Mary was elected to Dáil Éireann on her first attempt in the 2011 General Election. She had previously served on Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council after being elected on her first attempt in June 2004 and re-elected in June 2009. Mary is a qualified teacher with 31 years of experience, 17 of these years she was a school principal. Mary was principal of Scoil Cholmcille, in Skryne, the heartland of Meath GAA. She was then appointed to Harold School Glasthule, a busy 500 pupil mixed Catholic school. During her time there, Mary successfully managed the amalgamation of St. Joseph’s Boys School and Harold Convent Girls’ School.
Mary has a Masters’ Degree in Education and Education Management from National University Ireland, (NUI) Maynooth. She is passionate about education and believes that each child/student must be given every opportunity to reach their potential.
She was appointed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny as Chairperson of the Internal Fine Gael Education Committee in 2011.
Mary will prioritise Education issues during her time in the Dáil. She firmly believes that Pre-School Education is of prime importance for the educational development of the child, and staff must have adequate and appropriate training. Appropriate resources for children with special/additional needs are of paramount importance. This includes Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy and other educational therapies deemed suitable for the individual child.
High quality teaching and high quality learning is a central part of a successful primary/secondary school, where children and students’ confidence, self-esteem and intrinsic talents are nurtured and developed. Schools should be a happy, safe and holistic environment. The curriculum should be wide and varied including Languages, the Arts, Sciences, Technology Subjects and Physical and Health Education to cater for the students’ future careers and livelihoods, their interests, talents and health.
Every child / student has a right to receive a quality education without fear of bullying or cyberbullying.
Third Level Education, Further Education, Apprenticeships and Life Long learning are requisites for a quality education system which will benefit the individual careers and life experiences of students.
Mary is extremely supportive of local business and enterprise. She has consistently fought against increases in commercial rates in the Council in order to help keep the cost of doing business down.