back to article Boss of Irish-based R&D hub: Man, this place is the back of beyond

EMC Ireland country manager Bob Savage is distinctly underwhelmed by Cork Airport. There are 3,000 EMC staff in its Ballincollig, County Cork operation and they are managed by Savage who has been in the country manager role for five years. In an interview in the Irish Independent, he says Cork airport suffers from not having …


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  1. sabba
    Paris Hilton

    So that'll be...

    ...a Savage report on bottlenecks at Cork!!

    1. Fink-Nottle

      Re: So that'll be...

      If the country manager joined an air transport committee based at head office, then that'd make him a country member ...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If he thinks Cork is the back of beyond

    Then perhaps he should visit Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

    now that is the back of beyond. (My employers have several dev teams there)

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: If he thinks Cork is the back of beyond

      > Letterkenny

      But it's the back of a very scenic beyond :) and not far from Harvey's Point in Donegal town for a nice .

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: If he thinks Cork is the back of beyond

      Close to City of Derry/London//Foyle/City airport, just under an hour from Belfast International.

      Hardly the back of beyond.

  3. The Axe

    Sounds like someone saying "It's not fair that we made a bad decision. We shouldn't be penalised for making a mistake. Spend lots of money on our special case please government. Then we can be successful without having to spend any of our own money."

    1. Ralph B

      Sounds like someone regretting a decision made 90 years ago.

      1. Ross K

        Sounds like someone regretting a decision made 90 years ago.

        0 RLY? What decision was that then?

    2. The BigYin

      It's called "cost externalisation"; from banks to movie studios, the big corporates do it all the time.

  4. randomtask


    Working in Derry, Letterkenny always seems like the grass is always greener.

    Dub government shouldn't have backed out of the motorway through the north to Derry/Letterkenny!

    Shower of shitebags!

    1. Shagbag

      Re: Letterkenny

      Is it true that if you visit Cork, what you're actually seeing is something that happened 100 years ago?

      1. randomtask

        Re: Letterkenny

        I think that's east belfast and the titanic "quarter" you're thinking of.

        I've got a fleg in my coat pocket.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Letterkenny

          You tukk er flegssss

          Titanic Quarter actually has a few big names stationed there these days. Close to 2 airports.

  5. Anonymous Coward 101


    It's a shame that all the cheap money flowing into Ireland years ago was spent on now crumbling, empty, housing stock rather than investment in infrastructure. No use looking back with 20/20 hindsight though - nobody back then could have foreseen that this was fucking stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shame

      > investment in infrastructure

      The Belfast-Dublin motorway was a great piece of investment (as was the Dublin-Galway link). Dublin Airport is now close enough to Belfast to be usable as an alternative to Aldergrove, and has flights to more places.

      1. Test Man

        Re: Shame

        The Dublin-Galway motorway/route is good, but barely anyone uses it, compared to a similarly-specced UK motorway, and even considering it's only two lane. What's even more annoying though is the multiple tolls on the route. More (expensive) tolls on that motorway/route than the whole of the UK.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Shame

        "Dublin Airport is now close enough to Belfast to be usable as an alternative to Aldergrove, and has flights to more places."

        US border controls too - you enter the country at the airport and touch down as a domestic arrival!

        Saves a lot of time after a long flight.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Shame

      I don't see how it's relevant here. Cork received a state of the terminal building a few years ago. In fact one of the complaints about it is it's *too* good and *too* expensive.

      For example it's kitted out with automatic boarding ramps but I've yet to see any plane use them - the likes of Ryanair refuse to use them so they can unload their planes from the front and the back at the same time. So we have this modern terminal and yet everyone is forced to haul bags up and down flights of stairs to board planes.

  6. FanMan

    watch out

    You need to watch yourself at Cork airport. I once left a van in the long term car park there and flew back to the Yookay. Three months later I came back to find the van in the same spot, but the area it was in has been re-marked and fenced off as the hire car return park. Accordingly, the van was festooned with stickers, multiple clamped, relieved of a wiper and couple of hub caps, and I was told I'd have to pay 1250 punts to get it out. I talked my way out of it eventually but the whole experience was somewhat Kafkaesque.

    But anyway Mr Savage should include a transit of the Kinsale Road Roundabout as part of the visitor experience - strange, perilous, unforgettable!

    1. joeW

      Re: watch out

      The old "Magic Roundabout" isn't what it used to be since the flyover was built. It's just dangerous now, whereas before the rules of space and time did not apply.

  7. Ross K

    Savage Eye?

