Michael was first co-opted to Cork County Council in 1987. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1989. He has held several positions on the Fine Gael front-bench including; Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 2007 - 2010, Health 1989 - 1993, Youth & Sport in 1993-1994 and Education; Arts, Culture & the Gaeltacht in 1994. He was the Chairperson of Cork County Council for the period 2005/06.
Michael, a Macroom native is married to Sinead and has three children. Michael is currently a member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee. Michael's priorities for the remainder of the Government term include the pursual of development on the N22 Macroom-Baile Mhuirne Bypass scheme and working with Cabinet to ensure the economic recovery reaches rural Ireland and constituencies such as Cork North West.