The rumours going around are that Willie O’Dea will replace Brian Lenihan as finance minister if Lenihan has to step down due to ill-health.
I was a bit taken aback to hear these rumours. It would seem surprising if a minister who inhabited the lowest orbit of respect in cabinet — defence — should suddenly be projected into one of the most influential roles.
And yet. And yet. The rumours and the whispers persist.
I wondered how Willie might be qualified to fill this role, and so I had a look at his web site, where I discovered that he was formerly a Barrister and Accountant, to quote his site exactly.
I then read that he was educated at UCD and Kings Inns and the Institute of Certified Accountants (BCL, LLM, BL, Certified Accountant).
And so, not unnaturally, I looked up the Institute of Certified Acountants but I couldn’t find any organisation of precisely that name.
What I did find, on an admittedly rushed Google search, was a page relating to The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, but absolutely nothing about anything called the Institute of Certified Acountants.
Not to worry.
I wrote to the Institute of Certified Public Acountants, asking the following question: Could you please advise what qualification Minister Willie O’Dea holds from CPA and when it was awarded?
An answer came back: We do not have a member by that name on our database.
There’s Willie’s website, which clearly states that he was educated, inter alia at the Institute of Certified Accountants. And yet I have been unable to locate this organisation.
At the same time, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland has no record of a Willie O’Dea on its database, but perhaps this is due to a variation in his name, and perhaps he might be registered as William O’Dea, or Billy or Bill, or Will or something like that.
It’s baffling. Clearly we have to take the information on Willie’s site at face value and presume it to be accurate. And yet, I haven’t been able to find an institute of the name referred to.
This is probably my mistake. There probably is a well-known Institute of Certified Acountants and I simply can’t find it.
If you happen to know where and when exactly Minister O’Dea acquired his accountancy qualification, would you please set the record straight and pass on this information as soon as possible?