commons.

Green Party TD for Dublin-Rathdown Catherine Martin addressed the House of Commons chamber in her role as Chair of the Oireachtas Parliamentary Women’s Caucus.

The speech was part of the Women MPs of the World event, which commemorated the centenary of Women’s Suffrage in the UK and was attended by over 100 MPs from 104 countries across
the world.

In her speech, Deputy Martin referenced Constance Markievicz, the first woman elected to the House of Commons and applauded those who fought for women’s suffrage internationally.

She also called for action now to support one another in reaching the goal of true gender equality.

Deputy Martin is one of a few TDs who speak in Irish regularly in the Dail and took the opportunity to speak a few words ‘as Gaeilge’ in the House of Commons.

Speaking in the Chamber, Deputy Martin said: “Across the world, our right to vote was hardfought for and hard-won. As women, we were not granted the right to vote – rather, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers demanded our right to vote.

“Whenever or wherever we gather as women in politics… we must aim to encourage all women of every age and background – to aspire to step forward, to represent and to lead.

“And it is crucial too that we salute those women who today in 2018 are still persecuted and who remain unfree, and we say to them that you are not alone, and we pledge to work together to free all from discrimination, humiliation and persecution.”

Speaking on the experience, Deputy Martin told Dublin Gazette: “It was an honour and a privilege in this the centenary of women’s suffrage, to be the first Irish female TD to speak in the House of Commons. “I am also proud to be the first Irish woman to speak in Irish in the House of Commons.”