Jennifer is the Social Democrat Councillor for the Greystones Municipal District in County Wicklow.
She lives in Delgany, Co. Wicklow with her four young children, husband and two hairy dogs. Originally from Wexford, Jennifer moved to Australia in 2001 and lived there for 10 years.
In 2015, Jennifer joined the Social Democrats. To Jennifer, social democracy is all about building strong communities that are underpinned by a thriving economy. Their values are ones of transparency and fairness.
She believes that the leaders of the Social Democrats, Roisin Shorthall TD and Catherine Murphy TD, have espoused these principles and values during their time in the Dail and she is very proud to be able to call herself a member of the team.
What’s my professional background?
I spent 10 years in Australia, where I worked alongside government Ministers developing environmental law, water management and energy policy. This is where I got my first insight into political life. Its also where I learned how important it is to involve the people about whom you are making decisions, into that decision making process.
Before I moved to Australia, I worked extensively in fisheries and aquaculture in Ireland at both a national and European level. As a fishery scientist with the Marine Institute, I studied cod and Dublin Bay prawn populations and fishing techniques. I spent a number of years prior to this working on fish farms around Ireland and in Norway.
Why I got involved in politics?
Simply put, I became involved in politics to effect change. I believe that our governance systems have failed us – that we need to completely review how we engage with communities, how & where we direct our resources, how we govern. That is why I ran in the local elections, why I became involved with the setting up of the Social Democrats, and why I am now running for the Dáil.
Ireland’s future is a bright one and our potential is great. The time to make that change is now.
Environmental Law, Diploma (University of Sydney)
Biological Science (BSC Ecology) (University of Ulster)
Applied Aquatic Science, Diploma (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology)
Aquaculture, Certificate in Science (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology)
Cathaoirleach of Greystones Municipal District and Wicklow County Councillor with the Social Democrats.
Primarily focused on developing community initiatives including project managing the Greystones Enterprise Strategy and Wired Wicklow.
Principal Policy Officer, Industry & Investment NSW, Sydney (2010): Coordinated the development of a draft NSW Clean Energy Policy
Manager, Strategic Policy Group, NSW Department of Natural Resources, Sydney (2006-2009): Directed and controlled the provision of high quality and strategic policy advice across a broad range of governmental, legislative, policy, operational and managerial matters to the Minister, Director-General and Executive.
Principal Policy Consultant, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Sydney (2008): Developed options paper for the management of NSW’s commercial fisheries.
Principal Policy Officer, The Greenhouse Office, NSW Cabinet Office, Sydney (2006): Responsible for a research funding budget of $2.5 million into the impacts of climate change on NSW communities.
Senior Natural Resource Policy Officer, Department of Natural Resources, NSW, Sydney (2003-2006): Developed policy / operational procedures with regard to the implementation of the Water Management Act 2000, including water metering and trading rules.
Project Manager, Marine Institute (1997-2001): Managed and developed Irish participation in European Union (EU) project on Irish Sea cod and Dublin Bay Prawn stocks.
Gaelic Seafood (1995-1997): Fish health manager, Co. Wicklow and County Wexford.