Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to receive a Special Recognition Award for the company’s 40 years of investment in Ireland, the IDA confirmed to Cult of Mac.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will present Cook with the accolade on January 20 in Dublin. It may be met with criticism from some as Apple continues to pay back €13 billion in unpaid Irish taxes.
Apple first made its move to Ireland in 1980 and has since become one of the country’s biggest employers, supporting more than 17,000 jobs. All of Apple’s international sales are routed through Ireland today.
That’s largely thanks to a rather peachy tax deal with the Irish government — since branded illegal by the European Commission — which allowed Apple to cough up a lot less of its international revenue.
Apple shelved plans to build a $1 billion data center in Ireland following the record tax bill handed down by the EU. But Cupertino maintains a mammoth presence there, for which Cook will be recognized.
Tim Cook rewarded by Ireland
Cook will be presented with the award in Dublin on January 20, Ireland investment agency IDA confirmed to Cult of Mac. A spokesperson issued the following statement:
On Monday, 20th January 2020, An Taoiseach will present the inaugural IDA Ireland Special Recognition Award to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
An event will be held in the National Concert Hall before a group of invited guests including from IDA Ireland client companies.
The morning will also feature a “Looking to the Future” event, including an address from Cook. It will focus on Ireland’s available talent and the education that supports it, the IDA says.
“Focus on the visit may be heightened with Varadkar set to face a general election within months,” Bloomberg notes.
“One of the country’s largest opposition parties, Sinn Fein, has criticized the government for fighting the tax case, saying the money should be accepted as a windfall to build homes and hospitals.”
Ireland and Apple have strenuously denied any wrongdoing.