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Liz O’Donnell - Former Government Minister, Broadcaster and Columnist

Liz O'Donnell represented by Noel Kelly

Liz O’Donnell was Progressive Democrats TD for Dublin South for fifteen years and was Deputy Leader of the Party when she retired from political life in June 2007. In October 2014, she was appointed as Chairperson Designate of the Road Safety Authority.  

She writes a weekly column on politics and public affairs for the Irish Independent and is a regular contributor to radio and television political programmes. On TV, she presented and wrote a four part documentary on Irish Aid in the developing world broadcast in 2008 on RTÉ Far Away Up Close. She joined John McGuire as one of Caroline Downey’s sidekicks for Celebrity Apprentice on TV3 during the Autumn 2013.

Liz O'Donnell represented by Noel Kelly

For the past number of years Liz has worked as a public affairs consultant providing strategic advice in government relations and public and media affairs for organisations and corporates. She was advocate to Government for three years for the retail industry (Retail Excellence Ireland) and currently has a variety of commercial, national and multinational corporate clients in the area of public affairs and advocacy. She lectures on conflict resolution at third level colleges in Ireland and abroad, drawing on her experience as a member of the Irish Government in the peace process and multi-party talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement.

Liz O'Donnell represented by Noel Kelly

Liz had a distinguished career in the Dáil that began as PD spokeswoman on Health and Social Welfare from 1992 to 1993. She served as Party Whip and Justice Spokesperson from 1993 to 1997. During this time, she tabled several important Private Members’ Bills on Criminal Justice and Law Reform.

Following the June 1997 General Election, she negotiated the Programme for the Coalition Government between Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats, along with her then party colleague Bobby Molloy.

In July 1997, she was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and Human Rights. She represented the Irish Government at the multi-party talks at Stormont, which culminated in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. As a Minister, Liz oversaw a major expansion of the ODA Budget, and was a member of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Asylum Immigration and related matters. Following the resignation of Minister of State Bobby Molloy she became Minister of State to the Government in April, 2002.

Prior to her election as a TD she was successfully elected on her first attempt to Dublin City Council as a Progressive Democrat for the Rathmines Ward in 1991, and served on the council until 1994. She was also a Vice Chair of the Women's Political Association and Delegate to the National Women’s Council.

She has a keen interest in human rights, development and justice issues, particularly the rights of minorities - especially refugees. In December 2002, she was awarded the Doolin Memorial Medal for her contribution to Overseas Development and Human Rights. She participates regularly in international conferences and in May 2003, attended and addressed the ‘Re-Imagining Ireland Conference’ in Charlottesville, Virginia.

She is a member of the Institute of Directors, a member of the Advisory Board for WXN the Women's Executive Network and a member of the Board of Directors of Chernobyl Children International. Liz has also recently been appointed Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority.

She was born in Dublin, educated at Salesian Convent, Limerick and is an honours graduate of the LawSchool, TrinityCollege, Dublin. After graduation she had a career as a lawyer. 

Visit Liz's website