Former Central Bank governor Maurice O’Connell dies

He was governor during the key period in the run-up to the introduction of the euro

In 1962 Maurice O’Connell.   joined the Department of Finance, where he worked in a number of sections. Photograph: Eric Luke

In 1962 Maurice O’Connell. joined the Department of Finance, where he worked in a number of sections. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

The death has occurred of Maurice O’Connell (82), former governor of the Central Bank and before that a senior official in the Department of Finance. Mr O’Connell was appointed as Central Bank governor in 1994 and while his term was due to expire in 2001, the government asked him to stay on to oversee the introduction of euro notes and coins.

Mr O’Connell, from Moyvane in Co Kerry, started his career as a teacher. In 1962 he joined the Department of Finance, where he worked in a number of sections including dealing with tax and budgetary policy and also monetary policy, a key area in Irish policymaking before the introduction of the euro. As second secretary in the department he was heavily involved in the defence of the Irish pound during the 1992/93 currency crisis, which ended with the devaluation of the currency in January 1993.

Single currency

Mr O’Connell subsequently moved to the Central Bank where he was governor during the key period in the run up to the introduction of the euro, involving careful management of the pound on the markets in the run up to the introduction of the single currency, as well as the preparations for the introduction of the new currency. He stepped down in March 2002, just after the Irish pound was finally phased out as legal tender.

He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, and four children.