Business Irish

Monday 22 September 2014

Professor Louden Ryan

Published 16/07/2006 | 00:11

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SHANE ROSS "I SPENT my working life worrying about the Irish economy in one way or another. When I retired I resolved to stop worrying about it. It has boomed ever since. Perhaps it is a good thing I stopped worrying!"

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Retirement suits Professor Louden Ryan. Today he is a happy and healthy 83-year-old living close to Dublin, having resolved not to revisit the economic triumphs of his working life.

Louden Ryan looks back on arguably the most distinguished economics career in the State's history. It started in the LSE before he took the Trinity trail. After an early lectureship at TCD, he was given the chair of industrial economics before he was 40.

There followed a series of State appointments at a time of national economic hardship. In 1966 he became a director of the Central Bank at a time when the Irish pound was tied into sterling and Ken Whitaker was governor.

He left after 12 years to join the Bank of Ireland board, where he became deputy governor and subsequently governor for a full six years before retiring in 1991. Ryan's tenure was marked by a period of expansion for the bank when it took over First New Hampshire Bank in the US and the Irish Civil Service Building Society in Ireland.

After retiring, he joined the board of Co-Operation North and linked up again with Ken Whitaker in a voluntary group called Anglo-Irish Endeavour. As a native of Northern Ireland he felt a duty to bringing the two nations closer.

His time as Professor of Economics at TCD produced many exceptionally successful economics students. Among them were Rupert Pennant Rea, later deputy governor of the Bank of England and editor of the Economist; Ivan Fallon, formerly a distinguished deputy editor of the Sunday Times and now boss of IN&M in the UK; and Sir Brian Williamson, recently retired chairman of the London Futures Exchange.

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