Michael McDowell


1951 –


Who is Michael McDowell?

Michael McDowell is a Senior Counsel in the Bar Council of Ireland and a former politician.

A grandson of Irish revolutionary Eoin MacNeill, McDowell was a founding member of the Progressive Democrats political party in the mid-1980s. On three occasions he was elected as a Teachta Dála for the Dublin South–East constituency, serving in the 25th Dáil, the 27th Dáil, and the 29th Dáil. He lost his Dáil seat at the general elections of 1989, 1997, and 2007.

During his years in public life, McDowell also served as Attorney General of Ireland, as Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, as leader of the Progressive Democrats, and as Tánaiste.

McDowell led the Progressive Democrats to a disastrous performance in 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.


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May 29, 1951
  • Catholicism
  • Gonzaga College
  • University College Dublin
    Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Honorable Society of Kings Inns
    ( - 1974)
Lived in
  • County Dublin

on July 23, 2013