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Michael McDowell

From Academic Kids

Michael McDowell (born May, 1951) is a senior Irish Progressive Democrats politician. He is a Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin South East and is currently the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform. He has previously been the Attorney-General of Ireland (1999-2002) and is also the President of the Progressive Democrats.

Michael McDowell was born in Dublin, Ireland and was educated at University College Dublin and Kings Inns in Dublin where he qualified as a barrister. McDowell was part of the legal team that defended Malcolm MacArthur, the double-murder (see GUBU). He became involved in politics, supporting Fine Gael at first. When Des O'Malley was expelled from Fianna Fáil in 1985 McDowell was one of the people who helped him found the Progressive Democrats. McDowell was first elected to Dáil Éireann following the 1987 General Election. He lost his seat in 1989 but was made Chairman of the Party.

McDowell regained his seat in 1992 but lost it again in 1997. He has served as a member of the PD front bench acting as spokesman for Foreign Affairs, Northern Ireland and Finance. In July 1999 McDowell was appointed Attorney-General of Ireland, a position he held until 2002. following the 2002 General Election McDowell regained his Dáil seat. He was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform. He is also the grandson of Irish scholar and revolutionary Eoin MacNeill. He has been a strong opponent of Sinn Féin and the IRA, and often takes a harder line than his coalition partners, Fianna Fáil. He is admired by many unionists in Northern Ireland for this stance.


Preceded by:
David Byrne
Attorney-General of Ireland
1999–2002
Succeeded by:
Rory Brady
Preceded by:
John O'Donoghue
Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform
2002–
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

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