    Apple have a factory located on the other side of the city in lovely Hollyhill. I must say I've never heard them complain about transport problems... At least EMC folk don't have to go through the Kinsale Road roundabout to get where they're going.

  8. The Nazz

    Do i understand this correctly....

    The manager of a Company whose primary reason for locating in Ireland, never mind Cork, is to pay as little or no tax as possible, is complaining that there are few services made available to them?

    Stop whinging and re-locate somewhere else then. Oh and pay fair dues.

  9. Robert E A Harvey

    this place is the back of beyond

    ...But the beer is fantastic!

  10. joeW

    I can't argue with anything he's said

    As a Cork native (born and bred and buttered), he's absolutely right. The problems with Cork airport really started with this debt deal - - and have gotten so bad that (as mentioned) you can't actually fly from the Irish capital to the second city anymore.

    Not sure what EMC expect the current (broke) shower to do about it, but there ya go.

  11. James 47

    wrong town

    EMC is in Ovens, not Ballincollig.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rich Ireland was a mirage ..

    The only question is how you all bought into this 'economic miracle' and why your goverment bought up all this toxic bank debt and you're all going to spend decades paying it off. Anyone with half-a-brain could have seen this economic miracle was a mirage. The strategy is similar to what is currrently being practiced in Cypris, the financial sector bankrupts the state and then gets them to take on board more toxic loans from the private sector. The same strategy being foisted on the various Euro Zone countries, to similar effect. Hence the economic 'cricises' bouncing from one to the other.

    The Irish Economic Miracle Sep 2006

    Remember "The Irish Economic Miracle"? June 2010

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Capitalism without bancruptcy is like religion without hell.

    But as others have pointed out you moved your operation there for the low taxes and you weren't bothered by the infrastructure then.

    I'd have to admit that a city that does not have good links even with its capital is not doing well.

    That would be something like Birmingham not having a direct flight to London.

    1. Ken 16 Bronze badge

      Re: Capitalism without bancruptcy is like religion without hell.

      Does Birmingham have a direct flight to London?

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        Does Birmingham have a direct flight to London?

        I do hope not. That would undermine HS2

        1. Pookietoo

          Re: Does Birmingham have a direct flight to London?

          I see you can get B'ham-London return flights for £150-200, via Belfast or IoM. :-)

      2. Phlip

        Re: Capitalism without bancruptcy is like religion without hell.

        Birmingham doesn't have direct flights to London as far as I can see. But why on Earth would it? There are 8 trains an hour between Birmingham and London with the quicket (Virgin - every 20 minutes) taking about 1 hour 25 minutes and stop at Birmingham airport on the way. You're in London before you'd have even taken off.

        I'd suggest the situation for Cork should be similar, but isn't.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once in Ballincollig, you can never leave!

    It seems EMC has found a way to lock in their employees. Put them in in the back of beyond, be pretty sure that every flight has several employees on board so going to interviews is tough, and I bet the cost of housing is really low, making moves difficult for families.

    But the beer is good, and they make poteen locally!

  15. Mr Young
    Thumb Up

    Up your game man!

    Buy your very own field and a Cessna - that will impress the customers:)

  16. Steady Eddy


    It's tough at the top.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ireland, a first world country...?

    Anyone thinking of relocating to Ireland should note that it isn't really a first world country with first-class cities such as London IMHO. The costs for what you get in return are high. Ireland is quite friendly and laid back, especially Cork, whose streets are filed with lovelies, but there are drawbacks. Clearly companies relocate here for the low-tax offerings and not the infrastructure.

    What follows is critical and I apologize in advance, but having moved between the UK, Amsterdam, Portugal, Italy, USA, Japan, China, and South America, I've had my eyes firmly opened. Ireland is small, we don't have the numbers to fund quality infrastructure projects. The result is we're quite like developing countries such as found in South America. For instance Dublin is a sprawling low-rise city quite like Bogota. On the tech side, Irish internet service offerings are below par versus other EU cities, and we let ourselves down with a lack of modern transportation, as this article clearly demonstrates.

    It seems hard to believe there is no flight from Cork to Dublin, WTF? The train is brutally expensive for what it is and business travellers routinely get fleeced! Bus Eireann is cheap, but isn't comfortable when a bunch of drunken / hungover lads get on! Its a pity when we had money we pissed it away on badly thought out micro-roundabouts, overkill traffic lights, and badly thought out splinter roads in Dublin and elsewhere. We could have spent that EU money on better infrastructure projects to better link Dublin, Cork, Galway and other cities etc.

    The article reminds me of all the half-baked transport projects in Dublin. For instance, you won't find a Metro rail system linking the Capital to its Airport because we botched it. In fact it was shelved in recent months. That's a real shame as the Metro North to Dublin Airport project would have added a feature that's expected in other world class cities. Instead we're going ahead with connecting the Red and Green tram lines, which should have been done from the outset, but we're so dysfunctional we used different sized incompatible tracks.

    The Irish government could have deregulated the Dublin bus service to compensate, thus allowing private operators to offer shuttle services around the city centre linking the Dart, Red and Green tram lines, and providing a service to shoppers wanting to get from Grafton Street to O'Connell street. This is the type of service other cities provide. But no, instead all the buses continue to route into the city centre causing chaotic congestion. Our roads are narrow and so our bus corridors don't work properly.

    It is nearly impossible to find a single reliable bus that will take you across Dublin City without needing two buses through the centre, which takes forever. CIE cut back on bus services too because of congestion, and so people have had to return to their cars or cycle, the latter meaning you're fodder for trucks on our narrow windy footpaths of roads. All one is left with is taking taxis, and the costs can rival Tokyo.

    In short, the 'Rip off Republic' got its nickname for good reason!

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Ireland, a first world country...?

      Nah, deregulating the buses would be a huge error of judgement. That's the system that pertains in the UK outside London, and it is (with some exceptions) a mess. From the sounds of it, the existing bus provision in Dublin sounds like a mess, but best not compound the errors.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Bus Deregulation can work case study = was a success. It offers a reliable GPS trackable shuttle service direct to Dublin Airport and back with select stops at hotels...

        1. Al Jones

          Re: Bus Deregulation can work case study =

          Aircoach charges EUR7 to get from the Airport to Dublin City Centre, versus EUR 2.80 to get Dublin Bus on the same route.

          Aircoach is a great service for getting between the airport and most major hotels in the Dublin area, but it's hardly an argument in favour of Bus deregulation - for a start, it's managed to be successful without Dublin Bus being regulated.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bus Deregulation can work case study =

            @Al Jones

            A. "Aircoach is a great service for getting between the airport and most major hotels in the Dublin area, but it's hardly an argument in favour of Bus deregulation - for a start, it's managed to be successful without Dublin Bus being regulated."

            B. "Actually, a private "Air taxi" service between Dublin and Cork might not be such a bad idea, given the number of tech firms that might take advantage of it."

            OK, forget deregulation. Taking your point B, lets just add more private operators...

            But don't let them get squeezed out of business by CIE bully boy tactics as was reported in recent years...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ireland, a first world country...?

        I went to College in the UK post Maggie privatising and deregulating everything, and agree it was a mess. I travel in and around London a lot and agree the trains and buses can be a let a down. But if the subsidized Bus service remains the same, nothing will ever change here and we need change. Having all the buses funnel into the city centre is just insane. We need buses that cross the city laterally!

        We're now completely out of money so it becomes increasingly impossible to keep subsiding the existing sub-par service. Limiting Privatising could add value. At the very least it would save the government from investing in projects like little IMP buses that blew up in their face a couple of decades ago. The private sector would be better placed to fund these types of risky projects.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ireland, a first world country...?

        'Nah, deregulating the buses would be a huge error of judgement.'

        Ok, not government funded then... But we desperately need a frequent mini-SHUTTLE service connecting the DART, RED LUAS, GREEN LUAS to City Centre Shopping areas.

        The bus could be small to ease congestion and operate in a loop so it becomes predicable. Unlike the current mess where you can see two or three buses on the same route travelling into town back to back and then nothing after for three hours! Why does no one get fired for this!

        The Dart and Luas are much more reliable than the buses. So a reliable shuttle service linking these would be better than the existing crappy bus system.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ireland, a first world country...?

          You do understand that in a congested network where passenger numbers start to peak at rush hour, the first bus that comes along is delayed at each stop as it takes on passengers, so that subsequent buses pass those stops without as much delay (because there are fewer waiting passengers to pick up) so the 2nd and 3rd busses travel faster and catch up on the first bus.

          It's really not a conspiracy by the bus drivers to piss you off.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ireland, a first world country...?

            Granted, and that applies rightly to the 46A Stillorgan DR route. But I'm talking more about the 18 and 17 buses that travel laterally across the city. They are infrequent buses, about every hour.

            So why not have a strategy where the lesser filled bus waits a few minutes along the route so both buses don't trip each other up? this applies especially for those buses arriving in the city centre at the same time.

