Gemma Hussey

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Gemma Hussey (born 11 November 1938) is a former Irish Fine Gael politician.

Gemma Moran was born in Dublin in 1938 and educated at Loreto College, Foxrock and University College Dublin. Hussey had a successful career running a language school in the late 1960s and 70s. She was first elected to Dáil Éireann, on her second attempt at the February 1982 general election, as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for Wicklow.

She had earlier been elected by the National University of Ireland to Seanad Éireann, serving in the upper house of the Oireachtas from 1977 until 1982. She sat as an independent senator for the first three years, before serving as Fine Gael spokesman on Women's Affairs (1981–1982) and then Government Leader of the Seanad.

Hussey served as Minister for Education in the Fine Gael/Labour Party coalition government of Garret FitzGerald from 1982 to 1986, during which time she was heavily criticised by teachers' unions during a bitter pay strike in 1984. In 1986, she was re-shuffled to the equally contentious Social Welfare ministry.

Always a liberal and a feminist, she took a strongly supportive position on the legalisation of divorce, which was defeated in a referendum in 1986, and frequently suggested that her support for liberalisation of Ireland's anti-abortion laws. A member of Fine Gael's liberal wing, which included "feminists" such as Monica Barnes and Nuala Fennell, as well as......
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