The businessman leading the last consortium bidding for the National Broadband Plan, David McCourt, has hit back at media suggestions that he is just a visiting private equity investor looking to profit from the plan.

Addressing an audience at the Science Foundation Ireland Science Summit, Mr McCourt said he is not a private equity guy, but is a telecoms builder.

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He also said claims he is Boston based are false adding he has not lived in the US city for 40 years.

"I've owned a house in Ireland for 20 years, not recently as it says in the paper - a quarter of a century is hardly recently," said Mr McCourt, founder and chairman of Granahan McCourt.

"I sold two businesses in Ireland and used that money to invest in starting two other businesses in Ireland.

"So I've started four businesses in Ireland. I've never taken a penny out of the country, we've used the money to invest into other countries."

The Irish-American businessman also referred in his speech to a visit made to Leinster House by his daughter Alexandra.

He said she had also made the papers recently after coming over to Ireland to start a company and hiring 100 people for that company.

He said she did get a tour of Leinster House for hiring those people, adding that it "was very nice of the Government" to do it.

David McCourt at the Science Foundation Ireland Science Summit

Last month, it emerged that then Communications Minister, Denis Naughten, had paid for a lunch for Mr McCourt and a family member in the restaurant in Leinster House in April, although the minister did not attend it himself.

Mr Naughten resigned a few days later when details of further contacts between himself and Mr McCourt emerged.

The Government is now awaiting a report by the independent auditor to the National Broadband Plan, which is examining whether those contacts undermined the plan's procurement process.

Mr McCourt's consortium, National Broadband Ireland, is the remaining bidder in the process after Eir and Siro pulled out.

Mr McCourt was speaking at today's SFI event as he received the organisation's St Patrick's Day Science medal awarded annually to a distinguished Irish scientist, engineer or technology leader living and working in the US.