Facebook heads for the Emerald Isle

The social network has revealed it will establish an operations centre in Dublin, with reports of a staff size of 70.

Facebook is to set up an international operations centre in Dublin, officials revealed yesterday.

Following some months of speculation about where the online social networking site would choose to locate its first operations office outside the US, it said it had chosen the Irish capital for its multilingual pool of talent and the government's favourable fiscal incentives for tech companies.

Facebook will join other tech giants - including Google, Amazon, Palm and eBay - who have taken advantage of low corporate tax rates to set up European bases in the city.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer said in a statement: "After exploring various locations throughout the region, we decided Ireland was the best place to establish our new headquarters."

But any other details about the new centre were limited. It is understood that the Dublin centre will provide a range of operational, technical, support and sales services to users in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Its existing commercial office in London will remain unaffected.

Facebook was staying tight-lipped about any further details on the new office, except to say it would be "starting small". But reports have suggested it is looking to recruit at least 70 staff initially.

A statement issued by Barry O'Leary, the chief executive of the International Development Agency (IDA) Ireland added his response to the announcement.

"I understand their recruitment activities are underway and Irish positions are already posted to their website," he said.

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