Finance chief in key role as land agency bids to tackle housing crisis

Appointed: John Moran will temporarily chair the LDA

Philip Ryan

Former Department of Finance secretary general John Moran is to be appointed the interim chair of the Government's Land Development Agency (LDA).

Mr Moran oversaw Ireland's exit from the Troika bailout and will now play a central role on the board of the State agency responsible for resolving the housing crisis.

The Limerick man was a rare private sector appointment to a senior position in the Department of Finance.

He surprised colleagues by leaving the position after four years to pursue other interests.

Since leaving, he has spoken regularly about the housing crisis and his proposals for fixing the problem.

He was recently appointed as a director to the board of European Investment Bank.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said Mr Moran is "perfectly placed" to oversee the commercial agency tasked with developing and selling State land.

The land agency will have sweeping powers and aims to unlock land for the construction of 150,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

The body will have a massive €1.25bn war chest to buy up land.

Mr Moran will be joined on the LDA board by the chairman of the North East Inner City Regeneration Implementation Board Michael Stone. Mr Stone founded the Designer Group after a long career with the ESB.

Solicitor and construction law expert Timothy Boucher Hayes will also sit on the board along with UCD Professor of Social Policy Michelle Norris.

LDA chief executive John Coleman and Limerick City and County Council chief executive Conn Murray are also members.

The final members of the board are senior civil servants John O'Connor, Clare Costello and Caroline Timmons.

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