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'End of Double Irish could benefit Ireland'

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The US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin F O’Malley, sells his country as a startup choice

The US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin F O’Malley, sells his country as a startup choice

The US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin F O’Malley, sells his country as a startup choice

THE US Ambassador to Ireland said he applauds the phasing out of the 'Double Irish' taxation arrangement, which he believes could work to Ireland's benefit.

Newly appointed Ambassador Kevin O'Malley said he did not think the end of the corporate tax avoidance strategy would affect American companies operating in Ireland.

"I think the elimination of the 'Double Irish' is not going to discourage anyone and I wonder if it isn't going to encourage people.

"The more we all talk about things like Double Irish, the less we are talking about a highly qualified, highly educated, dedicated workforce that speaks English and is strategically located in the EU, which I would really prefer to be talking about," Mr O'Malley said.

"I applaud the fact there's been a curtailment and a phasing out of any kind of tax system that doesn't really reflect real jobs for real people and real prosperity."

The ambassador, whose ancestors emigrated to the US from Westport, Co Mayo, 100 years ago, met with Cork's Lord Mayor and visited University College Cork and the National Maritime College of Ireland on his first official visit to the city.

He said the undocumented Irish in the US was a "big issue with lots of complications" which President Barack Obama "is the process of examining".

A lawyer with 40 years of experience, the ambassador told a lecture theatre packed with law students how he had originally studied for the Catholic priesthood for six years, before switching to law.

"I learned that you could get a BMW as a lawyer... and also a wife," he quipped, but said the two careers were "very similar" if you wanted to help people with problems.

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