Public purse may face compensation claim of up to €14 million on foot of IDA & Connect Ireland dispute

March 22, 2017

During Leaders Questions in the Dáil today Social Democrats Co-Leader Catherine Murphy raised the ongoing issues between the IDA and Businessman Terry Clune’s Connect Ireland programme. The disagreement relates to the IDA’s refusal to renew the contract for Connect Ireland to continue its Succeed in Ireland scheme – an initiative tasked with creating jobs in Ireland to attract the diaspora back. Both sides of the dispute have claimed that the other has failed in its duties under the contract.

Catherine Murphy TD first raised this issue in early February of this year in a series of parliamentary questions to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, culminating in a debate on the floor of the Dáil on the 9th of February during priority question time.  Deputy Murphy had raised concerns regarding whether or not there is potentially financial compensation due to Connect Ireland as a result of the IDA’s actions. If there is compensation due, it will come from public funds and is rumoured to be in the region of €14 million.

Speaking during Leaders Questions today Catherine Murphy TD said:

“There are allegations that Connect Ireland were “possibly stymied in creating jobs by the IDA in what sounds essentially like a turf war.”

She went onto say that both sides of the dispute significantly and fundamentally differ on the numbers of jobs created and this seems irreconcilable and that RTÉ’s Morning Ireland report this morning seemed to suggest a serious flaw in the IDA’s verification process for the scheme.

“The IDA refused a significant number of connections yet on review over 1/3 of these refusals were overturned and this suggests a serious issue with the verification process used by the IDA.  The core issue here is that potentially jobs were lost to Ireland. There is also potential reputational damage.”

Deputy Murphy asked the Taoiseach if either the IDA or the Department of Jobs were potentially facing a compensation bill of up to €14million which would have to be paid from public funds and if any amount had been factored into the budgets of either the IDA or the Department for such an event. The Taoiseach was evasive in his reply and refused to address the question regarding a potential bill facing the public purse.

22nd March 2017



Note: A video clip of exchange between Catherine Murphy TD and Taoiseach Enda Kenny available at: