Joan Burton

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Joan Burton
TD
Joan Burton July 2014 (cropped).jpg
Tánaiste
In office
4 July 2014 – 6 May 2016
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by Eamon Gilmore
Succeeded by Frances Fitzgerald
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
4 July 2014 – 20 May 2016
Deputy Alan Kelly
Preceded by Eamon Gilmore
Succeeded by Brendan Howlin
Minister for Social Protection
In office
9 March 2011 – 6 May 2016
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by Éamon Ó Cuív
Succeeded by Leo Varadkar
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
4 October 2007 – 4 July 2014
Leader Eamon Gilmore
Preceded by Liz McManus
Succeeded by Alan Kelly
Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Human Rights
In office
20 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
Taoiseach John Bruton
Preceded by Tom Kitt
Succeeded by Liz O'Donnell
Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare
In office
14 January 1993 – 15 December 1994
Taoiseach Albert Reynolds
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
May 2002
In office
November 1992 – June 1997
Constituency Dublin West
Personal details
Born (1949-02-01) 1 February 1949 (age 67)
Stoneybatter, Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Pat Carroll
Children 1
Alma mater University College Dublin
Website Official website

Joan Burton (born 1 February 1949) is an Irish politician who was leader of the Labour Party from 2014 to 2016. She is a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin West constituency.[1]

Burton was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1992 general election. From 1995 to 1997, she was Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs. She lost her seat at the 1997 general election but was re-elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2002 general election.[2] She was deputy leader of the Labour Party under Eamon Gilmore between 2007 and 2014. She was Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) from 2014 to 2016 and Minister for Social Protection from 2011 to 2016. She resigned as Labour Party leader in May 2016, following heavy losses by the party in the 2016 general election.[3]

Early life[edit]

Burton is a native of the Stoneybatter area of Dublin. She was adopted by the Burtons as a baby and brought up in Inchicore. Her adoptive father worked in the local iron foundry. She was educated at St. Gabriel's NS, Cowper Street and St. Joseph Sisters of Charity Secondary School, Stanhope Street and University College Dublin (UCD), where she graduated with a degree in commerce. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. She has worked as a lecturer in Accountancy in the Dublin Institute of Technology and the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Early years: 1989–1997[edit]

Burton first stood for election at the 1989 general election, when she stood as one of two Labour candidates in the Dublin Central constituency, failing to get elected.[4] At the local elections in 1991, she was elected to Dublin County Council for the Mulhuddart electoral area.[4]

Burton was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1992 general election, representing Dublin West in the 27th Dáil.[4] She was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare in the Fianna FáilLabour Party coalition that was formed after that election[citation needed]. With the breakdown of that coalition and establishment of a Rainbow Coalition between the Labour Party, Fine Gael and Democratic Left in early 1995, she became Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, a position she held until the coalition's defeat at 1997 general election.[4]

Loss of seat and re-election: 1997–2007[edit]

Burton lost her seat at the 1997 general election to Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party. Joan was re-elected to Fingal County Council in the 1999 local elections, on this occasion winning a seat in the Castleknock electoral area[citation needed]. She was re-elected to the Dáil for Dublin West at the 2002 general election.[4] She was then appointed the spokesperson on Finance. She was a candidate for the deputy leadership of the party in 2002, obtaining 24% of the first preference vote[citation needed], but was unsuccessful.

Labour Deputy Leadership: 2007–2014[edit]

Burton became deputy leader of the Labour Party in September 2007. She was re-elected to represent Dublin West at the 2011 general election, topping the poll on the 1st count with 9,627 votes,[5] and was the first TD in the country to be elected for the 31st Dáil.[6]

Labour Leadership: 2014–2016[edit]

Labour polled badly at the 2014 local and European elections, leading to the resignation of Eamon Gilmore as leader. Burton announced her candidacy for the leadership to replace him. On 4 July 2014, she won the leadership election, defeating Alex White by 78% to 22%.[7] The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, appointed her as Tánaiste on the same day. Upon her election she said that the Labour Party "would focus on social repair, and govern more with the heart".[7] She became the first woman to lead the Labour Party.

On 11 July, Burton announced the Labour Party cabinet ministers with party deputy leader Alan Kelly TD appointed as Minister for the Environment, Alex White TD as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Jan O'Sullivan TD as Minister for Education & Skills and Gerald Nash TD as Minister of State at Cabinet for Business and Employment. Brendan Howlin TD remained Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Burton also remained in her ministry at the Department of Social Protection.

At the Women In Media conference that took place in April 2016 following elections and during negotiations to form a governing coalition, Burton discussed how women were excluded from the government negotiation process. She criticized what she called the misogyny and abuse female politicians faced during the election, and as well as the "vulgar, crude, and demeaning" Late Late Show broadcast during the election that offered Freudian interpretations of politicians' body language.[8]

Following the 2016 general election, Labour returned to opposition, much reduced in numbers. Burton remained as Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection in an acting capacity during prolonged talks on government formation, earning €32,943 in that time.[9] On 6 May 2016, Enda Kenny announced in the Dáil that Frances Fitzgerald would be his new Tánaiste, while Burton's constituency rival Leo Varadkar took her old job in the Department of Social Protection.

On 10 May 2016, she announced her resignation as Labour party leader, which took effect on 20 May when her replacement Brendan Howlin was chosen unopposed.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ms. Joan Burton". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Kenny elected Taoiseach, appoints Gilmore Tánaiste". The Irish Times. 9 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Doyle, Kevin (10 May 2016). "'Regrets, I’ve had a few' – Joan Burton refuses to name successor as she resigns as Labour Party leader". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Joan Burton". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "Dublin West". RTÉ News. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Slattery, Laura (26 February 2011). "Burton elected on first count". The Irish Times. 
  7. ^ a b "Need to govern with more heart, says Joan Burton". RTÉ News. 4 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Burton: ‘disproportionate maleness’ in govt talks‘disproportionate maleness’ in govt talks The Irish Times, 16 April 2016
  9. ^ McGrath, Meadhbh (6 May 2016). "Revealed: The salaries TDs pocketed over 10 weeks of government talks". Irish Independent. 
  10. ^ Sarah Bardon (2016-05-10). "Joan Burton resigns as Labour leader". Irish Times. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  11. ^ Sarah bardon (2016-05-21). "Brendan Howlin chosen to be new Labour leader". Irish Times. Retrieved 2016-05-21. 

External links[edit]

Oireachtas
Preceded by
Tomás Mac Giolla
Workers' Party
Labour Party Teachta Dála
for Dublin West

1992–1997
Succeeded by
Joe Higgins
Socialist Party
Preceded by
Constituency reestablished
Labour Party Teachta Dála
for Dublin West

2002–present
Incumbent
Political offices
New office Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare
1993–1994
Position abolished
Preceded by
Tom Kitt
Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Human Rights
1994–1997
Succeeded by
Liz O'Donnell
Preceded by
Éamon Ó Cuív
Minister for Social Protection
2011–2016
Succeeded by
Leo Varadkar
Preceded by
Eamon Gilmore
Tánaiste
2014–2016
Succeeded by
Frances Fitzgerald
Party political offices
Preceded by
Liz McManus
Deputy Leader of Labour Party
2007–2014
Succeeded by
Alan Kelly
Preceded by
Eamon Gilmore
Leader of the Labour Party
2014–present
Incumbent