Daly, Denis Bowes (c.1745–1821), politician, was born in Dalystown, near Loughrea, Co. Galway, the eldest son of Hyacynth Daly and his wife, Rose Daly, of Raford, Co. Galway. Educated by the Rev. Benson in Dublin, he entered TCD in November 1765, graduating BA in spring 1769 and MA in 1772. He was brought into parliament by his cousin Denis Daly (qv), serving as MP for Galway borough (1776–90), and afterwards for King's Co. (Offaly) (1790–1801). In 1777 he was described as ‘a young man addicted to pleasure, but of good understanding’ (HIP, iv, 10). He married 10 July 1780 Mary Charlotte Ponsonby, who was the daughter of John Ponsonby (qv), and the sister of George Ponsonby (qv). She died in 1781, and for more than a year afterwards Daly refused to go out in public. From then on he always sided with the Ponsonby faction in parliament. He voted for catholic relief (1778 and 1793), for Yelverton's motion to repeal Poynings' law (1780), and for the commercial propositions (1785). During the viceroyalty of Lord Fitzwilliam (qv) he acted as the viceroy's agent in attempting to persuade John Beresford (qv) to accept a pension and leave office without causing trouble. A vehement opponent of union, he played a major role in co-ordinating the different sections in the house of commons; he was considered the opposition's chief whip. In January 1799, after the defeat of the union proposal, he organised a subscription among the Dublin bankers to pay the debts of the speaker, John Foster (qv). This was part of an attempt by the Ponsonby faction to secure Foster's support, but – although no doubt grateful – Foster remained aloof. In February 1800 Daly made a wager with Edward Cooke (qv) that the union would not pass by August, a confident, if misguided, prediction. After its passing he served in the united house of commons for King's Co. (1801–2), before returning to represent Galway borough (1802–5), and finally Co. Galway (1805–18). He was made an Irish privy councillor on 7 June 1806.
A founder member of the Irish Whig Club, he was a friend of Charles James Fox, the English whig leader, and of the prince of Wales. He contacted the latter in November 1804 to promote catholic relief. Daly is not recorded as voting on Fox's catholic relief motion on 15 May 1805, but it is believed that this was because he was changing his parliamentary seat. He owned a large property, Cuba House, in King's Co., but in 1804 rented the premises to the medical board on a 61-year lease. In 1806 he was appointed joint muster-master of the forces in Ireland. It was revealed in 1812 that he had polled fictitious voters and this scandal contributed to a sharp decline in his influence in the constituency. He was forced to sell property in 1813 to alleviate his financial difficulties. Growing disillusioned with politics, he nevertheless stood for election a final time in 1818 but was defeated.
He died 17 December 1821. Besides his house in King's Co., he owned estates in Co. Kildare and Co. Galway, and lived at Athgarvan Lodge, Co. Kildare, and Dalystown, Co. Galway.