Joan Burton was appointed Minister for Social Protection in March 2011. She was the first TD to be re-elected in the general election after topping the poll in Dublin West.
Her main priority is to transform the system of social protection to encourage unemployed people back to work, education or training.
One of her key initiatives is the launch of JobBridge, an internship programme, which enables the unemployed to obtain quality work experience.
She has also launched a major crackdown on fraud to ensure that the resources of her Department are spent on the people who most need them.
Joan Burton is Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and a former Finance spokesman for the party.
She was first elected to the Dáil in 1992. In the 1992-97 Government she was Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Overseas Aid (‘94 to ’97). As Minister of State in Foreign Affairs, she initiated a dramatic expansion ofIreland’s Aid Programme inAfrica. As Minister of State in Social Welfare (’92 to ’95) she initiated a series of Welfare to Work and Education initiatives for lone parents and families on Social Welfare.
Joan Burton is a chartered accountant by profession. She trained and worked with PriceWaterhouse in Dublin prior to becoming a Senior Lecturer in the Dublin Institute of Technology. She is married to Pat Carroll, a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the DIT Bolton St. They have one daughter Aoife, law graduate of TCD, who now works as a barrister in Dublin.
10 Things You Never Knew About Joan Burton
1. Joan’s first job was in Dunnes Stores.
2. Joan’s favourite author is Jane Austen.
3. Joan was secretary of the Irish anti-apartheid movement in the 1980’s.
4. Joan’s signature dish is cheesecake & ice cream.
5. Joan was among the first women to become a qualified chartered accountant in Ireland.
6. Joan is an avid gardener.
7. Joan was the first woman to become Finance spokesperson of a major Irish political party.
8. Joan’s favourite musician is Leonard Cohen.
9. Joan was one of the first Irish students ever to work on a J1 Summer visa in the US.
10. Joan was made a Minister of State on her first day in the Dáil in 1992.