Mary Flaherty (politician)

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For other people named Mary Flaherty, see Mary Flaherty (disambiguation).

Mary Flaherty (born 17 May 1953) is an Irish former Fine Gael politician.[1] She was a Teachta Dála (TD) for 16 years and served briefly as a junior minister in her first year in Dáil Éireann.

Flaherty was elected to the Dáil on her first attempt, at the 1981 general election, as a Fine Gael candidate in the Dublin North-West constituency.[2]

That election saw Fine Gael returned to power in a coalition government with the Labour Party, and on her first day in the Dáil Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald appointed Flaherty as Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare. This was a junior post under Minister Eileen Desmond, but because Desmond's health was poor Flaherty often found herself in the firing line.

The government collapsed on 27 January 1982 when it lost a vote on the budget, and Flaherty left office when the new Fianna Fáil government was installed after the February 1982 general election. She later described her rapid promotion as having caused a lot of bad feeling among amongst older TDs who resented the rise of a 28-year-old woman.

Flaherty had been re-elected to the 23rd Dáil, and retained her seat through the next four general elections before losing it at the 1997 general election to Fianna Fáil's Pat Carey.

Married to former Fine Gael Senator and TD Alexis FitzGerald, Jnr, she was a secondary school teacher before entering politics. After leaving the Dáil, she took up a part-time job with The CARI Foundation, which supports abused children.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ms. Mary Flaherty". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mary Flaherty". Retrieved 7 February 2013.