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Michael Noonan at IIEA event. Photo by: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Irish civil servant who made $4.8 billion error to get plum European job

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Michael Noonan at IIEA event. Photo by: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

It emerged that his department was alerted to the error on up to four occasions by the National Treasury Management Agency but failed take any action.

A Public Accounts Committee member, Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald, said, “In other jurisdictions an error of this magnitude would have consequences for the person at the top and they would be asked to consider their position on that basis.”

Despite the €3.6 billion astonishing blunder on Cardiff’s watch, Irish Cabinet ministers insist he is the right man to take up a post overseeing accounts on a Europe-wide scale.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said there was no change in his government’s decision to select Cardiff.

Noonan added, “The government has actually done the nomination of Kevin Cardiff, so the next part of the process is the relevant committee of the European Parliament will assess that and assess his suitability.”

Cardiff was a key figure in the negotiation of the bank bailout and Ireland’s subsequent International Monetary Fund bailout.

His proposed new job will bring an annual salary of €180,00, a life pension of more than €60,000 after six years’ work, and a “transition allowance” worth up to €156,000 a year for three years after he steps down.

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