”Deeply misogynistic” – This is how a local Independent Councillor has described a vote taken against another Councillor to bring about her premature silence during a meeting.
At the full monthly meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Council on Tuesday, Cllr Stephanie Quigley was shut down and ’silenced’ via a ’point of order’ which began over a dispute of previous minutes.
This required the Councillor ’not to be heard’ – lasting for the remaining meeting – which fellow Independent Councillor Padraig McShane took umbrage at.
Councillor Padraig McShane described the behaviour of male Councillors towards Stephanie Quigley as ’deeply troubling’.
The Councillor stated; “It’s unreasonable for anyone to have to tolerate that type of behaviour but when it’s a female it doubles down on the sense that political arenas remain strongly misogynistic.
“Robust debate is part and parcel of the chamber and strong articulate women engage with no quarter asked for or given. But when women from certain backgrounds make valid points that are uncomfortable to the ears of some men they are shouted down.
“Causeway Coast and Glens Council does emit a strong prejudice against women. Those who have the fortitude to debate often end up on the receiving end of the most heinous personal insults. Astonishingly one was told she was to busy having a baby to have read the notes of a meeting while another was grilled about her integrity and honest.
“These remarks have all been made at recent meetings and the Mayor has failed to use his standing orders to intervene. The Council presently is a basket case with the organisation limping continuously between crisis and scandal.
“Our staff, who remain under the most severe pressure, are feeling the brunt of the behaviour in the chamber with absentee rates the highest of any Council. The most common theme for absenteeism is stress. I believe the issue is directly impacted by both the behaviour in the chamber, that may be considered bullying, and the extremely volatile situation facing females within the organisation.”