“Ireland has become the tech capital of Europe” – IDA Ireland awards Apple CEO Tim Cook with Special Recognition Award

By Business & Finance
20 January 2020
Pictured: Apple CEO, Tim Cook.

This morning Apple CEO Tim Cook was the inaugural recipient of IDA Ireland’s Special Recognition Award, which recognises the contribution of FDI to Ireland

By David Monaghan, Deputy Editor, Business & Finance.

Apple CEO Tim Cook today met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to receive an award in recognition of the company’s 40 years of investment in Ireland.

The event was hosted by IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for sourcing and retaining foreign direct investment in Ireland, in the National Concert Hall.

Cook is the inaugural recipient of the Special Recognition Award which, according to IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan, “recognises the contribution of FDI to Ireland.”

The event opened with an address from Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD, who met with Cook early this morning. The opportunity, he says, granted him time to reflect on Apple’s relationship with Ireland.

Minister Donohoe noted: “If you look at the modern Irish economy today, we have an economy that is performing strongly … That kind of relationship is symbolised in the relationship we have with Apple.”

His speech was followed by a 25-minute panel discussion, hosted by Dearbhail McDonald, on ‘Using Technology for Social Good’, in which young innovators Shane Curran (evervault), Ciara Judge (Germinaid), Harry McCann (founder Digital Youth Council), and Ciara-Beth Ní Ghríofa (MiContact), discussed a range of topics from data protection solutions and bio-technology, to how technology can adapt to support people with behavioural differences.

Dearbhail McDonald leads the ‘Using Technology for Social Good’ panel

The four innovators come from various backgrounds in technology, with three of them having been graduates of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, then invited Cook, Frank Ryan (IDA Chairman), and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to the stage.

An Taoiseach spoke first, stating: “Today Apple is Cork’s largest employer with 6,000 people of over 100 different nationalities and is a global operation.

“During this period Ireland has become the tech capital of Europe. We succeeded by looking to the future, opening our country to trade and competition.”

Cook was then presented with the award: A carved wooden and resin bowl crafted by Irish artist Kathleen Walsh.

The ‘Special Recognition Award’ presented by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and IDA Ireland to Apple and accepted by its CEO, Tim Cook. Pictured from left: Martin Shanahan, Tim Cook, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, and Frank Ryan.

Cook stated this is a special honour for the US tech giant: “It recognises the contributions of our incredible team here who work tirelessly to serve our customers around the country, and around the world.”

To conclude, Martin Shanahan hosted a brief conversation with Tim Cook. The two spoke at length about diversity in the tech field, the newly-launched Apple TV Plus, and the potential for education in drawing more people into the technology sphere.

The 1,000-strong audience of invited guests from IDA client companies, key stakeholders, business people as well as Apple and IDA Ireland employees, gave Cook a standing ovation as the event drew to a close.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD