Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation



Frances Fitzgerald TD was appointed Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation on 14 June 2017. She previously served as Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality from 6 May 2016. She previously served as the Minister for Justice and Equality from May 2014.  She previously served as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs from March 2011. She represents the constituency of Dublin Mid-West.

Achievements at the Department of Justice
May 2014-May 2017 
Since becoming Minister for Justice in May 2014, Frances Fitzgerald has enacted 27 pieces of legislation. In fact, she has enacted over one-fifth (21%) of all legislation passed in the Oireachtas since becoming Minister for Justice three years ago [see annex below].

Common themes across the 27 pieces of legislation include tackling crime, protecting our State’s security, supporting victims, reforming the judicial and penal system, and promoting equality.
Tackling Crime and Protecting our Security
·         981 recruits have attested since re-opening the Garda Training College in September 2014.
·         Government approval secured as part of five year reform plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians (July 2016)
·         €205 million in additional funding for Garda ICT under current capital plan
·         €46 million for new Garda vehicles over lifetime of current capital plan
·         Extension of Garda Youth Diversion Projects to 10 new locations (May 2015)
·         Criminal Justice (Burglary of a Dwelling) Act provides for tougher sentences for repeat burglars (December 2015)
·         CAB powers strengthened by new legislation to help tackle gangland crime (July 2016)
·         Operation Thor launched to tackle burglary and other crime, with the aid of €5m in additional funding (November 2015)
·         New DNA database system goes live, providing a high quality intelligence tool for An Garda Siochana in combatting crime (November 2015) 
·         New Garda Armed Support Unit formally launched (December 2016)
·         New bail legislation published providing for stricter bail terms, use of curfews and electronic tagging for those on bail (December 2016)
·         New grant-aid scheme launched to assist community groups to assist the establishment of community-based CCTV systems (April 2017)
·         Sod is turned on the new purpose built forensic science lab (May 2017)
·         Contract signed and €4m provided to ICT contractor to carry out the work required for Ireland to join the Schengen Information System (SIS) (from  December 2016)
·         Automated connection to INTERPOL’s Lost and Stolen Travel Documents database rolled out to all international airports and seaports (November 2016).

Reforming An Garda Siochana
·         Establishment of Independent Review Mechanism to independently examine 320 complaints about alleged Garda misconduct (July 2014)
·         Open recruitment campaign for Garda Commissioner (July 2014)
·         Major immigration civilianisation programme announced at Dublin Airport, freeing up 125 gardai (September 2014)
·         GSOC strengthened through new legislation bringing Garda Commissioner within scope of GSOC for first time and ensuring timely flow of information (February 2015)
·         New nationwide network of 28 Garda Victim Service Offices launched ahead of new Victims of Crime legislation (November 2015)
·         Policing Authority is launched, providing a new, effective and independent forum for the public oversight of policing services in Ireland (January 2016)
·         Tanaiste refers the recommendations of the Inspectorate Report as agreed by Government to the Policing Authority to monitor their implementation and to implement appropriate reporting arrangements (July 2016)
·         Cabinet approval to draft legislation to provide the Garda representative associations with access to the State industrial relations institutions (December 2016)
·         Policing Authority assumes responsibility for running competitions for appointments to the senior Garda ranks (January 2017)
·         Policing Authority launches Code of Ethics for the Garda Siochana to inform and guide the actions of every member of staff (January 2017)
·         Government approves proposals to further strengthen GSOC, amending Part 4 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005 along lines of Justice Committee Report (March 2017)
·         General Scheme for the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Bill 2017 published which represents a major reform of the current compensation scheme (May 2017)

Supporting Victims
·         Magdalen Laundries survivors given free access to health services under new Bill  (March 2015)
·         Victims of Crime Bill published, providing, for the first time, statutory rights for victims of crime (December 2016)
·         Government approves measures to tackle online stalking and so-called revenge acts online (December 2016)
·         New measures re: consent to a sexual act announced as part of the Sexual Offences legislation (January 2017)
·         Landmark Domestic Violence Bill published, improving protections available and introducing a new emergency barring order lasting up to 8 days (February 2015)
·         Key provisions of Sexual Offences Bill commenced, including re: the purchase of sexual services and online grooming of children (March 2017)
·         Stardust Relatives and Victims Committee will have their evidence assessed by retired Judge Pat McCartan as per Dail motion (March 2017)

Reforming, and facilitating access to, the Judicial System
·         Court of Appeal established to enhance the administration of justice and improve waiting times in hearing appeals (October 2014)
·         State-of-the-art Family Law and Children’s Courts building to be developed at Hammond Lane site (announced September 2015)
·         ‘Bank veto’ removed with the commencement of legislation reforming the Personal Insolvency Act (July 2015)
·         Bankrupty term reduced from 3 years to 1 under new legislation (January 2016)
·         Landmark Family Law reforms commenced via the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, recognising the diversity of family life (January 2016)
·         Second Special Criminal Court becomes operational (April 2016)
·         New Legal Services Regulatory Authority is established, with the aim of providing independent regulation, improved access and competition in legal services (October 2016)
·         New mortgage arrears service Abhaile is launched, providing free, independent expert advice and support on financial and legal issues (October 2016)
·         Mediation Bill published, promoting mediation as a viable, effective and efficient alternative to court proceedings thereby reducing legal costs (February 2017)
·         Announcement that President of the High Court Peter Kelly is to chair a group aimed at delivering a more efficient and effective Irish legal system (March 2017)

Penal Reform
·         New prison in Cork  opened (February 2016),
·         Launch of Irish Prison Service’s Capital Strategy 2016-2021 (June 2016)
·         “Slopping out” to be completely eliminate across prisons estate on completion of the Limerick and Portlaoise projects
·         Penal Policy Implementation Oversight Group established and asked to submit periodic reports  on implementation of the Penal Policy Review Group’s recommendations (from May 2015)
·         Joint Agency Response to Crime initiative (J-ARC) is launched with the aim of targeting repeat offenders  (November 2015).
·         Seven regional courthouses to be built or upgraded under new PPP contract - Drogheda, Letterkenny, Limerick, Wexford, Cork, Mullingar and Waterford (December 2015)
·         Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 commenced which introduces attachment of earnings to recover unpaid fines and reduce unneccesary imprisonment (January 2016)
·         Spent convictions legislation commenced allowing a range of minor offences to become spent after seven years (April 2016)
·         St Patrick’s Institution is closed by the Tanaiste, consigning its name to the history books and marking a significant step forward in the trearment of children (April 2017)

International Cooperation and Immigration
·         Launch of British Irish Visa Scheme with Home Secretary Theresa May to attract Chinese/Indian visitors to Ireland (October 2014)
·         Direct Provision Working Group established under chairmanship of Judge McMahon (October 2014)
·         New online management system launched to stop queues at Burgh Quay Immigration Office (September 2015)
·         Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) launched with the aim of accepting up to 4,000 persons overall under Resettlement & Relocation Programmes (September 2015)
·         As of May 2017, 779 programme refugees have arrived under the resettlement aspect of the programme and 459 people from Greece under relocation.
·         Dail motion is passed agreeing to accept up to 200 unaccompanied minors formerly living at Calais (November 2016)
·         Tanaiste visits Greece to see at first hand the effects of the migration crisis and to assess progress to date (December 2016)
·         New single application procedure commenced under the International Protection Act 2015, representing a a fundamental reform of the system (January 2017)
·         Remit of the Offices of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children extended to include access for residents in Direct Provision centres (February 2017)
·         Full independent living introduced at the Mosney Accommodation centre (January 2017) and cooking facilities are now being rolled out to other centres

