Monday 11 December 2017

'We're not great at building relationships with politicians' - Web Summit advertises for 'Irish Government Affairs Manager'

Paddy Cosgrave at the Lisbon Web Summit
Paddy Cosgrave at the Lisbon Web Summit
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

The Web Summit looks set to hire a new team member - to negotiate with the Irish Government and State Agencies.

The summit which moved to Lisbon amid harsh criticisms of the Irish Government is advertising for a so-called Irish Government Affairs Manager.

In a tongue in cheek advertisement on Facebook the team posted the job spec alongside the following comment:

"Good at building relationships with Irish politicians? Great because we’re not, so we’re hiring. Trinity degree not essential. Wifi works (in office, mostly)."

Founder Paddy Cosgrave and his team developed a factitious relationship with the Government during the four years the tech summit took place in Dublin.

Mr Cosgrave criticised the Government for their lack of interest in the event and described state money that the company received from the IDA and Enterprise Ireland as "hush money".

The summit was critical of the event-planning that took place in the capital around the event, as well as a perceived lack of interest among Irish politicians to meet with delegates and capitalise on the business opportunities presented by the summit.

The ad also makes a thinly-veiled reference to WiFi issues which proved to be among the most prevalent teething problems of the Summit.

At the 2014 Web Summit the Wifi collapsed leading to a dispute between the organisers and the RDS where the event was held.

Now, however the team are looking for someone experienced to act as a go-between for the company and Irish agencies.

The job description for the role reads:

"The Irish Government Affairs Manager will liaise with the Irish Government and State agencies. You will work within a global team focused on interfacing with cities and countries bidding to host Web Summit and related events in the future."

The ideal candidate will have eight years experience as "a Government relations practitioner", who is well versed in the "inner workings of the Irish legislative and political landscape".

"You’ll promote the values of Web Summit to the Irish Government through direct engagement with policy-makers and government agencies," the ad reads.

"You’ll interpret the political horizon, identifying opportunities and challenges that impact Web Summit, our events, our innovations & global reach."

A spokeswoman for the Web Summit declined to comment when contacted by

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