Economy of Dublin

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The south facade of the Custom House by night

Dublin is the largest city and capital of Ireland, and is the country's economic hub. As well as being the location of the national parliament and most of the civil service, Dublin is also the focal point of media and culture in the country. Ireland's transportation network radiates from the city and Dublin Port is responsible for a large proportion of Ireland's import and export trade.

Dublin is home to a large number of multinational corporations, particularly in "hi tech" sectors such as Information technology, Digital media, Financial services and the Pharmaceutical industry. Dublin is also the location of the headquarters of several large Irish public companies including Élan, Bank of Ireland, Ryanair, Smurfit Kappa Group and Paddy Power. Many large Irish public sector employers are based in Dublin including large utility companies such as ESB Group, educational institutions such as Dublin Institute of Technology, Trinity College, Dublin and University College Dublin, most of Ireland's higher courts, RTE -Irelands national public service broadcaster and several large Teaching hospitals. Other notable sources of employment include Tourism and retail.


In 2004, the GMP of Greater Dublin was €69.6 bn, the 17th highest in the European Union.

Dublin was at the centre of Ireland's rapid economic growth from 1995 to 2007. Both the standards and the cost of living in the city rose dramatically. Dublin became the world's 16th most expensive city but has since dropped to 36th place.[1] In 2008, it was the city with the 2nd highest wages in the world, but dropped to 10th place in 2009.[2]

In 2007 Dublin ranked 1st in Ireland by Disposable Income per person, at 109% of the State average. The three counties surrounding Dublin also ranked in the top 5.

2007 Average Disposable Income (per person)
Rank County Disposable Income
1 Dublin €24,038
2 Kildare €22,636
3 Limerick €21,966
4 Meath €21,871
5 Wicklow €21,660


Dublin is capital of the Republic of Ireland. Most of the Irish Civil service is located in the Dublin 2 postal district directly to the south of the River Liffey. There have been proposals to move civil service departments to other centres, but this has not materialised to a significant degree.


Aer Arann headquarters

Dublin is the fulcrum of the Irish transport system. Ireland's two longest canals, the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal, meet in Dublin Bay. The Irish train system radiates from Dublin. Similarly, the Irish road system was constructed spreading outwards from Dublin. Dublin Port is Ireland's largest port facility, and has the deepest port on Ireland's East coast. The port of Dún Laoghaire is also located nearby.[citation needed]

The Irish airlines Aer Arann, Aer Lingus, CityJet and Ryanair have their head office in Dublin.[3]

Food and Drink[edit]

Dublin occupies a key location on the Irish transport system, connecting the most productive part of the country with the main export port. Ireland's most widely known alcoholic drink, Guinness has been brewed at the St. James's Gate Brewery since 1759. The Guinness firm had established for providing the best pay and conditions in the Dublin area for many generations, when economic conditions were adverse. Dublin also profitted from the role of the beef industry, as the main export port for beef bound to Britain. Dublin did not feature prominently in the development of Irish dairy-farming, which was concentrated in Munster and south Leinster.


With the emergence of the Irish state, Dublin started to develop a lot of light industry. This contrasted with both Cork and Belfast which concentrated on heavy industry until the 1960s. Dublin gained from this, as these sectors generated high valued added, and higher employment rates. Several pharmaceutical companies have headquarters or manufacturing operations in Dublin including Elan (company), Amgen, Pfizer and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.

IT Sector[edit]

One George's Quay Plaza at night (middle)

In the 1990s, Ireland became a successful player in new high-technology sectors based on modern information and communications technologies. It is becoming the multilingual internet capital of Europe,[4] and is regarded as the Silicon Valley of Europe, attracting thousands of people from France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK. Many IT companies have located in the city, particularly in the south inner area of Dublin 2, and the adjacent counties, among them Amazon, Ebay, Dell, Facebook, Zynga, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Indeed, Twitter, Google, EMC, Microsoft, Oracle, PayPal, SAP, Symantec, and Yahoo!. Hewlett-Packard and Intel have large manufacturing plants in Leixlip, 15 km (9 mi) to the west of the city centre.

Also located in Dublin is the Internet Neutral Exchange (INEX) which provides high-speed, reliable and resilient IP traffic exchange facilities for both Irish and international IP service and content providers.

Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ) & Irish Financial Services Centre[edit]

Banking, finance and commerce are also important in the city – the IFSC alone handles over €1 trillion a year. International firms, such as Citibank and Commerzbank, have established headquarters in the city. Also located in Dublin is the Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ) and the Irish Enterprise Exchange (IEX).

Celtic Tiger[edit]

The economic boom years of the "Celtic Tiger" led to a sharp increase in construction. However, as of 2007, unemployment is on the rise as the housing market has begun to see supply outstrip demand.[citation needed] Redevelopment is taking place in large projects, such as the Docklands, renewing run-down industrial areas in the city centre. Dublin City Council seems to now have loosened the former limits on "high-rise" structures, the tallest building being Liberty Hall at 59.4 m (195 ft). The U2 Tower will be the tallest building on the island of Ireland when it is finished. Although its construction is under review after the recent financial crisis.

In 2005, around 800,000 people were employed in Greater Dublin, of whom around 600,000 were employed in the services sector and 200,000 in the industrial sector.[5]

Economic growth is expected to slow in the coming years, with the Irish central bank predicting medium-term growth rates of around 3–5%.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ireland, Dublin Cost of Living January 2010". Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Richest Cities in the world". Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Aer Arann Contact Information". Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Google to create 200 jobs in Dublin". RTÉ News. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Dublin employment PDF (256 KB)
  6. ^ "Central Bank predicts less growth". RTÉ. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 

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