Google to receive IDA award for its impact on Ireland

21 Jul 2021

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The tech giant’s European HQ in Dublin is the largest outside the US and the company employs more than 8,000 people in Ireland.

Google is set to receive the IDA Ireland Special Recognition Award 2021 to recognise the company’s FDI contributions to the country over the past 18 years.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, and IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan will present the award to Google CEO Sundar Pichai at an event in the US in September.

The tech giant, which has its European headquarters in Dublin, opened its first office in Ireland in 2003 with 100 employees. It now employs more than 8,000 people from more than 70 countries, with many more jobs created and sustained indirectly through its operations.

According to IDA Ireland, the European HQ is Google’s largest outside of the US.

Varadkar said that Google is one of the country’s biggest employers and has helped make Ireland the tech capital of Europe. “Google is a worthy recipient of the IDA Special Recognition Award and I look forward to meeting Mr Pichai again in person later this year,” he said.

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said that Google’s presence in Ireland has been a remarkable success story which has had significant impact on Irish society and economy.

“IDA Ireland introduced this annual Special Recognition Award in January 2020 as we believe it is important that we celebrate the huge contribution our 1,600-plus FDI companies have made to Ireland,” Shanahan said.

Last year, the inaugural award was presented to Apple CEO Tim Cook at an event in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

“The award recognises Ireland’s proven ability to be an enduring partner for businesses with international ambitions. It is also an opportunity to showcase internationally the level and sophistication of FDI in Ireland,” Shanahan said.

He added that IDA Ireland’s client companies have demonstrated resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and continued creating jobs despite challenges. Employment in the multinational sector is at an all-time high at 257,394.

For every 10 jobs created by IDA Ireland client companies, an additional eight are created in the wider economy, Shanahan said.

Nick Leeder, vice-president of Google Ireland, said that the IDA has been instrumental in making Ireland an international tech hub, “where we have found a talented and dedicated workforce and a wonderful community we call home”.

“In turn, Google Ireland is committed to helping Irish businesses and communities grow and, as we look ahead to our future in Ireland, I am excited about the work we will continue to do together,” Leeder said.

Last month, Google announced it will provide 1,000 scholarships for Dublin jobseekers in partnership with City of Dublin Education and Training Board.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic