Taoiseach nets a winner with eBay jobs
TAOISEACH Brian Cowen has had to face into Monday mornings when the news bulletins are full of job losses -- so it was nice to announce some new ones for a change.
He was determined to make the most of the opportunity at eBay's European headquarters in Dublin yesterday, where 150 new positions are being created over the next few months.
He told reporters that eBay was an "iconic brand", whose vote of confidence in the Irish economy would give us an "early mover advantage" over our rivals.
"It shows we have the capability and the capacity to attract high-quality foreign direct investment despite the difficult global economic climate," he said.
The online auction company started up in Blanchardstown in Dublin in 2003 with around 200 employees, but it will now employ 550. And its online payment company PayPal employs a further 1200 down the road.
Mr Cowen noted there were 37 languages spoken in the company, which has dozens of national flags displayed on the clear glass frontage of its five-storey headquarters. Its Dublin site director, Andrew Pease, told the workers that it was their hard work that had brought the latest batch of eBay jobs to Ireland.
"Without you, we would not be here today. We would not be making history today," he said, to applause from his happy-clappy workforce. But while the eBay jobs were all well and good, the next question everyone wanted to ask was how many jobs Mr Cowen would announce.
But he was not going to let go of the precious piece of good news that easily, and pulled in IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary to drive home the message.
"Barry, do you want to say anything else about this?" he asked him.
Mr O'Leary didn't need to be asked a second time, and he came out with the encouraging news that further hi-tech job announcements were in the pipeline in the coming weeks and months.
But unlike eBay, it seems Mr Cowen is going for a more limited jobs package, filling two senior minister- ial vacancies and another job for the Greens the most that can be expected.
We know he has moved with the times by getting an iPhone, but sadly there wasn't time to ask him if he was also buying things on eBay -- such as an Offaly GAA glass clock (on sale at €13.95) or an Offaly GAA keyring (a snip at €1.99).
But for any of those nervous ministers in Cabinet, now might be a good time to shell out (and ask for express delivery to Tullamore too).