At that time, Dell moved all manufacturing to Poland.
However, the company still employs more than 1,000 high-end workers in Limerick, providing support services.
Three months ago, Dell announced the creation of 150 jobs across the company’s two Irish facilities in Limerick and Cherrywood, in Dublin.
Recruitment of software engineers, IT architects and other high-skilled personnel to fill these positions has got under way.
Mr Dell spent most of yesterday at the Limerick plant and addressed the staff around lunchtime.
The visit was kept low-key and no media information was given.
According to sources in the Raheen plant, Mr Dell was very upbeat about the company’s future in Limerick and praised workers for the quality of their input into restoring the fortunes of the company.
He spent several hours talking with managers in the various sections.
One source said: “He was here more to listen than to talk. Mr Dell is a very personable person and he went out of his way to meet as many workers during his visit to get their view on the company.
“His talk was very well received and he received a round of applause which he obviously appreciated.”
There has been speculation that Dell may commence the manufacture for smartphones in Limerick.
City mayor Cllr Jim Long said: “I have heard this speculation and it must be seen as speculation. But from what we hear, the Limerick operation is now a major player in the worldwide Dell operation and is a key to their ongoing global strategy. Some very senior figures now are based in Limerick.”