Perhaps it wasn’t the biggest show in town, but Web Summit is a major cultural loss for Dublin.
Paddy Cosgrave’s closing speech at the final Web Summit in Dublin for the foreseeable future was much more hopeful than the earlier squabbling on the airwaves would have suggested.
“Ireland will always be in our hearts,” he said, promising that Web Summit will remain an Irish company, headquartered in Dublin.
“We’re leaving, but we’re very hopeful that the door will remain open, and I hope that some day we return.”
He seemed genuine, but it might be too late for the Government to pick things up; there was a lot of potential bridge-burning after the discourse reduced to nothing more than an embarrassing slagging match.
One thing is for certain, Cosgrave jabbed a hole in Dublin’s aspiration to win big events. Despite the heavy criticism, Web Summit is worth reclaiming as a Dublin event. But if it has outgrown the capital in 2015, what will things be like in three years’ time?