We have an onus to make Galway more vibrant and enhanced for next generation, says chamber president

Pictured at one of the many job announcements by An Taoiseach this week are Deirdre Kilkenny, Valeo, and  An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and Catherina Blewitt, west regional business & relationship manager IDA at Valeo Tuam.  Photo: Andrew Downes.

Pictured at one of the many job announcements by An Taoiseach this week are Deirdre Kilkenny, Valeo, and An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and Catherina Blewitt, west regional business & relationship manager IDA at Valeo Tuam. Photo: Andrew Downes.

There is an onus on Galway to deliver to the next generation a more enhanced and vibrant city, the president of Galway Chamber told more than 200 business leaders who attended the Galway Chamber Business Briefing and the Galway Chamber Port Development Committee update on Monday.

The briefing was to update the business community on the Galway Chamber proposed economic development plan for Galway.

The meeting was in two sessions. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD was special guest at the first session of the meeting titled “The Economy and Galway”, which was addressed by Mayor of Galway City, Cllr. Donal Lyons and the President of Galway Chamber , Frank Greene.

Representatives from the city’s key business organisations were present including Galway Chamber, Galway City Business Association, The Latin Quarter, The West End and Salthill.com Several city councillors were in the audience before departing to City Hall for the annual budget meeting.

Speaking at the event Chamber President Frank Greene, said that Galway’s future was dependent on its capacity to be a major driver of development within a thriving region.

“The future of our region needs a radical new approach to economic development. Major new promotion of indigenous enterprise is required, together with full exploitation of resources and assets particularly the Blue economy,” said Mr Greene

He went on to recommend eight development initiatives which were crucial for the creation of jobs and for the promotion of equity and balance between the development of the City and County of Galway. According to Mr Greene a critical initiative was the development of Galway port.

“There are compelling reasons why this port development must go ahead”, said Mr. Greene,

“Doing nothing is not an option,” said Mr.Greene “Doing nothing” means there will be no commercial port in Galway in 20 years or less. There has been a commercial port in Galway for nearly a thousand years. Just like the family farm, each generation is the custodian of that port and there is an onus on us to hand it down to the next generation enhanced and more vibrant than we received it,” concluded Mr. Greene

Responding to his comments, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he had “listened carefully” to the comments of the Mayor and the President of Galway Chamber with “great interest”. He said he could not discuss the port development in any detail as it is currently the subject of a live planning application.

Posing a series of questions the Taoiseach asked “Where do you want to be in 10 years’ time in this City? Will the planning process have evolved to a point where the proposals for the port are approved in that form or some other form? Will your traffic in the west be on the bypass road? Will you have won for the European City of Culture for 2020? Will all the propositions you have put forward here become a reality?”

The Taoiseach assured the audience that “there is no reason why they shouldn’t”.

Continuing he said, “there is one thing we have learned over the years and that is, if the Irish apply themselves to singular objectives with a sense of common purpose there is nothing to stop us, nothing.“ he said.

After the Taoiseach departed the second session of the meeting titled “Galway Port Development Update” commenced.

John Lawlor of DKM Consultants outlined to the packed meeting the key economic benefits of the development to the city and the region.

Gus McCarthy, planning consultant, provided the meeting with an update on the current status of the planning process, timelines and important dates. He advised the meeting that the deadline for submissions to An Bord Pleanala regarding the further information provided by the applicant is December 5.

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