Foreign firms fall for charm of 'happy' Irish


FOREIGN DIRECT investment companies are attracted to Ireland because the Irish are a happy people, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan has claimed.

Speaking at the launch of the Science Gallery’s programme for 2012 in Trinity College Dublin, Mr Deenihan said the disposition of the Irish people was an attractive part of the package offered to foreign direct investment along with the 12.5 per cent corporation tax.

“We are a happy people, and generally a sincere people. For some people, who are looking at foreign direct investment, that is a consideration,” he said.

Mr Deenihan said the Irish were a philosophical race and so many people took the attitude that things that happened were the “will of God”. “I have seen so many people say that over the years and that’s our disposition and it is a very good one to have,” he said.

The Science Gallery is to examine the paradox of the Irish appearing to be among the happiest people in Europe despite the economic recession. An event entitled Happy?runs from April 27th to June 1st and will explore Irish optimism in conjunction with Trinity’s school of psychology.

A recent Gallup survey rated Ireland 10th in the world in terms of the number of citizens who regard themselves as thriving despite the recession. Nearly two-thirds of Irish people (62 per cent) rated themselves as thriving, more than one-third (37 per cent) struggling, but only 1 per cent said they were suffering. The figures were ahead of Germany and France along with the UK and the United States.

The gallery unveiled a series of events to coincide with Dublin becoming Europe’s City of Science in 2012.