Brendan Howlin

Irish Labour Party politician

Brendan Howlin (born 9 May 1956) is an Irish Labour Party politician. He was Leader of the Labour Party since May 2016. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wexford constituency since 1987.

Brendan Howlin

Brendan Howlin (official portrait).jpg
Leader of the Labour Party
Assumed office
20 May 2016
Preceded byJoan Burton
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform
In office
9 March 2011 – 6 May 2016
TaoiseachEnda Kenny
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byPaschal Donohoe
Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann
In office
26 June 2007 – 9 March 2011
Ceann Comhairle
Preceded bySéamus Pattison
Succeeded byMichael Kitt
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
13 November 1997 – 25 October 2002
LeaderRuairi Quinn
Preceded byRuairi Quinn
Succeeded byLiz McManus
Minister for the Environment
In office
14 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
TaoiseachJohn Bruton
Preceded byMichael Smith
Succeeded byNoel Dempsey
Minister for Health
In office
12 January 1993 – 17 November 1994
TaoiseachAlbert Reynolds
Preceded byJohn O'Connell
Succeeded byMichael Woods
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 1987
In office
21 February 1983 – 17 February 1987
ConstituencyNominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Born (1956-05-09) 9 May 1956 (age 66)
Wexford, Ireland
Political partyLabour Party
Alma materSt Patrick's College, Dublin

He was Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform from 2011 to 2016, Leas-Cheann Comhairle from 2007 to 2011, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1997 to 2002, Minister for the Environment from 1994 to 1997 and Minister for Health from 1993 to 1994.

He was a Senator from 1983 to 1987, after being nominated by the Taoiseach.[1][2]

In February 2020, after a poor result for the Labour Party in the 2020 general election, he announced that he would be stepping down as party leader in a few weeks.[3]


  1. "Brendan Howlin". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  2. "Profile of Brendan Howlin". Labour Party website. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  3. "Howlin stepping down as Labour leader". RTÉ. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2020.