IDA to build regional manufacturing bases

Development agency’s chief executive Barry O’Leary to step down

IDA chief executive Barry O’Leary is to step down from the role. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

IDA chief executive Barry O’Leary is to step down from the role. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times


The IDA is to build new regional manufacturing bases in areas where the private sector is unable to provide the facilities needed to attract companies.

Barry O’Leary, the IDA’s chief executive, also announced he is stepping down from the organisation to “pursue other other opportunities” and Minister for Jobs Richard Burton this morning praised his “exceptional leadership”.

Mr O’Leary said he has no other prospects lined up but added restrictions in his current position, where he would be dealing with many companies, means he will have to wait a period of time before taking up new employment.

He expects to leave the IDA, where has been since 1976, and was appointed chief executive in 2008, in the middle or end of the year.

Mr O’Leary and Mr Bruton were speaking this morning at a presentation on the organisation’s 2013 end of year statement, which said 13,367 jobs were created by IDA client companies last year, with a net increase in employment of 7,071.

The IDA said this represented the highest level of job creation in over a decade and it aims to achieve a 6,000 net increase in jobs in 2014.

However, it says it intends to start building new “property capacity in regional locations” to “enhance its regional offering”.

“IDA has identified a number of specific locations where the private sector is unable currently to develop property solutions,” it said.

Mr O’Leary said some companies won’t have the luxury of waiting up to two years for planning permisionsair manufacturing bases outside Dublin.

He said the IDA planned to build 25,000 square foot facilities in Athlone and Waterford, as well as an office building for international services in Letterkenny.

It is also considering facilities in Galway and Limerick and will continue “to assess the requirements in other regions on an ongoing basis”.

Mr O’Leary said the big achievements for the IDA in 2013 included securing 700 Deutsche Bank jobs in Dublin as well as ongoing growth in the “content, consumer and business services sector”, which included companies such as Facebook.