FT on Irish professionals in Britain

The FT today looks as at the role of prominent Irish professionals in British life in the wake of the appointment of the former head of the Irish Competition Authority, John Fingleton, to head up the Office of Fair Trading.

It reflects the astonishing recent performance of the Irish economy, which has outperformed the rest of the European Union with growth rates averaging more than 7 per cent over the past decade. Being associated with this sort of economic performance has given the Irish, in whatever profession, a new swagger.

A similar example is the appointment of Willie Walsh as chief executive at British Airways. He formerly ran Aer Lingus, Ireland’s state-owned airline. He takes up his position in September. His departure was in part put down to frustration with the Irish government’s failure to address the issue of Aer Lingus’s privatisation.

Mr Fingleton’s decision may also reflect some sense that he can achieve more in the UK, particularly given the considerably greater enforcement powers enjoyed by the OFT. And as for being a "Mick on the make", his salary of about £250,000 is considerably more than what he would have been earning at the Irish Competition Authority and may also have been a factor in his thinking. (Financial Times)






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