Promoting Equality
·         Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission established with its own vote (November 2014)
·         Marriage Equality Act commenced, giving effect to same sex marriage (November 2015)
·         Two week’s paternity leave and benefit introduced via new legislation (July 2016)
·         Launch of new 6-year National Awareness Campaign – What Would You Do? - on domestic violence (November 2016)
·         Cross-Government Migrant Integration Strategy launched (February 2017)
·         National Strategy for Women and Girls launched with the aim of ensuring a gender perspective is integrated into decision-making (May 2017)

Annex:

List of all legislation enacted by Frances Fitzgerald since becoming Minister for Justice:

·         Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017
·         Criminal Justice (Suspended Sentences of Imprisonment) Act 2017
·         Courts Act 2016
·         Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016
·         Commission of Investigation (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) Act 2016
·         Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2016
·         Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016
·         International Protection Act 2015
·         Legal Services Regulation Act 2015
·         Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015
·         Bankruptcy (Amendment) Act 2015
·         Prisons Act 2015
·         Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Act 2015
·         Courts Act 2015
·         Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015
·         Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015
·         Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) (Amendment) Act 2015
·         Choice of Court (Hague Convention) Act 2015
·         Marriage Act 2015  
·         Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Act 2015
·         Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Act 2015 (Act No. 32 of 2015)
·         Civil Debt (Procedures) Act 2015
·         Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) (Amendment) Act 2015
·         Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Act 2015
·         Garda Síochána (Amendment) Act 2015
·         Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014
·         Court of Appeal Act 2014
·         Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014

--------------------------------------------

From 2011 to 2014, she was Ireland's first ever Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Among the key priorities during her time as Minister for Children were the need to protect children by putting Children First on a statutory footing, to deliver a Children's Referendum, to establish a dedicated agency for Children and Family Services, to continue to offer a free pre-school year for children, to develop youth services throughout the country, to end the practice of sending under-18s to St Patricks Institution, to open inter-country adoptions with countries such as Vietnam and to improve adoption and fostering systems in Ireland. 

Other achievements from her time as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs include:

·                     Received Government approval for Children’s First Legislation;
·                     Introduced legislation to establish a new Child and Family Agency (passed second stage in July 2013), appointed Norah Gibbons as Chairperson of its Board and has been given approval for the transition of existing HSE child protection and welfare services to this Agency;
·                     Secured funding to end the practice of sending under-18s to St. Patrick’s Institution and has already announced the end of the practice of sending 16 year olds to St. Patrick’s;
·                     Committed to a comprehensive pre-school reform agenda;
·                     Allocated €7.5 million in Capital Grants Funding for childcare facilities around the country;
·                     Announced €2.25 million in capital funding for youth cafes, youth projects and play facilities for 2012 and 2013Received Cabinet approval for the development of Ireland’s first ever National Early Years Strategy;
·                     Launched the National Local Authority Play and Recreation Network;
·                     Launched the 116000 Hotline for Missing Children which has been allocated to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children;
·                     Launched a new joint protocol aimed at protecting vulnerable children between jurisdictions North and South of the border;
·                     Launched the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines which were prepared by Retail Ireland following a recommendation by the Minister;
·                     Provided €2.5 million in the 2013 budget for a new Area Based Approach to child poverty initiative;
·                     Launched a children in care consultation report;
·                     Delivered €0.8 million expansion of services for young people in Athlone, Arklow, Dundalk and Wexford;
·                     Announced the review of Out of Hours Services Pilot Programme;
·                     Prioritised the development of a closer working relationship with many countries when it comes to adoption and travelled to Hanoi to meet with her Vietnamese counterparts to progress intercountry adoptions between the two countries. A bi-lateral agreement with Vietnam has since been signed;
·                     Hosted an EU Expert Roundtable on the contribution of youth work to youth employment;
·                     Engaged with the Centre for Effective Services to undertake a high level review of implementation of the 2001 Youth Homelessness Strategy and to make recommendations on a new Implementation Framework to address youth homelessness over the next 5 years;
·                     Committed to delivering 6,000 places in a new After-School Childcare Scheme;
·                     Published research on obesity, discipline and self-concept among young Irish teenagers;
·                     Named youth employment as a priority for her EU Youth Presidency 2013;
·                     Met with Facebook to discuss the issue of Cyber Bullying and has made representations to the Latvian authorities in relation to concerns over ‘ask.fm’;
·                     Launched a report on consultation with 66,705 children and young people;
·                     Jointly published the Cloyne Report and personally took over the Chair of the Ryan Report Implementation Group. She delivered on the Ryan Report recommendation to recruit an additional 60 social workers in 2011.
-----------------------------------------

