On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish International Immigrant Center opened its doors to one of the most prestigious and influential women in the Irish government. The IIIC was honored to host Frances Fitzgerald, the Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. On her visit the Minister toured the Center, spoke to a class of adult students, and was given an overview of IIIC’s current work by department directors.

Mrs. Fitzgerald, who was elected as minister in March 2011 visited Boston to take part in the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  The minister has been a very active politician and social worker in Ireland for the last 20 years.  Minsiter Fitzgerald has been a champion for women in equality proofing mechanisms, and previously held a high profile Chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Vice President of the European Women’s Lobby.

An active TD for the Dublin Mid-West constituency, the Minister has served on on various Dáil and Seanad committees including Justice, Health, the Committee on the Constitution, the National and Economic Social Forum, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Social Affairs and Health.  She recently co-founded the first ever Cross Party Group on Mental Health and worked closely  with Amnesty International to help break down the stigmas associated with mental health issues.

The IIIC believes Mrs. Fitzgerald is an inspiration and true representation of the Irish spirit and resilience. We are truly honored to host Mrs. Fitzgerald, and we are very grateful for the support of the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs Irish Abroad Unit’s Emigrant Support Program and for the continued support of the Irish Government to Irish people living abroad.