Apple boss Tim Cook has private meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny
APPLE chief executive, Tim Cook, staged a private meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Cork as the Irish city celebrated 1,000 new jobs in just seven days.
The US computer giant confirmed 500 new jobs for Ireland last year - boosting their workforce to almost 3,300 and making them rivals with Intel (4,000) and Hewlett-Packard (4,000) to be Ireland's largest multinational employer.
While no further new jobs were announced by Apple, Mr Kenny said the future looks bright for Ireland with the economic recovery gaining pace.
Mr Cook, who took over as Apple boss from company founder Steve Jobs, is understood to have been very pleased with the Cupertino firm's Irish operation.
The private meeting with Mr Kenny was aimed at discussing Apple's existing Irish operation and the potential for future development.
Once a major manufacturing hub for Apple, the firm's Cork operation bounced back from losing iMac and other computer production in 2001/2002 to emerge as one of Apple's most important R&D, sales, service and technical support centres.
Apple is currently battling to keep pace with soaring worldwide demand for their products including the new iPad 2, the iPhone5 and iCloud services.
Apple’s global sales are now worth almost €50 billion.
Meanwhile, Mr Kenny hailed Ireland's economic recovery as he announced a further 200 new jobs in Cork.
The jobs are being created at Westbourne IT in Blackpool and HedgeServ in Mahon.
Westbourne is creating 50 new jobs as it doubles its workforce though the firm expressed confidence it could expand to over 200 employees by 2017.
HedgeServ is to create 150 new jobs through a new business services centre.
The investments bring to over 1,000 the number of new jobs announced for Cork in just seven days.
The other jobs are being created by Tyco (500), BioMarin (100), Tyndall/Photonics (200) and Global Reviews (30).
"This is a great day for Cork and for Ireland. It is also proof that Ireland is a very attractive location for investment," Mr Kenny said.
The Taoiseach paid tribute to the IDA for their success in targetting Ireland for inward investment and stressed that job creation is now the Government's primary objective.
"Employment and job creation is the Government's overriding priority and will be our focus over the coming months."