Gilmore backs Taoiseach's debt aims as Forum continues in Dublin

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has backed the Taoiseach's claims that Ireland will be the first of the three bailed-out eurozone countries to pay back its debt.

Gilmore backs Taoiseach's debt aims as Forum continues in Dublin

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has backed the Taoiseach's claims that Ireland will be the first of the three bailed-out eurozone countries to pay back its debt.

Mr Gilmore said progress is being made and the creation of jobs continues to be a top priority.

“Ireland is meeting its targets,” Mr Gilmore said.

“What we now have to do is get investment into this country and get jobs created.”

Mr Gilmore was speaking as the second session of a two-day Global Irish Economic Forum was taking place in Dublin Castle.

Over 300 delegates from the world of business, politics and culture are in discussion on the best ways to get the country out of recession.

Former US president Bill Clinton will address the delegates later this afternoon.

This morning's forum session discussed how Ireland's culture and heritage can be used as an economic driver.

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne was appointed as Cultural Ambassador at the last Global Irish Economic forum two years ago.

Speaking this morning he said we need to embrace other cultures in order to help us use our own for economic gain.

“I think that part of being an artist, and part of being an outlooking culture, is that we embrace what’s out there to bring it back into us; to change our culture.

“Because a culture that doesn’t change is dying.”

Comedian Dara O Briain was also among the speakers.

He said we need a different strategy to target the Irish diaspora living in the UK, as the perception of Ireland in Britain is quite different now in comparison to during the Troubles.

“The perception of Ireland in the UK is up for grabs,” he said.

“We have now becomes no normalised within UK society that… we are no longer exotic.

“There is a void there… and I think the strategies for dealing with that are completely different.”

Also this morning, details were announced of a major graduate programme which, over the next five years, aims to equip 1,000 young Irish professionals with the business, culture and communication skills needed to successfully trade in Asia.

The programme is a Masters degree awarded by UCC in cooperation with Nanyang Business School in Singapore, and has been developed by the Farmleigh Fellowship, an initiative stemming from the last Global Irish Economic Forum in 2009.

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