Frances Fitzgerald appointed Justice Minister
Taoiseach End Kenny has appointed Frances Fitzgerald as the new Minister for Justice. Formerly the Minister of Children and Youth Affairs she will be replaced in that portfolio by Charlie Flanagan in his first ministerial portfolio.
Ms. Fitzgerald replaces Alan Shatter who resigned yesterday over the handling of Garda corruption allegations.
Frances Fitzgerald (64) is a former social worker who is married with three sons. She was educated at University College Dublin and the London School of Economics and was elected as a TD in 1992. She lost her seat in 2002 but was then elected to the Senate in 2007 and served as the Fine Gael leader in the upper chamber until winning a by-election in 2011 and returned to the Dáil or lower chamber.
She was made Minister of Children and Youth Affairs in March 2011 with a reputation for getting things done and is known to be a close ally of Enda Kenny.
On the Fine Gael website her biography says that “She worked as a social worker in inner city London and Dublin for 20 years. Frances was motivated to go into politics chairing the National Women’s Council and the Women’s Political Association. Frances lists John Hume as her political hero. She also admires Hilary Clinton for her tenacity, political determination and success. Frances believes the recent civil partnership legislation was yet another milestone for this country. Her biggest hope for the future is to see an end to emigration”.
You can find the Fine Gael profile for Charlie Flanagan (57) here although what it doesn’t tell you is that he was one of a number of Fine Gael TDs who challenged Enda Kenny’s leadership in 2010. It had looked as though his ministerial ambitions were over until today.