Dr Michelle Maher, Programme Manager, and Mairead O'Shea, Communications Manager, of See Her Elected, the Government-funded programme seeking to increase female participation in politics. Photo: Ger Rogers.

Moate one of just two areas in Ireland with no female election candidates

Moate is one of only two local electoral areas in Ireland to have no female candidates contesting the upcoming council elections.

Local wags might note that the area fits the acronym Men Only At This Election, as no women are among the eight candidates who have come forward to contest the four Westmeath County Council seats on offer there.

Aside from Moate, Corca Dhuibhne in County Kerry is the only other local electoral area where a woman will not be on the ballot paper on June 7.

See Her Elected, the Government-funded programme to promote female participation in politics, noted that there 677 female local election candidates nationally this year, making up 31% of the total.

This is an increase on the last local elections in 2019, when women made up 28.4% of the overall number of candidates. And it's significantly up on 2009, when just 17.2% of all council candidates were women.

See Her Elected noted that county Roscommon has the lowest number of female candidates this year, at just 16% of the total.

In the Moate electoral area, the four sitting councillors, Tom Farrell (Fine Gael), Vinny McCormack (Fianna Fáil), Liam McDaniel (Fianna Fáil) and Johnnie Penrose (Labour) are all seeking re-election, while Athlone-area councillor Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland) is running in both the Athlone and Moate electoral areas.

Sinn Féin's John Lawlor, Shane Lynam of the Irish Freedom Party, and Michael O'Brien (Independent) are also hoping to win a seat in the Moate area.