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FG Senator D'Arcy resigns to head up financial lobby group


 Michael D’Arcy. Photo: Tom Burke

Michael D’Arcy. Photo: Tom Burke

Michael D’Arcy. Photo: Tom Burke

Fine Gael Senator Michael D'Arcy is resigning his seat in the Seanad to head up a lobby group for financial investment companies. 

Mr D'Arcy was Minister of State in the Department of Finance with responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance before he lost his Dáil seat in the election.

In a statement, the Wexford TD announced he is to become chief executive of the Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM).

Mr D'Arcy said after a "period of reflection over the Summer" he decided to take a "step back from politics and public life" and tendered his resignation to Fine Gael leader and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

“I have had the privilege of representing the people of Wexford since 2003 and I sincerely thank them for giving me the opportunity to work with and for them," he said

"I have made my fullest contribution to public life and now wish to start a new career which I can confirm will be with the Irish Association of Investment Managers.

“I will continue to be a proud supporter of Fine Gael and our party leader. I have no doubt that they will provide strong leadership and I wish my party colleagues success in the challenging times ahead," he added.

Mr Varadkar said he is "sorry to lose" Mr D'Arcy from the Fine Gael party but said he could understand why he made the decision.

“I would have loved to have seen Michael return to the Dáil as a TD and a Minister after the next election but understand that after 20 years in public life he wants to start a new chapter of his life. He will always be welcome should he decide to run for election again," he said.

“He will be sorely missed in the Oireachtas, and also in the party where he has made many friends and which he has served so faithfully. His new employers are fortunate to recruit someone of his calibre.

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“This decision will create a vacancy in the Seanad on the agricultural panel. The party has initiated the process of selecting our candidate to contest the by-election that will now arise," he added.

Standards in Public Office legislation ban officer holders from taking up lobbying roles for at least a year after they resign their position.

However, they are permitted to apply for an exemption from this rule. It is unclear at present if Mr D'Arcy was granted an exemption so he could take up the role.

A Fine Gael source said Mr D'Arcy plans to take up the role immediately after he informed Mr Varadkar last night.

The Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) said they cannot comment on "individual compliance matters".

However, Sipo said officer holders can apply to the Commission to waive or reduce the cooling off period they are required to adhere to when leaving office.

"In considering whether to grant a request to waive/reduce the cooling-off period, the Commission considers a number of factors with regard to the public interest," a spokesperson said.

"Office holders are required to 'avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest with the office they formerly occupied', and 'should act in a way which ensures it could not be reasonably concluded that an office holder was influenced by the hope or expectation of future employment with the firm or organisation concerned or that an unfair advantage would be conferred in a new appointment by virtue of, for example, access to official information the office holder previously enjoyed,'" she added.

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