Frances is a T.D. elected by the constituency of Dublin Mid West. Frances previously served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate on her election as a Senator to the 23rd Seanad and previously served as T.D. for Dublin South East for ten years.

She gained a B.Soc. Science in U.C.D. and an M.SC. in Social Administration and Social Work in the London School of Economics. Prior to her election to the Dail Frances was a high profile 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 on Women and Decision Making and championed the cause of introducing 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. She also lectured in social work in Adult Education Courses and in Trinity College, Dublin.

Since her first election to the Dail, Frances has been appointed to six different portfolios under three different Fine Gael leaders - John Bruton, Michael Noonan and Enda Kenny. On her first day in the Dail Frances was appointed to the Fine Gael front bench as Spokesperson on Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht and went on to serve as Spokesperson on Defence, Social Community & Family Affairs, Equality & Family Affairs, Social Welfare and served as Spokesperson Health and Children in the Senate.
Frances has served on various Dail and Seanad committees including Justice, Health, the Committee on the Constitution, the National and Economic Social Forum, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Social Affairs and Health. Frances was also a member of the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children and co-authored several Oireachtas Committee reports. She recently co-founded the first ever Cross Party Group on Mental Health and worked closely with Amnesty International to help break down the stigmas associated with mental health issues. Frances has campaigned strongly on mental health, special needs, social policy and equality issues and worked professionally in these areas.

Frances is married and has three sons in their twenties, an actor, a trainee accountant and a student.

  

Frances Fitzgerald TD was appointed Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation on 14 June 2017. She previously served as Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality from 6 May 2016. She previously served as the Minister for Justice and Equality from May 2014.  She previously served as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs from March 2011. She represents the constituency of Dublin Mid-West.

Achievements at the Department of Justice
May 2014-May 2017 
Since becoming Minister for Justice in May 2014, Frances Fitzgerald has enacted 27 pieces of legislation. In fact, she has enacted over one-fifth (21%) of all legislation passed in the Oireachtas since becoming Minister for Justice three years ago [see annex below].

Common themes across the 27 pieces of legislation include tackling crime, protecting our State’s security, supporting victims, reforming the judicial and penal system, and promoting equality.
Tackling Crime and Protecting our Security
·         981 recruits have attested since re-opening the Garda Training College in September 2014.
·         Government approval secured as part of five year reform plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians (July 2016)
·         €205 million in additional funding for Garda ICT under current capital plan
·         €46 million for new Garda vehicles over lifetime of current capital plan
·         Extension of Garda Youth Diversion Projects to 10 new locations (May 2015)
·         Criminal Justice (Burglary of a Dwelling) Act provides for tougher sentences for repeat burglars (December 2015)
·         CAB powers strengthened by new legislation to help tackle gangland crime (July 2016)
·         Operation Thor launched to tackle burglary and other crime, with the aid of €5m in additional funding (November 2015)
·         New DNA database system goes live, providing a high quality intelligence tool for An Garda Siochana in combatting crime (November 2015) 
·         New Garda Armed Support Unit formally launched (December 2016)
·         New bail legislation published providing for stricter bail terms, use of curfews and electronic tagging for those on bail (December 2016)
·         New grant-aid scheme launched to assist community groups to assist the establishment of community-based CCTV systems (April 2017)
·         Sod is turned on the new purpose built forensic science lab (May 2017)
·         Contract signed and €4m provided to ICT contractor to carry out the work required for Ireland to join the Schengen Information System (SIS) (from  December 2016)
·         Automated connection to INTERPOL’s Lost and Stolen Travel Documents database rolled out to all international airports and seaports (November 2016).

