Noel was first elected to the in 2007. He was previously appointed Deputy Spokesperson for Agriculture with Special Responsibility for CAP Reform in October 2010 and Deputy Spokesperson on Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, with Special Responsibility for Telecommunications, from October 2007. He was elected to Seanad Éireann (Cultural and Educational Panel) in July 2002. He was Fine Gael's Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food in the Upper House. Noel is Chairperson of the Northern European Group which includes Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and Noel is dedicated towards developing relations between these countries.
Noel is a GAA fan and regularly attends Tipperary hurling matches. He is a keen horseracing fan, Punchestown is his favourite race meet and he attends Cheltenham every year. Noel is president of the Collins 22 Society.