Michael McDowell SC is one of Ireland’s most widely-respected barristers. In addition to his lengthy career as a Senior Counsel, Michael has held some of the highest political offices in Ireland, having served as Tánaiste, Minister for Justice, and Attorney General of Ireland.
A Dublin native, Michael is a graduate of University College, Dublin, and the Honourable Society of King’s Inns. He was called to the bar in 1974, and appointed Senior Counsel in 1987.
Michael was a founder member of the Progressive Democrats, and was elected to the Dáil Éireann in the General Election of 1987, representing the Dublin South East constituency. In 1999, Michael was appointed Attorney General of Ireland. Following the 2002 election, Michael was appointed Minister for Justice, Equality, and Law Reform.
As Justice Minister, Michael was responsible for a number of important reforms, including the 27th Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland, the Garda Síochána Act, and the Defamation Act. In 2006, Michael became leader of the Progressive Democrats, and assumed the office of Tánaiste.
Despite his retirement from politics and return to legal practice, Michael has remained an active and prominent figure in Irish public life. Michael was a high-profile opponent of the proposed 32nd Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland to abolish the Seanead Éireann.