Maurice Francis Doyle

Born 1931

Maurice Francis Doyle (1931–2009), civil servant and governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, was born 14 December 1931, the only son of Valentine Doyle, builder, and his wife Agnes (née O’Growney), of 212 Collins Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin. Educated at O’Connell School, North Richmond Street, he graduated BA in economics from UCD (1952) and BL from King’s Inns (1953), and entered the civil service in 1953 as an administrative officer. Seconded to the Revenue Commissioners for two years (1954–6), he was recruited in late 1957 by T. K. Whitaker to work on the research, coordinated by Charles Murray (qv), used in the publication of Economic development (1958). Doyle compiled the research on agriculture, then the mainstay of the Irish economy. Seconded to the Department of the Taoiseach (1958–9) for the first programme for economic expansion (1958–63), he also worked on the design and implementation of the second (1964–70) and third (1969–73) programmes. Doyle was rapidly promoted from assistant principal to second secretary (1971) in charge of medium-term and structural economic planning in the Department of Finance. In November 1974 he represented Ireland at the negotiations leading to the founding of the International Energy Agency, an OECD body established in response to the 1973 oil crisis. Involved with early manifestations of social partnership, he attended meetings of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) from its establishment in 1973, and filled a range of ex officio roles, garnering valuable experience in EEC and international economic policy. He was Irish representative on the economic policy commission of the OECD, led the Irish delegation during the establishment of the EEC regional development fund, and in July 1975 was elected vice-chairman of the resulting regional policy committee. In 1977 he became second secretary in charge of the public expenditure division, and in November 1981, at the age of 49, was appointed secretary of the Department of Finance.

Experienced in the management of public expenditure, Doyle had seen taxation develop from a means of revenue generation to become an ‘instrument for social and economic development’ (Doyle, 67). Amid rumours of a likely Irish default as international debt increased by a third in 1982, he wrote in October 1982 to the Times of London denying insolvency was imminent. Managing to convince Minister for Finance Ray McSharry of the parlous state of the exchequer that month, Doyle urged spending restraint as debt-servicing costs mounted, and developed a reputation for being forthright with his political masters. The government minister Jim Mitchell (qv) would publicly recall to Doyle in 1999: ‘I remember very well you terrorising the cabinet with your laconic wit … in ’82 to ’87’ (Ir. Independent, 5 May 1999).
Doyle worked closely with Minister for Finance Alan Dukes (December 1982–February 1986) on an austere fiscal adjustment that by 1987 had eliminated the primary budget deficit, albeit at the cost of rising unemployment. Critical of the excessive burden of taxation borne by PAYE workers in comparison to the agricultural and corporate sectors, Doyle highlighted the consistently poor return on investment generated by commercial state enterprises. After briefly serving with the top level appointments committee from January 1987, Doyle became governor of the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) on 1 May 1987.

Although speaking sparingly in public, Doyle consistently denounced the over-reliance of successive Irish governments on deficit financing. As agent, advisor and banker to the government, managing the exchange rate (determined by the minister for finance) and setting interest rates, Doyle exercised a public role centred around shepherding the Irish pound’s value within the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) of the European Monetary System (EMS). With European Monetary Union (EMU) envisaged to commence in 1992, Doyle repeatedly highlighted regional disparities in European living standards and opined that ‘Ireland did not join the European Communities in order to become the Appalachia of western Europe’ (Ir. Times, 11 February 1988). He strongly supported generously redistributive EEC regional policy to aid economic convergence and to finance high-quality, capital-generating infrastructure, lest peripheral regions become mere ‘national parks, suitable for vacations’ (Ir. Times, 12 December 1988). Alongside fellow central bank governors of the member states, Doyle served on the ‘Delors committee’ (June 1988–April 1989), chaired by European Commission president Jacques Delors, which laid out the necessary steps to be taken in going from the single market to full EMU. Committed to the European project.

Maurice Francis Doyle’s Ming Gua (natal or personal trigram number) = 2
His Personal Trigram is KUN:

Maurice’s Personal Natal number is integrated with the Central Bank Dame Street Natal Chart, completing the chart below.

Chart Maurice Francis Doyle & Central Bank Dame Street