The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D., today announced that he has appointed Mr Lorcan O’Connor to be the Director-designate of the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) is a statutory body to be established under the forthcoming Personal Insolvency Bill (once enacted) to operate under the aegis of the Minister for Justice and Equality.  The Service will be responsible for all matters concerning personal insolvency, both judicial and non-judicial.  Its main functions will be to provide and manage the processes necessary for the efficient operation of the new non-judicial debt settlement procedures being developed under the legislation; to determine applications for debt relief under the proposed Debt Relief Certificate process; to further develop insolvency policy and legislation; to develop guidelines for insolvency procedures; to provide necessary information to both the public and practitioners; and to develop and maintain appropriate statistics in regard to insolvency.  Other significant functions and responsibilities will devolve to the new Service as the draft legislation is developed.

Mr O’Connor was selected for appointment following an open competition conducted by the Public Appointment Service. He will take up his post on 22 October, 2012.

He is a Chartered Accountant and Business & Legal Studies graduate of UCD. As a Director in Deloitte Restructuring Services, Mr O’Connor has almost 15 years’ experience in the area of insolvency.  He is a Council member and Treasurer of the Irish Society of Insolvency Practitioners.  Between 2006 and 2008 he was seconded to the Department of Transport as the Department’s Financial Adviser.  His time in the Department coincided with the Aer Lingus IPO and the roll out of the Transport 21 programme.

Announcing the appointment of Mr O’Connor, Minister Shatter said, "I am delighted that Lorcan has accepted the appointment. As Director he will be the key driver of the delivery of the reform and will be required to bring together all of the critical elements - legislative and organisational - so as to ensure coherence in the ultimate development of the Service. He brings to the position a wealth of experience that equips him ideally for the many challenges that lie ahead.

The completion of the Committee Stage consideration of the Insolvency Bill, last Thursday the 13 September 2012, in the Dáil Select Committee on Justice and Defence marked important progress in the enactment of the Bill. The Bill was further refined and developed by the incorporation of important amendments and it is expected that the Report and Final Stage will be completed in the Dáil in October. In the meantime preparatory work is continuing on the establishment of the new Insolvency Service.

The enactment of the Insolvency Bill is one of my major priorities for the new Dáil session about to commence. It is essential that the radical new debt settlement procedures and crucial legal reforms contained in it be put in place to assist those weighed down by unsustainable debt. Pending the enactment of the Bill, both debtors and creditors should take account of its contents to enter into fair and balanced debt settlement arrangements based on the financial realities of an individual debtor's verified financial circumstances."

16 September 2012