Mount Juliet hotel in Kilkenny to host ECB governing council meeting in May

State hosted European Central Bank governing council meeting in May 2007, before the global financial crisis

Mount Juliet, the five-star Kilkenny hotel and golf resort, is set to host a meeting of the 26 members of the European Central Bank (ECB) governing council in May.

The Central Bank of Ireland, which is organising the meeting, has selected the venue that hosted the Irish Open for a fifth time in 2022 to hold the event, according to sources.

It will count as one of the two overseas governing council meetings the Frankfurt-based ECB holds every year. However, it is designated as a non-monetary policy meeting, meaning that no decisions will be taken then on interest rates.

The 125-bedroom Mount Juliet estate, which also includes a Michelin-starred restaurant, is owned by property investment firm Tetrarch Capital and businessman Emmet O’Neill.


The State previously hosted an ECB governing council meeting in May 2007, before the global financial crisis. That gathering was held in Dublin Castle. A previous attempt to hold a meeting in the Irish capital in March 2001 was cancelled because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak at the time.

A spokeswoman from the Central Bank of Ireland declined to comment on the location of the upcoming meeting in Ireland, as the decision has not yet been made public.

The ECB governing council decided on Thursday to leave the bank’s main interest rates unchanged, having hiked the main lending rate from zero to 4.5 per cent in the 15 months to last September. ECB president Christine Lagarde told reporters that the current debate on when the institution will start to cut rates was premature.

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The latest meeting occurred against the backdrop of reported tension between Ms Lagarde, who this week marked the middle of her eight-year term at the helm, and her staff.

The trade union representing ECB staff said this week that a majority of employees think Ms Lagarde, a lawyer by background and former French finance minister and managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is not the right person to lead the institution.

The survey carried out by the International and European Public Services Organisation also showed staff trust in the ECB’s entire senior management team was lower than a year ago, with nearly 60 per cent expressing a negative view.

Ms Lagarde did little to endear herself to many in the institution last week when she criticised the economics profession, saying analysts have “blind faith” in their models, which often bear little connection to reality.

“Many economists are actually a tribal clique,” she said at an event at the World Economic forum in Davos. “[They] are among the most tribal scientists that you can think of. They quote each other. They don’t go beyond that world. They feel comfortable in that world. And maybe models have something to do with it.”

Former Central Bank of Ireland governor Philip Lane is the ECB’s chief economist.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times