Our failings on innovation could come back to haunt FDI model

Ireland’s wooing of heavyweight foreign investors has proven so successful, it’s undermining the stability of our economy, so we must come up with a new winning formula

Google’s headquarters on Barrow St in Dublin. Ireland is the EU headquarters for global companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Back in the late 1990s, when the Dublin Economics Workshop had its annual gathering in Kenmare, there were some lively discussions about Ireland’s economic model.

At that stage, this country was emerging from decades of sclerotic growth on the back of far-reaching economic reforms introduced in the early 1990s. The government opened the economy to investment, which serendipitously coincided with the creation of the EU single market. Ireland became a magnet for foreign direct investment ...