Tag Archives: Mary Mitchell O’Connor

Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor at a NWCI conference 

Earlier today.

Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor spoke at the launch of the National Women’s Council of Ireland’s Ending Sexual Harassment and Violence in 3rd level Education Conference.

Her contribution came a day before International Women’s Day which is tomorrow.

Sarah Burns, in The Irish Times, reports:

International Women’s Day is in danger of becoming “what holy days used to be” and “a chance to skive off with friends”, the Minister of State for Higher Education has said.

Mary Mitchell O’Connor said she thinks the annual occasion, which takes place on Friday, needs to be repurposed in order to achieve “our objectives”.

“The problem as I see it is that International Women’s Day is in danger of becoming what holy days used to be when we were going to school back in the day, a chance to skive off with friends and to have no homework for that day,” she said.

International Women’s Day becoming a ‘chance to skive off’ – Minister (Sarah Burns, The Irish Times)

#ItStopsNow – Working together we can end sexual harassment and violence on campus (National Women’s Council of Ireland)

Pic: National Women’s Council of Ireland

This morning.

St Audeon’s National School, Cook Street, Dublin 8

Minister for Education Richard Bruton and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor and St Audeon’s school choir during the launch at the school of the government’s Action Plan for Education.

But what are they playing, anyone?

Sam Boal/RollingNews

From top: Lynda McQuaid; Fine Gael Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor

Niall O’Connor, in the Irish Independent, reports:

“Fine Gael junior minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor lobbied the Department of Public Expenditure in order to secure a bump up of almost €13,000 in the salary of her new press adviser, the Irish Independent has learned.

New correspondence reveals how an official for Ms Mitchell O’Connor argued that the salary offered to former TV3 boss Lynda McQuaid was too low and should be increased in line with her former earnings at Ballymount.

The original salary offered to Ms McQuaid was just under €82,000 – the first point of the principal officer scale which is paid to the vast majority of Government press advisers.

But after submitting documentation from her accountant, a department official asked Paschal Donohoe’s department to increase the salary to €94,521.

This equates to the fifth point of the principal officer scale, and brings Ms McQuaid’s salary in line with that of Ms Mitchell O’Connor’s other special adviser, Roy Dooney.

Previously: ‘Put In Something About Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation’

Junior minister lands €13k salary hike for her new press adviser (Irish Independent)

Rollingnews

Mary Mitchell O’Connor

This lunchtime.

On RTÉ One’s News at One.

Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor was interviewed by Keelin Shanley.

Readers may recall how Taoiseach Leo Varadkar reshuffled the Cabinet in June.

As part of this, Mr Varadkar appointed Ms O’Connor, the former Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, to the position of Minister of State with Responsibility for Higher Education – a super junior ministry.

The appointment reportedly followed Ms O’Connor turning down an offer of a junior ministry in the Department of Justice.

At the time there were two super junior ministers – Fine Gael TD Paul Kehoe, Minister of State for Defence, and Independent TD Finian McGrath, who is Minister of State for Disability.

They both receive an extra €16,288-a-year allowance on top of their salary for the super junior position.

It was also reported at the time that the Dail would have to pass legislation to create the position for Ms O’Connor because existing legislation states the Taoiseach can appoint a maximum of two super junior ministers who can sit at the Cabinet table.

Further to this..

Ms Shanley asked Ms O’Connor about the matter and she said:

“I’m delighted to be at that Cabinet table. Money has never really been the biggest issue for me. Am I going out searching for it and shouting and roaring? No.

“And I want to have the same wages as, you know, as my counterparts. But, to be honest, out there, I’m just saying it to the listeners, it’s not the be all for me.

“It’s really important that I do the job that I’m asked and tasked to do.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: Priceless

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Higher Education) Mary Mitchell O’Connor with President Michael D Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain, as she received her seal of office on Wednesday, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to the right

You might recall Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Cabinet reshuffle earlier on Wednesday evening.

As part of this, Mr Varadkar has appointed former Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor to the position of Minister of State with Responsibility for Higher Education.

The Irish Times reported yesterday:

Government sources said the delay in announcing the Cabinet line up was because Mrs Mitchell O’Connor had rejected an offer of a junior ministry in the Department of Justice, with responsibility for equality and law reform. However, it is understood she declined that position and held a second meeting with Mr Varadkar which led to her new role. Sources close to Mr Varadkar said Ms O’Connor “made her dissatisfaction known”.

Ms Mitchell O’Connor’s new role is a so-called ‘super junior’ role  – a junior ministry whereby the person can attend Cabinet meetings – and, if passed, will be the third such role.

The two others are Fine Gael TD Paul Kehoe, Minister of State for Defence, and Independent TD Finian McGrath, who is Minister of State for Disability.

The Dáil will have to pass legislation to create the position for Ms Mitchell O’Connor because the law states that the Taoiseach can appoint a maximum of two super junior ministers who can sit at the Cabinet table.

Although Ms Mitchell O’Connor’s role is largely seen as a demotion, it comes with an extra €16,288-a-year allowance on top of her Minister of State salary of €124,439.

It’s being reported that Fianna Fáil and Labour will not support any change in legislation concerning this.

There you go now.

FF to block Mary Mitchell O’Connor appointment as ‘super junior’ (The Irish Times)

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From top: The Irish Mail on Sunday at the weekend, and an email the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor sent to her former special adviser Alan Cantwell

You may recall how former TV3 anchor Alan Cantwell resigned from his position as special adviser to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell-O’Connor in November – after being hired for the post in May.

Further to this.

Darragh McDonagh, in the Irish Mail on Sunday at the weekend, reported:

“Alan Cantwell’s brief stint as adviser to Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor ended with a one-line letter of resignation giving only four days’ notice, internal correspondence has revealed.”

“Emails between the former TV3 news anchor and Ms Mitchell O’Connor had become increasingly testy before deteriorating amidst public criticism of her performance as minister.”

“…On September 8, Mr Cantwell was tasked with drafting a short biography of the minister for the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. She responded to a draft with the succinct reply: ‘Put in something about: 1. Jobs; 2. Enterprise; 3. Innovation.”

“…In an email in late September, on a speech for a function, he noted: ‘I have left out the most recent unemployment stats as they show unemployment increased since you took office’.”

“…On October 28, she emailed to say she noticed a list of her engagements had not been included in the official list circulated to Fine Gael Oireachtas members: ‘Guys, why are my engagements not listed on Ministerial Diary? Please reply,’ she wrote.

“Mr Cantwell replied that he would follow it up. The following Monday, he handed in a letter that read: ‘Please accept my resignation. As per terms of my contract I will finish on Friday 4th Nov’.”

Pics: Irish Mail on Sunday and Darragh McDonagh

Meanwhile…