Many people would not be aware that a very lucky
meeting after a delayed flight at Shannon Airport in 1958, resulted in
the start of the industrialization of modern Ireland.
Richard (Dick) Malkin, pioneer air cargo
journalist (Flying Typers), landed at Shannon Airport to do a
story on the all-cargo Seaboard World Airways hub.
Sean McCool, 63 years ago was given the
job of showing Dick around.
Dick got all the information he needed.
But then his flight back to IDL (today JFK)
was delayed ex-SNN for 24 hours.
So Sean, the dreamer and doer for Irish
air cargo and Dick, the inventor of modern air cargo journalism were together
at a pivotable time in Irish transportation history, that as it turned
out changed everything.
Sean McCool spent some of the time squiring
Dick around the local industrial units.
But of course in 1950s Ireland, there was
little beyond farming.
Well as it turns out, Richard Malkin had
just visited The Colon Free Zone in Panama which was one of the first
International Tax-Free Zones.
Mr. Malkin, surveying the scene in Ireland
suggested to Sean that a Tax Free Zone with a 'well-positioned on the
edge of Europe' magnificent airport, an abundant English-speaking work
force, might capture the Irish spirit and be a good prospect for building
Sean McCool was beyond excited and moved
at once that day to organize a meeting, where Richard Malkin presented
his idea based on recent findings from Panama to a group of local Irish
That is exactly how Ireland landed one of
the first Duty Free Zones in Europe.
For their efforts, both men were lauded
by the Irish government. Most recently in March 2021, the now 90-year
old Sean McCool was awarded Lifetime Achievement by All Ireland Business
Speaking on the selection, Kieran Ring,
deputy chair on the Adjudication Board said:
“The Accolade is in recognition of
Sean’s outstanding contribution to Irish Industry and Commerce over
the seven decades of his career. In our opinion, the pioneering work undertaken
by Sean in the development of the air-cargo sector has made an enormous
contribution to the flow of cargo on and off the island, an infrastructure
which has established Ireland as a major global export hub.”
700 U.S. Multinationals are now based in Ireland.
Twenty-four of the top 25 Pharma/biotech
companies have a base in Ireland.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ireland
topped USD$1 trillion in 2019.
In addition to the FDI drive, Ireland was also a founding member of
the European Union.
The government invested heavily in education
which was also a major factor in many overseas companies basing their
operations in Ireland.
Ireland has also moved away from the low- end assembly sector to the
high-end services and manufacturing sector.
Irish GDP in 1960 was USD$1.9 billion
Irish GDP in 2019 was USD$418 billion
U.S. companies in Ireland export over
USD$80bn in goods and services annually (4 times more than U.S. Companies
Ireland is second only to Norway on
a United Nations annual ranking
of 189 countries, measured according to average longevity, education
Irish In America
Over 6 million Irish emigrated to the
U.S. from Ireland since 1820 (famine) and there are now estimated
to be over 30m of Irish decent in the U.S.
The strength of the Irish Diaspora can
never be underestimated.