Politician and Irish Economist born in Dublin on November 28, 1952. President of the European Liberal Democratic and Reform Party (ELDR) since 1988, in January 2002 was elected to succeed Nicole Fontaine as President of the European Parliament.
Degree in economics in 1974, taught until 1982, first as Professor of Economics at the Institute of public administration of Dublin and later as Professor of Economics at the University of Limerick. It changed classrooms by journalism and, for four years, working as a presenter and reporter for news on the television show Today Tonight RTE Dublin.
His political debut came in 1985 when he was appointed Secretary general of the new Irish Party Democrats progressives, position he occupied until 1989. This past year he managed a MEP seat for the constituency of Munster and actively participated in the negotiation of the program governance that allowed his political formation to accede to the coalition Government of Ireland. Between 1992 and 1994 he was a Deputy in the national Parliament and served as spokesman for Economic Affairs of his party.
In 1994 he presented his candidacy as an independent European elections and was re-elected MEP. In the European Parliament took the Vice-Presidency of the Group Liberal Democrat and reformist European (ELDR), political formation which brought together representatives from a score of liberal parties and that, after popular and democratic, was the third political force in the Parliament in Strasbourg. In 1998 he was appointed President of the ELDR and a year later managed the re-election unanimously. On 15 January 2002, and thanks to the Pact reached with the European People Party (EPP), was elected in a third round of voting for President of the European Parliament.