|Dell headquarters Round Rock, Texas - - Dell is Ireland's largest exporter and has an Irish payroll of about 4,000. Dell’s importance to the Irish economy is evidenced by the company’s contribution of at least 5.5 per cent of Irish exports, 2 per cent of GDP and over 4 per cent of all expenditure in the Irish economy.
Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea last week met Dell Computer founder and chief executive Michael Dell in Round Rock Texas, to try and save the Limerick plant that for almost two decades, was the PC giant's sole manufacturing plant in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region. Dell told the ministers that a $3 billion cost-cutting plan is going ahead, leaving 2,000 jobs at risk in Limerick.
Dell opened its second European plant in Poland in January 2008.
Dell located in Ireland in 1990, just a year after chip giant Intel became the biggest foreign direct investment since Henry Ford, located a plant in his father's native county of Cork, which employed 7,000 at its peak in 1930.
Micheál Martin, T.D., then Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment officially opened Dell's EMEA Business Campus, at Cherrywood, Co Dublin on June 1, 2006, where ultimately up to 1,650 were to be employed in sales support, by Ireland's largest exporter.
Martin said Dell's importance to the Irish economy was evidenced by the company's contribution of at least 5.5 per cent of Irish exports, 2 per cent of GDP and over 4 per cent of all expenditure in the Irish economy. In the financial year ended 30th January 2004, Dell paid €160m in salaries in Ireland. For the financial year ended 30th January 2005, Dell paid €55m in Corporation Tax.
A statement issued on Sunday by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said:”the company confirmed to the Tánaiste and Minister for Defence that it was pushing ahead with its cost saving plan. Weakening demand and associated cost pressures continue to put pressure on the company to implement its new strategy.”
”Dell is continuing its internal consideration of exactly what its new strategy means for its operations in Limerick. The company has undertaken to communicate the details both to staff and to the Government as soon as it is in a position to do so.”
Coughlan said she and O’Dea, whose constituency the Dell plant is based, told Michael Dell of ”the significant benefits that the Limerick operation brings to the company, the city and the region.
”For its part the company expressed its wish to continue to work with the IDA and the Government and agreed to revert to the Tánaiste as soon as it had finalised its detailed plans for the Limerick operations,”the statement added.
Under European Union rules due to enter into force from January, the Government cannot offer grant aid based on job numbers, and the ministers offered support for research and development work. However, it is unlikely that Dell would open a new research facility in Limerick and hire new specialised staff.