Having been a community activist all my life and a lifelong member of Fianna Fáill in 2014 I successfully contested the Local elections in the Comeragh area and won a seat. I served as a Councillor for 2 years and enjoyed my role as a public representative immensely.
In 2016 after securing the nomination from the Fianna Fáil party in Waterford I contested the General Election, I was delighted and humbled to receive 10,603 votes, topping the poll and being elected on the first count. I also had the honour of being the first female Fianna Fáil TD to be elected for the party since 2007. In the 2020 General Election, I was honoured to be re-elected to continue my work representing the people of Waterford City and County.
I have a strong grounding in the retail sector having worked as both an employee and an employer. I successfully ran the family business, a grocery shop in Portlaw, for 17 years and continued my career working in John Martin Jewellers in Waterford City for 10 years. I was honoured to appointed Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Business Enterprise and Innovation in the 32nd Dáil. This important cross party Committee scrutinised many pieces of progressive legislation and produced a number of detailed reports in relation to the cost of doing business, Brexit and apprenticeships among others. I felt that my practical experience in retail gave me strong grounding for the role.
From 2016 to July 2020, I was Fianna Fail Spokesperson for Older People and Health Promotion, areas which I am hugely passionate about. I worked closely with the Alzheimer’s Society, Age Action, Nursing Homes Ireland and the Carers Association as well as many other representative groups. I also Chaired the All Party Oireachtas Group on Dementia raising awareness for people with memory difficulties as they grow older. In the last Dáil, I produced several pieces of legislation including Bills on Fair Deal and Mandatory Sentencing for Crimes against Older People.
Following my re-election to the Dáil in February’s General Election, I was appointed to the Special Dáil Committee with responsibly for COVID-19 response. This was the first Dáil Committee to be established following the election and the height of the pandemic. Committee members engaged in a very important body of work with representatives of the key sectors affected by the pandemic such as nursing homes, residential care, business, hospitality, SME, travel, childcare, healthcare workers as well as groups engaged in managing the response such as NPHET and the HSE.
In July, I had the honour of being appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People. I was delighted, honoured and humbled to learn that I am the first female Waterford TD to have been appointed Minister.
I am married to Mick and have three children and I am lucky to have a great family support network. Having constituency offices in Waterford City and Dungarvan, I believe in representing all of my constituents in Waterford City and County to the best of my ability.
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117A The Quay, Waterford City, Co Waterford.
Phone: 051 841 437
74 O Connell St., Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
Phone: 058 43 499
Phone: 087 7425020