AN TAOISEACH Enda Kenny paid a warm tribute to the people of Dundalk at the official opening of the Ebay/Paypal facility.
Mr Kenny said that the move sends out a “big signal about Dundalk”.
Mr Kenny was the main attraction at the opening with played host to the great and the good of Dundalk with TDs, councillors, council executives, as well as national and local media, all eager to be part of the historic event.
Before Mr Kenny took to the stage both Vice President of Paypal Global Customer Services, Louise Phealan and Paypal President David Markus were gushing in their praise for the area, both saying that it was the people of the region that swung the decision to locate their European headquarters in Dundalk.
“We have picked a beautiful spot here in Dundalk,” said Ms Phealan, after she thanked Louth Ecocnomic Forum, Dundalk Town Council and Louth County Council. “This feels like home.”
President of Ebay, David Markus was next to speak and he again emphasisised the importance of the people of Dundalk and indeed Ireland to supply the people that they need for the their business.
“It seems like we are having an everlasting honeymoon with Ireland,” said Mr Markus. “We have been discussing this launch for months, and it’s a proud moment being here at the opening.
“We can find talent to operate. We really couldn’t have done this anywhere else.”
Mr Markus said the broad set of skills available among Irish workers makes Ireland a very attractive place to do business. He also discussed the Gathering and mention was made of Paypal executive John McCabe, whose family left Dundalk in 1914 to make their way to America.
It was a point that not lost on An Taoiseach. When Mr Kenny got up to speak, he referred to the Gathering, and how Mr McCabe was a great example of Irish dispora returning to Ireland and investing in the county.
“This is fabulous for Dundalk,” said Mr Kenny. “This sends out a big signal about Dundalk and the workers here.
“When I discussed the decision to come here, John McCabe told me about his family lineage. With his return that circle has now been closed. Let’s not forget that. It is the very essence of the diaspora, it’s at its heart. Deep inside there is a love for the homeland.”
Mr Kenny also spoke warmly about the decision of the multinational ecommerce business in choosing the Dundalk site.
“Private sector employment is now increasing at 1,000 people per month. We have to now see the Live Register as a great resource of talent for companies.”
He was also quick to point that Ireland was returning to the international markets, and how lending rates had dropped from 15 per cent at their highest to 3.65 per cent and how the government were now focused on increasing confidence within the domestic economy. Mr Kenny also made reference to Ireland’s 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate, which would not be changing.