Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business


School of Business

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


The 2009 recession was the most severe recession in the history of the state and led to bankruptcy and subsequent bailout of the Irish state by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank (collectively known as the 'Troika'}. In this context, this research looked at the role of strategic planning and investigated did Ireland lack a strategic planning perspective in economic development, with a particular focus on the delivery of critical national infrastructure. This research also looked at the impediments to the delivery of infrastructure in Ireland, the benefits to national growth with investment in infrastructure and the threats that Brexit poses to Ireland in the delivery of infrastructure in a post Brexit environment.

A qualitative research method was adopted to investigate the research question and to address the objectives of this study. The research comprised of semi-structured interviews with Planners, Engineers, Business Leaders, an Economist and Senior Politicians.

The research found that Ireland has historically performed poorly in terms of strategic planning. A key finding of this study is the importance of prudent financial management to ensure steady funding streams to National Development Plans. The study also highlights the current planning process requires significant reform to enable infrastructure to be delivered in a timely fashion and efficient fashion. The research shows that public funding is preferred over private funding and the selection of Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) should only be used where appropriate. Likely changes to EU financial reporting rules may also impact on the use of PPP'S by government departments going forward. Finally, this study concludes that the recently launched Irish Government ‘Project Ireland 2040’ National Development Plan, represents a generational opportunity for sustainable strategic development in Ireland and the necessity to implement the plan in full and to adequately resource the plan is key. This study will of benefit to Planning Policy Makers, Politicians, Local Authorities, National Bodies and Business Leaders involved in the delivery of infrastructure in Ireland.

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