Former MEP gets key Euro bank job with €131,000 salary
FORMER Fianna Fail MEP Eoin Ryan has been appointed to a €131,000 per annum key European post by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, less than a year after he lost his seat in the European elections.
He has been named as the new Irish representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The move comes a short time after Mr Ryan publicly ruled himself out of the running for the post of Lord Mayor of Dublin.
The EBRD was set up in 1991 to help build market economies in the former Soviet Bloc countries following the fall of Communism.
Mr Ryan is a former Fianna Fail senator and junior minister. He also served as an MEP for the Dublin constituency from 2004 to 2009.
He always maintained a high profile when serving in Brussels but lost his seat in last year's European elections.
A popular politician in Leinster House, Mr Ryan is a close ally of Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
The appointment was made by Mr Lenihan and was not publicly advertised.
This is the latest high-profile appointment to a European post by the Government in recent days.
Last week it was announced that Eoin O'Shea (33) had been appointed to fill Ireland's vacancy on the European Court of Auditors, the Luxembourg-based body which oversees the EU's accounts.
An accountant and barrister, he was appointed to a number of government roles in the past prior to his new position.
Mr Ryan himself was also linked to the post which became vacant when Maire Geoghegan-Quinn was made Ireland's new European commissioner.
The EBRD supports projects in 29 countries between central Europe and central Asia, investing in projects and promoting entrepreneurship which "fosters [the] transition towards open and democratic market economies", according to its website.
The bank, which is owned by 61 countries, principally invests in private companies and also supports the restructuring of state-owned firms and the improvement of municipal services.
Ireland is a founder member of the EBRD, which is based in London.
The positions of full and alternate director on the board are rotated between Ireland and Denmark.
Speculation that Mr Ryan would get the post emerged at the end of last month. The position was held in the past by former leader of the Progressive Democrats, Des O'Malley.