Reforming An Garda Siochana
·         Establishment of Independent Review Mechanism to independently examine 320 complaints about alleged Garda misconduct (July 2014)
·         Open recruitment campaign for Garda Commissioner (July 2014)
·         Major immigration civilianisation programme announced at Dublin Airport, freeing up 125 gardai (September 2014)
·         GSOC strengthened through new legislation bringing Garda Commissioner within scope of GSOC for first time and ensuring timely flow of information (February 2015)
·         New nationwide network of 28 Garda Victim Service Offices launched ahead of new Victims of Crime legislation (November 2015)
·         Policing Authority is launched, providing a new, effective and independent forum for the public oversight of policing services in Ireland (January 2016)
·         Tanaiste refers the recommendations of the Inspectorate Report as agreed by Government to the Policing Authority to monitor their implementation and to implement appropriate reporting arrangements (July 2016)
·         Cabinet approval to draft legislation to provide the Garda representative associations with access to the State industrial relations institutions (December 2016)
·         Policing Authority assumes responsibility for running competitions for appointments to the senior Garda ranks (January 2017)
·         Policing Authority launches Code of Ethics for the Garda Siochana to inform and guide the actions of every member of staff (January 2017)
·         Government approves proposals to further strengthen GSOC, amending Part 4 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005 along lines of Justice Committee Report (March 2017)
·         General Scheme for the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Bill 2017 published which represents a major reform of the current compensation scheme (May 2017)

Supporting Victims
·         Magdalen Laundries survivors given free access to health services under new Bill  (March 2015)
·         Victims of Crime Bill published, providing, for the first time, statutory rights for victims of crime (December 2016)
·         Government approves measures to tackle online stalking and so-called revenge acts online (December 2016)
·         New measures re: consent to a sexual act announced as part of the Sexual Offences legislation (January 2017)
·         Landmark Domestic Violence Bill published, improving protections available and introducing a new emergency barring order lasting up to 8 days (February 2015)
·         Key provisions of Sexual Offences Bill commenced, including re: the purchase of sexual services and online grooming of children (March 2017)
·         Stardust Relatives and Victims Committee will have their evidence assessed by retired Judge Pat McCartan as per Dail motion (March 2017)

Reforming, and facilitating access to, the Judicial System
·         Court of Appeal established to enhance the administration of justice and improve waiting times in hearing appeals (October 2014)
·         State-of-the-art Family Law and Children’s Courts building to be developed at Hammond Lane site (announced September 2015)
·         ‘Bank veto’ removed with the commencement of legislation reforming the Personal Insolvency Act (July 2015)
·         Bankrupty term reduced from 3 years to 1 under new legislation (January 2016)
·         Landmark Family Law reforms commenced via the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, recognising the diversity of family life (January 2016)
·         Second Special Criminal Court becomes operational (April 2016)
·         New Legal Services Regulatory Authority is established, with the aim of providing independent regulation, improved access and competition in legal services (October 2016)
·         New mortgage arrears service Abhaile is launched, providing free, independent expert advice and support on financial and legal issues (October 2016)
·         Mediation Bill published, promoting mediation as a viable, effective and efficient alternative to court proceedings thereby reducing legal costs (February 2017)
·         Announcement that President of the High Court Peter Kelly is to chair a group aimed at delivering a more efficient and effective Irish legal system (March 2017)

