Tuesday 23 May 2017

Governor skirts question of who will get the big bank job

Lise Hand

Lise Hand

The Governor of the Central Bank couldn't have been more chilled if he was stretched out on a sun-lounger with a drink containing a little umbrella and a lot of fruit.

"What qualities do you think your successor should have?" asked the reporter. "A beard, I think, is essential," deadpanned Patrick Honohan, then waited a beat. "Or...a skirt," he added to the amusement of the room. He was flanked at the table by the two deputy governors, Cyril Roux (beard) and Stefan Gerlach (no beard or skirt) who both looked thoughtful.

For a chap whose departure later this year from the biggest job in Irish banking had been leaked to the media the previous evening, he was in cheery form. He remarked that he had planned to drop the departure bombshell during the routine press conference on the bank's annual report. "I was going to slide in at an appropriate moment in an offhand manner that you wouldn't be seeing me here next year," he admitted with an air of mischief.

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