The Punt: A strange tale of the two John Morans
IT was a bit of a role reversal at the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association's annual lunch yesterday.
The star attraction at the Croke Park conference centre was outgoing Department of Finance secretary-general John Moran, who addressed the 500-strong crowd in what could be one of his last opportunities to speak to the small business community.
But what was strange was that Small Business Minister John Perry (pictured) was also there, yet he didn't speak.
It seems that John Moran was the real superstar. Finance Minister Michael Noonan had been due to address the function, but he had to cancel because of an urgent meeting.
And so it wasn't one of his ministerial or party colleagues who stepped in to replace him, especially one that's in charge of government policy in the industry, it was his top civil servant.
Not to be too unfair to Mr Perry, but The Punt thinks Mr Moran was the better option.
He knows his brief well and is an impressive speaker.
The big question now is, who will snap him up?