            I'm not hearing any useful suggestions from you btw and I'm just saying that I haven't seen a problem this bad in other countries.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ireland, a first world country...?

      Regulation / Deregulation.... who can say for sure what will work best, but something needs to change regarding CIE / Bus Eireann, as cases like one below this prove :-

      "In a sense what can only be described as a closed shop operates to the extent that CIE/Bus Éireann are acting in consort with the Minister to exclude all other players," ...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cork city - population 119K

    okay... who thinks that a city with population of 119K and perhaps double that in its hinterland can reasonably expect to financially support regular international flights. Even San Jose in silicon valley has a limited range of international flights with most going to San Francisco.

    Lets get real... small cities (towns really) do not need international airports nor can they support them... anywhere in the work.

    1. Al Jones

      Re: Cork city - population 119K

      Co Cork has a population of half a million (I know, it surprised me too!), While some of these are as close to Shannon airport as they are to Cork airport, if the services were there, ORK would also serve South Kerry, South Tipp and West Waterford. (Waterford City is 50 Km closer to Cork than Dublin, but the driving time is the same).

  19. DathBrun

    With Cork being the largest county in the country, you might expect a reasonable responsible government to plan infrastructure accordingly as time passes and things develop. A big picture. You would expect that nationally too, not just pointing at Cork. But our government, past, present and future, IMHO, is not competent and never will be to take a long term view. Sadly that's only ever done on the private side.

    Cork is high tech area, attracting a lot of companies and its happening across the country too in other cities. . They still come despite the rubbish flights and lousy infrastructure. Maybe the government might get the hint. Probably not though.

    1. Al Jones

      Re: Maybe the government might get the hint

      Last I checked, Governments have been getting out of the business of running airlines. If RyanAir and AerLingus don't think they can make money flying in and out of Cork Airport, I'm not sure what you think the Government should do about it.

  20. DrXym Silver badge

    Not really the back of beyond

    Cork is host to quite a few large multinational operations as well as a raft of medium size ones and for its size has a pretty decent airport with a nice modern terminal. It could do with a few more routes going to the airport though. It's a nice compact city for a weekend away too.

  21. Andrew Moore
    Thumb Down

    Thanks RyanAir...

    There used to be a decent air service between Dublin and Cork- it was run by Aer Arran as a EU POS. Then Ryanair came in, edged them out and eventually decided not to service the route anymore. I think the same thing happened with Dublin to Kerry too.

  22. Seanmon
    Thumb Up

    sed -i 's/Cork/Glasgow/'

    Third biggest city in the UK (pop. about 650K IIRC) and you can fly to London or to bangin' party town destinations. Usually with Ryanair.

    We kept getting told we're a "premier league" European destination, but not with connections like these. Glasgow airport is probably the handiest airport in Europe for access from the city centre, and what do our fearless leaders do? Axe the proposed rail link. Sigh, it could have been so good.

    [Edit] Actually I just checked and it's not quite that bad anymore. Paris and Berlin have now appeared on a list that previously had Amsterdam as the sole European capital.

    1. Ross K

      Re: sed -i 's/Cork/Glasgow/'

      Glasgow airport is probably the handiest airport in Europe for access from the city centre, and what do our fearless leaders do? Axe the proposed rail link. Sigh, it could have been so good.

      You can hardly compare Glasgow and Cork in terms of infrastructure.

      The M8 is right next to Glasgow Airport.

      You can walk out the door,get on the motorway and be in the centre of Glasgow in 10-15 minutes...

      The rail link was never needed - if you wanted to get the train, you could get off at Paisley Gilmour (or Paisley St. James if you wanted to cadge a lift off one of the airport parking buses). Scottish taxpayers should be thankful that idea never got off the ground - pardon the pun...

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: sed -i 's/Cork/Glasgow/'

        You can be in the middle of Cork from the airport in 10-15 minutes, assuming it isn't rush hour. Almost a straight run in aside from the roundabout. Rush hour is another matter though because everyone empties out of the nearby business park and it can take 10 minutes to clear the lights at the bottom.

        1. Ross K

          Re: sed -i 's/Cork/Glasgow/'

          DrXym, I'm more than familiar with both places thanks. I'd prefer to deal with Kingston Bridge traffic - at least that moves during rush hour and you don't have to deal with people who don't know how to use a roundabout...

  23. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    If he wants someone to get transport services improved in his part of Eire, he should see the Blessed Virgin Mary - she works wonders in that regard.

    (don't Knock it)

  24. Shasta McNasty


    They could charter a small plane to take their guests from/to Dublin Airport?

    Ireland has far bigger problems than expanding Cork Airport.

    1. Al Jones

      Re: Alternatively

      Actually, a private "Air taxi" service between Dublin and Cork might not be such a bad idea, given the number of tech firms that might take advantage of it.

  25. My New Handle

    Change of Use - EMCs fault

    Oh noes! EMC site a premises in Ireland. Then, some time later, they change its purpose/use and find that the transport infrastructure is inadequate to that new use. And they expect the country to pick up the tab to re-work the transport just for them? What an almighty #fail on their part. Serves them bloody well right.

    If yer don't like it, yer knows what to do with it fellas.

    1. Al Jones

      Re: Change of Use - EMCs fault

      He didn't ask anyone to pick up the tab to rework the transport for them - he is quoted as saying that getting more hi-tech firms into the area might generate enough additional demand that the commercial airlines would actually start to use the already existing infrastructure!

      The airport is already there, it's just badly under-utilized. For flights to Dublin, there's competition between a 2.5-3.5 hour drive versus an hour at the airport, 30 minutes in the air, and and hour to get from Dublin airport to wherever it was in Dublin you really wanted to go to - Cork isn't quite far enough from Dublin to make that route commercially attractive.

      It's 260 Km from Cork to Dublin. The train takes 2.5 hours. It should only take 90 minutes. That would be the best solution for Dublin to Cork traffic, but it wouldn't address the need for US based businesses traveling to Cork - that really does need better DUB-ORK, LHR-ORK or NYC-ORK links. (SFO-ORK probably isn't likely to be on the cards any time soon!)

      1. Ross K

        Re: Change of Use - EMCs fault


        You're joking, right?

        I believe you can land a 747 at ORK in an emergency - you just won't be able to take off again. Not with passengers and luggage anyway...

        In any case the demand isn't there, despite what some guy in EMC would have you believe.

        I'm sure EMC are rich enough to fly VIPs in on a Gulfstream anyway.

  26. daveycork

    EMC Corporate Jet Fleet at Cork

    Looks like things aren't too bad after all.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Daren Nestor

    Cork was a political bondoggle

    The only reason there's an international Cork airport is because Micheal Martin was the transport minister and pressured the DAA into supporting what was a tiny regional airport a-la Galway into a European stop at the expense of Shannon. The DAA were all for it because it gave them an excuse to get US Immigration and Customs control into Dublin by running Shannon into the ground. It was, and is, a disgrace. (There is more than one case of an airline enquiring about access to Shannon and being told that they could use Dublin or Cork as their hub)

    As for transport links - the train to Dublin from Cork is €19.99 and takes about 2 hours. There is a direct motorway the entire way from Cork to Dublin Airport also, so that would take about 2 1/2 hours also, so it's not like it's actually in the middle of nowhere. Of course, if the politics of the situation hadn't "shelved" the Limerick/Cork motorway it would be about an hour from Cork to Shannon.

    Well, Shannon is on it's own two feet now, so hopefully it will be able to attract airlines without being sabotaged.

    1. Daren Nestor

      Re: Cork was a political bondoggle

      "Of course, if the politics of the situation hadn't "shelved" the Limerick/Cork motorway it would be about an hour from Cork to Shannon."

      I meant to say - "if the financial situation hadn't "shelved" the Limerick/Cork motorway it would be about an hour from Cork to Shannon."

  28. daveycork

    Nestor, that is idiotic. An international airport has existed here since the sixties. It consistently has higher passenger numbers than Shannon and you call it a small regional airport a la Galway? Laughable.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Daren Nestor

      Some information

      Admittedly there was an "International Airport" that mainly served London. But the most dramatic increase of passengers and routes through Cork started in the 90's. I may be wrong about Micheal Martin's role (and in fairness he was never Minister for Transport) but people involved have told me that they approached him to get government backing for a major expansion. (I know, someone on the internet claims to have inside knowledge)

      Even today Shannon has higher passenger numbers and higher freight numbers (and one of the longest runways in Western Europe).

  29. daveycork

    If you read Savage's comments, there is no mention of "back of beyond". Hardly as Cork was recommended by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit. Also, Ballincollig is a conjoined suburb by the way.

    EMC/VMWare/VCE have been expanding quickly, things can't be too bad. Apple have been here 30 years and are about to go to 3,300 employees.

    Check out for details of 300 IT-related businesses in Cork employing over 30,000 people.

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