The Oireachtas is to establish a taskforce to confront the abuse and harrassment being experienced by female members in a proposal first mooted by the campaign group Women For Election.

The Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has written to party leaders to say it will be established in "the very near future".

He said it will comprise five members of the Dáil which he nominates, five members of the Seanad nominated by Cathaoirleach Senator Jerry Buttimer and one member to be nominated by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The Ceann Comhairle said the terms of reference will be agreed "shortly" and the taskforce will be asked to submit its report by 31 December 2023.

Mr Ó Fearghaíl recently hosted a meeting of female members of the Dáil at which he said there was "a strong determination" to deal with the abuse and hassassment - both online and in-person.

He said a similar meeting was convened by the Seanad and the members of both houses "spoke candidly and courageously about what they and their families are experiencing and its impact on their lives."

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