Joan Burton is the Tanaiste, Minister for Social Protection, and Leader of the Labour Party. Her focus as Minister is on transforming the system of social protection to help unemployed people back to work, education or training while ensuring a strong and responsive safety net for those who need it.
A chartered accountant by profession, Joan was first elected the Dáil in 1992, and served as Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare from 1993 to 1994, during which she initiated a series of welfare to work and education initiatives. She served as Minister for Development Cooperation and Overseas Aid from 1994 to 1997, in which time she revamped Ireland’s development programme in Africa. She was the Labour Party’s spokesperson on Finance from 2002 to 2011, and opposed the bank guarantee in 2008. She was appointed Minister for Social Protection in 2011, and nominated Tanaiste in July 2013.
Joan, continues to represent the Dublin West Constituency, having been first elected in 1991 as a Dublin County Councillor for the Mulhuddart Local Electoral Area.
She is married to Pat Carroll, 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.