Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, Irish actress Saoirse Ronan and Irish-American dancer Michael Flatley have come together to promote the new IDA-backed ConnectIreland initiative.
Via a new video their aim is to reach out to the some 70m people worldwide who claim Irish ancestry. People who use their connections to help create new jobs in Ireland will get a financial reward in return.
Launched last week, ConnectIreland is part of a new Irish Government-led initiative called Succeed in Ireland. The aim is to harness the power of Ireland’s global diaspora and connections.
The initiative complements the work of IDA Ireland, the Government agency responsible for securing foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland. ConnectIreland will financially reward the global population, be they diaspora or anyone else with connections to Ireland, if they introduce potential foreign investors to the idea of investing in Ireland.
The new jobs drive is specifically looking for connections to small to medium-sized companies that are expanding internationally. A connector who successfully introduces a company to Ireland that creates new jobs will be paid a minimum of €1,500 per job, up to a maximum of 100 jobs, payable over two years.
‘We need to get Ireland back to work’ – Michael Flatley
Irish-American Michael Flatley, best known for Lord of the Dance and Riverdance, whose parents emigrated from Ireland in 1947 to Chicago, speaks out in the video: "We need to get Ireland back to work. We need to create new jobs, lots of jobs and every single one of us has a part to play to make that happen," he says.
Former US president Bill Clinton gave an address in February 2012 at the Invest in Ireland Forum in New York City. At the time, he told delegates: "It is nuts not to take advantage of this unique moment of opportunity with the best environment for investment and the best workforce in the world, now is the time to invest in Ireland."
Watch the video featuring the Oscar-nominated actress Ronan, along with Flatley and Sheen, here: