WITH almost 3,000 people set to be employed directly by PayPal and many more jobs being supported indirectly, Louise Phelan is now arguably the single most influential woman working in Irish business.
Yesterday's announcement represents a major triumph for Ms Phelan, the electronic payment group's vice-president for global operations.
Her decisions will influence the livelihoods of thousands of people in Blanchardstown and Dundalk.
A native of the Co Laois village of Donaghmore, where her brother Brendan is a local Fianna Fail councillor, Ms Phelan has been with PayPal since June 2006. She joined PayPal from GE Money, formerly Woodchester Investments.
In her 16 years with Woodchester/GE she occupied various roles, including that of head of compliance for the group.
She was also a director of the Ombudsman of Credit Institutions of Ireland. Before joining Woodchester, Ms Phelan spent two years with confectionery firm Mars Ireland.
Ms Phelan was promoted to be PayPal senior director of global customer services and EU merchant services in 2009 and assumed her current position in 2011.
PayPal has had an Irish presence at Blanchardstown, Co Dublin since 2003. In February of last year it announced the creation of 200 new jobs and followed this up with a second announcement, creating a further 200 new jobs, last August.
Yesterday's announcement, which will see 1,000 additional jobs being created in Dundalk, will bring PayPal's total Irish headcount up to almost 3,000 people, making it one of the largest multinational employers in the state.
The fact that the PayPal announcement is the largest single IDA-backed job creation announcement since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008 gives some indication of the significance of yesterday's good news.
After years of unrelenting bad news coming out of Ireland, the PayPal announcement signals loud and clear that Ireland is still open for business.
In her spare time, Ms Phelan organises an annual triathlon for the cancer charity Tri-To-Beat Cancer.