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20.32 2 Nov 2017


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Updated 07:15 Friday

The Taoiseach has met with the heads of the biggest tech companies in the world and been promised hundreds of Irish jobs next year.

Leo Varadkar is on a trade visit to the US West Coast where he's sat down with the chief executives of Apple and Facebook.

Following his meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company confirmed its plans to bring hundreds more jobs on stream in Ireland next year.

Mr Varadkar visited the social media's headquarters in Silicon Valley on Thursday. 

The jobs announcements are expected to keep coming today after Mr Varadkar reportedly confirmed the cloud-based communication software maker Twilio is to expand its EMEA headquarters in Dublin - creating 100 new jobs.

He also met with Apple CEO Tim Cook where reportedly stresses the value and importance that the Irish government attaches to the company's €850m data centre project in Athenry.

Expansion

Facebook employs some 2,200 people in Ireland.

It says this new expansion plan is to "support growth across a number of teams in our International HQ in Dublin".

The firm says in a statement: "Ireland remains one of the best places to be a tech company, anywhere in the world.

"Dublin is a truly open, global city, that’s why it is home to our international headquarters and such an important part of Facebook’s story."

Gareth Lambe, head of Facebook Ireland, adds: "As the home of our international headquarters, Ireland is an important part of Facebook’s story and one of the most vibrant tech communities in the world.

"We are delighted that our Irish operations will be growing in 2018 with hundreds more jobs across all our teams.

"We also recently announced that we are expanding the Clonee Data Centre which will keep construction crews busy well into 2020, further demonstrating our long-term commitment to investment in Ireland."

Facebook Ireland has grown from 30 people in 2009 to over 2,000 in 2017.

Trade mission

Mr Varadkar's programme includes a series of meetings with client companies and representatives of the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland.

Today, he will attend an Enterprise Ireland event aimed at supporting the growth of Irish companies on the west coast, before officially opening the San Francisco office of an Enterprise Ireland client company.

Additional reporting from Michael Staines ...


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