Biographical

Marie-Louise O’Donnell (born 5 September 1952) is an Irish broadcaster and politician.

From Foxford, County Mayo, she is the daughter of Maire Cranny, a speech and drama teacher in south County Dublin. O’Donnell studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she learned her trade in professional acting and theatre directing. She became head of drama at Carysfort teacher training college. She was also involved in the setting up of The Helix theatre on the DCU campus. She has one adult son, who studies medicine.

A lecturer in communications at Dublin City University (DCU), O’Donnell first rose to prominence as a reporter on RTÉ Radio 1‘s Today with Pat Kenny in the summer of 2010. She trained in radio production and presentation with the BBC and presented programmes for BBC Radio 4.

In May 2011, Taoiseach Enda Kenny nominated O’Donnell to the 24th Seanad. He again nominated her to the 25th Seanad in May 2016.

More recently, in accompaniment to her work with RTÉ and presence in the Seanad, she has taken to frequently appearing as a panellist on TV3‘s Tonight with Vincent Browne, often featuring in the section of the programme that reviews the following morning’s newspapers.