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.”
Related: Right To Know and the eNet saga: A Timeline (Gavin Sheridan, TheStory.ie)
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