Enterprise Ireland 2020 spend soars to over €1bn in response to pandemic

Bulk of spend related to €645.65m for Covid-19 restart grant scheme

Enterprise Ireland last year increased its spend by almost threefold to more than €1 billion as part of its bid to support Irish industry respond to the pandemic.

The bulk of the spend was made up of financial support to industry at €984.9 million – this followed a spend under the same heading of €243.9 million in 2019.

According to the Enterprise Ireland 2020 annual report, the State agency received funding of €1 billion from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment last year, following an allocation of €296.99 million from the department in 2019.

The bulk of the spend related to €645.65 million for the Covid-19 restart grant scheme which gave direct grant aid to micro and small business to help them with the costs of reopening and re-employing workers after lockdowns.


Enterprise Ireland last year recorded a surplus of €121.32 million before appropriations, compared with a surplus of €11.86 million before appropriations in 2019.

Staff costs

Staff costs increased by 3.5 per cent from €62.67 million to €64.84 million as numbers employed increased from 768 to 775.

The €64.84 million in staff costs includes €858,000 in relocation/recruitment costs.

The numbers earning more than €100,000 at the agency increased from 52 to 69, including 10 senior members of staff earning more than €150,000.

The basic salary for former chief executive Julie Sinnamon last year totalled €189,619, along with standard public-sector retirement benefits and €12,375 for benefit in kind concerning a company car. Ms Sinnamon retired from her post on May 30th this year and has been replaced by Leo Clancy.

The total pay for key management personnel came to €834,740, compared with €678,244 in 2019.

The rental bill for the company, which has office space in Ireland and in 38 locations around the world, came to €7 million. The impact of Covid-19 resulted in Enterprise Ireland’s staff international travel and subsistence bill declining from €2.48 million to €527,714.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times