I have represented the Dublin West constituency for five terms, and in my years as a TD, I have fought to secure equal rights for women and to promote an open society that respects diversity and tolerance. I have also been a campaigner for quality planning that offers affordable homes and reliable public transport.

I have served as Minister of State for Overseas Aid, Minister for Social Protection and Tánaiste; and was the first female leader of the Labour Party.

I was educated at Stanhope Street, in Dublin’s north inner city, where I won a scholarship to UCD and qualified as one of Ireland’s first female chartered accountants.

Later, I worked as a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology, was Honorary Secretary of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (1979 – 1983) and then moved to Tanzania to lecture in accounting (1983 -1986) at the University in Dar es Salaam.

I am married to Pat Carroll and we have one daughter, Aoife.