Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary says documents released today detailing records of emails between the Department of An Taoiseach and the CEO of the Web Summit, Paddy Cosgrave, clearly show the Government’s complete disinterest in ensuring that the global event remained in Dublin.
The Mayo TD described as “a shocking revelation” the dossier of email correspondence, which clearly outlined the lack of leadership shown by government when it came to preserving the event and the immense benefits it brings.
Deputy Calleary commented, “These emails expose this Government for what it is – obsessed with spin and PR and indifferent to taking any real action. The Web Summit is a global event, which has put Ireland centre stage for the past four years. It brought International CEOs from the world’s biggest and brightest tech companies and showed them the best that Ireland had to offer. It created thousands of jobs in companies from Dublin to Dubai, with contracts signed, sealed and delivered on site. Despite all this, the Government, and more specifically the Taoiseach, couldn’t step up to the mark and secure its future in Ireland.
“Requests were made several times to have four specific issues addressed to secure the long term future of the summit in Dublin. These included traffic management, public transport, hotels and Wi-Fi – all which were raised constantly over the last 4 years with the Government. None of these should have proved insurmountable.
“The most indictable line from the email trail is where Mr Cosgrave says the government was “operating in a parallel universe where a jobs announcement or a photo opportunity at Web Summit is the biggest opportunity”. So much for new politics.
“Less than one year ago Enda Kenny stood on the stage at the Web Summit saying the immediate economic gain to Ireland of the event was €105 million. When it came to securing its future at home in Dublin, he stood on the sidelines for four weeks and let the Summit slip through the fingers of this Government. While the Taoiseach smiled for photo ops, delegations and key investors were flown across the Irish Sea to Whitehall and No 10. Downing Street. This is a damning indictment of this Government’s legacy in office and exposes its complete anti-enterprise attitude.
“The Government has failed Ireland with the loss of this highly reputable global event. It has failed to secure future business in Dublin worth over €100 million annually. Ireland’s loss is Lisbon’s gain”.