Honohan Appointed Governor

Patrick Honohan has been appointed Central Bank governor—Irish Times story here. Congratulations to Patrick and to the Minister for Finance for making a truly excellent appointment.

46 replies on “Honohan Appointed Governor”

Congratulations to Professor Honohan. I think this also explains why he did not sign “the letter”.

Looks like it’ll be a great decision. Though it’s a bit disappointing for those of us who have chosen to take his course in Investment Analysis this year!

Congratulations to both Patrick Honohan and it has to be said to the Minister.
Now, that over, back to normal….:)

Does that mean Prof. Honohan won’t be putting me back in my box on this forum again?

It’s great to see talent rewarded.

A positive move at last! And a positive thinker to boot! Now lets give him the resources to DO the job.

Congratulations to Patrick. I have only been in Ireland since 2004 but have followed Patrick’s independent writings and work since then to help me understand this place. He is excellent in terms of getting complicated (and some not so complicated) issues into the public forum where they could be argued, understood and acted upon. I only wonder why it took the government so long to give Patrick a role where his thinking will benefit the public as a whole. Hopefully the appointment of an independent person like Patrick will start a movement in future government appointments? The only downside will be that the rest of you might be picked up by the government and industry and therefore cause the closure of this website!!

Congratulations Prof. Honohan.

Am I correct in thinking that he is the first non civil-service governor?

Congratulations, Prof Honohan. And well done cabinet on making such a wise choice. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come.

Congratulations, Patrick

@Peter Oakes
Patrick Honohan did have a government job during the 1980s – as Economic Adviser to the then Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald. An AIB bank arose during that time.

You are.

Congratulations Professor Honohan

Undoubtedly a change for the better!

I just hope that his appointment leads to a regulatory regime that has teeth rather than just bark.

Beyond capital ideals : restoring banking stability

It is ten years since the Honohan – Caprio Worldbank policy research paper was published.

Although it was in response to the collapse of the financial institutions in many emerging markets, it makes for interesting reading in light of the current crisis.

Many of the points raised have equal validity today in our own markets

Congratulations – – in this time of adversity, it’s a time to make a difference.

This is the first time in 66 years that an outsider was chosen.

The first governor Joseph Brennan was a native of Bandon and was a Cambridge graduate.

The Brennans had a significant merchant business which was uncommon at that time for Catholics, when Bandon was known as the Londonderry of the South.

Brennan assisted Collins in raising the first national loan and the Irish banks were seeking a guarantee from the British Treasury!

Joseph Brenann resigned in 1953 over a disagreement with the Government.

So,after the promotions…
Come the demotions…
you could end up on the boat with Mc Nulty!!!


Am I being presumptious, in light of the appointment, can we take it as read that payment to the banks will follow the split payment as suggested by Prof Honohan?


I wouldn’t connect the two things too much. They made explain away why the couldn’t do a split payment. And even if it is split, the exact details of how this is done are crucial. Lots of ways to skin that cat, some good, some bad. I’ll write more about this later but, for now, I just want to emphasise how pleased I am that this appointment has been made.

I’m delighted, for the first time there will be an ACTUAL independent CB/Regulator and about time, I hope he gives the organisation more bite and less bark, he’ll certainly bring some much needed direction I’m sure.

All – given the keen interest in regulatory circles about the new Central Bank of Ireland Commission, I have sent out a newsletter to our subscribers in Ireland and abroad about the announcement of Patrick . Here is a link to the newsletter http://www.complianceireland.com/documents/CI_Newsletter_Sept09_07_web.pdf or go to http://www.complianceireland.com/Newsletter.html if the direct link plays up.

Just thought I would let you know as I give a plug for http://www.irisheconomy.ie which might help other come across your website.

(if anyone wants to be added to the circulation list about 2,000 legal, risk & compliance people just send an email to news@complianceireland.com its a free service).

My Aunt Molly (nee Nugent sister of my Granny Sally Carey) married Sean Brennan, Joe’s brother. We were very proud of the connection and still have somewhere old bank notes with Joe’s signature on them. Do Governors of the Central Bank still sign our bank notes? If so, be great fun to get the first one with the good Professor’s on it 🙂

@ Frank Galton
To be picky – Joseph Brennan was hardly the “an exception to the claim that every CB governor has come from the Department of Finance” – as he went from being Secretary of the Dept of Finance, with a short break, to Chair Currency Commission which the Central Bank replaced in 1940s.

Is Minister Brian Lenihan all in favour of tradition, which is why he is starting a new one?

Congratulations to Patrick. Great appointment both for Ireland and for Europe. And well done to the Minister for breaking with precedent in this way.

Congratulations Professor Honohan….I hope you are listened to now. I know a lot of you think that Alan Ahearne has now been turned to the dark side but his appointment along with the new appointment of Prof Honohan to me are very positive developments from Minister Brian and should be regarded as such. The lack of investment in talent on this side of the house has truly been shown up when the financial accountant’s numbers dont balance anymore. there’s more to life than once off transaction taxes as we can see now we have spent the money and the transactions have stopped…….

Congragulations to Professor Honohan on his Appointment.

Glad that another Civil Servant on pension not appointed.

Joseph Brennan was part of the influential Bandon brigade.

Advised Michael Collins on the Treaty negotiations though at the time was a senior official in Dublin Castle.
Appointed by Collins as first C&AG in 1922.
Appointed Secretary of the Department of Finance (1923-27) when just 36 years of age. During which time, according to his colleague and biographer, Leon Ă“ Broin, he:

‘appears to have had a free hand in setting up an Irish exchequer on the British model, in devising how the Exchequer account in the Bank of Ireland would operate and be controlled, in introducing the British system of parliamentary control over public finances via annual estimates, vote on account, and appropriation accounts, and in solidly establishing the role of the Comptroller and Auditor General.’

He did a few others things as well.

Congratulations Professor Honohan, you deserve the job and I wish you the best of luck. Thanks for all your honest opinions and wisdom offered on this site.

I was delighted to hear about Patrick’s appointment while touring near Yosemite in the California Gold Country.
A good omen, surely?
I have to recount the acedote that when Patrick was in my Macroeconomics class in UCD way back in the early 1970s he thought my course was ok, but I was going too slowly!

A good appointment and it shows some nous by the MinFin. I am delighted for the good Prof whom I do not know, but how independent will he be?

His contribution on NaMa was sensible esp as Biffo had already said it, according to Biffo. That is how to get promotion, repeat what the boss says …!

Will he be able to safeguard taxpayer interests? I hope to God he can!

He can start by suggesting a suspension of the rezoning abilities until NaMa is 20% full. We have enough rezoned land, yes?


Not taking away from the appointment, but FF are still very clever at a political level and so would never have appointed another civil service insider to the job after the calamity of the last 10 years.

Of course if it had been a position to which a FF politician was in line, normal service would have obtained.

So John Bruton in Washington shouldn’t hold hover around the phone waiting for the call from Taoiseach Brian Cowen to be our next EU Commissioner after Lisbon 2 is passed.

Oh Maurice – is it too much to hope that Lenihan did the right thing because it was the right thing?

I just had a quick look at my cash – no signatures at all! If it would help get Lisbon through perhaps we should insist that we get to sign our own currency again? Harp on the coins, Honohan on the cash?

I saw him speak for the first time at the IE conference some months ago and was delighted to identify my favourite trait in a person – a sense of humour. A few more like that might make the rest easier to bear….

@Sarah Carey
“Oh Maurice – is it too much to hope that Lenihan did the right thing because it was the right thing?”
No – but there are three things that politicians will take into account when making such an appointment : talent, political expediency/fallout and an eye to the future. All things being equal, talent will not be the tiebreaker. In this case we are fortunate indeed that regardless of anything else we have a hyper-talented central bank governor designate who will benefit not just us but the ECB.

Many congratulations to Patrick. I felt relief at the news that such a smart and knowledgeable person will be responsible for what is going to be an increasingly important job. I also allowed myself a bit of optimism: that he agreed to take the job might suggest that government plans aren’t too awful?

Congratulations to Professor Honohan on his appointment and best wishes for his success in what will be a demanding and difficult new role, for which he clearly has both the appropriate expertise and personal qualities, judging only from his public appearances and statements to date throughout this crisis.

As an aside, his selection says something about our current Minister for Finance – he has chosen excellent advisors for his personal office and it appears he is not afraid to select the ‘right person’ for the job for those public appointments over which he has control. That’s rare among politicians.

@Elaine Byrne

A former Boss of mine used to refer to people like Joseph Brennan as “Castle Catholics”. Being a Protestant I did not understand but maybe as I now know that Bandon is the Londonderry of Ireland is the reason for same.


A “Castle Catholic” was a pejorative term used to describe Catholics who worked in Dublin Castle. This was unfair and the reasons why there were so many Catholics working in Dublin Castle at the cusp of Irish Independence was lost to the very effective Sinn Fein propaganda at the time.

Augustine Birrell served as Chief Secretary from 1907-1916 and introduced a deliberate policy of promoting Catholics in Dublin Castle. He believed that Home Rule was inevitable wanted to create a native Irish governing class reflective of the religious and political character of the country.

For example, in 1892, 45 of the top 48 administrative positions were controlled by Protestant and Unionist officials. By 1914, these positions were divided between 20 Catholics and 28 Protestants.

My reference to Bandon is because several of the core civil servants and politicans were from West Cork.

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