Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan today announced his plans to retire by the end of the year.

His retirement comes a year before his seven-year term as Governor was due to end in September 2016.

Professor Patrick Honohan was appointed Governor of the Central Bank in September 2009 for a seven year term. He could have been re-appointed for further terms.

A voting member of the European Central Bank, Professor Honohan helped oversee the capitalisation and restructuring of the Irish banking sector, which collapsed after the property bubble here burst in 2008.

He was tasked with overhauling the country's financial regulator system after reckless bank lending and several scandals surrounding Anglo Irish Bank destroyed the reputation of the "Celtic Tiger" economy.

His appointment broke the decades old tradition of promoting the top civil servant at the Department of Finance to the Central Bank position - at the time of his appointment he was an Economics Professor at Trinity College. 

An academic expert on banking and financial systems, the Professor spent nearly ten years at the World Bank, where he was a senior advisor on financial sector policy.

A graduate of UCD, he received his PhD in economics from the London School of Economics in 1978. He has taught economics at the LSE, the University of California - San Diego, the Australian National University and UCD, as well as Trinity.

He advised the taoiseach's office in the 1980s and also spent several years as an economist at the Central Bank in the 1970s and 1980s and at the International Monetary Fund from 1971 to 1973.

Although picked by the Government, Mr Honohan was a much more outspoken Central Bank Governor and criticised the Cabinet in a report in June 2010 for budgetary policies that contributed to the overheating of the Irish economy in the run-up to the crisis.

In the leadup to the EU/IMF bailout, after days of government denials of an imminent aid deal, he phoned up Morning Ireland to tell the nation that Ireland needed tens of billions of euros in loans.