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Tánaiste hosts High-Level Investment Roundtable ahead of the Emerald Isle Classic in Dublin

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., today hosted a high-level Investment Roundtable at Government Buildings convened by The Coca-Cola Company.   The roundtable was moderated by Irishman, Irial Finan, a member of the Government’s Global Irish Network Advisory Group and Executive Vice President of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. The joint Government/Coca-Cola meeting was attended by over 20 leaders of U.S. companies who are visiting Ireland to attend the “Emerald Isle Classic” American college football game between Navy and Notre Dame taking place in Dublin at the weekend.

The Investment Roundtable is one of a series of events taking place on the margins of the Emerald Isle Classic which is bringing up to 35,000 football fans and alumni of the two premier American college teams to Ireland this weekend to attend the Navy vs. Notre Dame American football match at the Aviva Stadium.   Included among the many thousands of fans of the two premier college teams are a number of high-level American business people who have accepted an invitation from leaders of The Coca-Cola Company to attend a roundtable hosted by the Tánaiste to learn what Ireland has to offer as an investment location.

Speaking following the event, the Tánaiste said:

“On behalf of the Government I am delighted to have this opportunity to personally brief a key new audience on the tremendous progress Ireland is making in its economic recovery and to highlight the many advantages Ireland offers as an investment location.     Foreign Direct Investment has been a vital component of the successful development of our economy in the past, and the high level of US investment has been critical to this.   My message today is that there has never been a better time to invest here".

Irial Finan, Executive Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company added:

“The Coca-Cola Company has been investing in Ireland for over a half a century and has built a significant presence across the island of Ireland. We wish to play our part in helping to support the Irish Government’s job creation and economic growth strategy.”

Today’s event was also addressed by Coca-Cola Company director, and Chairman Emeritus of Notre Dame Foundation, Don Keough whose renowned commitment to Ireland over the past 50 years has led to both economic and social investments by The Coca-Cola Company and personal investment in educational and cultural links.   Mr. Keough’s links to Notre Dame allowed Coca-Cola to bring together today’s roundtable of influential new U.S. business leaders to discuss investment opportunities in Ireland and thereby play their part in helping to support the Government’s job creation and economic growth strategy.     

Among other representatives of the Government, Barry O’Leary, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland, also addressed the group of American business people, and participated in a Q&A session to explain assistance and support the IDA can provide to potential investors in Ireland.  He said:

"The IDA welcomes the convening of this important event which once again highlights the vital importance of Ireland’s strategic relationships with so many US companies. Ireland is staging a strong economic recovery and pivotal to these efforts are long term relationships with key US corporates. The IDA is determined to develop and enhance these relationships even further in future’’.

Note to Editors:

The Emerald Isle Classic will see the arrival of approx. 35,000 US college football fans at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this Saturday for a game of American College Football between Notre Dame and Navy. The Gathering Ireland is the title sponsor of the event, which will showcase one of the finest sporting traditions in American college football. The largest ever group of US sport fans for a stand-alone sporting event outside the US will travel to the game, which sold out within two hours of tickets going on sale. The Emerald Isle Classic football game is expected to yield €100 million for Ireland’s tourism sector.