On March 17th we will celebrate the life of St. Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland who was in fact born in Wales. Kidnapped at the age of 16, and taken to Ireland as a slave, St. Patrick worked as a shepherd, but later escaped and ventured back to his native Roman Britain. However, his stay was short lived and St. Patrick returned to the Emerald Isle with the goal of converting Ireland to Christianity. St. Patrick is renowned for the establishment of monasteries, churches, and schools, but also gained fame for many legends – including banishing snakes from the island of Ireland, and his explanation of the Trinity using the native clover, the shamrock. While St. Patrick’s Day is based on religion and folklore, it has become a celebration of Irish pride for those with Irish descent around the world.
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, it is apt timing to appreciate Dublin as a thriving Financial, Medical Devices, and Tech hub. Ireland’s appeal as a hub location is obvious, as the EU’s soon-to-be sole English-speaking member state, with double tax treaty agreements in place with 72 other countries and one of the lowest corporate tax rates of 12.5% in the EU. Dublin also serves as a hospitable stepping stone for companies wishing to grow into and avail of the large European Market. Major companies such as Google, Facebook, PayPal, Microsoft, and eBay all have based their European Headquarters in Ireland. An example of an Irish success story is the Dublin based company; Mercury Engineering who are paving the way in their field, constructing the first ever solar-powered football stadium for the upcoming World Cup in 2022. Aerogen is further proof of this trend of revolutionary Irish companies; this Galwegian company is providing life-saving measles vaccines for 200 million children in the developing world.
“Never has a nation so small, inspired so much in another”
To quote former U.S. President, Barak Obama: “Never has a nation so small, inspired so much in another”. Unlike many countries, stagnant in their legislation, Ireland’s small and agile economy allows for Government and policy makers to adopt amendments quickly, making changes when and where required. Stories of success and development in Ireland include Life Science, ICT, Financial Services and Agrifoods sectors, in addition to the growth of the Tourism sector after the 2008/2009 crisis. The Life Science sector has become a trailblazer in the industry, employing approximately 50,000 people. The Bio Pharmaceutical industry has made a capital investment of $10 billion in new facilities in Ireland; this represents the biggest wave of investment in BioTech facilities worldwide. Lastly, the Agriculture sector continues to grow from strength to strength; Ireland is currently the 10th largest dairy export nation across the globe.
So, this Sunday, as we raise a glass to the patron saint of Ireland, lets also celebrate the success of Ireland’s economy, and look forward to a future of many more St. Patrick’s days to come where a celebration of Irish success will again be well justified.