National Broadband Ireland leader David McCourt honoured in New York

13 Nov 2023

David McCourt. Image: Ireland-US Council

David McCourt joins people such as former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in being recognised by the Ireland-US Council.

Businessman David McCourt has received an Outstanding Achievement Award for his work developing relations between the Irish and US business communities. He was given the award by the Irish-US Council, an organisation that promotes economic cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic.

McCourt is the chair and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital, a firm that invests in telecoms, tech and media ventures. He is also an author and television producer. In the US, he is the inaugural economist in residence at USC Annenberg and the inaugural executive in residence for Entrepreneurial Economics and Innovation at Georgetown University.

Here in Ireland, McCourt is well-known as the chair of National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the group responsible for the delivery of Ireland’s broadband strategy. While the group has been the subject of criticism for long delays on parts of the roll-out in the past, McCourt’s work was praised by his peers at the awards ceremony. The event took place in New York last week.

Tom Higgins, president of the Ireland-US Council, said that McCourt’s “credentials as an entrepreneur have had a material impact in the US and Ireland”. McCourt’s decades-long career has seen him rise to the top of the telecoms business scene as an innovator and an investor. Higgins said McCourt’s leadership of the NBI has “created an impressive blueprint for others to follow” and it will have knock-on positive impacts on job creation, education and community development.

Accepting the honour, McCourt said he was privileged to “join a great line of visionaries and leaders” before him. Previous winners of the award include former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and business people such as Dr Michael Smurfit (of Jefferson Smurfit Group), Daniel Tully (of Merrill Lynch), Denis Brosnan (of Kerry Group) and Dr Peter Sutherland (of BP and Goldman Sachs).

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic