Courting David


From top: David McCourt with, from top: Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen, former Minister for Communications Denis Naughten; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy

On Friday, May 11, 2018.

David McCourt was interviewed by Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ Radio One, during which he spoke about his father, his career and his book Total Rethink: Why entrepreneurs should act like revolutionaries.

Mr McCourt, who has a house in Newmarket, Co Clare, and also bases himself in Dublin, London and New York, is the founder and chairman of Granahan McCourt Capital.

Granahan McCourt Capital is leading a consortium which is the final bidder in the tendering process for the National Broadband Plan contract, the State’s largest ever communications project.

Yesterday, the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten resigned after it emerged he had several meetings with Mr McCourt.

He met Mr McCourt in New York in July and he facilitated a birthday lunch for Mr McCourt and his daughter in Leinster House on April 18, a lunch Mr Naughten didn’t attend.

He also met Mr McCourt on June 26.

Mr Naughten also had multiple more private dinners with Mr McCourt – with one of them facilitated by Clare Fine Gael TD Pat Breen who has met Mr McCourt on a number of occasions, and who last night released a statement saying:

“Mr McCourt’s home is about 10 miles from my home in Co Clare. I have gotten to know Mr McCourt on a personal basis, have visited his Co Clare home several times and met him on other occasions in a private capacity.

“Last year, on the request of Mr McCourt, I asked Denis Naughten, then Minister for Communications, if he would like to come to a dinner in Mr McCourt’s house. Mr McCourt’s wife also attended the dinner. To my knowledge, the National Broadband Plan was not discussed at the dinner.”

Further to this…

Back in May, Mr Tubridy and Mr McCourt had the following exchange…

Ryan Tubridy: “If I could ask you a little bit about Ireland and broadband. And are you…”

David McCourt: “Surprised you’re gonna ask about that…”

Tubridy: “Well tell me about that. What…Are you the guy? Or how did? I mean we know that Eir were the last, or you’re the last people standing? For people who are sitting there, trying to get their laptop working or their, whatever they’re trying to get working, broadband wise and can’t get it. What are you going to do? What can you say to them?”

McCourt: “Well, first of all, the National Broadband Plan that’s, you know, been getting a lot of flak, is because it’s taking so long. But you gotta remember Ryan this is a very audacious, aggressive programme that the Government has put forward. And my hat goes off to them for trying to do it. And they will succeed. Every man, woman and child will get wired in this country. It’ll start in September.

“I know the press keeps on saying eNet is the last man standing but I’d like to think that it’s because everybody else lost. It’s not that we’re the last man standing, you know…”

Tubridy: “You won.”

McCourt: “We won. And everybody else lost.”

Tubridy: “Right. And do you think it’s realisable?”

McCourt: “100 per cent realisable.”

Tubridy: “Right. And is there a timeframe?”

McCourt: “Yeah, the Government issued a timeframe. It’s going to start in the Fall and every time I talk to the Government, they say, ‘I want you to go faster’. ‘Faster, faster, faster, faster’.”

Tubridy: “And are you in a position to answer that request with a positive?”

McCourt: “Absolutely and I’ll be in front of the Government on Tuesday for our monthly meeting. And the Secretary General and the Minister [Denis Naughten] will say ‘I want you to go faster, faster, faster’.”

Tubridy: “So all eyes on you then for the next few years?”

McCourt: “Well, look. I’m happy for that to be the case. We’ll do a very, very good job.”

Good times.

Related: Right To Know and the eNet saga: A Timeline (Gavin Sheridan,

Meanwhile: What happens when meet you Leo and you’re not a bug-eyed billionaire? Watch here.

Earlier: Pat Answers

Previously: More Dinners

Picking Up The Tab

Listen back in full here



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31 thoughts on “Courting David

    1. anne

      Yeah.. the likes of Vera Twomey has to walk the length and breadth of the country & gets Leo’s palm shoved in her face when she tries to approach him… coz like he’s on a tight schedule with Orrrrteeee eeee.

        1. realPolithicks

          The usual BS from you cian, if you are really equating visiting your local TD’s office to having a private meeting with a minister or the taoiseach then you’re even more of a FG sycophant than I thought.

          1. realPolithicks

            Now you’re just being disingenuous, clearly the photos show him meeting the taoiseach, a minister and a junior minister.

    2. Dhaughton99

      I’d say the marketing departments of some of these companies are full of politicians daughters.

  1. anne

    That’s ok. I knew you were thinking of Limerick Frank.

    Feet up now for the weekend & don’t go reading any more of that 400 odd page of waffle from Charleton, till Monday anyway.

  2. Martco

    McCourt this, McCourt that….don’t get me wrong, I think all of this info is great


    what about the very large silent redacted elephant in the room?

  3. Giggidygoo

    Monthly meeting? Every month since when I wonder. And the Secretary General no less saying faster, faster, faster.

  4. SOQ

    EU regulations on such tenders are strict and the website doesn’t end in .eu for no reason. The fact government felt this was a resignation matter surely means that the tender process will have to start all over again? Otherwise, why are other people even bothering to comply?

    1. martco

      on FG’s watch this is already a done deal.


      because that very large redacted elephant is in the room waiting to be fed.

  5. Otis Blue

    When the movie of this whole sordid saga is made, could I suggest that Ed Harris play McCourt and John Goodman play Breen? Bruce Willis would be ideal as Naughten. Don Conroy would do as redacted.

    Terry McMahon to direct.

    1. Otis Blue

      Last year the Department chose to remove 300,000 homes from the NBP, allowing Eir to service them on a commercial basis. In the view of the other competitors this rendered provision to the remaining homes non commercially viable. Having secured the cherrypicking of these, Eir itself withdrew from the NBP tender earlier this year.

      1. DeSelby

        That is the crux of the matter. I reckon when we look a little closer at this, all will be revealed…. after an expensive lengthy, way too late tribunal obviously

  6. steve white

    Bodger “He met Mr McCourt in New York in July and he facilitated a birthday lunch for Mr McCourt and his daughter in Leinster House on June 28, but Mr Naughten didn’t attend” you mean April 18th

  7. Giggidygoo

    I thing that Julie FG O’Leary needs to reconsider or review herself. Drop the FG backdrop firstly. Unless she wants to be contaminated herself. Has she any views on the Boy Harris for instance?

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