Sky launches Dublin base

Satellite broadcasting company Sky Ireland launched its new corporate headquarters in Dublin on 18 January, and pledged to invest €1 billion in Ireland over the next five years.

The broadcaster currently employs some 450 staff at its customer contact centre off Burlington Road in the city’s leafy Ballsbridge district, and plans to increase employment there to approximately 800 by the end of the year.

The company will invest in broadband networks and retail outlets in Ireland, with the commercial launch of a broadband service scheduled for February 2013. It is also planning to commission a number of new Irish television productions.

The launch was attended by Irish prime minister, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who praised Sky’s investment as another signal of confidence returning to the Irish economy. Describing the move as "very encouraging news for job seekers and the Dublin area", Kenny highlighted "the clusters of world-renowned hi-tech companies and innovators" that are already based in Dublin.

Giants such as Google, Yahoo! and Facebook have their European headquarters in the Irish capital, which is also home to the international bases of Paypal and Twitter. Although these major companies are quick to cite the “young, skilled, English-speaking labour force”, a key attraction for foreign firms relocating to Ireland is the country’s low corporation tax rate of 12.5 per cent – a contentious issue for some other EU member states, in particular Germany and France.