Michael was first co-opted to Cork County Council in 1987. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1989. He was appointed Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs with Special Responsibility for European Affairs, October 2010. He was Fine Gael Spokesperson on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, September, 2007 until July, 2010. Michael was the spokesperson for Education; Arts, Culture & the Gaeltacht in 1994; Health 1989-93; and Youth & Sport 1993-4. He was the Chairperson of Cork County Council, 2005/06.
Some other facts on Michael: Michael was brought up in Macroom, Co. Cork. He now lives with his wife Niamh and their three children. In his spare time he enjoys sport and his first medal was in GAA. His favourite film is The Shawshank Redemption and his favourite singer is Johnny Cash. Michael is particularly interested in the potential of indigenous industries such as agriculture and the food industry to drive economic growth.