Mary Lou McDonald hits out at Micheál Martin for "mansplaining" during heated debate 2 months ago

Mary Lou McDonald hits out at Micheál Martin for "mansplaining" during heated debate

"Can I thank you, Taoiseach, for mansplaining the importance of a public policy to a mere woman like myself, you're very good."

Mary Lou McDonald has hit out at Micheál Martin for "mansplaining" during a heated debate in the Dáil on Wednesday.

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McDonald was questioning the Taoiseach after Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said he cannot "absolutely" rule out electricity blackouts in Ireland this winter.

She said that Ryan's attempts to reassure the public had "fell flat" and called for a moratorium on the development of new data centres to be put in place until an assessment takes place.

"Taoiseach, when a Government is elected, there is a basic expectation that they get the basics right, so putting roofs over peoples heads, ensuring access to healthcare, and of course, keeping the lights on," she said.

"It is now apparent that your Government fails, even on these most basic of tasks of any Government.

"I've heard from your responses this morning that you clearly don't appreciate just how anxious people are in regard to rocketing energy costs and the threat of power cuts this winter and I find it extraordinary that you are prepared to leave households in the dark so that you can roll out the red carpet for data centres and yet this is your proposed course of action."

Martin replied: "In fairness to Deputy Kelly, he understands the seriousness of an issue to raise it during Leader's Questions.

"You didn't think it was that serious to raise it during Leader's Questions. That's the reality, that is the reality, Deputy."

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McDonald responded by thanking the Taoiseach for "mansplaining" the policy to a "mere woman".

"Can I thank you, Taoiseach, for mansplaining the importance of a public policy to a mere woman like myself, you're very good Micheál, Go raibh míle maith agat," she said.

The Taoiseach added that the upcoming Budget would be an opportunity to access the costs of energy.

"I'm really concentrating to understand your answer, I hope I am, I'm really trying," McDonald responded.

Martin replied that there was "no doubt" about the Government's commitment to helping prevent blackouts.

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"It's not the issue of rolling out the red carpet to anybody, that's just classic political sloganeering," he said.

"Oh, is it not? Well, political insults seem to be your preferred mode," McDonald concluded.