MY CURRENT ROLE
In April 2011, I was honoured to be elected to the Seanad for the first time, after beating 33 other candidates.
Since then I have focused on issues such as job creation, helping people back into work, assistance for struggling mortgage holders and supports for small businesses. I believe that all political parties should be working together to ensure that these issues are addressed.
As the Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education and Skills, I have also consistently highlighted the need to prioritize education as an investment in our future and have criticized the damage that short-sighted education cuts will do to our society and our economy.
HOW I GOT INVOLVED IN POLITICS
I grew up in a council estate and was the first person in my family to finish school. Education opened many doors for me. But I was lucky. I joined Fianna Fáil as a student in Trinity College because I wanted to campaign for everyone to have a fair start in life, regardless of where they live or how much money their parents make.
BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE
- Elected to Seanad Éireann on the Industrial and Commercial Panel in 2011
- Appointed FF Seanad Spokesperson on Education and Skills by Michéal Martin after my election to the Seanad in 2011.
- Author of FF’s national youth mental health strategy in 2012.
- Candidate in the 2011 general election in Dublin North East. In a three-seat constituency, I came fourth on the first count with 4,794 votes and was only 0.5% behind the person who came third.
- Living in Bayside with my husband and our two dogs.
- Working with local comunity groups, residents associations, business networks and individuals, to deliver on a range of local issues.
- Degree in Business, Economics and Social Science from Trinity College Dublin.
- Have advised government on the development of Ireland’s most important domestic industry, tourism. I have also helped to develop programmes to improve education for children from disadvantaged areas and to devise the long-term pensions strategy.
- Elected President (2001-02) and Education Officer (2000-01) of Trinity College Students Union.
- Have held a range of elected positions in the Fianna Fáil party since 1999, including Chairperson of the Wolfe Tone Cumann, TCD, member of the FF National Youth Committee and secretary of Dublin North East constituency organisation.
- Enjoy all kinds of exercise and particularly relish a challenge. I’ve cycled from Dublin to Arklow for Women’s Aid and have taken part in white collar boxing competitions to raise money for charity.
- Have a keen interest in development issues and volunteered in Mozambique with VSO in August 2011.