Less than two years ago Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes quit politics to lead the Banking and Payment Federation Ireland. His 25 years as a local, national or European politician helped him gather the experience and contacts that impressed his new employers. His shift from public representative to private sector lobbyist was, as most of these career moves are, seamless.
This weekend his party colleague, Senator Michael D'Arcy announced that he was to quit the Seanad to lead the Irish Association of Investment Managers. Like Hayes, D'Arcy served as Minister of State in the Department of Finance. He lost his Dáil seat in February's election.
The banking and finance sectors no longer enjoy the trust needed to allow these gamekeeper-turned-poacher appointments to go unremarked. It would help rebuild some trust in those institutions, and politics too, if politicians, especially those who served as a minister or as a junior minister, were precluded from taking these roles for, say, two years after leaving politics.