Former Minister for Finance, Ireland
Mr Ruairí Quinn was a public representative from 1974 until his retirement from Dáil Éireann in 2016. He has broad political experience, having served as a Minister in six different Departments, including Minister for Finance (1994-1997) and Minister for Education and Skills (2011-2014). As Minister for Finance, he served as President of the Ecofin Council of the European Union in 1996, and worked to accelerate the launch of the European Single Currency. When leaving office in 1997 he handed over a surplus, the first in about 50 years, to qualify Ireland for the single currency. In 1997, he was elected to lead the Labour Party. As Leader, he developed a strong policy platform, in which he promoted closer European integration. In 2002, he retired as Leader, after choosing not to seek re-election. Ruairí Quinn is currently Chairperson of the Institute of International and European Affairs, as well as the Vice-President and Treasurer of the Party of European Socialists, and has recently joined the Trinity Business School as an adjunct Professor. He is a former Chairperson of the European Movement Ireland and the Holocaust Educational Trust. His political memoir, Straight Left - A Journey in Politics, was published in 2005. Before entering public life, Ruairí Quinn was an architect and town planner.