Finance Department official quits
One of the top civil servants in the Government has resigned after less than a year and a half at the head of the Department of Finance.
John Moran took up the post in December 2012 after being brought in from the Central Bank and spending five years running juice bars in France.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan paid tribute to the former secretary general saying he had been involved in every significant decision taken by the department during the three years Ireland was in the bailout.
"It was with great regret that today I accepted a letter of resignation from Mr John Moran, secretary general at the Department of Finance," Mr Noonan said.
"Since John first joined the Department of Finance on secondment from the Central Bank he played a leading role in recapitalising the banking sector and restoring the economy at a very difficult time.
"Since his appointment as secretary general he has been involved in every significant decision taken by me throughout the bailout programme, including those decisions which saw Ireland successfully exiting the programme.
"I valued his counsel during those very difficult times and I wish John every success in the future."
Mr Moran was brought into government circles after working in the private sector.
His primary role was responsibility for all banking policy matters, management of the state's shareholding in banks and reform and reorganisation of the Irish banking sector after they were rescued.
Mr Moran marked a massive departure from previous government policy and appointment of department heads in that he was effectively an outsider, he was happy to discuss financial matters with private sector groups, he spoke publicly and he did not see the job as a long term career.
He first worked as the second secretary general in the Department of Finance where he was head of the banking division.
He had been brought into that office on secondment from the Central Bank, which he joined in 2010 and where he was head of wholesale banking supervision.
Mr Moran replaced Kevin Cardiff, who left the post to become Ireland's representative on the European Court of Auditors.
His CV includes time spent working for Zurich Capital Markets in Dublin, Sydney, London and New York, where he rose to chief executive, resident solicitor for law firm McCann FitzGerald in New York, GE Capital Aviation Services/GPA Group and as an associate attorney with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York in the late 1980s.
He left the financial world in 2005 to work in the Languedoc region in France where he ran a juice bar.
In an email to Department of Finance staff announcing his resignation, Mr Moran said he would continue as secretary general until his successor was appointed.
Effectively he said his work in assisting the recovery of the Irish banking sector was now done.
"I returned to Ireland in 2010 wanting to assist in the task of restoring Ireland's destroyed banking sector and economy to health. I had always viewed this as a mission with a fixed purpose not a long-term venture," Mr Moran said.
"I would never then have expected to be asked to play such a central role and have been very honoured to play my part as head of this Department, working with you all, other public sector colleagues, the Minister and the Government.
"With the tremendous results captured in our annual report published this morning and the successful completion of last week's first post programme troika mission, for which I thank you all, I believe it is now an opportune time to hand over the baton to a successor who can continue the job well under way."
In a speech last Friday Mr Moran said he believed progress towards stabilisation of the Irish banks was now at the very high end of the Government's expectations when restructuring plans were put forward in March 2011.