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Shocking stats Vast majority of female politicians do not feel safe walking home after dark, survey finds

Some 15 per cent have been attacked, while 45 per cent have been followed while walking alone after dark

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Sinn Fein TD Louise O’Reilly (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Fein TD Louise O’Reilly (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Fein TD Louise O’Reilly (Niall Carson/PA)

Female politicians have come forward to reveal the shocking encounters they have experienced while walking on the street. 

It comes on the back of a shocking new survey that has revealed how nearly one in every two female TDs and senators say they have been followed while walking alone after dark.

Of the total of 33 out of 49 female representatives in the Oireachtas who responded to the Newstalk survey, 82 per cent have received unwanted attention from a stranger.

A vast majority of those questioned, 73 per cent, do not feel safe walking alone after dark, while 67 per cent have been verbally harassed.

Some 15 per cent have been attacked, while 45 per cent have been followed while walking alone after dark.

Some TDs and senators told Newstalk Breakfast they’re even too afraid to cycle or use public transport when going to or from Leinster House.

Although the survey was carried out anonymously, some politicians shared their own experiences with the show.

Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly told of one disturbing encounter while attending a dentist appointment.

She recalled: “I was walking back to my car, and there was a man walking behind me. He started shouting at me and made to grab at me. I kept walking and didn’t look back.

“I was then joined on the same street by another woman - he started doing the same thing to her. The two of us walked together.

“I got to my car… I saw the frightened look in her eye. I said ‘where are you going?... I’ll give you a lift’. We both put our masks on, rolled down the windows, and I drove her home.”

“It's frightening how common an occurrence it is,” Deputy O’Reilly added, “but it's something that happens all too often.”

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Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore, told how she had been verbally and physically harassed when she was younger.

“I was groped on a street,” she said. “I would have always thought that I would have fought back or said something and actually I didn't. I was just in pure shock. I froze.

“It was quite shocking. When you’re out with your friends or out late at night, you would have men shouting - particularly if they’ve been drinking - in a way you just don’t want. It can be intimidating.”

The results of a previous survey by Newstalk Breakfast revealed how nearly nine out of ten women feel uncomfortable walking home after dark.

A total of 13 per cent of women said they had been attacked after dark and 60 per cent said they had been verbally harassed.

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