|Minister for Education|
16 May 2011
|First Minister||Peter Robinson|
|Preceded by||Caitríona Ruane|
|Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Upper Bann
26 November 2003
|Preceded by||Dara O'Hagan|
10 May 1967 |
Tullylish, County Down
|Political party||Sinn Féin|
|Residence||Craigavon, County Armagh|
|Website||John O'Dowd MLA|
John O'Dowd MLA (born 10 May 1967) is an Irish Sinn Féin politician. He has been the Minister for Education in the Stormont Executive since 2011 and the Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for Upper Bann since 2003. He briefly took on the duties of deputy First Minister in 2011 while Martin McGuinness ran in the 2011 Irish presidential election.
O'Dowd says the defining political moment of his life was the 1981 hunger strikes. His political hero was Sheena Campbell, a republican activist who was murdered as she drank with friends in the bar of the York Hotel in south Belfast.
O'Dowd previously trained as a chef before engaging in politics. He began his political career serving for 14 years as a councillor on Craigavon Council and previously served as a school governor. O'Dowd has served as Chair of Upper Bann Sinn Féin and a member of the party's Six County Executive, O'Dowd was leader of the Sinn Féin group on Craigavon Council. In 2003 he was elected as MLA for Upper Bann. Between 2007 and 2011 he was Sinn Féin group leader in the Assembly and served as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee before becoming a member of the Education Committee in 2008.
Acting Deputy First Minister
Following the decision by Sinn Féin to nominate Martin McGuinness as its candidate in the 2011 Irish presidential election, it was announced on 16 September 2011 that O'Dowd would be fulfil the duties of deputy First Minister on a temporary basis. On 31 October 2011, McGuinness resumed his duties as deputy First Minister after finishing third in the Irish presidential election.
O'Dowd is married with 3 young children.
- "Minister for Education". Department for Education, Northern Ireland. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Remarkable year for new deputy first minister John O'Dowd". BBC.
- "Upper Bann – John O'Dowd | Sinn Féin". Sinn Féin.
- John O'Dowd. "UTV News – O'Dowd ready for acting DFM role". UTV.
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|Northern Ireland Assembly|
|MLA for Upper Bann
|Minister of Education
|Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland