Central Bank official to become key Joan Burton adviser

Chief economic adviser to Labour Party leader to be in position before budget

Terry Quinn: will be on secondment from the Central Bank while working for the Tánaiste. Photograph: Alan Betson

Terry Quinn: will be on secondment from the Central Bank while working for the Tánaiste. Photograph: Alan Betson

Thu, Aug 7, 2014, 01:04

Labour Party leader Joan Burton has appointed a senior Central Bank official as her chief economic adviser in Government, and will also choose a civil servant to run the Tánaiste’s office in the coming weeks.

Terry Quinn was headhunted by Ms Burton to take up the position of economics adviser and will be in place by the end of the month, in time for the build-up to the October budget.

He will be one of the select group of officials who attend meetings of the Economic Management Council (EMC), the powerful Cabinet subcommittee that comprises Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ms Burton, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin.

Secondment

Mr Quinn will be on secondment from the Central Bank, where he is deputy head of function at the Irish economic analysis division, for the duration of his period working for Ms Burton.

He holds an MA in economics from University College Dublin, as well as an MSc in economics from the London School of Economics.

He has held extensive conversations with Ms Burton since she assumed the office of Tánaiste last month, and was one of a number of figures considered for the post.

Separately, Ms Burton will also appoint a senior civil servant to run the Tánaiste’s office, alongside the existing position of second secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach.

Geraldine Byrne Nason was second secretary general in the department since July 2011, four months after the Coalition took office, but left her role in June.

She will be replaced by Rory Montgomery, who currently is the Republic’s Ambassador to France.

Ms Byrne Nason, who will become the new ambassador in Paris when Mr Montgomery leaves, was appointed to the position of second secretary general as part of a desire by Eamon Gilmore for a more central role in Government Buildings.

The position involved coordinating European Union policy and running the office of Tánaiste, as well as attending the EMC, but was created when Mr Gilmore held the post of tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs.

While Mr Montgomery will still have responsibility for EU affairs and will attend the EMC, another civil servant is to be appointed to run the Tánaiste’s office since Ms Burton’s main focus will be on domestic matters, sources said.

Ms Burton has also appointed Claire Power as her policy adviser, with Ms Power moving from her previous role as head for research for the Labour Party.