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the guvnor

Paddy's day has come: Ireland's top banker to announce early retirement

Patrick Honohan is leaving his position a year ahead of schedule.

Updated 7.40pm 

CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR Patrick Honohan is to announce plans to step down from his position.

Honohan’s term as Ireland’s top banker was due to expire next year but it is understood that he will now be leaving before the end of this year.

It is expected that he will make the announcement at a press conference tomorrow morning when the Central Bank launches their annual report.

The Department of Finance declined to comment this evening, referring all questions to the Central Bank.

It’s understood that Honohan informed Finance Minister Michael Noonan of his decision to retire about a month ago.

Honohan has held the top job in Central Bank since 2009 and he will turn 66 next year. His contract was due to finish at the end of the year.

The departure of the former Trinity College professor means a pre-election will have to be held before his departure.

Honohan was not present in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham this afternoon as former ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet answered questions about Ireland’s financial collapse and the bank guarantee.

In recent months, the government are understood to have been putting pressure on Honohan to encourage banks to do something about variable mortgages in Ireland.

A well-placed source insisted this evening that relations between the Department, Noonan and Honohan are “good”.

- with reporting from Hugh O’Connell 

Read: Bankers were “unwise, rather than criminal” during the Celtic Tiger >

Watch: Patrick Honohan bangs table as he comes to ‘loggerheads’ with Pearse Doherty > 

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