Who We Are & What We Do

Rory Malone, 2016 Economic Policy Competition winner pictured with Economic Division colleagues

Economic colleagues with Rory Malone, 2016 Economic Policy Competition Winner.













Chief Economist

Picture of John McCarthy, Chief Economist

John McCarthy

The Economic Division is responsible for assessing and advising on Irish economic and fiscal developments.  The Division is also responsible for the provision of rigorous analytical support to the Minister and wider Department on a broad range of economic and budgetary policy matters, as well as the production and co-ordination of the annual Budget.

To achieve these objectives, the Division is organised in four units, each headed by a Principal Officer:





Macroeconomic analysis and forecasting unit

Picture of Fearghal O'Brolchain, Principal Officer

Feargal Ó Brolcháin

This unit monitors and advises on developments in the Irish economy.  It has responsibility for the preparation of short- and medium-term forecasts of the Irish economy which are published twice-yearly in the Stability Programme Update (April) and the Macroeconomic Outlook (October, as input to the annual Budget).  It has the lead role in the co-ordination of the biennial survey of the Irish economy by the OECD.






Fiscal policy and statistics unit

Picture of John Palmer, Principal Officer

John Palmer

The Fiscal Policy Unit has responsibility for analysing and advising on Irish fiscal developments, outlook and policy.  Short- and medium-term revenue projections, as well as deficit and debt forecasts are compiled in this unit which also has responsibility for overall co-ordination and preparation of the annual Budget.  The unit also provides advice on legal obligations relating to the fiscal rules and statistical classification issues.








Economic strategy unit

Picture of David Hegarty, Principal Officer

David Hegarty

This unit provides analytical support to the wider Department on economic issues.  In-depth economic analysis of taxation policies, including the evaluation of tax expenditures, is undertaken.  The unit provide advice on the distributional effects of budgetary policies in support of evidence-based policy-formation.  It is also responsible for the provision of advice on sectoral issues, and for monitoring and assessing developments in the housing sector.





Economic research unit

Picture of Brendan O'Connor, Principal Officer

Brendan O’Connor

The Economic Research Unit conducts policy-relevant economic research that support the Minister and Department in achieving strategic goals.  This unit is responsible for modelling the Irish economy using a suite of econometric models (some of the work is conducted jointly with researchers in the ESRI).  A key work-stream in this unit relates to assessing the Irish economic implications of Brexit.  This unit also houses the Department’s productivity section.