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News : Irish Last Updated: May 5, 2009 - 8:33:36 AM

Enterprise Ireland data shows claim of new orders of €100m secured on Cowen's March trip to US was false
By Michael Hennigan, Founder and Editor of Finfacts
Apr 13, 2009 - 9:05:39 PM

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Taoiseach Brian Cowen arriving at the White House on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2009, for his meeting with President Obama.

Enterprise Ireland issued a press release on March 16th last, stating that the Taoiseach Brian Cowan TD had announced contracts worth over €100m were secured by Irish companies during Enterprise Ireland's trade mission of 92 Irish companies to New York and Washington. Data supplied by the State agency to Finfacts suggests that the claim in respect of new export orders was false.

Enterprise Ireland said the two-day mission, including St. Patrick's Day,  was undertaken to endorse Irish companies in the United States as providers of world-class products and services and to encourage continued investment in Ireland.

EI Press Release: Irish Firms Win in excess of €100m in New Export Sales in the US

The Taoiseach said according to Enterprise Ireland:"This week, Enterprise Ireland client companies secured contracts worth more than €100m with leading, high-profile companies such as Broadridge, Monster Cable, Symantec, Credit Suisse, Verizon and QVC. These contracts are significant and show that Irish companies continue to produce world-class products and services. 

"Securing export sales has always been at the heart of Ireland's economic success but its importance increases exponentially in the current economic conditions.  In the years ahead, overseas sales will be the single most important factor in sustaining employment and wealth creation in Ireland."

The claimed exports bonanza generated headlines such as - - Irish firms win €100m in US export sales, US contracts worth €100m agreed with 92 Irish firms and Irish Software in €100m Windfall - -  the truth of course was that there was no windfall.

Some people may think this is harmless spoof but during the Celtic Tiger period, marketing had primacy over credible enterprise policymaking and much of the media went with the flow.

Journalists can be as economically illiterate, as much of the rest of the population is and besides on trips like the US one, it's easier not to ruffle any feathers.

State agencies are not only complicit in manufacturing propaganda for ministers but in recent years, in public have often acted as their cheerleaders. They may well act the same in private.

Hugh Cooney, Enterprise Ireland Chairman, had hailed the new orders as "significant sales in what is the world's most leading market for innovative, high-tech niche products."

Trade missions are important and ministerial involvement can help in raising the profile in the target market. However, when a minister next calls on Enterprise Ireland to mislead the public, Cooney who is a chartered accountant and partner at accounting firm BDO Simpson Xavier, should reject the request.

The orders making up the €100m total, dated back to September 2008. Enterprise Ireland says only 3 of 24 orders were reported as new orders during the trade mission.

Company Name


Date Contract Signed

Date EI Informed 

Premium Golf Brands

Calvin Klein Inc.



BioTector Analytical Systems




Information Mosaic



Terminal Four

U.of Virginia School of Nursing, U.of Massachusetts Dartmouth, UN



Pulse Learning


Jan-March 2009


Interactive Services

A global leader in computer design software production

Rockall Technologies

Federal Home Loan Bank Of Des Moines



Dromone Engineering

LBX Company




Geographic Solutions

Third force




Lily O'Brien's

New Store




Monster Cable

Semiconductor companies normally do not sign contracts – Monster Cable has agreed to use RedMere’s chip design in their HDMI Active Cable product for end consumers



Chicago Mercantile Exchange







Heritage Caskets

Matthews International



EHA Soft





Safeway Insurance Group, Chicago



Bord na Mona Environmental

New Innovation Center




Sunny Delight, St. Peters University Hospital


Instant Upright


13th March 2009

16th March 2009

BioTector Analytical Systems

O'Brien and Gere



Allergy Standards

Forbo, Access Amway Air Cleaning



Advanced Innovations

3Si Security Inc.

March 16th 2009

March 17th 2009

Curam Software

North Carolina


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© Copyright 2009 by Finfacts.com

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