Tuesday 26 September 2017

Mac's back in spotlight and taking the uproar in his stride

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

THE Mac is back and he is in demand.

Michael McDowell fled the political stage, and the Progressive Democrat party which he had led in 2007, when he lost his seat at the General Election.

But Mr McDowell, once branded the "Mad Mullah" by the Star newspaper -- a moniker the senior counsel took in his stride -- did not opt for an easy or quiet life once he returned to private practice in the Law Library.

Since his return to the Four Courts, itself dubbed the Four Goldmines, Mr McDowell has witnessed extraordinary demands by clients to represent them.

It is not known how much Mr McDowell is being paid to represent the Moriarty Tribunal.

However, senior counsels in state tribunals can command daily fees of up to €2,000.

Rumours

As rumours fly about his future political intentions, Mr McDowell has been busy starring in a series of major courtroom dramas such as the Karen Millen/Dunnes Stores fashion row.

Mr McDowell also appeared in a landmark action on father's rights in the Mr G case, where an unmarried father of twin boys challenged the removal of his children from Ireland by their mother who had taken them to Britain.

The once tough-talking, law-and-order politician has avoided criminal law cases since his return to the Four Courts but has been kept busy with his lucrative civil and commercial law practice.

But it is his appointment by the Moriarty Tribunal to cross examine a key witness that has caused uproar and today the High Court will rule whether he can continue to act for the long-running inquiry.

Irish Independent

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