Apple of Cork’s eye – inside the tech giant’s Irish operations

“€13bn. When talking about Apple in the context of Ireland right now, it is difficult to move past this enormous figure,” Will Goodbody reports for RTÉ. “It is the amount of money that the company owes to Ireland in unpaid taxes arising from what the European Commission says was selective treatment given to it by the Government here.”

“Apple of course disputes this and has appealed the case to the European Court of Justice. And as long as the issue remains unresolved, it will in the minds of many people in Ireland inevitably be the defining characteristic of the relationship between Ireland and the world’s most valuable tech company,” Goodbody reports. “It was in this context that the company recently invited a small group of national journalists to visit its European Headquarters in Cork, to get a feel for just what it is that the firm does here.”

Apple’s ties to Ireland “date back to 1980 when the first plant was built on the site in Holyhill to assemble Apple II computers, with 60 staff employed. Gradually over the years, the operations were expanded to include a patchwork of additional buildings and offices, some of which have since been converted for other uses,” Goodbody reports. “In total the Irish workforce now totals around 6,000, the bulk of whom are based in Cork, with around 1,000 of those working from their homes across the 26 counties… The spin-off effects for the local and national economy are undoubtedly huge, with 2,500 additional jobs locally and 12,000 further roles supported across Ireland.”

Co-founder Steve Jobs visits Apple’s new facility in Cork, October 1980
Co-founder Steve Jobs visits Apple’s new facility in Cork, October 1980

“The Irish team is involved in nearly every aspect of the company’s business, from research and development and manufacturing through to sales, supply and operations services, to after-sales care and technical support,” Goodbody reports. “An extensive factory floor churns out hundreds of iMac desktop computers every day for the European, South African, Middle Eastern, Russian and Turkish markets. It is Apple’s only wholly owned and operated manufacturing facility in the world and within the business is considered a centre of excellence for building product.”

Much, much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: We want an Apple-assembled iMac and we’d pay a bit extra for the privilege, too!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Irial” for the heads up.]


    1. In my case, at least, the lack of a spontaneous comment has nothing to do with the geographic location of the story. It is simply a nice article and I enjoyed reading it. I would also like to visit Ireland.

      I did find it interesting that the Ireland facility is “…Apple’s only wholly owned and operated manufacturing facility in the world.” I wonder if the author considered the more recent Mac Pro manufacturing pathfinder in the U.S.?

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