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IDA boss happy to go back on US show to promote Ireland

INDUSTRIAL Development Authotity (IDA) chief Martin Shanahan is happy to reappear on US business programme Squawk Box on CNBC despite the recent bizarre interview.

The semi-state finance group confirmed that their CEO would gladly return as a guest on the CNBC programme following the widespread controversy that surrounded his last appearance on the show.

A source close to the IDA revealed the company has been organising a range of guest appearances in the USA over the coming months to further promote Ireland's market and that a reappearance on CNBC's Squawk box is "on the cards".

Mr Shanahan was on the show on November 3 to discuss a broad range of business related topics from Apple's planned tax policy to defending Ireland being labelled as a 'tax haven'.

However, the discussion turned farcical when co-anchor Becky Quick questioned the IDA chief on how the weaker euro was affecting tourism in Ireland, with co-host Kernan interjecting and bizarrely asking "you have pounds anyway, don't you still?"

When Mr Shanahan explained to the presenter that Ireland uses the euro, Kernan retorted: "You have euros in Ireland. Why do you have euros in Ireland?"

A video of the incident went viral, with the CNBC anchor facing a storm of public backlash and the show's credibility being questioned.


However, a source close to the programme explained that Mr Kernan would be the first to admit that he did not know that Ireland uses the euro, and that the ensuing media coverage took away from what was actually an enjoyable interview for both.

"Joe would be the first to admit that he did not know that the Republic of Ireland used the euro currency", the source said.

"Joe is not a fan of the euro and at least in the beginning he thought Ireland was using its own currency. [As the show progressed] he was just pulling Martin's leg and playing a bit, he wanted to bring entertainment to the programme and didn't mean to offend anyone."

In a statement, the IDA said "CNBC is a key and influential platform in the US market and IDA representatives, including the CEO, would be happy to go on any CNBC programme in the future to talk about Ireland as the leading European investment location for major companies".