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McCreevy tops poll, with Mac Sharry in second place Back  
Charlie McCreevy, the outgoing Minister for Finance, has been voted Ireland's 'Best Ever Minister for Finance', according to a poll conducted amongst the 12,000 plus readers of FINANCE. Other former ministers who polled well include Ray MacSharry in second place, and Michael Collins in tenth.
Charlie McCreevy, will shortly leave for Europe after eight years in his position to take up the position of Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, beat off competitition from the likes of past and present Taoiseachs including Bertie Ahern (who came in fifth place) and Charlie Haughey (who came in seventh). Ray MacSharry was voted the second best Finance Minister ever, with Alan Dukes in third place.

The respondents were asked to rate the 23 incumbents who were listed in reverse chronological order, starting with the first Minister, Eoin Mac Neill, and the second Michael Collins, who, was rated the tenth best ever. Of the 23 Ministers, four served two terms in Finance - Sean McEntee, George Colley, John Bruton and Ray MacSharry.

McCreevy won the poll by a significant margin. Out of a perfect score of 100, he received 74.5 per cent (or 7.5 out of 10), followed by MacSharry with 60.2 per cent (or 6 out of 10). Alan Dukes came in third position with 55.7 per cent (or 5.6 out of 10).

The poll was conducted during August, and was closed after 500 readers had cast their vote electronically on the www.finance-magazine.com website.

Economist sub-poll
In a separate sub-poll carried out amongst the leading Irish financial services economists, McCreevy was also voted as the leading finance minister, but the margin between him and MacSharry was much closer. One economist who gave McCreevy 9 points out of 10, said that he only misses the top mark, 'because of lack of control of public spending in pre-election period. Otherwise brilliant'. Another economist, who also gave McCreevy 9 out of a maximum 10, said that McCreevy wouldn't have been able to achieve his success without the tough stance taken by Ray MacSharry on public spending in the mid -1980s, adding that, 'in particular his ability to convince die-hard Fianna Fail members that the ''spend, spend, spend'' philosophy pursued by the party for years was likely to do more damage than good to the economy in the long-run'.

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