Former Irish presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese

I’m all for equality when it comes to women but the Irish government has really got their knickers in a twist with their insistence that 30 per cent of all candidates for the Irish parliament be women.

Along with eliminating eight seats in parliament it is now mandated that the next parliamentary election must be composed 30 per cent of women candidates.

It is the kind of politically correct nonsense that would rightly get short shrift in America if it were proposed here.

I think more women in politics would be a great idea and if one become Prime Minister or president then fair play to her, but if she does so as part of a quota system, then she does not deserve to.

Like it or not, women like Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton inspire because they achieved their political prominence by the dint of their own effort and were not helped along by any quota.

Sure it is hard but life is like that sometimes. It was no picnic for Obama being the first Black man to win the White House either I’m sure, but it was achieved.

Imagine the uproar if Obama had achieved the milestone as part of a quota system? He would rightly be a weakened president.

To receive special treatment is to condemn Irish women for ever to second class status if they happen to be successful.

I’m sure Angle Merkell or Julia Goodard in Australia would much prefer to have achieved power the way they did, the old- fashioned way, rather than have some quota ensure that their seats were completely safe to begin with.

Ireland’s effort to force political equality is bound to fail, but will no doubt be applauded by the liberal media there as some kind of breakthrough.

It is nothing of the sort and merely puts women in the same place they were for generations in Irish politics, as second class citizens who are not allowed to stand on their own two feet.

Among the many bad ideas that have flowed out of Ireland this past half decade this one is among the worst.