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"Washer woman" Councillor forced to withdraw from Committee Meeting

3 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Armagh City and District Council Group Leader Councillor Cathy Rafferty has confirmed that her colleague Cllr Mary Doyle removed herself from a Council Executive Committee meeting this morning after being subject to a tirade of abuse and bullying from a male SDLP Councillor, during which she was accused of acting like "a Washer Woman".

Councillor Rafferty said

"My colleague Mary Doyle had been left extremely frightened and shook by the aggressive verbal attack on her.

"This is totally unacceptable. Abuse of women whether it is physical, emotional or verbal should not be condoned or defended.

"My colleague was subject to this abuse because she dared question as to the cost to the Council and the ratepayers of a project that the Committee were discussing.

"Bullying and verbal abuse is not acceptable behaviour, and I await a response from the SDLP leadership on this matter to ensure that our Council is not seen to be condoning such despicable behaviour".

Councillor Rafferty also confirmed that she would be lodging a formal complaint to the council on this matter.


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