Tuesday 17 October 2017

The Americans get lobbying over lunch

Former Bank of Ireland boss Brian Goggin was in the bar of the Shelbourne as the American Chamber of Commerce lunch rattled along in the nearby Great Room.

AmCham events are usually attended by some real heavy-hitters, said one of my fellow nosebaggers.

AmCham beanos are where top government officials get told in no uncertain terms what the enormously powerful US multinational sector wants. Vested interests in multinational land and in the US Embassy have – in the past – helped kill off a tax on chewing gum and pushed for the new white elephant incinerator at Poolbeg. So who was getting leaned on last week?

Paypal boss Louise Phelan is AmCham president and at her side was IBM boss Eamonn Sinnott and a US Embassy official. Getting lobbied at the table were John Murphy, Secretary-General of the Department of Enterprise, IDA chairman Frank Ryan and soon-to-depart IDA boss Barry O'Leary. Eamon Gilmore, who is likely to be moving from the Department of Trade, was also there. Cuts in personal tax were on the menu, after the beef.

The guestlist included KPMG managing partner Shaun Murphy, IBM chief Peter O'Neill, PWC boss Ronan Murphy, Google's Ronan Harris, Communicorp's Lucy Gaffney, Vodafone's Anne O'Leary, Aishling Hassell of AirBNB, Deloitte's Brendan Jennings, Bank of Ireland's Pat Gaynor, JP Sisk from Sisks, Linkedin's Janet Phan, Macquarie's Colin Hunt and Heather Ann McSharry. That's a mountain of lobbying clout.

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