Addressing the Chartered Accountants Ireland AGM in Belfast today (18 May 2018), Mr McCormack highlighted the current political and economic uncertainty on the island of Ireland and expressed his view that delivering political stability is the vital factor in securing a positive economic future on the island.
He said: “At present the uncertainty around Brexit and the lack of a functioning Northern Ireland Executive are very challenging. Put plainly, businesses are unlikely to make significant investment decisions in an uncertain environment. This uncertainty is putting jobs, economic growth and prosperity are at stake.
“We must recognise that the one factor which will make the biggest contribution to the international competitiveness in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland is political stability. Stability should naturally incorporate an agreement on any Brexit arrangements going forward, given the evolution of the island economy and the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“We have recently acknowledged the 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday/ Belfast Agreement which attempted to draw a line under the past and to set a vision for the future based on partnership, equality and mutual respect.
“Despite the best efforts of the Northern Ireland political parties and the British and Irish Governments, the reality is that the journey of implementation has been just a complex as Chairman of the peace negotiations, George Mitchell, envisaged they would be.
“Huge progress has been made, not only in terms of lives saved, but the economic and quality of life on the island has been transformed. Therefore, we must support and encourage our politicians to grasp the current opportunity to deliver political stability for the island of Ireland. We owe it to our, and to future generations, to ensure that political stability and mutual understanding are the norm.
“Looking to the future, I am confident that Chartered Accountants Ireland will continue to be a progressive and outward-looking organisation, dynamically engaged with its many constituencies and driven by a vision, not just for itself, but for the community it serves.”
Addressing his own objectives for his presidential year, Mr McCormack intimated that his overarching theme would be caring and people focused – in reality this would mean caring for members, staff, trainee students and the community.
Mr McCormack, who takes over as President from Shauna Greely, is Managing Director of PKF-FPM, a Chartered Accountancy and business consultancy practice with offices in Newry, Belfast, Dungannon, Dundalk, Mallusk and Balbriggan, Dublin.
A lifelong resident of Warrenpoint, Co. Down, Mr McCormack becomes the first Northern President of Chartered Accountants Ireland to come from outside of Belfast.
Chartered Accountants Ireland represents 26,500 Chartered Accountants throughout the island of Ireland and in 93 countries around the globe. It is the largest, longest established and fastest growing professional accountancy body in Ireland.
At today’s AGM, Conall O’Halloran, Partner and Head of Audit Practice with KPMG, based in Dublin was elected Deputy President of Chartered Accountants Ireland. Paul Henry, Director at Osborne King, Belfast was elected Vice-President.