Council Members

There are five members of the Council including the Chair. The members were appointed by the Minister for Finance based on their experience and competence in domestic and international macroeconomic and fiscal matters. For further details on the terms of Council appointments click here.

JMH Professor John McHale (Chair) is Established Professor of Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. John is also currently an independent member of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC). He previously held positions as Assistant Professor of Economics and Associate Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and as Associate Professor of Managerial Economics and Toller Family Research Fellow at the Queen’s University, Ontario. He has been a consultant to the World Bank on numerous migration and development projects. He holds Ph.D and A.M degrees from Harvard, and first-class M.Econ.Sc. and B.Comm. degrees from the National University of Ireland.  His term of appointment to the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council is 4 years effective 31 December 2012.

SBarnesMr Sebastian Barnes is Economic Counsellor to the Chief Economist of the OECD and former head of its EU desk. He is also a former head of the Ireland desk, where he co-authored two Economic Surveys of Ireland which focused on macroeconomic and structural issues and offered policy recommendations to boost economic performance on a sustainable basis. He joined the OECD in 2005 from the Bank of England. He holds a MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a master’s degree in European Political Economy from the College of Europe (Bruges), and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. His term of appointment to the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council is 4 years effective 31 December 2012.

AB Professor Alan Barrett is a Research Professor and Head of the Economic Analysis Division at the Economic and Social Research Institute. He is also a Research Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. From 2011-2013 Alan was seconded from the ESRI to Trinity College Dublin where he led the programme of research on economics with the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).  Alan was formerly a co-author of the ESRI’s Quarterly Economic Commentary (2005-2010), and has worked as a senior economist in the Department of Finance (2001-2003). He holds a Ph.D. and M.A from Michigan State University, and a B.A from Trinity College Dublin. His term of appointment to the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council is 3 years effective 31 December 2012.



Dr Róisín O’Sullivan is an associate professor in the Economics Department of Smith College, Massachusetts. Her scholarly work focuses on macroeconomic policy and financial markets, and she teaches courses in macroeconomics, central banking and the economics of European Integration. Her academic publications include journal articles addressing the impact of the inflation targeting policy framework on bond market volatility and the role of asset prices in the measurement of inflation. Róisín previously worked as an economist in monetary policy department of the Central Bank of Ireland. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Ohio State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her term of appointment to the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council is 3 years effective 31 December 2012.

Dr Íde Kearney currently works as a Senior Economist in the Research Division of the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank).  Prior to joining DNB she worked for a number of years in the ESRI on the development of macroeconomic models and their use in macroeconomic forecasting and policy analysis of the Irish economy, including forecasting the public finances. Dr Kearney holds a Ph.D in Economics from the European University Institute in Florence and a Masters of Economic Science (Econometrics) from University College Dublin. Her work for IFAC is in a private capacity, independent of her work for DNB. Her term of appointment to the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council is 4 years effective 12 March 2015.


Former Members