Joan Burton TD is a very well-known female Irish politician who has served her country as Leader of the Labour Party, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and in a number of ministerial roles – most recently as Minister for Social Protection from 2011 to 2016. Presently the Spokesperson for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and the Arts.
As a member of Dublin Fingal County Council, she vigorously campaigned for the proper planning of housing developments and an end to corruption in the planning process.
She was the Labour Party’s spokesperson on Finance from 2002 to 2011 where she, in conjunction with her party colleagues, opposed the ‘bank guarantee’ of 2008 – having foreseen the catastrophic damage it would do to the Irish economy.
As Minister for Social Protection, she made notable reforms to that Department and was actively involved in the implementation of the very successful community employment schemes.
As a result of these and other such government initiatives, national unemployment fell from its crisis peak of 15.1% in 2012to 8.5% in 2016.
Ireland is now the fastest growing economy in the EU.
Joan was the first female leader of the Labour Party, which was founded in 1912 by Connolly and Larkin. It was fitting, therefore, that she presided at the centenary of the 1916 Rebellion commemoration at Arbour Hill, Dublin.
She is a long standing champion of education for all, a living wage, social welfare reform and is a regular contributor to academic ‘think tank’s’, committees and the national media.
Joan is proud to have been elected to represent the Dublin West constituency for 5th time.
Joan was educated at Stanhope Street, in Dublin’s north inner city, where she won a scholarship to UCD and qualified as one of Ireland’s first female chartered accountants.
Later, she 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.
Joan is married to Pat Carroll and they have one daughter, Aoife.