Wednesday 22 November 2017

Taoiseach defends Government's handling of Web Summit departure

Paddy Cosgrave speaking at the Web Summit in The RDS
Paddy Cosgrave speaking at the Web Summit in The RDS
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

David Kearns

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has defended the Government’s handling of Web Summit’s departure from Dublin, saying he is confident its absence will be filled by others “in a relatively short time”.

Speaking ahead of a meeting between European leaders in Brussels, Mr Kenny said the company’s decision to switch to Lisbon in Portugal was a "commercial" one.

“The Web Summit are fully entitled to make their decision, I expect that [their] vacuum will be filled by others in a relatively short time,” he said.

Continuing: "I spoke to Paddy [Cosgrave] myself when he was in Portugal, saying we would offer ever assistance we can, in terms of what the Government could do. 

“It wasn't the Government writing a cheque here, but being very supportive along the line."

The Taoiseach said he had supported the Web Summit since he was in opposition, and that he wished them “every success in Lisbon”.

"The company has made its own decision," he added.

His comments follow the release of documents which highlighted the deteriorating relations between the Government and the organisers of the Web Summit  in the weeks before the announcement last month that the summit was to move to Lisbon from next year.

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