John Walsh: It’s time for the state to take its energy policy as seriously as FDI

The rise of Airtricity was despite state policy rather than because of it, and its success should have spawned a healthier wind energy sector than currently exists

Eddie O’Connor who, along with a handful of other visionaries, founded Airtricity in 1997. Picture: Photocall Ireland

Airtricity is one of the most stunning Irish corporate success stories of the recent past, an Irish company that, within a decade of its incorporation, became a world leader in the field of wind energy. The multibillion euro question is why there haven’t been more companies like it, and the answer doesn’t reflect well on Irish government policy.

In January 1997, Eddie O’Connor, Louis FitzGerald, Brian Hurley and John Lavery held a meeting in Lavery’s ...