Penal Reform
·         New prison in Cork  opened (February 2016),
·         Launch of Irish Prison Service’s Capital Strategy 2016-2021 (June 2016)
·         “Slopping out” to be completely eliminate across prisons estate on completion of the Limerick and Portlaoise projects
·         Penal Policy Implementation Oversight Group established and asked to submit periodic reports  on implementation of the Penal Policy Review Group’s recommendations (from May 2015)
·         Joint Agency Response to Crime initiative (J-ARC) is launched with the aim of targeting repeat offenders  (November 2015).
·         Seven regional courthouses to be built or upgraded under new PPP contract - Drogheda, Letterkenny, Limerick, Wexford, Cork, Mullingar and Waterford (December 2015)
·         Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 commenced which introduces attachment of earnings to recover unpaid fines and reduce unneccesary imprisonment (January 2016)
·         Spent convictions legislation commenced allowing a range of minor offences to become spent after seven years (April 2016)
·         St Patrick’s Institution is closed by the Tanaiste, consigning its name to the history books and marking a significant step forward in the trearment of children (April 2017)

International Cooperation and Immigration
·         Launch of British Irish Visa Scheme with Home Secretary Theresa May to attract Chinese/Indian visitors to Ireland (October 2014)
·         Direct Provision Working Group established under chairmanship of Judge McMahon (October 2014)
·         New online management system launched to stop queues at Burgh Quay Immigration Office (September 2015)
·         Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) launched with the aim of accepting up to 4,000 persons overall under Resettlement & Relocation Programmes (September 2015)
·         As of May 2017, 779 programme refugees have arrived under the resettlement aspect of the programme and 459 people from Greece under relocation.
·         Dail motion is passed agreeing to accept up to 200 unaccompanied minors formerly living at Calais (November 2016)
·         Tanaiste visits Greece to see at first hand the effects of the migration crisis and to assess progress to date (December 2016)
·         New single application procedure commenced under the International Protection Act 2015, representing a a fundamental reform of the system (January 2017)
·         Remit of the Offices of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children extended to include access for residents in Direct Provision centres (February 2017)
·         Full independent living introduced at the Mosney Accommodation centre (January 2017) and cooking facilities are now being rolled out to other centres

Promoting Equality
·         Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission established with its own vote (November 2014)
·         Marriage Equality Act commenced, giving effect to same sex marriage (November 2015)
·         Two week’s paternity leave and benefit introduced via new legislation (July 2016)
·         Launch of new 6-year National Awareness Campaign – What Would You Do? - on domestic violence (November 2016)
·         Cross-Government Migrant Integration Strategy launched (February 2017)
·         National Strategy for Women and Girls launched with the aim of ensuring a gender perspective is integrated into decision-making (May 2017)

Annex:

List of all legislation enacted by Frances Fitzgerald since becoming Minister for Justice:

·         Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017
·         Criminal Justice (Suspended Sentences of Imprisonment) Act 2017
·         Courts Act 2016
·         Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016
·         Commission of Investigation (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) Act 2016
·         Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2016
·         Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016
·         International Protection Act 2015
·         Legal Services Regulation Act 2015
·         Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015
·         Bankruptcy (Amendment) Act 2015
·         Prisons Act 2015
·         Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Act 2015
·         Courts Act 2015
·         Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015
·         Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015
·         Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) (Amendment) Act 2015
·         Choice of Court (Hague Convention) Act 2015
·         Marriage Act 2015  
·         Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Act 2015
·         Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Act 2015 (Act No. 32 of 2015)
·         Civil Debt (Procedures) Act 2015
·         Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) (Amendment) Act 2015
·         Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Act 2015
·         Garda Síochána (Amendment) Act 2015
·         Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014
·         Court of Appeal Act 2014
·         Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014

--------------------------------------------

From 2011 to 2014, she was Ireland's first ever Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Among the key priorities during her time as Minister for Children were the need to protect children by putting Children First on a statutory footing, to deliver a Children's Referendum, to establish a dedicated agency for Children and Family Services, to continue to offer a free pre-school year for children, to develop youth services throughout the country, to end the practice of sending under-18s to St Patricks Institution, to open inter-country adoptions with countries such as Vietnam and to improve adoption and fostering systems in Ireland. 

