Dublin's tech tigerland - sham or real deal?


There is more…


all those jobs exist becuase of low taxes, tax arbitrage and lax labour laws.
these companies would be operating nameplate businesses in ireland and some already do if there were stricter labour laws.
2 weeks per year of service redundancy after two years is no real commitment to the economy.
Nice to have them but not the sort of businesses that you can build an economy.


Canal Dock in Dublin is different!


I would disagree … I have a family member working on one of these companies as a techie (a very senior techie) but pulling in a massive salary with huge bonuses fairly consistently; looking at the pile of cash he is sitting on as well as a bubble times property - mortgage free - i’d say his employer has been quite good for the economy, especially from where he and his peers are sitting


So you would disagree because you have a family member working there?

Youre not on the FF national committee are you?


+1, we need jobs that will definitely be here in 10yrs, there is nothing to say these will be. We don’t need another ‘10 year economy’ similar to the one built on stamp duty.

If these jobs are here to stay well then great, I just really hope they are.


To my mind, the real issue with the so-called tech land is the failure of the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and others to cultivate a cluster-effect where small local companies develop to service these larger companies as well as being formed by those leaving those companies. We have a truly pathetic indigenous IT industry unlike others such as Israel which is a real model for such developments. Governments are happy to take income tax and other revenues from employees of these companies while picking-up some corporation tax crumbs and some other small indirect employment and taxation benefits.


I think the longer the companies are there and the more embedded they become the better chance we have of a long term benefit to the economy. Certainly the clustering effect we have seen in recent years is very positive - Google alone is one thing, but now that Facebook et al are also here it has a benefit to all involved: a pool of talent to draw on and swap, support companies in recruitment, finance and law who know the intricacies of the international business, an atmosphere that is attractive to bring in foreign workers, etc.

We may have to change the corpo tax regime at some point to stop the tax arbitrage, but if it can be done in a way that doesn’t disadvantage us compared to other EU countries we should be in a good position to hold on to these companies, IMHO.

EDIT: as jxbr points out, the clustering effect in creating indigenous companies in tech sector is less positive. Enterprise Ireland are certainly trying (IDA have no business supporting indigenous companies) but without a huge success rate.


I was working in one of these companies, working in one of these business parks watching the rise and fall of the irish branch of multinationals including mine. I saw the one I worked in wither away. Multi-nationals are fairweather friends and you don’t build economies around them unless their home office is in Ireland.


I got the impression that most US tech companies in Dublin of the sort covered by that article are mostly employing customer services and marketing people, not “techies”.

My own experience working with several large US tech companies a few years ago is that they don’t do much real software engineering in Europe. Has that changed?

There is a lot of software development happening in Dublin, of course. I just doubt it is for Google, Facebook, PayPal etc.


Microsoft has been in Ireland for ages - I know many people who did very well out of working there in the 80s and 90s. Oracle and IBM have had a significant presence for nearly three decades. SAP is somewhat more recent, but still 15 or 16 years. There’s a good mix of jobs at all of these companies, from development to test to tech support to localization.
I don’t know what the mix of jobs is at Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but these are front-runners among the tech companies that have emerged in the last 10 or so years so I think it’s great that they have a large presence in Ireland.


As i said, I genuinely hope we’ll be looking back in another 20/30 years and saying isn’t it great they are still here. I’m just wary of the over reliance on them to carry the economy.


I was amused by this section:

"Such boundless enthusiasm among employees can become overpowering, as can the companies’ careful message management. At both PayPal and Facebook, an Irish staff member sits in on the Irish Times’s interviews with employees. Google’s employee interviews are conducted by email (not the norm for journalistic research), at the company’s request. Twitter declines to offer employees for interview.

Yet the employees are emphatic about the informality and lack of hierarchy within the companies"

Imagine that?


There are a number of reasons why US (in particular) Multi National organisations are in Ireland. The total tax burden (not just the headline number), the transfer pricing arrangements, availability of staff, cultural “similarity”, English as a native language and, the fact that there are already US companies here is attractive to new entrants. Work by IDA Ireland is also a factor (and yes, some of that is related to financial incentives, but also the creation of “flagship” projects).

The “name on the door” operations are a different beast all together. While they generally don’t employ anyone, the do result in tax income for the exchequer.

Ronan Lyons recently put his name to a survey of foreign companies attitude towards Ireland as a location.

There are ICT jobs available here in Ireland, at various levels and pay grades (I suspect there are plenty of contributors and ‘lurkers’ in this parish who are in or around the industry). The foreign direct investment (FDI) of larger multinationals in the sector into Ireland creates plenty of positions and the opportunity for indigenous companies to start up as staff move with their experience.

From a business perspective, a decision to invest overseas is a major one for a multi-national, it involves significant cost and management time to set up a new operation in a foreign country or to purchase an existing one and integrate it (even allowing for incentives and tax breaks). The time horizons for such are generally long term. Despite what some might suggest, the majority of overseas corporations investments in Ireland are multi-decade.

Blue Horseshoe


I don’t think I’d agree having intimate experience of one of the companies mentioned.


Fair enough - I presume you’re talking about the older companies? I’m basing my impression on 10+ years ago when I had direct contact with people working in these firms so the job profiles might have changed.


Pharma and ICT-manufacturing are and have been multi-decade investments.

Not too sure about the likes of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.


What lax labour laws are you referring to?


At 2 weeks per year of service redundancy you become a variable cost.
Non-unionised multi-nationals and no workers council to protect your interests.


The big problem with having these companies, is that they sell recycled electrons. myspace/facebuck/twatter/palpay/fleabay…seen em come and go

Its more interesting to read the comments in the IT article. We rolled out the red carpet for these companies and now at a time when unemployment is high and these companies are not sharing any of the burden with higher taxes and the majority of the jobs they offer require langauge skillz. The same companies that trashed our graduates saying that they arent good enough*.

  • only beleivable if a study of all other countries finds that the natives speak all 30 or so European languages.