Martin Shanahan interview: ‘I think we’ve learned how to win investments in a virtual world’

Martin Shanahan, head of the IDA, has generated impressive results for foreign direct investment in Ireland this year in spite of the pandemic. In this wide-ranging interview, he says the next three to six months look ‘reasonably positive’, but structural challenges such as planning remain a concern

Martin Shanahan, head of the IDA: ‘We operate in a very competitive world for FDI, which means we need to continually improve.’ Picture: Maxwells

Twelve months ago, Ireland was grappling with the third wave of Covid-19, with large parts of the economy shut down following the reintroduction of public health restrictions.

Martin Shanahan would have been forgiven, therefore, for not being particularly optimistic about 2021. Instead, the chief executive of IDA Ireland was last week able to reveal an impressive set of results.

A total of 250 foreign direct investments (FDI) were announced by multinationals in Ireland last year, ...