Conversations with Leaders: Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland

8 Nov 2021

Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland. Image: Connor McKenna/Silicon Republic

With the Irish Government signing up to the OECD deal on tax reform, and COP26 underway, IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan sat down with Ann O’Dea to discuss these issues and more as part of our new Future Human series.

Martin Shanahan has been leading Ireland’s often envied foreign direct investment (FDI) drive as head of IDA Ireland since 2014, having previously served as CEO of Forfás – the Government’s former policy advisory agency for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation.

IDA Ireland has had considerable success retaining that excellent FDI record during the pandemic, with Ireland increasing its market share of FDI into Europe in 2020, despite a global decline in FDI flows.

However, a core tenet of Ireland’s offering to major multinationals has always been our low tax rate of 12.5pc, so it was a timely conversation in light of recent developments, and Ireland’s signing up to the global tax reform deal.

We sat down in the library in Iconic Offices’ Masonry building and discussed the implications of the upcoming 15pc corporate tax rate for the largest multinationals, the challenges and opportunities for Ireland as we attempt to tackle the climate crisis, the war for talent, what Brexit has really meant for Ireland and much more. And, of course, we discussed what good leadership looks like.

This is the third in a series of Conversations with Leaders from the Future Human team at Silicon Republic.

Check out previous interviews with new Trinity College Dublin provost Prof Linda Doyle, and Prof Mark Ferguson as he nears the end of his tenure as director general of Science Foundation Ireland.

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Ann O’Dea is the CEO and co-founder of Silicon Republic and the founder of Future Human