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Terry Clune hires former Taoiseach John Bruton

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Former Taoiseach John Bruton

Former Taoiseach John Bruton

Former Taoiseach John Bruton

Former Taoiseach John Bruton has joined the board of a new investment company driven by Taxback founder Terry Clune.

The company is related to Mr Clune's Connect Ireland initiative, which seeks to attract foreign companies here.

Mr Clune told the Sunday Independent that the new firm, Connect Ireland Diaspora Loan Fund, will lend to companies that show they can create Irish jobs.

It will aim to raise money from "diaspora connections around the world, Irish people who are interested to play a part in supporting the country"

"There's a lot of Irish people around the world who would like to be involved, one way or another, in economic recovery," Mr Clune said.

"One of the ways they can play a part is by investing in the Diaspora Loan Fund."

Mr Clune said he doesn't yet have a specific fundraising target in mind, and that the project will be formally launched within 6 to 8 weeks.

"What we intend to do is be able to focus on companies who can give some element of security, so that those who invest in the fund can have the security in getting their investment back," Mr Clune said.

"One of the main purposes of it is to give more competitive access to finance for reliable companies, initially at least, those in the hotel space.

"The main area that we're looking at the moment is in the hotel area," he added.

Mr Clune said having Mr Bruton on board would add credibility "to the start of what we hope will be something more significant".

"A lot of Irish people would be familiar with his previous track record, he's a very well-known person."

Tim O'Connor, chairman of the advisory board for The Gathering tourism initiative, is also on the board.

Sunday Indo Business