1902-1999. Born in Tralee, Co. Kerry, and educated by the Christian Brothers. Member of the League of the Kingship of Christ An Rioghact. He won a scholarship to University College, Cork where he was awarded a first-class honours degree in commerce. His career
began in the Department of Finance in 1925. He became Private Secretary to the Taoiseach, Eamon de Valera in 1932. He was appointed Secretary to the Government and Secretary of the Department of the Taoiseach in 1937, and is acknowledged to have played a central, constructive role in the co-ordination of government policy generally. He was a member of the committee which Mr. de Valera established to draft the new Constitution.
During the Emergency (Second World War) he worked closely with Mr. de Valera in his defence of Ireland’s position of neutrality. Dr. Moynihan was a Service Director of the Central Bank from 1953 to 1960 and Governor from 1961 to 1969. Under his enlightened stewardship the Bank developed in several important areas: the issuing of credit
advice to the banks which marked the beginning of monetary policy, the provision of rediscounting facilities, active participation in the market for government securities, the development of clearing systems and preparatory work for a money market. He also oversaw the widening of the fund backing the note issue to include assets other than sterling. During his tenure the administration of exchange controls was transferred to the Bank; much of the banknote printing was ‘‘repatriated’’ to Dublin and an embryonic banking supervision function was set up. Dr. Moynihan also oversaw the mergers of clearing (Associated) banks and the centralisation of the foreign currency reserves in the Bank. He was also responsible for promoting economic and monetary research at the Bank which, under his guidance, undertook most of the key functions of a modern central bank. The former Foster Place premises of the Currency Commission, having become inadequate, Dr. Moynihan
initiated the building of a new Central Bank of distinctive construction and design in Dame Street.
He was conferred with an honorary doctorate in economic science by the National University of Ireland in 1955. He also became a member of the Commission of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland.
Subsequent to his retirement he wrote Currency and Central Banking in Ireland, 1922-1960, Central Bank and Gill and MacMillan, 1975 and edited Speeches and Statements by Eamon de Valera 1917-1973, Gill and MacMillan, 1980 while also serving as a Director of Trinity Bank. His contribution to the development of the State was significant and enduring. His achievements were matched only by his modesty and courteous manner. (Based on the Winter Bulletin of the Central Bank of Ireland, 1999).