Nora Owen

Nora Owen
Minister for Justice
In office
15 December 1994  26 June 1997
Taoiseach John Bruton
Preceded by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Succeeded by John O'Donoghue
Deputy Leader of the Fine Gael Party
In office
15 December 1993  9 February 2001
Leader John Bruton
Preceded by Peter Barry
Succeeded by Jim Mitchell
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1981  February 1987
In office
June 1989  May 2002
Constituency Dublin North
Personal details
Born (1945-06-01) 1 June 1945
Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael
Alma mater University College Dublin

Nora Owen (née O'Mahony; born 1 June 1945) is a former Irish Fine Gael politician and is the current presenter of TV3's topical programme Midweek. She was a Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin North from 1981 to 1987 and from 1989 to 2002. She also served as Minister for Justice from 1994 to 1997.[1]

Early life

Nora O'Mahony was born in Dublin in 1945. She is a sister of Mary Banotti and a grandniece of the Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins. She was educated at Dominican Convent, County Wicklow and University College Dublin (UCD) where she qualified as an industrial chemist.

Political career

Owen was first elected to Dublin County Council in 1979 for the Malahide local electoral area. She was later elected as a Fine Gael TD for the first time in 1981, serving until the 1987 election when she lost her seat. That year she became a member of the executive of Trócaire. She returned to Dáil Éireann in 1989 becoming Deputy Leader of Fine Gael in 1993. The following year she became Minister for Justice, remaining in that post until 1997. Journalist Veronica Guerin was murdered in 1996 and in its aftermath Owen introduced the highly successful Criminal Assets Bureau to crack down on organised crime. In 2002 she became the first high-profile Fine Gael TD to lose her seat in Dublin North in the party's disastrous general election.[2]

Post-political life

Owen is the patron of the Collins 22 Society, which works to keep the memory and legacy of Michael Collins in living memory. She occasionally works as an election pundit. In August 2011, it was announced she was to present the Irish version of Mastermind on TV3.[3] In February 2012 she was made a Vice President of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.


  1. "Mrs. Nora Owen". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  2. "Nora Owen". Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  3. "TV3 mixes some highbrow with reality for autumn". The Irish Times. 19 August 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Minister for Justice
Succeeded by
John O'Donoghue
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