Any com­plaints of sex­ual ha­rass­ment within the rul­ing party? Fine Gael won’t say...

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS -

FINE GAEL has re­fused to re­veal how many com­plaints of sex­ual ha­rass­ment have been made within the party even though Leo Varad­kar claimed Le­in­ster House was a ‘safe place’ for women to work ear­lier this week.

And the Depart­ment of Health has ad­mit­ted it doesn’t even keep records of sex­ual ha­rass­ment or bul­ly­ing claims.

On Wed­nes­day, the Taoiseach said of the Oireach­tas: ‘From my ex­pe­ri­ence, it is a safe place for women to go about their daily lives.’

Af­ter re­quests from this news­pa­per, Fine Gael would not say how many com­plaints of sex­ual ha­rass­ment had been made in­ter­nally.

Oireach­tas of­fi­cials were also re­luc­tant to come for­ward with fig­ures, say­ing they would have to be ob­tained via Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion. The Ir­ish Mail on Sun­day asked all de­part­ments and the main po­lit­i­cal par­ties how many com­plaints of ha­rass­ment had been made in the past ten years and their poli­cies for deal­ing with such com­plaints.

A spokesman for the Depart­ment of Health said it ‘does not keep spe­cific records’ to com­plaints cov­ered in the civil ser­vice sex­ual ha­rass­ment pol­icy, Dig­nity At Work. Eigh­teen com­plaints were made over the pe­riod across the ten de­part­ments that re­sponded fully to our sur­vey, in­clud­ing seven each at So­cial Pro­tec­tion and Trans­port. The Taoiseach’s depart­ment had had zero com­plaints. The De­part­ments of Busi­ness and of Agri­cul­ture did not an­swer the ques­tion on num­bers though they for­warded their poli­cies. Two de­part­ments, Ed­u­ca­tion and For­eign Af­fairs, did not re­spond at all.

Fianna Fáil, the So­cial Democrats and Peo­ple Be­fore Profit said they’d had no com­plaints. Nei­ther Sinn Féin nor Labour re­sponded to the MoS’s re­quests.

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