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Independent non-profit making body to stimulate fiscal debate for the greater good

About Us


Welcome to the Foundation for Fiscal Studies. Our goal is to promote the study and discussion of issues relating to fiscal policy.

What we do?

Interest in, and awareness of the importance of, fiscal policy in the economic and social performance of a country or community has increased greatly in the past few years. The Foundation provides a unique forum open to academics, policy makers, taxation and legal experts and the general public from which critical and constructive contributions can be made to developments in Ireland and abroad.

Who we are?

The Foundation was established in 1985 as an independent, non-profit making body. The activities of the Foundation are overseen by an elected Council which is widely representative of persons active in agricultural, commercial, financial, trade union, university and public administrative life. The members of the Council are listed at below. A projects committee organises the running of events and other activities of the Foundation. The members of the projects committee are listed at below.


The Foundation has in recent years hosted a greater number of events as well as awarding the Miriam Hederman O’Brien Prize annually and updating our website. We plan to build on our activities with an interesting and important schedule of events in the future. We also aim to further expand our website as a resource for people interested in fiscal issues. The Foundation’s events and resources are open to all, including non-members.

Corporate Membership of the Foundation

Corporate Membership of the Foundation is open to organisations interested in fiscal policy. Membership subscriptions support the Foundation by helping to secure our ability to continue to provide a high quality service into the future. For more information contact info@fiscal.ie


Council Members

Colm Kelly (Chairman)

Colm Kelly is the Global Leader for Corporate Sustainability with PwC.

He has held a number of roles on the PwC Global Leadership Team, including global leader of the Tax and Legal Services business, and Chief Operations Officer for the PwC Global network.

He is a council member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a fellow of the Global Solutions Initiative, and a Commissioner of the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI). Colm is also a member of the Irish Tax Institute.

Colm led PwC Ireland’s Tax & Legal Services practice for a number of years, and also worked with the International Tax Services team in the New York office of PwC US.


Jim Breslin

Jim Breslin was Secretary General of the new Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.  In 2011 he led the establishment of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs as its first Secretary General. He was Secretary General of the Department of Health from 2014 to 2020.

He has a Master’s in Public Administration (Mid-Career) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, MSc (Econ) from Trinity College/Institute of Public Administration and BA in Economics and Politics from UCD.  He holds a Policy Leader Fellowship at the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge.


Rosheen Callender

Rosheen Callender

Rosheen Callender is an economist who for 35 years specialised in both social and economic policy; as well as employment and equality law; and tax, social welfare and pensions. A former teacher, she started work in the Research Department of the ITGWU (later SIPTU) in 1973 and retired from SIPTU in 2008. She has previously been a member of the the Pensions Board and is a Fellow of the IIPM and a member of the IAPF’s Trustee Network, of which she was a founding member.

Rosheen was a founder member of the Foundation and continues to serve on the Council.


Niall Cody

Niall Cody is Chairman of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners – the Irish Tax and Customs Administration. He leads an organisation which is responsible for the collection of virtually all taxes and duties and the implementation of customs controls in Ireland.

Mr. Cody is one of three Commissioners who form the Board of Revenue. He was appointed Commissioner in February 2012 and appointed Chairman in February 2015.

He has specific responsibility as Commissioner for direct and indirect tax policy and legislation, international tax and corporate services.


Donal de Buitléir

Donal de Buitléir

Dr. Donal de Buitléir is Chairman of the Low Pay Commission and Chairman of the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board. Previously he was Director of publicpolicy.ie. He was a Board Member of the Health Services Executive 2005-09. He was Secretary to the Commission on Taxation 1980-85. He was a member of a number of Government reviews in the areas of local government reform, integration of tax and welfare, business regulation, health funding and higher education.

He is a former President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland and is an Eisenhower Fellow. He was formerly Chairman of the Foundation and remains a Council Member.


Josephine Feehily

Josephine Feehily

Josephine Feehily is a former Chairman of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and was the first woman to hold that position in Ireland. She represents Ireland on the bureau of the OECD Forum for Tax Administration which she chaired until November 2014.  She was elected for three years up to June 2014 as Chair of the World Customs Organisation. Ms Feehily joined Revenue in 1993 as head of Human Resources and also served as Accountant-General of Revenue. She has also recently been nominated by the Government as Chairperson Designate of the new Policing Authority. A career public servant, Ms. Feehily previously worked in a range of positions in the Department of Social Welfare and the Pensions Board. She is a graduate of the National College of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin.


Austin Hughes

Austin Hughes

Austin Hughes is one of Ireland’s leading economic commentators. An expert on issues affecting the Irish and European economies, he is a regular contributor on media and also served as KBC Bank Ireland’s Chief Economist. Austin has a wealth of economic experience, working for KBC for over 20 years following stints in the Department of Finance, Central Bank and Bord Failte.



Martin Lambe

Martin pic

Martin Lambe was appointed as Chief Executive of the Irish Tax Institute in March 2014 having previously been Director of Finance, Risk and Compliance. Martin led the Institute’s strategy on finance, membership services and investment in technology. He has also held the position of Company Secretary since 2004 overseeing corporate governance and matters related to the professional standards of members.



John McCarthy

John McCarthy is the Chief Economist in the Department, with responsibility for the provision of economic and budgetary analysis and forecasts.

He is currently the vice-chair of the OECD’s Economic Policy Committee and an adviser to the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council; he was previously the chair of the European Union’s output gap working group and a member of the National Statistics Board.

He holds a B.A. (Economics and Mathematics) from Trinity College Dublin and an M.Econ.Sc from UCD.  He previously worked as a senior economist in the Central Bank of Ireland.


