DUBLIN - Allied Irish Banks board member Colm Doherty is to take over as group managing director with immediate effect, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said on Wednesday, confirming earlier reports.

Also, as widely expected, Cowen said Chairman Dan O'Connor will take on executive duties on a temporary basis, while Michael Somers, currently chief executive of Ireland's debt agency, would become Allied Irish's deputy chairman.

(Reporting by Andras Gergely; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)