He first stood for election at the 1969 general election for the Mayo West constituency but was unsuccessful. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for Mayo West at the 1973 general election. He lost his Dáil seat at the 1977 general election but was elected to the 14th Seanad on the Administrative Panel. He stood unsuccessfully as the Fine Gael candidate at the 1979 European election for the Connacht–Ulster constituency. He was re-elected to the 15th Seanad in 1981.