Apple CEO Tim Cook will receive an award from Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar later this month. The award will recognize Apple’s “40 years of investment in Ireland.”
Bloomberg reports Cook is scheduled to meet with the Irish Taioseach in Dublin on January 20 to receive the award, which recognizes “the iPhone maker’s 40 years of investment in Ireland,” according to IDA Ireland, the country’s investment agency.
Apple’s business relationship with Ireland has been the subject of deep scrutiny in recent years. In 2016, the European Commission (EC) ruled that the Cupertino firm received illegal aid from Ireland, related to the payment of income taxes.
While Apple and Ireland both appealed the ruling, the EC opened litigation against Ireland in October 2017, over Apple’s back taxes. Apple has paid the $13 billion in back taxes the EC says the company owes. The money will be returned if the order is eventually overturned.
Apple’s European headquarters are located in Cork, and the company last year expanded the Cork campus with a new building that offers space for an additional 1,400 employees.
Apple in 2018 abandoned plans to erect a $1 billion data center in Ireland after it faced pushback from local residents that were concerned about its potential effects on local wildlife and its close proximity to a closed nuclear power plant.
Apple’s website notes that it “has been based in Cork for over 35 years and now directly employs 6,000 people throughout Ireland supporting all aspects of the business.”