How Dublin became one of the key European tech hubs

Emilien Coquard
3 min readJun 22, 2022

Ireland is part of a race that’s occurring worldwide. A competition is taking place that affects every business globally. It’s a race that many organisations are already participating in, and one in which they can’t risk coming last. To be left behind is to face obsolescence, and to see the competition disappear into the distance.

Put simply, organisations are striving to become technology and software-driven businesses. Putting digital products and services, software — and indeed the engineers required to facilitate it — at the heart of their business models. Dublin is Ireland’s main hub, and is in fact the main centre of business for many global tech businesses. It’s one of the primary European tech hubs alongside London and others.

Introducing: ‘The Silicon Docks’ of Dublin

Known to some as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’, Ireland is the European base for some of the biggest tech companies in the world. Adding €16bn to the economy each year, the nation is second only to the US in software service exports. And, with pressing drives to digitalisation felt across sectors, the importance of Ireland to the worldwide tech scene is only going to grow in magnitude.

Key to this is the capital, with its ‘Silicon Docks’ area home to the European headquarters of Google, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Amazon, among others. It’s a part of Dublin situated in the Grand Canal Dock area, located in the southern part of the inner city. To emphasise the importance of the Silicon Docks, it’s Meta’s largest base outside of California.

The ability to obtain staff from other leading tech companies in the Dublin locale also provides growing startup tech companies an appealing location when looking to establish themselves as major players. Many of those in the Dublin technology workforce have previous experience with successful, pioneering companies — giving an added incentive for organisations on the hunt for a location for their European headquarters.

How did Dublin become one of the key European tech hubs?

Dublin didn’t become one of the prominent European tech hubs overnight. It’s been a process. Ireland’s foray into tech began around 60 years ago when IBM opened offices in the capital in the mid 1950s. They were followed by HP in the 70s; Microsoft, Dell, and Intel in the 80s; SAP and others in the 90s; and then the companies we think of when we talk of ‘giants’ began arriving in the 2000s. These include the aforementioned Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook — but also LinkedIn, Yahoo, and eBay, and plenty more.

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