Thursday 22 February 2018

Cowen given a valuable lesson on how to resuscitate a dummy

Ailish O'Hora Public Affairs Correspondent

Taoiseach Brian Cowen got a lesson in resuscitation yesterday.

But it wasn't the economy on the operating table, it was a body double.

He was given the tutorial at the new European headquarters of healthcare firm Covidien which he was opening.

Covidien has confirmed a new €11m investment at its base in Dublin's Cherrywood, and the creation of 200 jobs.

On a tour of the facility, the Taoiseach was introduced to a number of high-tech medical devices -- if only they could be applied to work on the economy:

  • A LigaSure Advance machine is used by surgeons to optimise efficiency in the operating room -- this could be used to help the Government find the €3bn savings necessary in the next budget
  • The Argyle or chest drain expels fluid or air from the pleural cavity -- this might be used to help NAMA drain off the €81bn in toxic developer loans it is taking onto its books
  • Or the Endo (no, not Enda) GIA Ultra, a one-handed grasping machine also used by surgeons, could be applied to our record budget deficit, which is heading to 20pc or the highest in the western world.

But there was serious work at hand too.

Commenting on the facility, Mr Cowen said news of the investment was proof that Ireland's competitiveness was continuing to improve, despite the adverse economic conditions.

He added that the quality of the workforce was still one of the country's biggest assets.

"We need to continue to recognise the quality of the work being done here," he said.

"These commercial decisions are made on a very competitive basis and people look to a whole range of factors as to why and where to locate."

He added that an additional €2m research and development project would include the National University of Ireland Galway, University College Dublin and Trinity College, which tied in with the Government's plans to develop a smart economy.

Last week, Mr Cowen announced a €359m research investment plan with more than 30 new projects being hosted by third-level colleges.

The programme aims to train researchers in entrepreneurial and management skills to turn their research into commercial projects and services around the country.

Mr Cowen insisted the economy had turned a corner but people needed to have more confidence in it.

"The recovery in Ireland is underway. We now need to attract and sustain Irish jobs -- this is a vital element in our renewal strategy."

Mr Cowen also commended the decision by Covidien to establish its European centre in Dublin and said other companies would follow.

Irish Independent

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