Supporting indigenous Fintech start-ups

Posted December 15th, 2016

AS Minister of State with special responsibility for financial services, I have placed particular emphasis on encouraging the development of start-up companies in the Fintech sector. This will continue to be a growing area of the economy that delivers high-value jobs.

I was therefore delighted this week to officiate at an event marking the completion by 10 Irish Fintech companies of a development and mentoring programme at Dogpatch Labs in the chq Building beside the IFSC. Earlier this year, the 10 start-ups each received €50,000 in equity support from Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund under the IFS2020 strategy. This is the first dedicated funding programme exclusively for Fintech companies.

As well as their membership of Dogpatch Labs, which has nurtured and developed start-ups such as Instagram, the nascent enterprises had access to Ulster Bank’s Innovative Solutions team and were able to draw on the expertise of members of the Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI).

As I said at the ceremony: “Strengthening our indigenous Fintech sector as a source of high-value job creation is a key objective of the Government’s IFS2020 Strategy. I welcome Enterprise Ireland’s initiative to support the development of a world-class start-up eco-system and wish these companies every success for the future.”

You can read more of my comments here.

Information about Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund is available here.


Financing for SMEs

Posted December 2nd, 2016

THE Department of Finance is acutely mindful not only of the vital importance to our economy of small and medium-sized Irish businesses, but also of the need of SMEs for access to affordable investment capital, so that they can grow and create employment.

Following on from my meeting with FEXCO at its Killorglin, Co Kerry headquarters in July, it was announced this week that FEXCO Asset Finance, working with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), is to make €70m available in specialist leasing finance.

Welcoming this latest shot in the arm for Ireland’s growing SME sector, I commented: “FEXCO is a great example of how our indigenous financial services sector can expand, both at home and through export of its services.

“Our Irish financial services industry has a lot to offer and the Government, through its IFS2020 strategy, will continue to support growth in employment over the coming years.”

Further details on the €70m fund can be read here.


Insurance Group Recommendations

Posted November 21st, 2016

Recently I presented Minister Noonan with my emerging recommendations from the Cost of Insurance Working Group.

The Cost of Insurance Working Group, which I am chairing, is undertaking a review of the factors which are influencing the increased cost of motor insurance.

The Working Group brings together all the relevant Departments and Offices involved with the process.  Its objective is to identify immediate and longer term measures which can address increasing costs, while bearing in mind the need to maintain a stable insurance sector.

You can see the list of recommendations here and my letter to Minister Noonan here.

To read my speech on ‘The Future of Insurance’ from a Business Post conference, go here.



‘Future of Insurance’ Speech

Posted November 18th, 2016

At a ‘Future of Insurance’ event, organised by the Sunday Business Post, I gave the opening address.

I spoke about the recent volatility in the sector, reforming it, and the cost of Insurance Working Group which I am chairing.

You can read the speech here.


Book of Quantum

Posted October 6th, 2016

I welcome the publication of the new Book of Quantum – the update and transparency around awards is urgently needed. It is important though that the information is understood as a guide for assessing potential awards and not as a target or “the going rate”, or even some sort of a new baseline for awards.

To read more of my comments on the publication, go here.

To find out more about the Motor Insurance Working Group I am chairing, go here.


Banking Inquiry

Posted October 1st, 2015

In early September, the Banking Inquiry wrapped up its public hearings. From now until January we will meet in private to finalise our report and recommendations.

Since January, over 100 key players from before, during, and after the crisis were brought before the Inquiry. These included bankers, auditors, politicians, civil servants, developers and regulators. We questioned them in detail on their respective roles during the period and examined what lessons we can learn to prevent a banking or fiscal crisis happening again.

You can access my questioning all witnesses on my Youtube channel, which you can access here.


Tax cut

“Now, it’s our taxes which are unacceptably high, so our first priority has to be the reduction of taxes for public and private sector workers.”

Click here to continue reading.


Banking Inquiry Parliamentary Assistant

Posted December 4th, 2014

A position has opened up in my office to support my work on the Banking Inquiry.

If you are interested in applying for the position, please email your CV to

All applications must be received by 11th December 2014, with interviews to take place in the week commencing 15th December. To apply you must be available to start full time work on the 12th January 2015 and be Dublin based.

The successful candidate will have:

Practical experience working in legal, financial or related fields; a degree in Finance or Law or a related discipline; an ability to multitask and prioritise a demanding workload; an ability to independently analyse and critique detailed legal and financial documents; capability to work alone and as part of a team; competence working with WordPress, Excel and Powerpoint.

Duties will include, but will not be limited to:

Analysing reports, financial information and related documentation

Researching specific areas of work

Preparation of reports, presentations and other documents

Creation and maintenance of filing systems

Managing emails and physical correspondence

Managing communications on Inquiry related issues

Liaising with members of the House, Inquiry staff and others

Attending Banking Inquiry meetings and briefings

General assistance in support of the Deputy’s work on the Banking Inquiry

self employed pic

Our economy is dependent on entrepreneurs

Posted November 28th, 2014

Tax system must do more for self-employed – and soon

“Our economy is dependent on entrepreneurs. The businesses they create are fundamental to having a dynamic and competitive economy. And they create lots and lots of jobs, the taxation from which funds the running of the State. However our two tier tax and PRSI system is weighed in favour of PAYE workers. It does not sufficiently promote or protect the self-employed who take the risks to create the businesses on which our enterprise based economy depends.

Over 760,000 people, around 70% of the workforce are employed by SMEs in Ireland. These firms all came from simple beginnings. While some have gone on to become significant employers, most are low scale operations with a small number of employees. Many survive on a year to year basis and operate on tight margins.”

Click here to continue reading.

K st

Molesworth St & Kildare St closure/changes

Posted October 30th, 2014

Part of Molesworth Street will be closed and part of Kildare Street will become 2-way for 4 weeks from November 3rd.

To facilitate works required for the Luas Cross City Utilities contract on Dawson Street and Molesworth Street it will be necessary to change traffic movements in the area. For a period of 4 weeks from 3rd November, Molesworth Street between its junctions with Dawson Street and South Frederick Street will be closed to traffic. To facilitate access to Molesworth Street and the surrounding areas, Kildare Street will be made two-wayfrom St. Stephen’s Green North to Molesworth Street. Kildare Street will remain one-way southbound between Nassau Street and Molesworth Street.

For full details and alternative routes click here.

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