O'Rourke, Mary

Mary O'Rourke (1937-) is a former Fianna Fáil politician and senator.

Born in Athlone she was educated at Saint Peter's Athlone and Loreto Convent Bray. Having graduated with a BA (Bachelor of Arts) from University College Dublin she worked in the private sector before returning to study at Saint Patrick's College Maynooth where she completed a Higher Diploma in Education in 1967.

She taught history at Saint Joseph's College Summerhill, County Westmeath and began her career in politics as a member of Athlone Urban Council and Westmeath County Council from 1974 to 1987.

Elected to Seanad Éireann in 1981 on the Cultural & Educational Panel, she was returned as Fianna Fáil TD (Teachta Dála) for Longford-Westmeath in the 1982 general election.

Appointed as Minister for Education in 1987, she also served as Minister for Health from 1991-1992, Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications 1997, and Minister for Public Enterprise 1997-2002.

2002 saw Mary O'Rourke take a seat in the Seanad once more, where she remained until 2007 when she regained her Dáil seat, and on losing it in the 2011 general election retired from politics.