Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD is Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education.
Mary previously served as Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. During her tenure, Mary led on the creation and maintenance of high quality and sustainable full employment across all regions of the country. Mary worked very closely with IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices in promoting the jobs agenda and oversaw for the first time in almost a decade, over 2 million people employed in Ireland.
Mary Mitchell O’Connor is a Fine Gael TD for the Dún Laoghaire Constituency. Mary was elected to Dáil Éireann on her first attempt in the 2011 General Election and topped the poll in the General Election, February 2016.
Mary is a hard working Minister and TD, and is passionate about the needs and concerns of the constituents of Dún Laoghaire and of the country. She is committed to economic growth, improving education and health and supporting small businesses.
Mary has crusaded for improved pupil teacher ratio, additional resource hours for students with disabilities and Government reform of childcare. She has worked on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015, advocated for healthy eating and decreasing obesity and helped raise the age for Breast Checks to 69. She is also a strong and out spoken supporter of gender equality.
In Dáil Éireann, Mary has served on the following committees:
Committee on Health and Children
Select sub-Committee on Children and Youth Affairs
Select sub-Committee on Health
Internal Fine Gael Education Committee
Internal Fine Gael Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Committee
In 2011, Taoiseach Enda Kenny appointed Mary as the Chairperson of the Internal Fine Gael Education Committee based on her successful career in education. She also helped write the first draft of the Fine Gael Education Manifesto 2016.
Mary was a School Principal in Scoil Cholmcille in Skryne, Co. Meath before taking the reins of The Harold School in Glasthule, Co. Dublin, a large urban school of over 600 pupils. Mary has an Honours Masters’ Degree in Education and Management from National University Ireland, (NUI) Maynooth.
Mary also served as a County Councillor on Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. She was elected for two consecutive terms in June 2004 and re-elected in June 2009.
Mary successfully is extremely supportive of local business and enterprise. Mary continues to work closely with Business Associations and Chambers of Commerce and businesses in the Dún Laoghaire Constituency and has held conferences for local businesses.
Mary lives in Cabinteely and is mother of two sons. Her favourite day off work is spent in Croke Park with her family and friends.
News & Statements
Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 Passes both Houses of the Oireachtas
The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 was today (Thursday, 11th of July) passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and will now be presented to the President for his signature.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor announces landmark opening of Call for Applications to the Senior Academic leadership Initiative
Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. Minister of State with special responsibility for Higher Education today (21st June 2019) announced the opening of the call for applications to the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative; a targeted positive action initiative which aims to accelerate gender balance at senior positions in Irish higher education institutions. Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “I am delighted and proud to be able to launch the HEA’s call today to higher education institutions to apply for the new and additional professorial and senior lecturer level 3 academic posts that will now be made available under the senior academic leadership initiative.
Ministers announce Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers to continue for coming year
The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. together with the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today (04 June, 2019) announced a grant support scheme for asylum seekers in third level education will continue for 2019/20.