Republic of Ireland news

Web Summit moving to Lisbon

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrove. Photograph: Web Summit

Web Summit, Europe's largest technology convention, is to move from Dublin to Lisbon.

In a statement released today, founder Paddy Cosgrove said the move was spurred by the thriving start-up community in the Portugese capital, plus the improved transport and hotel infrastructure.

"This is a big move for us, to leave Dublin after 5 years," he said. 

"Web Summit started its life in a sitting room in Ranelagh. The first event was small, with just 400 attendees. Since then, Web Summit has grown into the most important gathering of startups on the planet.

"Now we will be concentrating on making Web Summit 2015 the best ever. We’ll be opening the doors to over 7,000 Irish students and graduates as well as thousands of speakers, investors, media and startups."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he hoped the event would return to Ireland in the future.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communication Michael Moynihan said news of Web Summit's move will come as a crushing blow to Ireland’s reputation as a high tech innovation centre.

“The web summit is a major loss to Ireland from both an economical and reputational perspective,” said Deputy Moynihan.

“In terms of revenue generated, Fáilte Ireland has estimated that some €100 million was brought to the local economy when the Summit was hosted in 2014. This will be a massive financial loss to the various accommodation and restaurant providers that would have received business.

“I am relieved by reports that the 130 jobs directly associated with the summit will remain in Dublin.  However, the loss of the summit to our capital city is a big hit to our reputation as a leading hi-tech innovative centre globally."

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