APPLE boss Tim Cook received a hero's reception at the company's European headquarters on the northside of Cork yesterday.
Mr Cook was in Ireland to accept an award for special recognition for investment in Ireland from the Investment Promotion and Development Agency in the National Concert Hall in Dublin.
He then visited Apple's plant in Hollyhill where he was warmly greeted by staff.
He Tweeted: "Celebrating 40 years of Apple in Ireland with our remarkable and growing team at Hollyhill! Your hard work and dedication to our customers and the communities we serve reflects the best of what we stand for. Here’s to the next 40!"
Mr Cook has heaped praise on the company's Cork operation, describing it as a key component in the success of the technology giant.
Apple established its first operation in Europe in Cork in 1980 and currently employs more than 6,000 people across the country, with over 104 nationalities represented.
Mr Cook said: "It is no exaggeration that Cork gave Apple the sure foundation that made us the company that we are today, those first 60 employees took a chance on an idea that seemed a little crazy in 1990, today we have nearly 6,000 employees across Ireland, and tell the story of Ireland's welcoming and inclusive culture."
He added that Apple's commitment to Ireland is "unshakeable".
“We chose Cork to be our first operation outside Cupertino and our gateway to our European customers for good reason. It sits at a geopolitical, economic and cultural crossroads, where the winds of innovation and opportunity blow freely.”