Denis O'Donovan

Denis O'Donovan (born 23 July 1955) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has served as Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann since June 2016 and a Senator for the Agricultural Panel since 2011. He previously served as Leas-Chathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann from April 2011 to 2016. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork South-West constituency from 2002 to 2007.[1]

Denis O'Donovan
Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann
Assumed office
8 June 2016
Preceded byPaddy Burke
Leas-Chathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann
In office
25 May 2011  8 June 2016
CathaoirleachPaddy Burke
Assumed office
27 April 2011
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
In office
24 July 2007  27 April 2011
In office
12 September 1997  18 May 2002
ConstituencyIndustrial and Commercial Panel
In office
12 October 1989  10 December 1992
ConstituencyNominated by the Taoiseach
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002  May 2007
ConstituencyCork South-West
Personal details
Born (1955-07-23) 23 July 1955
Bantry, County Cork, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
Alma materUniversity College Cork

A native of Bantry, he was elected to Cork County Council in 1985, and re-elected in 1991 and 1999. He was nominated by the Taoiseach to the Seanad in 1989. He was an unsuccessful candidate at the 1993 Seanad election but was elected to the Seanad in 1997 on the Industrial and Commercial Panel. O'Donovan was elected to Dáil Éireann, on his fifth attempt, at the 2002 general election for the Cork South-West constituency. He lost his Dáil seat at the 2007 general election, however he was subsequently elected to the Seanad.[2]

O'Donovan was the Chairman of the all-party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, established in December 2002 to review the Constitution. He has a degree in law from University College Cork and is a qualified solicitor.[1]

In June 2010, he lost the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party whip when he failed to support the government on the Dog Breeding Establishment bill.[3] He was a Fianna Fáil candidate at the 2011 general election for Cork South-West but was not elected. He was re-elected to the Seanad in April 2011. He was Leas-Chathaoirleach (Deputy Chairman) of the 24th Seanad.[4] and was re-elected again to Seanad Éireann on the Agricultural Panel in April 2016.

He became Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann on the 8 June 2016.


  1. "Denis O'Donovan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  2. "Denis O'Donovan". Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  3. "Three FF Senators relinquish party whip". RTÉ News. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  4. "Seanad Leas Chathaoirleach elected". RTÉ News. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
Preceded by
P. J. Sheehan
(Fine Gael)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Cork South-West
Succeeded by
P. J. Sheehan
(Fine Gael)
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