John Callinan has been named as the new Secretary-General to the Government, the country’s top civil service position, thecan reveal.
He succeeds Martin Fraser who has been in the position since 2011 but is to take up the post of Irish Ambassador to the UK, based in London in September.
Mr Callinan is currently Second Secretary-General in the Department of An Taoiseach.
Senior Government sources have confirmed to thethat the appointment was discussed at Cabinet and approval was given.
In an interview with the, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath confirmed Mr Callinan will be paid at the normal rate of €215,000 and not at the €300,000 salary granted to Robert Watt, who is Secretary-General at the Department of Health.
Mr Callinan was the lead official for international and EU affairs and matters relating to Northern Ireland. He has been a driving force in the development of the Government's Shared Island unit.
In 2016, the Government appointed Mr Callinan to the position of Second Secretary-General in the Department of the Taoiseach.
Mr Callinan has led what was then a new integrated division within the Department with responsibility for supporting the Taoiseach in his work on EU, Northern Ireland, British-Irish and International affairs.
The appointment is part of a series of actions announced by the Taoiseach following the recent Brexit referendum. Prior to that Mr Callinan was Head of the Economic and International Policy Division in the Department of the Taoiseach since 2011.
In that position, he was centrally involved in Ireland's exit from the Troika programme and in the implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs. He was also responsible for Northern Ireland policy and British-Irish relations from 2011 to 2015.
Prior to that, he served as Head of the EU Division in the Department of the Taoiseach for four years from 2007 to 2011. He has also worked in the European Commission and in the Revenue Commissioners.