Austin Currie was born in County Tyrone on 11 October 1939. He was educated at Dungannon and Queen's University, Belfast. Between 1964 and 1972 he was elected as Stormont MP for east Tyrone. He became an active member in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement. In 1970 he was a founder-member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). From 1973-1975 Currie was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembley. In 1974 he became chief whip of the SDLP. That same year he became Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning in the Northern Ireland Executive.
In 1989 he was elected Fine Gael TD for a Dublin constituency. In 1990 he was the Fine Gael candidate in the Presidential election. However, after procrastination on Fine Gael's part in choosing a candidate he came third after Mary Robinson and Brian Lenihan. In the 'Rainbow Coalition' between 1994 and 1997 he became Minister of State at the Departments of Education, Justice and Health. In the 2002 general election he lost his seat in Dáil Éireann. He immediately announced his retirement from politics.
Austin Currie, 'All Hell will break loose,' O'Brien Press, Dublin, 2004. (an autobiography)