The decision by Dell, the world’s second largest personal computer maker, to move its European manufacturing base from Ireland to Poland, shedding 1,900 jobs, is a blow for the Irish economy.

It is the first big US technology company to quit Ireland in favour of a lower cost location in eastern Europe, and the decision may be an early-warning sign of further closures by US multinationals seeking to cut costs in face of the global slowdown.

A spokesman for the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland warned yesterday: 'Other disinvestments in the multinational sector can be expected in the next 12-18 months.'

Financial Times, Daily Telegraph