Intel today marked its 20th anniversary in Ireland. From humble origins in the corner of a used car showroom to a sophisticated technology campus with more than 4,000 workers, the chip giant has spent some €6 billion on the operation.
Intel located its technology campus in Ireland in 1989 and the production of motherboards and systems began the following year. Since then, more than €6 billion has been invested in the 360-acre former stud farm in Leixlip, turning it into one of the most technologically advanced industrial locations in Europe and one of Intel’s largest manufacturing sites.
Intel’s business groups
Intel Ireland now boasts high-tech manufacturing facilities, as well as key business groups, such as Digital Health, Intel Labs Europe, the Technology and Manufacturing Research Europe team and the Embedded Communications site in Shannon.
“I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the wonderful achievements of Intel throughout its 20-year history in Ireland,” said An Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD.
“Building on one of the nation’s greatest resources – our intellectual capital, Intel Ireland has consistently surpassed expectations and gone beyond its core mandate. The employees at Intel Ireland are a great example of what can be achieved when the Irish put their minds to it.”
Praise for the company
Also speaking at the event was Jim O’Hara, Intel Ireland general manager and vice-president, Technology Manufacturing Group, Intel Corp. “I want to thank each and every one of our employees – they have been absolutely magnificent over the past 20 years. I am hugely proud of what Intel Ireland has achieved since we came here in 1989 and the contributions we have made to Intel Corporation and to the country.
“I would also like to recognise the contribution and support of the Irish government towards the success of Intel in Ireland and of course the continued strong support from the communities’ local to Intel – this anniversary truly is a shared success story,” O’Hara said.
Former minister in attendance
A number of special guests who have been a part of Intel Ireland’s remarkable journey also attended the event. One of them was the then-Minister for Industry and Commerce, Desmond O’Malley. “The Intel investment was of tremendous economic and technological significance,” O’Malley recalled.
“Ultimately, it became the largest single industrial investment in Ireland with a total investment of well over €6 billion. I don’t think any other industrial investment had even approached that. When I made the announcement of the investment in 1989 I gave some projections of likely employment over the next five to 10 years.
“I am glad to say that these were more than doubled, as was the investment. It doesn’t always happen but I am delighted to say in Intel’s case it certainly did. This underlines the value of Intel to this country,” O’Malley concluded.
By John Kennedy
Photo: An Taoiseach Brian Cowen (centre) and Jim O’Hara, Intel Ireland general manager and vice-president Technology Manufacturing Group, Intel Corp (second from right), help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Intel in Ireland