Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is presenting an award to Tim Cook to recognize Apple’s 40 years of investment in the country (via Bloomberg).
The award isn’t without criticism though. Apple is one of Ireland’s biggest employers but the country is still dealing with a US$14.4 billion fine from the European Commission over taxes. Apple also canceled a plan to build a US$1 billion data center in west Ireland, citing planning difficulties.
Focus on the visit may be heightened with Varadkar set to face a general election within months. One of the country’s largest opposition parties, Sinn Fein, has criticized the government for fighting the tax case, saying the money should be accepted as a windfall to build homes and hospitals.
The Irish government and Apple both vehemently deny they have done anything wrong.