A high-profile banking expert is the front-runner to take over from Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield, who is stepping down.
Galway native Fiona Muldoon has 25 years' experience in the financial services industry.
The mum of two joined the Central Bank of Ireland in August 2011 and is director of credit institutions and insurance supervision.
A source said: "She is definitely the front-runner. Fiona is a formidable woman, very confident and ambitious.
"Many see her as a future Governor of the Central Bank, so this is the next logical step."
Ms Muldoon won acclaim for delivering a few home truths to bankers last year in a much publicised address.
She told a packed audience that dealing with the banks was akin to dealing with troublesome teenagers.
The banks were in denial about the extent of the mortgage crisis, she told the Irish Banking Federation.
It emerged yesterday that Matthew Elderfield is set to leave the Central Bank in six months. A statement said he is to go to the UK to pursue "other interests".
Central Bank Governor, Patrick Honohan said Mr Elderfield accepted the post at a key moment in the history of the State.
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