About Us

About the Progressive Democrats

The Progressive Democrats is a liberal Party which was formed in 1985 by Desmond O’Malley, Mary Harney and Michael McDowell to break the mould of Irish politics and give the Irish voters a new and real alternative to the Civil War parties then dominating Irish politics.

The party has campaigned on prudent financial management, reduced taxes and an increased role for the individual in all walks of Irish life.

The Party has been in Government four times from 1989-1992, from 1997 – 2002 from 2002-2007 and are serving in the current government which was formed in June 2007.

In Government the Progressive Democrats successfully campaigned to:

  • Cut the basic rate of tax for one million taxpayers from 26% to 20%.

  • Cut the higher rate of tax for the first time in five years, from 48% to 41%, benefiting 400,000 people.

  • Reduce Capital Gains Tax rate from 40% to 20%, encouraging greater investment in business activity generally.

  • Reduce unemployment to the lowest figure in decades, way below the EU average.

  • Reduce long-term unemployment to under 2%.

  • Introduce the minimum wage by our leader Mary Harney in April 2002.

  • The old-age pension target of £100 per week has become €200 plus per week. Our new target ( 2007 manifesto) is €300 per week within the lifetime of the current Government.

  • Massive increase for the funding of social services – health, education and welfare.

  • Liberalise Dublin’s taxi market.


The Progressive Democrats Parliamentary Party are:

Party Leader: Mary Harney TD, Minister for Health and Children

Noel Grealish TD, Chairman of the Parliamentary Party

Senator Fiona O Malley

Senator Ciaran Cannon