Weekly Message from An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny

Posted September 30th, 2011

This week’s message comes to you from Warsaw, where I am attending the Eastern Partnership summit of heads of states and governments of EU countries and the Eastern Partnership countries. The aim of this initiative is to develop relations between the EU and its six neighbouring countries to the East, namely Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Belarus.

This summit is of particular significance to Ireland, as we will hold the Chairmanship in Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in 2012 and will therefore be expected to play an active role in dealing with any conflict in which these countries might be involved. 

I also plan to use this Summit as an opportunity to discuss economic and trade matters with certain EU partners and to promote Ireland as a place in which to do business, which I have done at every opportunity to date and will continue to do.  I will return to Dublin this evening in time to attend the St. Paul’s College Raheny’s Rugby Captains’ Dinner in Clontarf Castle.

I welcome the fact that there was more good news this week in terms of jobs announcements. On Monday, I was in Galway for the announcement of 200 new jobs at EA Games, Galway. EA is one of the world’s leading interactive games companies and this will further enhance Ireland’s position at the hub of the digital media sector.
These 200 new jobs will be in the company’s new European customer support centre and will bring the total workforce there to almost 400.

The Programme for Government highlights the digital game industry as a particular priority area for growth and the increased presence here of a company of EA’s status is very encouraging indeed. While in Galway, I also took the opportunity to meet with James Browne, President of NUIG.

Yesterday morning, I was delighted to officially open the new Dogpatch Lab in Dublin. Dogpatch already have labs in the US, but this is, significantly, the first of its kind in Europe, and the fact that they have chosen Dublin speaks volumes. The concept of these labs is to bring together a community of likeminded entrepreneurs who in turn share and pass on useful information and points of contact amongst them.

I believe that the presence of a company such as Dogpatch in our capital will add further to our international reputation as a centre for innovation and securing the first European Lab for Dublin is undoubtedly a significant vote of confidence in Ireland.

Ireland secured another first this week when online microblogging service Twitter announced that it has chosen Dublin to be the site of its new European HQ. Twitter is now set to join fellow technological giants Google and Facebook who already have bases in the capital. Also this week, accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Cooper announced the creation almost 300 new jobs, 250 of which will come from the company’s graduate recruitment programme.

I joined Fine Gael presidential candidate Gay Mitchell at the Custom House on Tuesday where he was delivering his nomination papers. Nominations have now closed for the presidential election, which will take place on October 27th. Gay brings excellent credentials to this campaign and it is my expectation that he will ably display these credentials in the coming weeks.

I have spoken in the past of the need to utilise the skills and talents of our Diaspora all over the world and on Tuesday night, I joined Kingsley Aikens of Diaspora Matters and over 400 business and industry representatives in the Shelbourne Hotel to launch the Global Diaspora Strategies Toolkit. The Toolkit is intended to collate, analyse and learn from the experience of Diaspora organisations around the world, and to serve as a guide for all who are interested in developing programmes in this area.

I remain convinced that the Irish Diaspora has a pivotal role to play in Ireland’s economic recovery, and now there is an ever increasing number of means available to us to connect with that Diaspora, particularly through new media and technologies. These people are simply too talented and too experienced for their skills to be neglected.

Strengthening ties with our Diaspora and restoring Ireland’s international reputation abroad will also be on the agenda next weekend when the Global Irish Economic Forum takes place Dublin Castle. The Forum will also focus on engaging fully with the Irish Diaspora in order to best develop Ireland’s global business and trade relations. I am also delighted that President Bill Clinton has accepted my invitation to attend the forum. This event will contribute to our objective of demonstrating that, by 2016, Ireland can be the best small country in the world in which to do business.  

It is my belief that these recent announcements by such prestigious international companies as EA, Twitter and Price Waterhouse Cooper are indicative of an increasing confidence in Ireland as a productive place in which to do business. Of course, the battle has not yet been won, as highlighted by the threat of job losses this week in Athlone, but we do have much to be optimistic about. And if we can effectively harness the extensive talents and skills of our Diaspora all over the world we will have even more to be hopeful for. Kind regards

Yours sincerely

Enda Kenny TD