Analysis: The government had plenty of warning that a minister could need maternity leave

The lack of a progress since Máire Geoghegan-Quinn gave birth while she was minister of state in 1979 shows why it is so difficult for women to progress in politics

Helen McEntee, the Minister for Justice, will become a minister without portfolio for six months while Heather Humphreys, Hildegarde Naughton and James Browne will share her duties. Picture:

Anyone who tries to push a buggy around our towns and cities will soon come to the conclusion that whoever designed our footpaths never did much hands-on parenting. Hoisting prams over six-inch-high kerbs and dodging lamp posts are among the many obstacles put in any new parent’s way.

Judging by the difficult manoeuvres our government is now engaged in to cater for Minister for Justice Helen McEntee’s pregnancy, it’s clear that it’s not just our ...