Friday, September 18, 2009

The Irish 'Davos'

Our Government politicians will be out in force this weekend as Farmleigh plays host to the much-anticipated ‘Irish Davos’ - the first ever Global Irish Economic Forum.

While there will be much posturing and many pronouncements made, it seems that Ireland’s attempts at hosting a heavy-weight Economic Forum is on line to be a significant success.

More than 140 journalists from Irish, British, European, US and Japanese media outlets have been registered to cover the event.

Hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the event will be attended by 180 members of the global Irish business community, the Cabinet and members of the opposition.

So interested is the media in the event that a special media centre has been set up in Farmleigh with broadcasters from not only the Irish stations but CNN, Bloomberg and Reuters covering the event as well.

As he is the host of the event, Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin has become a familiar face on CNN and Bloomberg news bulletins - normally the traditional home of figures such as President Barack Obama.

And it isn’t just business and political heavyweights who will be attending the Forum - the Irish in Hollywood will also be there with the presence of movie director Neil Jordan.

And just in case we think that this is yet another lavish gesture that the taxpayers will be footing the bill for - we are not as all those attending are funding their own travel arrangements for the weekend.

Moderators of the events will include CNN’s Fionnuala Sweeney (who once hosted the Eurovision in Ireland), Fergal Keane of the BBC, economist David McWilliams and RTE legend John Bowman.

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