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Ireland has the resources to develop regional prosperity – Ibec

Ireland has reached potentially the greatest moment in its economic history and has the resources at its disposal to develop greater regional prosperity, Ibec CEO Danny McCoy has told its members in a series of regional events across the country.  

Ibec’s Regional Insights Series 2019 attracted hundreds of business owners and managers across seven locations in Athlone, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny and Limerick. The annual series is an opportunity for Ibec to connect and interact with members as it develops policies to make our regions better places to live, work and grow and how best to plan for a new era of work.

Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “Across the country, we are hearing a consistent message from our members who see the development of infrastructure as key to remaining competitive and easing the problems evident in housing, skills and transport. Ireland has the resources to address these issues and so we need to prioritise solutions that maintain and develop regional prosperity.”

The primary event partner for this year’s regional series was Gas Networks Ireland, with associate event sponsor An Post Commerce, and media partner, The Irish Times.

Ian O’Flynn, Head of Commercial and Corporate Affairs at Gas Networks Ireland said: “The Ibec regional series is a wonderful opportunity to engage with and listen to the business community across the country on how we can work together and secure a clean energy future for Ireland. Sustainability is a key priority for Gas Networks Ireland and we are delighted to be involved with Ibec’s campaign to help shape a better and more sustainable future for Ireland. Ireland’s gas network has a major role to play in reducing the country’s carbon emissions, while still maintaining the security and cost effectiveness of our energy supply.”

In the West, Ibec’s priorities for a more sustainable and balanced future include:

  • Upgrade strategic road infrastructure, including the Galway Ring Road and M17 Tuam to Sligo.
  • Invest in vital public transport across metropolitan Galway capable of supporting significant levels of population and employment growth. 
  • The region faces a number of capacity constraints in areas such as transport, connectivity and housing that are impacting on quality of life and damaging the competitiveness of the region
  • Overhaul the regime for planning consents and appeals to ensure fewer projects get bogged down in lengthy delays. 
  • Housing supply is a challenge making business expansion increasingly difficult. The right housing and tenure mix (e.g. apartment focus, rental sector, ageing population, students, social housing, affordable housing etc).
  • Targeted infrastructure spend to unlock sites capable of delivering large scale housing developments.
  • Increased funding to enable the higher education institutions in the region to cater for rising student numbers and growing skills shortages. 
  • Higher density development across metropolitan Galway to achieve the objective of compact, smart growth through urban infill
  • Speedy roll-out of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) to support the region to attract, develop and retain a vibrant business ecosystem of start-ups, indigenous SMEs and multinational enterprises . 
  • 5G delivery to help transform healthcare, manufacturing and transport.


From left: Cormac MacDonncha, Operations Director, ThermoKing Galway; Danny McCoy, CEO, Ibec; and Evelyn Preston, SME Sales and Connections Manager, Gas Networks Ireland.