Monday 26 September 2016

CEOs fear impact of Sinn Fein government

Published 26/07/2015 | 02:30

Irish chief executives are fearful of the impact on business of a government containing Sinn Fein
Irish chief executives are fearful of the impact on business of a government containing Sinn Fein

Irish chief executives are fearful of the impact of a government containing Sinn Fein or the Anti-Austerity Alliance on business, PwC managing partner Feargal O'Rourke told the Sunday Independent.

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PwC released a survey earlier in the week saying 83pc of CEOs were concerned about political change. O'Rourke said 29pc of those said they were "extremely concerned".

"We would talk to some of those CEOs and I think you'd probably summarise it as just a fear of the unknown," he said.

"I think when they read opinion polls... they see probably combinations potentially forming a government that they haven't seen before, be that involving Sinn Fein, be it involving the Social Democrats, be it involving the Anti-Austerity Alliance... they just don't know what that means for business. It's the uncertainty around political change that is causing them to identify this as a potential policy threat.

"I have yet to see a poll suggesting Sinn Fein will be leading a government - but some polls suggest they will be an important part. I suppose the comment I have on that is, PwC is not a political organisation - but I would encourage business to talk to any politicians or groups that they believe could form a part of the next government.

"Business has to engage with these groups so it can get its agenda and its point across, if business doesn't engage with these groups, then really it deserves the government it gets."

O'Rourke is the son of former Fianna Fail minister Mary O'Rourke and cousin of former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan Jr. He said he didn't think chief executives were worried about Fianna Fail getting back into office.

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