HomeWork Of The DepartmentSocial Policy and Public Service Reform

National Economic and Social Council (NESC)


The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) is the only State agency under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach. The NESC reports to the Taoiseach on strategic issues for Ireland’s economic and social development. It provides a forum for multilateral dialogue on economic, social and environmental challenges facing the country.

NESC is funded through a Grant received from the Vote of the Department of the Taoiseach.

Members of the Council (detailed below) are appointed by the Taoiseach on the basis of nominations from the trade unions, business and employers organisations, farmers’ organisations, the environmental and community and voluntary sectors.  The Taoiseach also appoints a number of public servants and independent members. The Council meets regularly, usually on a monthly basis.

The Council Members are: 

National Economic and Social Council
NameOccupation / Organisation
Martin Fraser (Chairperson)
Elizabeth Canavan (Deputy Chairperson)
Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach
Assistant Secretary, Department of the Taoiseach
Business and Employer
Maeve McElweeIBEC
Tom ParlonCIF
Ian TalbotChambers Ireland
Patricia KingICTU
Tom GeraghtyPSEU
Farming and Agriculture
Community and Voluntary
Fr. Sean HealySocial Justice Ireland
Brid O’BrienINOU
James DorleyNYCI
Kate RuddockFriends of the Earth
Oonagh DugganBirdwatch Ireland
Michael EwingIrish Environmental Network
Public Servants
Derek Moran, Secretary GeneralDepartment of Finance
Robert Watt, Secretary GeneralDepartment of Public Expenditure and Reform
Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary GeneralDepartment of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
John McCarthy, Secretary GeneralDepartment of Housing, Planning and Local Government
Independent Experts
Edgar MorgenrothESRI
Michelle NorrisUCD
Philip HamellDepartment of the Taoiseach

Further information on the NESC and its role is available on the NESC website.