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Sunday 17 December 2017

Cameron steals march on Bruton in Twitter push

DON LAVERY

British Prime Minister David Cameron has met executives of the social networking giant Twitter in Britain's aggressive bid to secure jobs -- but Irish jobs minister Richard Bruton has admitted he hadn't met with company executives weeks after it was raised by the Fianna Fail opposition.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin had raised the issue with the Taoiseach last month and party spokesman on enterprise Willie O'Dea followed it up by asking Mr Bruton during the week if he had made any contact with Twitter executives to help secure the multi-million euro investment for Ireland.

"I'll have to admit that I haven't met with Twitter myself but I will on foot of the deputy's enquiry", replied Mr Bruton.

"This government claims their top priority is job creation, yet it hasn't occurred to the minister for jobs to meet with the executives of a major multinational firm currently deciding on a location for its new headquarters" said Mr O'Dea yesterday.

"It would be another major coup for Ireland if Twitter decided to join Facebook and Google by locating a new base in Dublin. Not only would it result in hundreds of high-quality jobs, it would also strengthen our position as a global innovation hub".

IDA sources said yesterday that the bid to secure Twitter's international headquarters was "still in play".

Sources pointed out that Twitter was very much a target project for the IDA and they were in ongoing contact with the company.

If the company is located here it may not bring a huge number of jobs initially, but sources said when Google opened here they initially had 200 jobs but that has grown to 2,000.

The company has begun recruiting for a London office but it still has not made a decision on where it's European base will be.

Mr O'Dea complained yesterday: "Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin questioned the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dail last month if he had made any moves to secure investment from Twitter.

"Instead of being proactive, he simply said he would meet with Twitter if the opportunity presented itself.

"A number of weeks have passed and it now seems the Taoiseach hasn't even thought to discuss the issue with his Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton."

Sunday Independent

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