One More Thing: Dublin gets the red card at Cork Economic Forum

Fri, Oct 18, 2013, 01:00

Cork-born business leaders gathered in City Hall yesterday for an economic conference as part of Rebel Week, a local authority-organised Gathering festival showcasing Cork which runs until Sunday.

With just a hint of mischievousness, the organisers called it the “Global” Cork Economic Forum. They must have forgotten to add a “Boy” at the end.

The website for Rebel Week also contains a self-deprecating nod to that chippy Second City Syndrome that sometimes afflicts the lovely Leesiders: a red banner proclaiming the People’s Republic of Cork is emblazoned across the homepage. All in good spirits, of course.

The event was chaired by John Mullins while the MC was broadcaster Matt Cooper, both well-known sons of Cork. Among the speakers were some of the best-known business figures in the State: Vodafone boss Anne O’Leary, Independent News & Media chairman Leslie Buckley, Tesco Ireland director Tony Keohane, and Patrick Coveney, the chief executive of Greencore.

Mullins told me that the main message from the morning session was that Cork “needs to understand that it is the second city, but that this has its advantages” when looking for investment. The need for an international fibre link into Cork was also a hot topic.

It was suggested, tongue in cheek, by some panel members that a “red card” be issued to anyone who mentioned Dublin during the debates.

Incidentally, Cork Airport is one of the Rebel Week sponsors. Now might not be a good time to mention that it is actually owned by the Dublin Airport Authority. Or that Coveney was last year’s president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

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