Frances Fitzgerald (politician)

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Frances Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald 2014.png
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by Joan Burton
Minister for Justice and Equality
Assumed office
8 May 2014
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by Alan Shatter
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
In office
9 March 2011 – 7 May 2014
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Charles Flanagan
Leader of the Opposition in the Seanad
In office
30 July 2007 – 25 February 2011
Leader Enda Kenny
Preceded by Michael Finucane
Succeeded by Darragh O'Brien
Leader of Fine Gael in the Seanad
In office
30 July 2007 – 25 February 2011
Leader Enda Kenny
Preceded by Michael Finucane
Succeeded by Maurice Cummins
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2011
Constituency Dublin Mid-West
In office
November 1992 – June 2002
Constituency Dublin South-East
In office
24 July 2007 – 25 February 2011
Constituency Labour Panel
Personal details
Born (1950-08-01) 1 August 1950 (age 66)
Croom, Limerick, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael
Spouse(s) Michael Fitzgerald
Children 3
Alma mater

Frances Fitzgerald (born 1 August 1950) is an Irish Fine Gael politician who serves as the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality in the Government of Ireland. She has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Mid-West constituency since February 2011. She was a member of Seanad Éireann on the Labour Panel from 2007 to 2011, and was previously a TD for the Dublin South-East constituency from 1992 to 2002.[1] She is the second Fine Gael TD to hold the position of Tánaiste, after Peter Barry (1987).

Early and personal life[edit]

Born Frances Ryan in Croom, County Limerick, she was educated at the Holy Family Secondary School Newbridge, the Dominican College Sion Hill, University College Dublin and the London School of Economics.[2] She is a former social worker.

She is married to psychiatrist Michael Fitzgerald and has three sons.[3][4]


Fitzgerald was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1992 general election and retained her seat at the 1997 general election. She lost her seat at the 2002 general election. She then stood for election to the 22nd Seanad on the Administrative Panel, but was unsuccessful.

At the 1999 local elections, she was elected as a Dublin City Councillor for Rathmines, she sought to contest the 2004 local elections.[5] for the Rathmines ward but was not selected[6] at the convention, losing out to Edie Wynne and Brian Gillen. She was not subsequently added to the ticket.

Before being elected a TD, she had been a high-profile Chair of the Council for the Status of Women from 1988 to 1992.

She was the Fine Gael candidate at the 2007 general election for the Dublin Mid-West constituency, but was not elected.[7] She was elected to the Seanad in July 2007. On 12 September 2007, she was appointed leader of the Fine Gael group in Seanad Éireann, and was also Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Health and Children, and a member of the Fine Gael Front Bench.

She was elected as a Fine Gael TD for the Dublin Mid-West constituency at the 2011 and 2016 general elections.[5] On 9 March 2011, she was appointed as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. In the role she spoke out forcefully against the Catholic Church's role in covering up child abuse.[8]

On 8 May 2014, Fitzgerald succeeded Alan Shatter as Minister for Justice and Equality.[9][10]

Fitzgerald has spoken out in support of young families, and believes the government should take a more proactive role in helping parents and children. "I feel so strongly about the State taking a more proactive role around childcare, paternity leave and parental leave," she noted. "I do want to see us getting to the place where the State is more supportive when it comes to childcare. We have been slow enough on that."[11]

In early 2016 when gangland activity became an issue in Dublin, Fitzgerald committed that there would be a permanent armed response unit in Dublin.[12]

On 6 May 2016, Fitzgerald was reappointed the Minister for Justice and Equality. She was also promoted to the position of Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.[13][14]


  1. ^ "Ms. Frances Fitzgerald". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Lunch with... Frances Fitzgerald". Irish Independent. 1 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Profile: Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald". Irish Times. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Frances Fitzgerald: From social worker to Justice Minister". The Journal. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Frances Fitzgerald". Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Irish Times. Irish Times  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "General Election 2007 – Dublin Mid–West". Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  8. ^ Ireland Confronts the Vatican The New York Times, 14 July 2011
  9. ^ "Frances Fitzgerald named as new Minister for Justice". Irish Independent. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Frances Fitzgerald to replace Shatter as Minister for Justice". RTÉ News. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Frances Fitzgerald: Miscarriage is the last big taboo in Ireland The Examiner, 3 January 2016
  12. ^ 'Saturation policing' – Frances Fitzgerald to set up new, permanent armed response unit in wake of gangland murders The Independent, 9 February 2016
  13. ^ "New Irish government ministers appointed to Cabinet". BBC News. BBC. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  14. ^ "Frances Fitzgerald is Tánaiste in new Cabinet". RTÉ News. RTÉ. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gerard Brady
Joe Doyle
Garret FitzGerald
Ruairi Quinn
Teachta Dála for Dublin South-East
With: Michael McDowell 1992–97
Eoin Ryan, Jnr 1992–2007
Ruairi Quinn 1982–2016
John Gormley 1997–2011
Succeeded by
John Gormley
Michael McDowell
Eoin Ryan, Jnr
Ruairi Quinn
Preceded by
John Curran
Paul Gogarty
Mary Harney
Teachta Dála for Dublin Mid-West
With: Robert Dowds 2011–16
Derek Keating 2011–16
Joanna Tuffy 2011–16
John Curran from 2016
Gino Kenny from 2016
Eoin Ó Broin from 2016
Political offices
New office Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
Succeeded by
Charles Flanagan
Preceded by
Alan Shatter
Minister for Justice and Equality
Preceded by
Joan Burton
Party political offices
Preceded by
James Reilly
Deputy Leader of Fine Gael