Enda McDonagh

Enda McDonagh is the Managing Partner of PwC Ireland since 1 July 2023.

Previously, Enda led the firm’s assurance practice since 2015.  He has nearly 30 years of experience as an auditor and business advisor to many of Ireland’s leading companies.  This includes supporting Irish head quartered global companies as well as multinational companies with their operations in Ireland.

Enda is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.


John McKeon

John McKeon joined the Department of Social Protection in October 2010 and was appointed Secretary General in July 2017.

Prior to his appointment he held Assistant Secretary positions with responsibility for activation policy, the development and implementation of the Pathways to Work programme, and the modernisation of the department’s public office (Intreo) services. He also held responsibility for staff relations and Finance, Legislation and PRSI policy.

Prior to joining the department he worked for the Department of Post and Telegraphs / Telecom Éireann / Eircom over a period of 31 years most latterly as Managing Director of eircom Wholesale.


Derek Moran

Derek Moran

Derek Moran was Secretary General of the Department of Finance having previously been the Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for the Fiscal Policy Division. He was responsible for economic, budgetary and fiscal, banking and financial service policy matters and oversight of Ireland’s investments in and support for covered banks. He has served on the National Economic and Social Council, National Statistics Board and the EU’s Economic Policy and Tax Policy Committees.



Fergal O’Brien

Fergal O’Brien

Fergal O’Brien is IBEC’s Head of Policy and Chief Economist. He joined IBEC in 2005. Prior to this Fergal worked for 5 years as an Economic Consultant with Fitzpatrick Associates, where he delivered a large number of consultancy assignments for a range of public and private sector clients. He also worked as an economist with the Irish Dairy Board. He is also a member of the National Statistics Board. Fergal is a regular commentator on the economy and domestic and international policy issues.



Anne Vaughan

Anne Vaughan was Deputy Secretary in the then Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for almost 8 years where she had responsibility for policy development and service delivery in relation to working age payments. As Deputy she also had a particular focus on governance issues.

She retired in 2018. During her civil service career of 38 years she also worked in the Department of Finance and in the Department of The Taoiseach.

Anne has a special interest in pensions policy and was a member of The Pensions Authority. She is a member of the Commission on Pensions, and of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare.


Project Committee Members:

Jean Acheson

Jean Acheson is head of statistics and economic research in Revenue. She has held a number of roles in the Irish and UK civil service and previously worked for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in Rwanda and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC.


Dermot Coates

Dr. Dermot P. Coates currently serves as Chief Economist at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and as Head of Secretariat to the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council.

Prior to this, Dermot was Chief Economist at the Department of Social Protection and an ex-officio member of the Labour Market Advisory Council. In this role, Dermot also represented Ireland on the EU Employment Committee. He has also previously held roles with the Department of Finance, the Housing Agency and the Central Bank of Ireland.

Dermot is a member of the Advisory Board of the Economics Department at Maynooth University and a Trustee of the Foundation for Knowledge Exchange.


Micheál Collins


Rowena Dwyer

Rowena Dwyer is currently with the Department of Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery & Reform (DPENDPDR) as Head of the Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service (IGEES). Prior to this role, Rowena was with Enterprise Ireland, most recently working in the establishment of the sustainability and climate team. She previously worked with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) as their Chief Economist.


Niall Egan

Niall Egan is an Assistant Secretary General in the Department of Social Protection. He has responsibility for leading the Finance function in the Department.

He also has responsibility for leading the Department’s Legislation and Corporate Services (including strategic planning and risk management) teams, Labour Market Policy, Business Intelligence and the Department’s Communication Unit.


Claire Keane

Claire Keane is a Senior Research Officer Research at the ESRI.

Her research interests include labour economics, taxation, welfare and pension policy as well as poverty and income distribution analysis.

She holds a PhD in economics from University College Dublin and has worked in the financial services sector as well as at the OECD.


Adam Larragy


Kate Levey

Kate Levey has worked in a number of Government Departments across the Civil Service, including the Department of Children (currently), the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance since 2003.

She studied Economics and Politics in Trinity College and is a member of the Irish Tax Institute.  She also currently serves as Voluntary Treasurer and Director of Hillview Family Resource Centre since September 2018.


Kieran Little


Cian McCarthy

Cian McCarthy is an economist and head of the economic and evaluation section at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. Cian previously served as an economist in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Foreign Affairs, and as a Senior Researcher in the Institute of International and European Affairs.


Tom McDonnell

Dr Tom McDonnell is Co-director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI). He has taught at a number of Irish universities and completed his PhD in Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Tom was at the Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC) prior to joining NERI and is responsible for, among other things, the NERI’s analysis of the Irish economy.

Tom was a member of the 2022 Commission on Taxation and Welfare.


Ian Power


Peter Reilly

Peter Reilly is a tax partner in PwC Ireland. He leads the domestic and international outbound department of the tax practice and is also PwC Ireland’s Tax Policy Leader. Peter has spent time in his career on secondment with PwC in New York and with the Department of Finance during the first BEPS project.


Barra Roantree

Barra Roantree is an economist at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), where his work focuses on inequality, poverty and living standards. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at Trinity College Dublin, and an International Research Associate at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) in London.


Mairéad Ross

Mairéad Ross is a Principal Officer in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.  She has a law degree from Trinity College and a Masters in Economic Science from UCD and is Chartered Tax Adviser with the Irish Tax Institute.  Mairéad previously worked on tax policy for 10 years in the Department of Finance with responsibility for a range of areas including Business Tax and Income Tax and was a member of the Secretariat to the 2022 Commission on Taxation and Welfare.


Corporate Members

  • Department of Finance
  • IBEC
  • Irish Tax Institute
  • PwC
  • Revenue Commissioners