biography

Meet Jennifer

I am a TD for the Dún Laoghire Constituency, elected in February 2020. I am Vice Chair of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and Spokesperson for Equality. I am also a member of the Public Accounts Committee, the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Committee and am Vice Chair of the Justice Committee.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, Spokesperson for Equality

I am a TD for the Dún Laoghire Constituency, elected in February 2020. I am Vice Chair of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and Spokesperson for Equality. I am also Vice Chair of the Justice Committee as well as being a member of the Public Accounts Committee and the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Committee. I was also a member of the Special Dáil Committee on Covid prior to it’s disbandment into sectoral Committees.

Previously I was a Councillor for the Killiney-Shankill ward. Since first being elected as a public representative, I have prioritised families experiencing homelessness and domestic abuse awareness. I have supported, and personally assisted a number of homeless women with small children to find appropriate accommodation. I have also worked closely with Coercive Control Ireland to raise awareness of this issue. Coercive Control became a criminal offence in January 2019.

Since being elected as a TD, I have continued to work for my constituents at a national level, drawing on my decade of experience working in Government on policy and legislation. 

Reducing carbon emissions by protecting and developing public transport facilities and better recycling and waste management are also part of my local agenda.

I am passionate about politics as a tool to improve social justice, opportunity and fairness. My vision for the future of Ireland is to continue to work through Covid, rebuild a strong economy, full employment, at the centre of Europe and a compassionate country that supports its people. My values are integrity, compassion, respect, equality and family. I am hard-working, determined and empathetic.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Work & Experience

 

  • Barrister and former solicitor.

  • Author of a legal and political text book on Irish political and judicial institutions.

  • Completed a national study of young people in the criminal justice system.

  • Senior advisor to different Government Departments.

  • Legal advisor to Enda Kenny, former Taoiseach of Ireland.

  • The 2012 Children’s Referendum.

  • The Children and Family Relationships Act.

  • The Land Development Agency.

  • The National Planning Framework 2040.

  • Women for Election

Working within the Department for Housing, Planning and Local Government as a Special Advisor, I worked on long term strategic state planning and the National Planning Framework to deliver environmentally responsible and sustainable development of cities and towns. I was integral to the establishment of the Land Development Agency. This was designed to make the Irish state a counter-cyclical and competitive force in dampening long-term land price speculation.

I was appointed as Special Advisor to the Minister for Justice and Equality in 2013. Here, I worked on legislation to make all families equal, to give grandparents and unmarried parents stronger legal rights and to protect the child in court proceedings. I also worked on the reform of the legal profession and family reunification of Syrian refugees.

Following the 2011 General Election, I was appointed Special advisor to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD. In this role, I worked on legislation which included the Children’s Referendum and moving the responsibility for children in care from the HSE to Tusla, as well as  overhauling the legal frameworks on adoption and adoption rights. I also worked on removing children from the unsuitable adult prison, St. Patrick’s Institution, to more child friendly facilities.

In 2008, following appointment as Legal Advisor in the Office of the Leader of Fine Gael, I worked on equality and inclusion, victim’s rights in the criminal justice system and reform of the childcare system.

On finishing college, I was employed by the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development to do a national study of the issues facing children in the Children Court. This study highlighted the long term and often inter-generational disadvantages of individuals before the Children Court. I was also an advocate for better conditions for prisoners in Mountjoy.

Throughout this time, I have been a member of Women for Election, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages and supports women in Ireland to run for politics. I have fundraised for them, as well as training candidates and policy makers, so as to help increase the number of women in politics.

Education

  • PhD in Public Policy and Political Science, UCD
  • Master of Arts – Politics, UCD
  • BA Honours in Economics & Political Science, TCD
  • Diploma in Employment Law

     I was raised in Castleknock and educated at Loreto College, Stephen’s Green and Trinity College Dublin. On completion of a Masters in Politics at UCD, I began working full time as a PhD researcher on strengthening democratic political institutions. I completed my Doctorate in UCD and was awarded my PhD in Public Policy and Political Science in 2013. I continued my studies, becoming a Barrister. In 2015, I won the Basil Chubb Prize for the best PhD politics thesis in Ireland. My work was subsequently published in an academic book “The Politics of Judicial Selection in Ireland” which was nominated for the 2017 Law Book of the Year.