IRELAND'S reputation has been damaged internationally by the recent economic and political instability, the head of the State's job creation agency has admitted.
However, IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary insisted the damage was not irreparable and said the country could restore its battered image. "There has been damage to Ireland's reputation but then that reputation is built up over a long period of time and Ireland has a long tradition of attracting foreign investment."
He also admitted potential foreign investors needed more "hand-holding" than usual when considering Ireland as a place to invest and create jobs.
Mr O'Leary was speaking after the launch of a report on how the 'cloud computing' industry could boost the economy through investment and job creation.
Cloud computing involves the storage of information on the internet. It can then be accessed by the businesses that own it on demand. The report, produced by multinational Microsoft and Goodbody economic consultants, claims the industry has the potential to create more than 10,000 jobs and attract €9.5bn between now and 2014.
However, Microsoft Ireland MD Paul Rellis warned that many other countries were looking at the benefits of the industry and urged the next government to move quickly to ensure Ireland was not left behind.