Mary Harney is elected leader of the Progressive Democrats and the first woman to lead a mainstream political party in Dáil Éireann.

Chairman of the Progressive Democrats (PDs) parliamentary party John Dardis announced Mary Harney had been voted party leader with a 7-3 victory over Member of the European Parliament Pat Cox. Although disappointed with the result, Pat Cox will assume the role of deputy leader of the PDs.

At a Progressive Democrats conference, Mary Harney promised to bring stamina and toughness to her role as the new leader of the Progressive Democrats and she wanted to bring new hope to the thousands alienated from politics.

Mary Harney believes she won the leadership contest because she spoke to each deputy individually.

I outlined my approach and my philosophy and I think that I convinced them that I was the right person or the job on this occasion, bringing all the factors into account.

While Mary Harney acknowledges the historic nature of becoming the first woman to lead a party in the Dáil she did not seek election on the basis of gender.

She hopes all women will take courage from her election and believes as a woman she has particular qualities to bring to the role.

Women and men are equal but different, I suppose I am a very passionate politician, I believe strongly in certain things and I express my point of view very forcefully.

When Mary Harney entered the Dáil An Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and the opposition leader John Bruton both paid tribute to the new leader.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 October 1993. The reporter is Una Claffey.