West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

DUP Council Chair man retract offensive 'anti-woman' remar

Published: 5 October, 2012

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Michaela Boyle has described remarks by the DUP Chair of Strabane District Council Thomas Kerrigan in which he stated that "God made man and he made woman as a helper' as not only grossly offensive but totally inappropriate given his position as first citizen of the District with a responsibility to represent all its people equally.

The DUP man made the controversial remarks in this week's edition of the Strabane Chronicle when outlining why he would be opposing a Sinn Féin sponsored motion seeking that the local council supports the same rights and entitlements to civil marriage for all citizens regardless of race, religion or sexuality. The motion is to be debated in the Council Chamber this coming Monday (8 October).

In response to his remarks Michaela Boyle said, "Since the publication of this remark yesterday, I have been contacted by a large number of people absolutely incensed that the DUP Chair of Strabane District Council felt fit to make such a grossly offensive remark which clearly infers that women are somehow inferior to men. "His regressive remark is particularly alarming given his position as Chair of Strabane District Council with not only a statutory duty to uphold gender equality law, but also because of his responsibility to represent all the citizens of the District equally.

"According to the recently published census figures there are 20,016 female residents in Strabane District. So through his comments Thomas has effectively designated over half the population of the District as 'helpers'. This cannot be left unchallenged.

"I would call therefore upon the DUP Chair to immediately retract this remark immediately."