Former IDA chief Barry O’Leary dies aged 71

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BARRY O’Leary, a erstwhile main enforcement of the IDA, has passed distant successful Dublin. He was 71.

r O’Leary headed the state’s overseas nonstop concern bureau from 2008 to 2014, having taken implicit conscionable arsenic the planetary system was headed into meltdown.

It proved to beryllium a challenging clip to instrumentality the helm, with Ireland’s ain system successful freefall and its planetary estimation tarnished arsenic it was rescued by a landmark bailout.

But nether Mr O’Leary’s leadership, the IDA inactive managed to present grounds levels of overseas nonstop concern for Ireland.

A fluent German speaker, the enforcement trained arsenic an concern technologist and worked for companies including Nestle and Smurfit earlier joining the IDA successful the precocious seventies.

He worked for the IDA successful Germany from 1983 to 1991. He aboriginal ran the agency’s offices successful Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, with work for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

As main enforcement of the IDA, helium spearheaded a strategy that focused connected cleanable exertion and opened offices successful Mumbai, Boston, Moscow and California.

And arsenic Ireland remained mired successful the fallout from the large fiscal crash, helium and his squad embarked connected a planetary circuit to conscionable the main executives and different apical brass of dozens of multinationals that had bases successful Ireland, to reassure them that the state was inactive unfastened for business.

He told the Committee of Public Accounts successful 2009 helium was acrophobic Ireland was being portrayed negatively successful the property arsenic it struggled to header with the fallout of the crash.

“Foreign nonstop concern involves semipermanent narration gathering with companies,” helium said. “We mightiness person immoderate companies to put successful Ireland 3 oregon 4 months aft gathering them. For others, it could instrumentality 20 years.”

He added that the representation of Ireland astatine the clip was “making it somewhat much hard successful respect of the reception our radical get”.

By the clip helium retired from the relation successful 2014, Ireland’s economical fortunes were already turning. By late 2013, it had exited its bailout programme.

After leaving the IDA, Mr O’Leary went connected to clasp a fig of directorships. He joined the committee of Zurich Insurance, arsenic good arsenic Oaktree’s Targeted Investment Opportunities and German operation absorption steadfast M+W Group.

Mr O’Leary passed distant yesterday astatine Our Lady’s Hospice successful Harorld’s Cross. He is survived by his woman Mairéad and sons Ciarán and Barry. He volition beryllium laid to remainder connected Tuesday adjacent week.