Dublin to get international school to attract bankers from UK

Plan to offer international baccalaureate in new Dublin school to help tempt firms from London post-Brexit

Minister of State for Financial Services Eoghan Murphy said the international school could be put in Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohue’s constituency, Dublin Central. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister of State for Financial Services Eoghan Murphy said the international school could be put in Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohue’s constituency, Dublin Central. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

Government ministers have discussed opening a school teaching the international baccalaureate in Dublin city centre, as part of a plan to tempt international bankers and their families from London to Dublin following Brexit.

Eoghan Murphy, the Minister of State for Financial Services, says he has asked Richard Bruton, the Minister for Education, and officials at the Department of the Taoiseach to consider the opening of such a school.

He said it could be “put in [Minister for Public Expenditure] Paschal Donohue’s constituency”, Dublin Central, which stretches from the north of the inner city down to the International Financial Services Centre and the docklands.

“It could be co-located with an existing school. But the key thing is to get it teaching the international baccalaureate,” he said.

Diplomatic school

The international baccalaureate is a Swiss-based education movement whose curriculum is often taught at elite and diplomatic schools internationally. The baccalaureate is currently offered at second level at St Andrew’s School in Booterstown, although most of its pupils do the traditional Leaving Cert.

At primary level, the international school on Dublin’s Synge Street also teaches the baccalaureate programme.

State officials, including some from the department and IDA Ireland, are working hard behind the scenes to tempt London-based banks to move operations to Dublin to keep a foothold in the European Union, after Britain leaves.

Mr Murphy suggested that opening a dedicated school in Dublin teaching the international syllabus might help convince senior bankers to move to Ireland, as they might be more inclined to bring their families.

“The details of the school would need to be worked out with Richard Bruton, because it is his area. But from my point of view, the school would also have to be open to the general public.”

Mr Murphy was speaking at a media briefing in relation to the Government’s work in promoting the new IFS Ireland brand for the State’s international financial services sector. The minister recently made a tour of financial centres in Asia, including Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo touting the industry in Ireland.

He has also visited the US, while Irish officials have held detailed behind the scenes discussions with banks about moving.

Outside Dublin

The State is targeting an extra 10,000 jobs in financial services from 2015 to 2020. Mr Murphy said he would like to see at least a third of the targeted jobs go to areas outside Dublin.

He said that in discussions with banks and other institutions considering moving, he had heard that “most of them will make up their minds within six months of the activation of article 50 [talks for Britain to exit the EU].”

He insisted that rumours internationally that the Central Bank was unable to cope with an influx of new regulated institutions is part of a whispering campaign from other European capitals competing with Ireland for any financial sector outflow from London.

“We shouldn’t be naive. It’s a competitive system. It’s in other people’s interests to talk us down.”