4th May 2018/Culture

Believe it or not but at one time, Bord na Móna, in common with most other employers, paid female employees less than their male colleagues despite doing the same work, this was the case from the early days.In fact during the 1940s the company was discouraged from employing female staff by the Catholic Church and the Trade Unions.

However in 1970, on the basis of ‘equal pay for equal work’, the company moved some female clerks on to the male clerical scale and in 1971 the board considered a report on equal pay by the Commission on the Status of Women, a slight move in the right direction. Also after marriage, women were no longer allowed to remain in employment and had to leave, only single women could be employed.

Finally, in 1975 changes in legislation and practice lead to full equality in pay for doing the same work and married women were thereafter free to remain in employment and the organisation could recruit married women - 41 years after we were founded.

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By Tony McKenna

My name is Tony McKenna and I grew up working on the bog, helping to cut our turf every year. I’m from Newbridge, Co. Kildare and joined Bord na Móna in 1973. Part of my career here was spent in our Technical Information Office,but the last decade I’ve been part of the Communications Department. I look after the company’s archive material, mainly technical publications, historical data and old photographs. My hobbies are history, reading, DIY, gardening, running and also supporting Sarsfields GAA club and of course the Kildare GAA team.

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