Sunday 18 August 2019

'There will be successors to the Web Summit in Dublin' - Jobs Minister

Richard Bruton
Richard Bruton

Kevin Doyle, Group Political Editor

Other major conferences that will be seen as replacing Web Summit in Dublin will emerge, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has predicted.

The minister today rejected claims that Enterprise Ireland and the IDA did not use the event effectively to attract business.

And he said: “I am sure there will be successors to the Web Summit in Dublin, because Dublin has such a vibrant environment.  Just as we supported it in the past, we will support such an initiative again.”

The row between the Government and the organisers of the event was raised in the Dáil today where Mr Bruton defended the Government’s record and said his department and agencies were focused on more than just Web Summit.

“We do not work in a blaze of publicity; rather, we work confidentially with companies to develop programmes,” he said.

“My Department and agencies use a range of opportunities to showcase Ireland by hosting or partnering in national and international events that support our overarching policy objectives across our core programmes of enterprise, innovation and regulation.”

He noted that over 800 people from 43 countries attended the Med in Ireland event last week.

“Both my ministerial colleagues and I, along with the agencies of my Department, also participate in many third-party events that take place in Ireland, similar to the Web Summit, and we will continue to provide assistance and attendance where appropriate, “ he said.

Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibin described the Web Summit as “one of the most important business events in the State”.

“Not only does it bring about 40,000 people to Dublin city but it also offers start-ups and an opportunity to network with tech leaders and venture capitalists who are looking to invest money,” he said.

“The loss of the Web Summit is not only a loss of revenue to the capital but is also a huge blow to Irish start-ups and the country's reputation.”

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