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
Minister Mitchell O’Connor announces major Government Initiative at launch of Gender Equality Action Plan for Higher Education Institutions
Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State with special responsibility for Higher Education today (12th Nov 2018) announced the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative for the Higher Education sector at the launch of the Action Plan for Gender Equality in Higher Education Institutions 2018 - 2020.
MINISTERS MADIGAN & MITCHELL O’CONNOR ANNOUNCE CO-FUNDING OF RE-DEVELOPMENT OF ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY OF MUSIC ON WESTLAND ROW
The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., together with the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D., today (25th October 2018) announced joint funding of €9 million for the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) to assist in the re-development of its historic Westland Row premises.
Minister Mitchell O'Connor Launches two Innovative Initiatives in STEM Education in Ireland
Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today launched two important initiatives for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education in Ireland. The first is DCU’s ‘A World of Opportunities’; a landmark STEM careers guide for parents, teachers and students. In partnership the Minister launched the fifth annual I Wish showcases, which takes place across four days in Dublin and Cork next February. To mark with the occasion, I Wish has released its annual survey of more than 2,200 Transition Year students, which shows secondary school girls and their teachers still don’t know enough about STEM subjects and the careers that can follow.