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Galway car market gets back in gear



Car sales...on the rise again.

The new car market in Galway has recovered from the collapse which saw dozens of jobs lost and several dealerships go out of business – sales during 2014 were up by more than one-quarter on the previous year

Dealers say an increase in consumer confidence, coupled with the passing of the ‘unlucky 13’ number plates have led to the increase in sales.

And they expect a further increase in sales in 2015 of up to around 20%.

Statistics compiled for the Connacht Tribune show that sales for new cars in Galway City and County from January to December 2014 are up 27.6% on the same period last year (from 2,961 to 3,777).

Sales of new commercial vehicles and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are up by more than half – from 586 to 892, while new motorbike sales are relatively static at 22 (21 last year).

The statistics, provided to us by car history checking website, show that the VW Golf was once again the most popular new car in Galway.

Brian Kenny, Managing Director of Kenny Galway said the market has seen a very positive change which looks set to continue, and that dealers are “over the hump”, which saw sales collapse in 2008.

“New vehicle sales are up by around 30% on last year, but you need to bear in mind that sales were recovering from a low base, because last year had the number plate issue [superstitious motorists not wanting ‘13’ registrations].

“Confidence is also increasing, and you will hear that from many retailers around town. Our orders for 2015 are already up significantly, so that’s positive too. It’s early days yet, but sales could be up in 2015 by 15-20%. We have a very positive outlook, much better than recent years,” said Mr Kenny.

He added that secondhand sales are also booming. “Secondhand sales are in very good shape, we have had out best year since 2006 or 2007. People are spending,” he said.

The Top 10 most popular new cars in Galway during the past year were the VW Golf (up 22% to 230); Toyota Corolla (up 276% to 211); Nissan Qashqai (up 21% to 165); Ford Focus (up 34% 148); Ford Fiesta (up 38% to 145); Skoda Octavia (down 1% to 102); VW Passat (down 5% to 101); Toyota Auris (down 14% to 101); Toyota Auris (up 48% to 99) and the Opel Astra up 48% to 99.

The majority (2,900) were diesel engines; followed by 811 petrol; 59 hybrid and seven electric cars.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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