Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Tourism Timmy Dooley TD has questioned Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe’s response to the revelations surrounding the decision of Web Summit to leave Ireland. Correspondence released by the organiser shows that while foreign Governments were working hard to entice the conference away from Dublin, organisers struggled to get answers to even basic questions from the Irish Government.
Deputy Dooley commented, “The loss of this conference is a major blow. It is more than the direct loss of revenue from delegates – we had a home made and priceless event that marketed Ireland throughout the world as a centre for new industries. It was also an unparalleled opportunity for young Irish entrepreneurs to interact with the most senior and most serious business leaders in their sector in the world.
“And we lost it to a country that we now know just made more of an effort. When questioned earlier this morning about the events leading up to this loss, Paschal Donohoe reverted to the only tool that this Government has – he attacked his political opposition. His contribution was typical of how Government representatives increasingly conduct themselves – they miss the distinction between politics and governing.
“The loss of this event and all the benefits that go along with it is not about Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael – it is about how serous we as a country are about retaining and attracting strategically significant events. Rather than attacking those who express concern about the loss, the Minister and colleagues would be much better advised examining their own actions in the lead up to this decision. If they did that, they might better understand the reasons why this was lost to Ireland and, more importantly, begin to get their heads around how we might get it back.”