Monday 24 July 2017

State may be sued over job creation fees for IDA scheme

ConnectIreland, whose website says it has more than 2,000 jobs pledged, refused to comment on the dispute (Stock image)
ConnectIreland, whose website says it has more than 2,000 jobs pledged, refused to comment on the dispute (Stock image)
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

"Connectors" who say their high-level leads led to the creation of hundreds of new jobs under an IDA-supervised scheme are set to sue the State to recover their finders' fees.

Hundreds of "connectors" who secured jobs from target companies have been told they will not receive their rewards - up to €3,000 per sustainable job - following a decision by the IDA to end the Succeed in Ireland Programme backed by businessman Terry Clune.

An arbitrator is set to be appointed to attempt to resolve the bitter row between the IDA and Clune's company, ConnectIreland, which disputes the number of jobs the IDA claims it has secured under the Succeed in Ireland initiative.

The IDA, which has decided not to tender for a new Succeed in Ireland programme, has verified 527 jobs created via ConnectIreland and its leads.

It is understood Connect -Ireland, which is subject to a €10m fine if it is deemed to have breached a strict, one-way non-disclosure agreement imposed by the IDA, has protested that the agency has not verified an additional 1,000 jobs it has facilitated.

ConnectIreland, whose website says it has more than 2,000 jobs pledged, refused to comment on the dispute.

The IDA said it has paid some €2.06m to ConnectIreland as financial rewards under the initiative, adding that "jobs are verified only when ConnectIreland request a verification".

Clune's scheme, aimed at targeting the Irish diaspora, was hailed as one of the most successful ideas to emerge from the Global Irish Economic Forum set up in the wake of the 2008 financial crash.

Sunday Indo Business

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