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The industrial development authority in the Irish economy

McAleese, Dermot (1979) The industrial development authority in the Irish economy. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 4 (3). pp. 33-38. ISSN 0306-7866

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Starting from humble beginnings thirty years ago as a promotional body within the Department of Industry and Commerce, the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has grown into an organisation employing almost 540 people, with an annual budget of approximately £85 million in 1978 and with programmes bearing on practically every aspect of industrial activity in the Irish economy. The IDA wields more influence on the formulation of industrial policy than any other body in the state. It is a sophisticated, efficient organisation which likes to operate with a high profile. Given its scale of expenditure and pervasive influence, one would expect the IDA to constitute a target for much disaffected criticism. This, however, is not the case. The IDA arouses mostly benign vibrations in the Irish body politic, a fact which in itself lends interest to a description and evaluation of this remarkable organisation's activities.