Frances Fitzgerald, who has served as Ireland's first Minister for Children since 2011, is to replace Alan Shatter as Minister for Justice, Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced today.

Shatter resigned yesterday, following the release of a 300-page report by Seán Guerin regarding allegations made by Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe that hundreds of police records were “erased and falsified.”

A Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid-West, Fitzgerald was first elected to the Dáil (Irish parliament) in 1992.

Prior to this, she chaired Ireland's Council for the Status of Women from 1988 - 1992. A former social worker, she holds degrees from the London School of Economics and University College Dublin. Fitzgerald was born in Croom, Co. Limerick.

When the Department for Children and Youth Affairs was created in 2011, she was appointed as its first minister. Kenny commended her work in establishing and transforming the department.

Speaking before the Dáil, Kenny said that "restoring confidence to the Irish justice now becomes the number one priority for the new minister."

"As a government we want transparency and accountability at the heart of our public service."

He also thanked Shatter and his staff for their work, highlighting his referendum on the court of appeals and his work establishing the personal insolvency system.

Charlie Flanagan, who has represented Louth-Offaly for 22 years, was nominated to replace Fitzgerald as Minister for Children and received a vote in favor of 80 - 35.

The Department of Defense, which Shatter also oversaw, is to be merged with the Department of Justice. It will be be maintained by Taoiseach Kenny's own department in the interim.

 

Frances Fitzgerald has been announced by Taoiseach Enda Kenny as Ireland's new Minister for Justice.Photocall Ireland