Heather was appointed as Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in May 2016.
It is her second appointment to Cabinet; she served as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht from July 2014 to May 2016.
She was elected to Dail Eireann in the 2011 general election and is the first woman ever to be elected for Fine Gael in the Cavan-Monaghan constituency.
Heather first became involved in politics when she was co-opted on to Monaghan County Council in 2003 and was twice re-elected in 2004 and 2009. In 2009, Heather was elected as Mayor of Monaghan County Council. She was previously Chair of the Council’s Strategic Policy Committee on Planning and Economic Development and also served on the Council’s An Coiste Gaeilge.
Heather is married with two daughters and lives on a farm in Aghabog, County Monaghan. She was educated at St Aidan’s Comprehensive School in Cootehill, County Cavan. She worked with Ulster Bank and prior to her election to Dáil Éireann she was Manager of Cootehill Credit Union.
Heather’s financial experience in both personal and business matters combined with a farming background makes her a strong voice for the people of Cavan and Monaghan. She is acutely aware of the challenges facing indigenous industries and small business and understands the importance of cash flow to businesses and has made this issue one of her main priorities as a new TD. Heathers approach to politics focuses on common sense, honesty and practicality. This goes hand in hand with her businesslike attitude and a willingness to roll up the sleeves and get the job done.
Prior to being appointed to Cabinet, Heather served as a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, the Joint Administration Committee and as a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE). Heather also served on the All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations and as Chairperson of the Internal Fine Gael Finance Commitee.