It seems clear now that Dell will pull out of Limerick altogether. They might also pull of Ireland entirely. That’s an instant 10,000 redundancies – more people on the dole. Related industries will also be affected, which could lead to yet more redundancies. 20,000 perhaps? As I said before, unemployment could hit 10% by next year, and then we are really up the creak.
The bad thing is, I can’t think of one reason why Dell would want to stay here.
But perhaps the effect on the economy will be more psychological than practical. Dell shipping out will mark a shift in the model Ireland has successfully used for 30 years. It simply won’t work the same way anymore. Recent IDA projects like The Irish Mind will only go so far. What is needed is an investment not just in physical (especially broadband) infrastructure, but intellectual.
A massive school building programme; IT and broadband that is top of the range; teachers who can teach IT in all forms – not as a subject but as a tool for learning in all subjects. A wholescale change in the way we approach the idea of a knowledge economy. The Government have thus far paid lip service to the idea, either they act now, or you have to ask… what does Ireland have to offer?