Frances Fitzgerald T.D. was appointed Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality on Friday, 6th May 2016.
She previously served as Minister for Justice and Equality from Thursday, 8th of May 2014.
Prior to that, she served as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs from March 9, 2011. She represents the constituency of Dublin Mid-West.
As an experienced national politician, Frances has both the knowledge and experience to best represent the people of Dublin Mid-West at national level.
Frances introduced legislation for the holding of the Marriage Equality referendum. On May 23rd 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to vote in a referendum to introduce an equal right to civil marriage for same-sex couples. In November 2015 Frances signed the Commencement Order for the Marriage Act 2015 which officially made marriage equality a legal reality. Frances has overseen the enactment of the Children and Family Relationships Act which provides for the most comprehensive reform of family law since the foundation of the State.
In 2014, Frances oversaw recommencement of Garda recruitment for the first time since 2009. 550 new recruits have entered the Garda College with 600 more to be recruited in 2016. Frances has overseen a substantial increase in investment in vehicles, with over 720 coming on stream in the period since the start of January 2015. This will ensure Gardaí can be mobile, responsive and visible in the community. Frances also secured an unprecedented additional allocation of €205 million to upgrade the Garda ICT system and technology and she oversaw preparation of the ambitious new Garda Building & Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021, benefiting 32 locations nationwide. Frances has doubled the funding for Crimestoppers and Community Alert. In October 2015, Frances supported the launch of Operation Thor, An Garda Síochána’s comprehensive new anti-crime and anti-burglary strategy.
Frances has been actively involved in delivering the Government’s comprehensive programme of justice reform which includes the establishment of the new independent Policing Authority; the appointment of the Garda Commissioner by open competition and the enactment of new legislation to reform and strengthen the role and remit and operation of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.
Prior to her election to the Dáil, Frances served as Chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (1988-1992) and Vice President of the European Women’s Lobby. As Chair of the National Women’s Council she initiated and served on the second Commission on Women, chairing the Employment Sub-Committee.
She held the first conference in Ireland on ‘Women and Decision Making’ and championed the introduction of equality proofing mechanisms. Frances also led a number of high profile health campaigns. She has served on the boards of the Employment Equality Agency, Arthritis Ireland, The O’Reilly Theatre and the Breast Research Unit in St. Vincent’s Hospital. Frances was also Vice Chair of Europa Donna, the European breast cancer campaign.
Frances trained as a social worker and family therapist. She worked in the Mater Hospital, St James’ Hospital and Ballymun Child and Family Centre for ten years. She also worked in inner city communities in London and Dublin. She specialised in family-work including adoption and fostering.
Frances gained a B.Soc.Science in UCD and an MSc. in Social Administration and Social Work in the London School of Economics. She also lectured in social work in Adult Education Courses and in Trinity College, Dublin.
Frances is married and has three sons.
See Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald's Full CV.
See Minister and Department of Justice and Equality Achievements 2015.