Other achievements from her time as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs include:

·                     Received Government approval for Children’s First Legislation;
·                     Introduced legislation to establish a new Child and Family Agency (passed second stage in July 2013), appointed Norah Gibbons as Chairperson of its Board and has been given approval for the transition of existing HSE child protection and welfare services to this Agency;
·                     Secured funding to end the practice of sending under-18s to St. Patrick’s Institution and has already announced the end of the practice of sending 16 year olds to St. Patrick’s;
·                     Committed to a comprehensive pre-school reform agenda;
·                     Allocated €7.5 million in Capital Grants Funding for childcare facilities around the country;
·                     Announced €2.25 million in capital funding for youth cafes, youth projects and play facilities for 2012 and 2013Received Cabinet approval for the development of Ireland’s first ever National Early Years Strategy;
·                     Launched the National Local Authority Play and Recreation Network;
·                     Launched the 116000 Hotline for Missing Children which has been allocated to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children;
·                     Launched a new joint protocol aimed at protecting vulnerable children between jurisdictions North and South of the border;
·                     Launched the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines which were prepared by Retail Ireland following a recommendation by the Minister;
·                     Provided €2.5 million in the 2013 budget for a new Area Based Approach to child poverty initiative;
·                     Launched a children in care consultation report;
·                     Delivered €0.8 million expansion of services for young people in Athlone, Arklow, Dundalk and Wexford;
·                     Announced the review of Out of Hours Services Pilot Programme;
·                     Prioritised the development of a closer working relationship with many countries when it comes to adoption and travelled to Hanoi to meet with her Vietnamese counterparts to progress intercountry adoptions between the two countries. A bi-lateral agreement with Vietnam has since been signed;
·                     Hosted an EU Expert Roundtable on the contribution of youth work to youth employment;
·                     Engaged with the Centre for Effective Services to undertake a high level review of implementation of the 2001 Youth Homelessness Strategy and to make recommendations on a new Implementation Framework to address youth homelessness over the next 5 years;
·                     Committed to delivering 6,000 places in a new After-School Childcare Scheme;
·                     Published research on obesity, discipline and self-concept among young Irish teenagers;
·                     Named youth employment as a priority for her EU Youth Presidency 2013;
·                     Met with Facebook to discuss the issue of Cyber Bullying and has made representations to the Latvian authorities in relation to concerns over ‘ask.fm’;
·                     Launched a report on consultation with 66,705 children and young people;
·                     Jointly published the Cloyne Report and personally took over the Chair of the Ryan Report Implementation Group. She delivered on the Ryan Report recommendation to recruit an additional 60 social workers in 2011.
-----------------------------------------

Frances is a T.D. elected by the constituency of Dublin Mid West. Frances previously served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate on her election as a Senator to the 23rd Seanad and previously served as T.D. for Dublin South East for ten years.

She gained a B.Soc. Science in U.C.D. and an M.SC. in Social Administration and Social Work in the London School of Economics. Prior to her election to the Dail Frances was a high profile 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 on Women and Decision Making and championed the cause of introducing 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. She also lectured in social work in Adult Education Courses and in Trinity College, Dublin.

Since her first election to the Dail, Frances has been appointed to six different portfolios under three different Fine Gael leaders - John Bruton, Michael Noonan and Enda Kenny. On her first day in the Dail Frances was appointed to the Fine Gael front bench as Spokesperson on Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht and went on to serve as Spokesperson on Defence, Social Community & Family Affairs, Equality & Family Affairs, Social Welfare and served as Spokesperson Health and Children in the Senate.
Frances has served on various Dail and Seanad committees including Justice, Health, the Committee on the Constitution, the National and Economic Social Forum, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Social Affairs and Health. Frances was also a member of the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children and co-authored several Oireachtas Committee reports. She recently co-founded the first ever Cross Party Group on Mental Health and worked closely with Amnesty International to help break down the stigmas associated with mental health issues. Frances has campaigned strongly on mental health, special needs, social policy and equality issues and worked professionally in these areas.

Frances is married and has three sons in their twenties, an actor, a trainee accountant and a student.