Minister Information

Michael McDowell

Michael McDowell (born 1 May 1951) is an Irish independent politician and barrister who has served as a Senator for the National University since April 2016. He previously served as Tánaiste from 2006 to 2007, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform from 2002 to 2007, Leader of the Progressive Democrats from 2006 to 2007 and Attorney General of Ireland from 1999 to 2002. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South-East constituency from 1987 to 1989, 1992 to 1997 and 2002 to 2007.A grandson of Irish revolutionary Eoin MacNeill, McDowell was a founding member of the Progressive Democrats in the mid-1980s. On three occasions he was elected as a TD for the Dublin South-East constituency, serving in the 25th Dáil (1987–89), the 27th Dáil (1992–97), and the 29th Dáil (2002–07). He lost his Dáil seat at the general elections of 1989, 1997, and 2007. McDowell led the Progressive Democrats to a disastrous performance at the 2007 general election, in which the party lost six of its eight seats in Dáil Éireann, including his own. After conceding his seat to John Gormley at the RDS count centre in Dublin, McDowell abruptly resigned as party leader and announced his immediate retirement from public life. He has since resumed his private legal career. He returned to politics in 2016 and was elected to Seanad Éireann as a Senator for the National University of Ireland.