Sunday 21 October 2018

Padraic O'Connor

Harry Leech

Padraic O'Connor had a long career in the Department of Finance and held executive roles in both IBI and the Central Bank, where he was chief economist, before he moved to NCB stockbrokers in 1987. He was appointed managing director in 1991.

He was made chairman of the then state-owned ACC Bank by Charlie McCreevy in 1999, overseeing the realignment of bank strategy to focus on SMEs and agriculture.

The board's plan to merge ACC with Permanent TSB never materialised, but O'Connor oversaw the sale of the bank by the State to Rabobank in 2002 for €165m, a move Rabobank recently lamented.

O'Connor left the board of ACC in 2002 but maintained a number of non-executive directorships, including Alltracel Pharmaceuticals and Hewitt & Beck consultants.

O'Connor was appointed to the board of Eircom in 2004 and came to public prominence in 2007 when his testimony at the Mahon tribunal about a £5,000 payment to Bertie Ahern contradicted an explanation that the then Taoiseach made in 2006.

Although Ahern told Brian Dobson that £22,500 "was raised by close friends, people who were close to me for most of my life", O'Connor reportedly told Mahon that he was not a close friend. He said they became acquainted during 1993's currency crisis, but that he had met Ahern only "once or twice" since leaving NCB.

O'Connor is listed as the chairman of troubled ad company Adwalker. In 2007 O'Connor became chairman of the Irish Stock Exchange.

Sunday Independent

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