Michael W. D'Arcy

Michael William D'Arcy (born 26 February 1970) is an Irish Fine Gael politician who has served as Minister of State at the Department of Finance since June 2017. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wexford constituency since 2016, and previously between 2007 and 2011. He served as a Senator for the Administrative Panel from 2011 to 2016.[1]

Michael W. D'Arcy

Minister of State at the Department of Finance
Assumed office
20 June 2017
TaoiseachLeo Varadkar
Preceded byEoghan Murphy
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
In office
May 2007  February 2011
ConstituencyWexford
Senator
In office
24 April 2011  30 February 2016
ConstituencyAdministrative Panel
Personal details
Born
Michael William D'Arcy

(1970-02-26) 26 February 1970
Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyFine Gael
RelationsMichael D'Arcy (Father)
Children2
Alma materUniversity College Cork
Websitemichaeldarcy.ie

Early and private life

D'Arcy was born in Gorey, County Wexford, in 1970. He is the son of Michael D'Arcy, a former TD and Minister of State. In the past D'Arcy has been a very active GAA player, winning an All-Ireland junior football title with Wexford in 1992, and five Wexford senior football titles with Killinierin. He also played youth soccer with Wexford. He is the current Chairman of Kilanerin–Ballyfad GAA Club.[2] D'Arcy was educated at Ballythomas National School and Gorey Community School. He is married and has two children.

Political career

D'Arcy first held political office in December 2003, when he was elected as a Wexford County Councillor for the Gorey local electoral area. He was re-elected at the 2004 local elections where he topped the poll.[3]

During his time on Wexford County Council, D'Arcy held the position of the council's Vice-Chairman. He was also Chairman of County Wexford Vocational Education Committee from 2004 to 2007 and a member of the board of management of Gorey Community School and Kilmuckridge Vocational College. He is a former director of Wexford County Enterprise Board and Wexford Organization for Rural Development.

D'Arcy was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2007 general election and was appointed Deputy Spokesperson on Justice, with special responsibility for Equality. During the 2007–2011 term, he served on the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

He was subsequently elected to Seanad Éireann on the Administrative Panel in April 2011,[3] whereupon he became the Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Finance.

He was re-elected to Dáil Éireann for the Wexford constituency at the 2016 general election. In June 2017, he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, with special responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance.

Oireachtas Banking Inquiry Committee

D'Arcy was a member of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry Committee, colloquially known as the Banking Inquiry, which was a joint committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas. It was formally established in November 2014, under the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013. The purpose of the Inquiry was to inquire into the reasons Ireland experienced a systemic banking crisis, including the political, economic, social, cultural, financial and behavioural factors and policies which impacted on or contributed to the crisis and the preventative reforms implemented in the wake of the crisis. Following completion of its investigation and public hearings, the Committee published its final report on 27 January 2016. The final report contains three volumes — Volume 1: the main findings and recommendations; Volume 2: how the Inquiry was run; and Volume 3: the documentary evidence relied upon in preparing the main report.[4]

Varadkar leadership campaign

D'Arcy was a supporter of Leo Varadkar in his successful leadership campaign. Varadkar became the youngest ever Taoiseach on 14 June 2017 and Leader of Fine Gael, having been elected to the position by the party's electoral college system. In the book Leo Varadkar - A Very Modern Taoiseach by Philip Ryan and Niall O'Connor, a campaign source described D'Arcy as being "a great fixer, a great organizer and a great coordinator".

Kate O'Connell, a Fine Gael TD for Dublin Bay South, notably described Varadkar's supporters during the leadership campaign as being "choir boys".[5]

Role as Minister of State

In late 2018, D'Arcy and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe welcomed Ireland's issuing of its first green bond, making Ireland one of the first countries in the world to do so. Speaking about the issuing of the Green Bond, D'Arcy stated that "Irish Sovereign Green Bonds will help to fund the green projects set out in the National Development Plan which contains €23 billion in direct Exchequer funding for eligible green projects over the next ten years. Green and Sustainable finance is a key priority under the IFS2020 Action plan for 2018 and with this bond, Ireland becomes one of the few countries in Europe that has issued green bonds."[6]

On 26 April 2019, D'Arcy and Minister Donohoe jointly launched “Ireland for Finance”, the new strategy for the further development of the international financial services (IFS) sector in Ireland to 2025. The vision of the Strategy is for Ireland to be a top-tier global location of choice for specialist international financial services. "Ireland for Finance" builds upon the success of "IFS2020", the previous IFS five-year strategy for the development of the international financial services sector launched in 2015. Some key outputs from IFS2020 were the creation of 9,000 jobs and the launch of the annual European Financial Forum in Dublin Castle. The employment target for the new Strategy is to reach 50,000 people in direct employment in the sector by 2025. This compares with 44,000 people directly employed in the sector at the end of 2018. In formulating the Strategy, the Government of Ireland has taken account of current and future developments while also exploring potential challenges and opportunities, especially the potential impact of technology, both positive and negative. Commenting on the launch of the new strategy, D'Arcy stated that “Ireland has built a very successful international financial services industry. However, we cannot be complacent. Artificial intelligence and automation will impact on jobs in the future. It is essential that we continue to review our progress to date, and evolve to ensure that we have the necessary talent pool available to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We also need to develop and identify new markets. The ‘Ireland for Finance’ Strategy is the road map for this ambition which is achievable through continued hard work and commitment by all stakeholders”.[7]

On 11 June 2019, the Government approved the publication of the Investment Limited Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2019. The Bill, which is on the Government's priority legislation list and is also a key deliverable in the Government's IFS 2025 Strategy, is an important part of Ireland’s strategy to develop its international financial services sector and to take advantage of the growth in non-banking finance in Europe. The aim of the Bill is to make Ireland a more attractive domicile for private equity funds, which supports thousands of jobs directly and many more indirectly. The Investment Limited Partnership Act, which governs private equity funds, is now over twenty years old. The proposed amendments provide the opportunity to update the Act to reflect the developments at a European level in investment funds regulation. Speaking on the publication of this Bill, D'Arcy stated that "the Investment Limited Partnership (Amendment) Bill is an important update of the current Act which is almost 25-years old. This Bill will help create a leading framework for Irish investment funds, adding to the other leading investment vehicles. The Bill is also a key deliverable in the Government's IFS 2025 Strategy and I look forward to its progression through the Houses of the Oireachtas."[8]

On 20 June 2019, D’Arcy welcomed the completion of (Report and Final Stages) of the Judicial Council Bill in the Seanad, as part of a series of reforms he seeks to introduce in an effort to reduce increasing insurance premiums in Ireland. The amendments provide for the establishment of a Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee whose sole function will be to develop the relevant personal injury guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injuries which, will fall to be adopted by the Judicial Council. As part of its function, the Committee will be required to review the guidelines at least once every three years and, if necessary, prepare amendments to the guidelines within the same timeframe. This is in line with the recommendations of the Cost of Insurance Working Group[9]. Also of note is that the amendments require that the membership of the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee consists solely of judges. This aligns with the practice in other jurisdictions such as England and Wales and Northern Ireland. D'Arcy has stated that bringing the levels of personal injury damages awarded in this country more in line with those awarded in other jurisdictions is the single most essential challenge which must be overcome if there is to be a sustainable reduction in insurance costs. D'Arcy is hopeful that the creation of personal injury damage guidelines by the Judiciary can result in the lowering of award levels.[10]

See also

References

Oireachtas
Preceded by
Liam Twomey
(Fine Gael)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Wexford
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Liam Twomey
(Fine Gael)
Preceded by
Liam Twomey
(Fine Gael)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Wexford
2016–present
Incumbent
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