Irish Society for New Economists Conference,4-5 September 2014
Keynote Speakers

Professor John FitzGerald, ESRI

John FitzGerald is a Research Professor with the Economic and Social Research Institute working on macro-economic policy, and energy policy. He is a member of the Central Bank Commission, and a past President of the Irish Economic Association and of the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation. He was also a member of the Irish Energy Research Council, of the Independent Water review Panel, Northern Ireland and of the High Level Group on Green Enterprise. He chaired the Renewable Energy Strategy Group for the Department of Public Enterprise. He was a member of the EU "Group for Economic Analysis" from 2002-2004 advising the President of the EU Commission on matters of Economic Policy.

John FitzGerald studied history and economics at University College Dublin where he took masters degrees successively in History and in Economics. He began his career in the Irish Department of Finance in 1972 where he was the Department's macro-economic "fire brigade" - responsible for economic modelling and policy analysis, as well as applied economic research. John was a TK Whitaker Research fellow in the Economic and Social Research Institute in 1982/83, and joined the ESRI in 1984.

Since joining the ESRI, he has published in a number of different fields. In collaboration with John Bradley and other colleagues in the ESRI he helped develop the ESRI's macro-economic modelling programme. The fruits of this work have been published in a range of journals including the European Economic Review, Economic Modelling and The Economic and Social Review, as well as in many other ESRI publications. He is the joint author of a study of the impact of 1992 and the EU Structural Funds on the Irish economy as well as a number of studies evaluating the impact of the EU Structural Funds. In 1992, 1999 and again in 2006 he led a team that published influential reports on Ireland's investment priorities. He has also undertaken studies of the impact of 1992 on the distribution sector in the EU as a whole and how taxes may distort shopping patterns in border areas.

He was a joint author of the report for the Irish Department of Finance on the Economic Implications for Ireland of EMU, which was published in July 1996. This report was central to the debate on Ireland's membership of EMU. He is a joint author of the ESRI's Medium-Term Review, which provides a detailed analysis of Ireland's economic prospects over the next decade.

Through his work in the ESRI's Energy Policy Research Centre he has published research on energy demand in Ireland, studies of the economics of global warming, and an analysis of how the Irish energy sector might be restructured to enhance competition and efficiency.

In 2011 John FitzGerald was admitted as a member of the Royal Irish Academy in recognition of his work on the behavioural characteristics of the Irish economy.

Professor Ciaran O' Neill, NUIG

Ciaran O'Neill was educated in Queens University Belfast where he was awarded a degree in economics in 1986 and a PhD in agricultural economics in 1990. He joined the Department of Economics in Queens as a lecturer in 1990, moving to the University of Nottingham in 1997. He was appointed Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the University of Ulster in 2003 before moving to Queen's University Belfast's School Medicine and Dentistry in January 2007. He joined NUI Galway's J.E.Cairnes. School of Business and Economics as Professor of Health Technology Assessment in 2008 and served as Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law between 2013-2014 prior to taking up a Research Leader award in February 2014. 

He has held various visiting positions including positions at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica and the University of Michigan. He was a Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy and Practice in 2001/2002, has been Chair of the Northern Ireland Health Economics Group, of the Health Economics Association of Ireland and of Action Cancer's Board of Trustees. He has served on several national scientific committees and provided advice to Departments of Health in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He has published over 80 peer reviewed publications as well as various reports arising from health economic studies nationally and internationally. He has undertaken reviews for various scientific funding agencies in Ireland, the UK and Hong Kong, was invited to serve as a reviewer in the EU 'Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing'  call under the Horizon 2020 initiative and two of New Zealand's Assesssment panels for New Zealand National Science Challenges.