Monday 5 December 2016

Central Bank secret-keeper

Published 22/06/2015 | 02:30

Patrick Honohan
Patrick Honohan
Retired rugby star Shane Jennings

The Central Bank of Ireland is on the hunt for a chief secret-keeper. The financial regulator is advertising for a brand new position, head of communications. It has combined its internal and external communications units in recent months so is now looking for someone to run the show.

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The successful candidate will be responsible for vague tasks like "managing relationships with key stakeholders" and "leading a team of professionals and promoting a culture of continuous development", as well as boasting "a track record of creative and compelling thinking", according to the job description.

To do this, they'll need a minimum of eight years experience in a similar communications role, two years at leadership levels.

We think it's a plum job. The Central Bank doesn't appear to be under any major pressure to share information. The Punt has heard 'no comment' from its staff more times than we care to remember.

But the organisation recently lost its exemption from Freedom of Information Requests, so maybe that is about to change.

Whoever the lucky gent or lady is will be working under a new regime.

They won't be answering to Patrick Honohan.

The outgoing governor has not been shy about speaking his mind, sparking a couple of public relations challenges along the way.

It will be interesting to see whether the new governor, who has still not been appointed, will be so vocal about his or her views.

From pitch to property game

Retired rugby star Shane Jennings, who has taken a job with estate agency Sherry Fitzgerald less than a month after captaining the Barbarians against Ireland in Thomond Park, follows a long line of rugby players to develop an off-pitch career in property.

Even BOD has shown an interest in property development.

Many well-paid male players see it as a career option on retiring from the game.

Not so our less lavishly paid female rugby stars, most of whom impressively hold down full-time jobs.

Take Sharon Lynch, a member of the Irish women's rugby team. She's a property asset manager for WK Nowlan.

Before that she was an associate director in the commercial property management division at Savills.

All while winning medals for her country.

We're impressed.

Dept of Finance runs up big bills

The person in charge of petty cash at the Department of Finance must be run off their feet.

Michael Noonan has been forced to reveal some of his department's day-to-day expenditure in the Dáil, and the results show some big numbers.

The Department has clocked up a whopping €174,000 bill on taxi rides since 2011, the Minister told the Dáil in response to a parliamentary question by Laois-Offaly TD Barry Cowen.

Its annual bill reached a peak in 2011, when it gave cabbies €56,000 worth of business.

Its staff subsistence bill isn't particularly modest either. Payments to staff for food, drinks and other day-to-day bits and pieces totalled €813,000.

That's a lot of club sandwiches.

"The department has not been audited for tax compliance on these payments or other benefits in kind by the Revenue Commissioners," Mr Noonan said, adding that it's "vigilant in the conduct of its activities in these matters to ensure compliance with tax legislation and Revenue guidelines."

Irish Independent

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