herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Ireland the real loser in spat between Enda and Paddy over Web Summit

Karl Kanani [13] and Leo Bourke [12] both from Dalkey try out their solar tracking panel [on left] which creates enouth power to cahrge the battery on the laptop on the CoderDojo stand at the Web Summit at the RDS.
Pic Credit Frank Mc Grath
Karl Kanani [13] and Leo Bourke [12] both from Dalkey try out their solar tracking panel [on left] which creates enouth power to cahrge the battery on the laptop on the CoderDojo stand at the Web Summit at the RDS. Pic Credit Frank Mc Grath

The bitter public spat between Paddy Cosgrave, the Web Summit founder, and Enda Kenny shows no sign of abating.

The last Web Summit to be held in this country for the foreseeable future began yesterday in Ballsbridge. Next year it moves to Lisbon, Portugal.

On yesterday's Morning Ireland programme, Mr Cosgrave spoke of the low level of support and encouragement that he has received from the Government. He had a specific gripe that no Government minister had attended the event - even though ministers from other countries had sent representatives.

Mr Cosgrave said he didn't get help from the city fathers in matters such as traffic controls and road closures around the RDS.

In the past Mr Cosgrave has also complained of hotels jacking up prices during the three-day summit.

Showcase

In all, over 40,000 delegates are to attend from 134 countries.

I find it extraordinary that no Government minister or the Taoiseach will attend over the three days.

The Web Summit is a major showcase for this country. It displays and advertises our leading role in the technology world.

I consider it a shame and a waste of a golden opportunity that the Web Summit is being moved to Lisbon.

Some solution to bridge the gap between between Cosgrave and Kenny should have been found in the interests of the country.

The task of the IDA and other government bodies task is to encourage foreign investment into this country - and they must now be shaking their heads in despair at this unhappy ending.

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