Nora Owen

Nora Owen (née O'Mahony; born 1 June 1945) is an Irish former Fine Gael politician who served as Minister for Justice from 1994 to 1997 and Deputy Leader of Fine Gael from 1993 to 2001. She served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin North constituency from 1981 to 1987 and 1989 to 2002.[1]

Nora Owen
Minister for Justice
In office
15 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
TaoiseachJohn Bruton
Preceded byMáire Geoghegan-Quinn
Succeeded byJohn O'Donoghue
Deputy Leader of Fine Gael
In office
15 December 1993 – 9 February 2001
LeaderJohn Bruton
Preceded byPeter Barry
Succeeded byJim Mitchell
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1981 – February 1987
In office
June 1989 – May 2002
ConstituencyDublin North
Personal details
Nora O'Mahony

(1945-06-01) 1 June 1945 (age 75)
Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Brian Owen (m. 1968)
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

She was a presenter of TV3's topical programme Midweek.

Early lifeEdit

Owen 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 careerEdit

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 following the 1989 general election. In 1993, she became Deputy Leader of Fine Gael. 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 result.[2]

Post-political lifeEdit

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. ^ "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.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Minister for Justice
Succeeded by
John O'Donoghue