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Study provides comprehensive snapshot of economic landscape across city and county



Galway City Council CEO Brendan McGrath, Galway City Mayor Cllr Frank Fahy, Galway County CEO Kevin Kellyand Galway County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Peter Roche at the launch of the Baseline Study.

Galway’s two local authorities this week launched an Economic Baseline Study – to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the city and county in relation its demographic base.

The study, which was carried out by The Whitaker Institute in NUI Galwa,y collates all available information relating to socio-economic indicators in Galway.

Two high-level summaries, one for Galway City and one for Galway County, have been produced.

In addition, an accompanying has been developed.

Speaking at the launch in the Galway Bay Hotel, which was attended by about 50 representatives of local business, politicians and other interest groups Cllr Peter Roche, Cathaoirleach of County Galway said that the baseline reports are tools which will be invaluable for both authorities in their efforts over the coming months to set down the future direction for economic development in County Galway.

“Galway City and County are reliant on one another for development and working together on an economic strategy makes perfect sense,” he said.

They will also be critical in the preparation of the Local Economic and Community Plans and the LEADER programme that the Councils are involved in preparing.

Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of Galway City Council commented: ‘Galway City Council aims to position Galway as a world-class city of innovation and creativity.

“We are actively working on a number of strategies that will guide our vision for Galway over the next few years and the Economic Baseline Study will help inform these strategies.

“It is an exciting time for Galway. Our bid for European Capital of Culture 2020 builds on previous successes, such as the UNESCO City of Film designation, the Urbanism Great Town award, the Purple Flag award and the FDI Micro-City of the Year award.”

“There are major challenges and opportunities ahead for the city and we would encourage all groups, organisations and individuals to get involved in our public consultation processes to ensure that everyone has their say on the future development of our city and county,” said Mr McGrath

As background documents, reviews were prepared outlining strengths, opportunities and recommendations for nine industrial sectors in Galway – marine, agriculture, education, med-tech, ICT, food, tourism, retail and creative.

As part of the launch event, a facilitated round table discussion took place to allow comment and feedback on the Economic Baseline Study and to capture views on the way forward in developing the Economic Strategy for the City and County.

Information on the Economic Baseline Study is available on www.galwaydashboard.ieor email c& for further details.


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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