Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irish developers expect boost for economy here in wake of Brexit

O'Flynn, McKillen and Comer all see Britain's difficulty as a major opportunity for Ireland

Developer Michael O'Flynn
Developer Michael O'Flynn
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Several of the country's biggest property developers have said Ireland's economy is poised to reap the potential benefits that could flow from the UK's decision to vote in favour of Brexit.

In interviews with today's Sunday Independent, developers Michael O'Flynn, Paddy McKillen and Luke Comer express the view that Dublin is especially well-placed to attract international compan- ies and financial institutions seeking to locate their operations in the European Union following Britain's departure.

Mr O'Flynn says it is time for the IDA "to go into overdrive" to ensure that the nega- tive impact of Brexit on the Irish economy is offset by the gains Ireland could make by virtue of its location and status as an EU member state.

Read more: Developers weigh up opportunities for Ireland following UK Brexit decision

He warns, however, that the country's housing crisis could deepen as a consequence of the increased demand for rental accommodation that would arise from the movement of thousands of jobs from the UK to Ireland.

The Cork-based developer calls on Housing Minister Simon Coveney to factor the effect of Brexit into his plans to address the issue.

"I think Minister Coveney's problem has just become a bigger one. Thankfully, the problem has come within his first 100 days, so that gives him the opportunity to be even more ambitious now, so Ireland will at least be in a position to take up the opportunities that might come our way," he says.

Mr McKillen says Ireland needs to "step up our welcome" in the wake of the Brexit vote.

"There has to be a positive there for Ireland. If an American or Asian company or bank wants to launch into Europe from an English-speaking base, then Ireland's the place," he says.

Comer Group chief Mr Comer says he would expect Brexit to be good for Dublin if any of the major banks based in London decide to move to a European base.

"They could look at Frankfurt and ask, 'Do we need to be in Frankfurt? Or can we just go to Dublin where we can operate in the very heart of Europe using the English language?' he says.

"Ireland is one of the strongest members of the EU. I think they might say, 'We'll go to Dublin'."

Sunday Indo Business

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