Just Summit He Had To Do


This afternoon.

Nick’s Coffee Shop, Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave talking to RTÉ’s Philip Boucher Hayes and addressing media about his role in a campaign that anonymously targeted European Facebook users in 10 countries with advertisements about Ireland’s corporate tax system saying it was his ‘patriotic duty’.

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave has spent what he described “a very small amount” of about €20,000 on Facebook ads highlighting Ireland’s corporation tax regime.

He said he would not be taking any more measures to highlight the country’s tax regime, adding that he thinks “the game is up” and that Ireland should “start to close down all of these things.”

…In respect of his own company Amaranthine, a San Francisco-based venture capital fund, which is incorporated in Delaware, Mr Cosgrave said

“it is more tax efficient to incorporate out of Ireland, but that fund is operated out of the United States…it is the standard procedure for venture capital funds [to set up there].”


What we wouldn’t do.

Cosgrave spent €20,000 on ads highlighting corporation tax regime (Independent.ie)

Leah Farrell/RollingNews



35 thoughts on “Just Summit He Had To Do

  1. eoin

    Does Paddy know anything about the anonymous “Britishfinance” user on Wiki which has made thousands of edits to wiki entries about Ireland and its economy to suggest we’re a tax haven (which we probably are, but we’d like to know who’s been making all those edits all the same).

    Also Paddy, how is “the game up” on Ireland’s tax avoidance offering? You’ve been exposed for anonymously targetting facebook users badmouthing Ireland as a destination for foreign direct investment. If any game is up, it’s your anonymous interference. Meanwhile Ireland still has REITs, ICAVs, QIAIFs, S110 companies and more, if anything is game is ramping up.

    And lastly Paddy, are you not a bit of a hypocrite choosing a well known tax haven, Delaware USA, to incorporate your business, while at the same time dissing Ireland?

  2. bisted

    …there is a whiff of vindictiveness here…but why…what’s in it for Paddy…or who has stood on his toes?

    1. Junkface

      Yes I’d like to know his motivation. He must also know that people would be looking into his finances too surely? Otherwise he would look like a total hypocrite.

  3. Andrew

    I’m surprised at the negative reaction he is getting on here, not surprised by the wider media’s reaction.
    I’m no great fan of this guy but this is an interesting development and I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

      1. eoin

        Paddy has used his profile to comment on the housing crisis, especially in Dublin. As a businessman and the founder of a wildly successful events company, his comments had credibility and bolstered the messages that were coming from mostly left-of-centre politicial parties. I think he deserves a bit of credit for that.

        He probably also deserves credit for highlighting Ireland’s tax haven status, but there are some people looking at his company’s tie-up in Spain, and looking at Spain’s introduction of a digital tax and wondering what’s Paddy playing at. Is he lobbying on behalf of Spain to the detriment of Ireland, or what? I don’t know, it all looks a bit fishy to me.

    1. Zaccone

      If Paddy decided to talk to the media, and launch a campaign, to raise corporate tax rates across Europe to a reasonable level it would be entirely fair – he’d clearly be acting openly, and honestly.

      When Paddy buys 20k of ads that hide behind a fake organization, and that explicitly target EU staff, aiming to make them feel negatively about Ireland, its entirely underhand and suspicious.

      He just comes across still extremely bitter about Ireland not folding in to his ridiculous demands, so now hes trying to undermine the country to get some sort of revenge.

  4. Lurch

    I have to say fair f***ing play to Paddy Cosgrave.
    Our tax laws are a disgrace. They allow the mega wealthy to make obscene profits at the expense of the struggling masses.
    Just because certain other countries have dodgy tax systems doesn’t make it acceptable.

    As for the Delaware thing he’s been quite open and honest about that. The problem is that this type of tax evasion is legal – and it shouldn’t be.

    1. MFKeane

      Just because he is open and honest about his own tax avoidance doesn’t mean he isn’t an enormous hypocrite.

      1. Lurch

        Couldn’t give a flying one. You can call him whatever you like.
        The issue here is Ireland being a tax haven. No escaping that reality.

        1. Increasing Displacement

          How do you expect us to attract companies?
          Our vast easily accessible resources?

          1. Cian

            Irelands tax haven laws aren’t there to attract companies to set up here and employ people. They are there to attract companies to set up dummy corporations and move massive amounts of money through Ireland and we get to dip into these and get a small percentage.
            The Apples, Facebooks, Microsofts, are here employing thousands and running legitimate businesses and are paying ‘appropriate’ taxes on these businesses. The fact that these companies are also channelling other money through separate Irish companies is moot. If we close those loopholes they will channel that money elsewhere – but it (probably) won’t affect the core companies here.

    2. Letsgo

      Isn’t it great to have opinions and type them so people can see them. Isn’t it just wonderful. Well done, brillant. ‘f***ing, disgrace, mega, obscene. Relax with the adjectives ya mad yoke

      1. Lurch

        Well done to you too!!
        You have a good grasp of what a comments section is for. Congrats!
        Also, a reasonable understanding of adjectives.
        Keep it up. You’ll get there!

  5. George

    Why have Facebook not banned his personal account and the Web summit account?

    Also he had the website in place without anything to identify himself and using only the phone number of another organization and the name Tax in Ireland without any CRO number on it. I wonder if he has broken the law here. He has since amended the website to add his name.

    Tax in Ireland is registered with the CRO using the same address that Bradley Tax Consulting appears to be based at. Is he also using a name registered to another business?

    1. bisted

      …unless Paddy Shakedown has changed his ways then Nick will have paid dearly for all the ‘media exposure’ he received today…

  6. KM

    Bangs the drum against homelessness as he sells Ireland as a tax haven. Not very bright is he?

  7. class wario

    I don’t really get what this guy’s game is. All well and good pointing to lax legal structures relating to tax in Ireland or the housing crisis but it rings a bit hollow when you yourself are front and centre of an expo advertising the very worst type of bougie new age tech start up capitalism. And that’s before you look at the stuff about his own finances and choices of place to incorporate companies (venture capital companies too ofc).

    just a very strange man. he either has some extremely confused politics/ideals or he’s playing the long game to his own benefit.

  8. phil

    Dont know much about Paddy , but when I see a fella get stomped on that hard , I become interested …

  9. Dub Spot

    The John Delaney of Irish startups…. It’s still called the “Web” Summit – move on Paddy.

  10. Spaghetti Hoop

    I thought Boucher-Hayes was excellently shrewd in this whole attention-seeking ‘debacle’ over the last two days. He was denied the interview, led on a merry path, told to F-off, then accepted into the Cosgrave Cult of himself.
    Great reporting.

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