Irish central bank recruits to replace chief lost to ECB

By on 28/04/2019
The Central Bank of Ireland’s new HQ, completed in 2017 (Image courtesy: William Murphy).

The Central Bank of Ireland is interviewing candidates for the role of governor this week, replacing incumbent Philip Lane – who is ending his seven-year term early to join the European Central Bank’s (ECB) executive board. He begins there in June, and is expected to be named as chief economist to ECB president Mario Draghi imminently.

Sharon Donnery, current deputy governor of the central bank, is tipped for the top job, the Irish Times reported. Donnery, who trained as an economist, joined the bank in 1996; if successful, she would be the first internal applicant to move into the role of governor since the bank was founded in 1943.

The shortlist is also said to include Andrew McDowell, vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB); and Colm O’Reardon, deputy secretary general of the Department of Health and the most senior figure from the civil service to be in the running.

Robert Watt, secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, who applied for the role in 2015, is understood not to have put his name forward this time round.

Fast Lane replacement

The Department of Finance announced it was conducting an “extensive national and international search” after news of Lane’s departure broke in March. Executive search firm Merc has apparently head-hunted several candidates on behalf of the government in recent weeks, according to The Times.

The paper reported that Paschal Donohoe, the minister for finance, wants candidates for the €260,000 (US$290,000) post to have experience of running a complex organisation with more than 1,600 employees.

Until Lane’s recent appointment, the Republic of Ireland was the only founding member of the Eurozone area not to have held an ECB executive seat.

Whoever is successful in the interview process, due to start in the next couple of weeks, will also sit on the governing council of the ECB.

About Natalie Leal

Natalie is a freelance journalist whose work has been published by The Sun Online, The Guardian, Novara Media, Positive News, and Welfare Weekly, among others. She also writes reports and case studies on global business trends for behavioural insights agency, Canvas8. Prior to working as a journalist Natalie worked for the public sector in social services for several years. She switched careers in 2013 after winning a fully funded NCTJ in a national writing competition. She holds a Masters degree in social anthropology from Sussex University where she specialised in processes of social change and international conflict and reconciliation processes.

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