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My dream of rollerblading on boardwalk

HE IS charged with running the Department of Finance, but our top civil servant dreams of rollerblading along the city's boardwalk.

Former juice bar owner John Moran has a vision for Dublin that includes linear parks along the Liffey, cool bars and links between the Luas lines.

The man who holds the most powerful position in the public service says this would make the capital more attractive to entrepreneurs and an international, skilled workforce.

Mr Moran, the secretary general of the Department of Finance, said that the department was in talks with the city council and chamber of commerce to see "what it would take to make the city a more exciting and interesting place to live".

He supports converting the quays into a linear park. "I live in Islandbridge and I'd like to rollerblade down the quays to the city," he said.

Mr Moran said that investment in infrastructure and education would make Dublin attractive to youths in France, Portugal and Belgium, who would otherwise go to Silicon Valley.

He has also been talking to the Dublin city architect, Ali Grehan, about making the city centre more attractive for raising a family.

"Paris is a great place to live downtown and have a family, and we don't have that in Dublin."

Mr Moran made the comments during a Q&A session with students at Trinity college.

In his paper, The Future Of Ireland's Young People, Mr Moran said the old rules of economics should be forgotten: "We need new ideas."

Economic theory works better in large economies such as the United States and UK, he said, where the law of averages worked. In Ireland, "something small" can have a "huge impact".

hnews@ herald.ie