Farm Ireland

Friday 20 April 2018

IFA loses chief economist to Enterprise Ireland

Rowena Dwyer, IFA chief economist. Photo: Bryan Meade
Rowena Dwyer, IFA chief economist. Photo: Bryan Meade
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The IFA is losing its chief economist Rowena Dwyer, as she moves to a role in Enterprise Ireland.

Dwyer is moving to head up the department of policy, Government relations and secretariat in Enterprise, a role that is focused on setting the strategic direction of Enterprise Ireland.

Dwyer is well known throughout the organisation since taking over the role from Con Lucey in 2008. She was just three weeks into the role when the financial crash came and the then 28 year old was left to explain it and the fallout to farmers.

Since then, Dwyer has grown to become one of the most senior and respected figures in IFA and has guided farmers around the country with patience and understanding.

She said since that her baptism made her feel like she'd aged overnight, but it was probably the ideal introduction she needed to IFA members and them to her.

Dwyer is from Boherlahan-Dualla, Co Tipperary, and grew up in a very progressive household where farming, education and a strong sense of community were central pillars to her development, she said.

Her father, Willie, was a lecturer at Rockwell Agricultural College and a part-time beef farmer, while her mother was a teacher and both were involved in IFA.

Dwyer studied in Trinity College Dublin and credits Alan Matthews, Professor of European Agricultural Policy at TCD at the time, for sparking her interest in agri economics.

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Before joining IFA she worked for two years working in Ghana, west Africa in their ministry of education.

Dwyer took over from Con Lucey in 2008, who was stepping down after 30 years work with the organisation.

Landing such a role during an economic downturn meant she was able to ensure her vision that agriculture could provide a beacon of hope was realised.

"It was our role to make the strongest possible argument to minimise cuts to farmers and give a credible argument to government that economic growth will arise out of this," she said.

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