Tech firms dominate IDA’s job grant refunds


31 Mar 2003

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Over 70pc of the companies that refunded grants to IDA Ireland last year were technology-based.

IDA Ireland has received €38.3m in refunded employment grants last year from ICT firms that have either closed or rationalised their operations, according to figures released to siliconrepublic.com.

This is more than double the €16.8m in repayments made by firms during 2001 – of which €15m was returned by US telecoms group Motorola following a review of plans for its Irish operation.

The sharp rise reflects the severe impact that the global economic downturn is having on job numbers in the State. The IDA’s end-of-year statement for 2002 shows that 14,754 jobs were lost during the year.

A spokesman for the IDA said it was committed to pursue grant repayments if companies failed to deliver on the terms of their employment contracts drawn up with the agency.

US technology firms Gateway, Xerox and General Semiconductor together paid back €29.4m in grants last year following the closure of several facilities during 2001.

The largest single payment was made by Gateway, which repaid €11.1m in grants to the IDA in April, following the closure of its plant in Dublin in 2001.

Likewise, the US firm Xerox has paid back grants worth about €7.3m following its decision to close a manufacturing facility in Dundalk with the loss of 400 staff.

Other technology firms that paid back grants include Volex Europe (€.7m), ATI Technologies Europe (€.6m), EDB 4 Tel (€.6m), Hitachi Koki Europe (€.6m), Shinko Microelectronics Ireland (€.5m), Marconi Communications (€.4m), Pulse Engineering Ireland (€.3m) and Alcatel Ireland (€.2m).

By Lisa Deeney