Shock as Flinter steps down

HAVING headed Enterprise Ireland and its predecessor for 10 years Dan Flinter has refused an extension of his contract for another five years.

The shock announcement yesterday resulted to fulsome tributes to Mr Flinter for his service to Irish industry from Tánaiste and Minster for Enterprise Trade and Employment Mary Harney and form Pat Molloy, chairman of Enterprise Ireland.

“I believe that it is now timely for me to hand over to a new CEO and to pursue new challenges where the experience I have gained, particularly in relation to the private sector, will enable me to add value.”

Chairman Pat Molloy said the process of finding a replacement for Mr Flinter will start immediately.

From Athy, Co Kildare, Mr Flinter, graduated with a masters in economics from UCD and began his working life as a researcher with the Industrial Development Authority.

His years in the IDA made him the preferred choice to head up Forbairt after the IDA was split 10 years ago in order to put a much stronger emphasis on the development on Irish companies.

In her comments the Tánaiste expressed her deep appreciation of the enormous contribution made by him to the development of the Irish owned sector of the economy.

“Over the last decade, Dan has been to the forefront in the development of Irish enterprise. Through his leadership of Forbairt and more recently Enterprise Ireland (EI), which brought together Forbairt and An Bord Trachtala (Irish Trade Board) he has been an innovative and enthusiastic driver in the development and promotion of Irish companies in the world marketplace.”

Mr Flinter was responsible for the promotion of the indigenous high tech sector and took key investment stakes in the evolving sector that rose dramatically in value in the good years.

Through his efforts EI played a key role in developing a Venture Capital market providing seed start up capital for good ventures when the Irish banks were not prepared to lend their support to projects that carried above average risk.

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