Apple to expand Cork plant with potential for 1,000 new jobs
Chief executive Tim Cook addresses Trinity College society
Apple is to expand its plant in Hollyhill in Cork, providing up to an additional 1,000 jobs over the 18 months.
The company, which has been based in Cork since 1980 and currently employs more than 5,000 people in Ireland, is to construct a new building at the Hollyhill site. The news comes following a 25 per cent increase in the company’s workforce over the past 12 months.
The news was welcomed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who met Apple chief executive Tim Cook this morning before Mr Cook went to Trinity College where he received the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage o f the University Philosophical Society.
Speaking at the event, Mr Cook said Ireland felt very much like home for the company, and it had a long history with the country.
“Apple has been here in Ireland in good times and been here through challenging times,” he said. “We’don’t just see ourselves as located in Ireland, we see ourselves as rooted here.”
He said the office in Cork was one of its most diverse, with employees coming from more than 80 countries.
“As a company we are better because of our diversity, we are better because of our differences,” he said.
“Apple will always be proud to call Ireland home,” he said.
Mr Cook also said Apple’s contactless payment system Apple Pay would be available in Ireland at some point in the future, although he did not specify when that would happen.
Apple has also announced that it is partnering with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to support research in offshore energy technology, particularly wave energy. It is establishing a €1 million Ocean Energy Industry Fund, aimed at supporting new ways of capturing wave energy and converting it to renewable electricity.
Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland have come under scrutiny by the EU Commission, which issued a preliminary opinion earlier this year that tax deals done between the Irish State and the company represented illegal state aid. A final determination from the Commission had been expected this month, though it now appears that it will not emerge until 2016. It is understood that the EU Commission has asked the Government for more information, which will mean no final decision will be issued in the coming weeks.
Apple has warned that it could be obliged to pay a significant sum in back tax as a result of any ruling, though it is expected that an appeal to the European courts could lead to a lengthy delay.