Isolde Goggin, the former chairwoman of ComReg, has emerged as the front-runner to be the new chief of the Competition Authority with a mandate to shake up Ireland's "sheltered" professions, the Irish Independent understands.
Ms Goggin was a member of the Competition Authority's board up until July, but Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton is now faced with appointing a new Competition Authority chief.
The organisation is also due to be merged with the National Consumer Agency.
Contacted last night Ms Goggin declined to comment, but sources indicated that she was the front-runner as Mr Bruton sifts through the final candidates for the post. The current chairman, Declan Purcell, is not understood to be seeking the post.
The need to make an appointment is urgent as the Government has committed to shaking up the professions by the third quarter of this year.
While legislation will not be ready in time to do this, a broad commitment from the Government, given to the EU and IMF, will be needed to tackle the legal and medical professions in particular.
Ms Goggin, an engineer by training and former Eircom staff member, will be tasked with developing proposals in relation to the professions, but also presiding over the merger with the National Consumer Agency.
Ms Goggin was chairperson of ComReg from 2004 to 2006, and commissioner from 2002 to 2004.
Before joining ComReg, she spent an earlier period at the Competition Authority where she was director of the regulated markets division.
She began her career in 1980 with Telecom Eireann (now Eircom) as an engineer, and later moved into business management and then regulation, working with Eircom. She also held posts within the EU Commission.
Most recently she worked as an independent telecommunications and regulatory affairs consultant. She has also spent time as a member of Ofcom's advisory committee in the North.