Minister Paschal Donohoe gave a comprehensive address at Ennis Chamber President’s Lunch on Monday, March 20th, to a packed room at Temple Gate Hotel.
This year’s President’s Lunch was sponsored by offshore wind energy company Simply Blue Group and the theme was “Offshore Wind Energy Opportunities for County Clare”.
During his address, Minister Donohoe praised the endeavour of SMEs in County Clare in revitalising the Irish economy and noted that government supports over recent years greatly assisted that recovery.
While he acknowledged the difficulties some businesses are experiencing trying to attract staff, and said the government has to provide more social housing, Minister Donohoe sounded an optimistic note saying, “the country is on a sound financial footing despite the major challenges presenters by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and the war in Ukraine.
He pointed to government successes including a record number of people in employment, a record number of young people and women in employment and a budget surplus of €5billion. Minister Donohoe reported that capital expenditure on roads, schools and hospitals has more than trebled from €3.6billion in 2016 to €12billion today.
Praise for Ennis Chamber
Minister Donohoe said it was a pleasure and privilege to address business people at the annual Ennis Chamber President’s Lunch. He said, “It is great to be able to meet businesspeople in what is clearly an exceptional Chamber of Commerce.”
He added, “To make an event like this successful not only does it depend on volunteers and businesses who want to participate and support it, it also depends on the dedication of those who are involved in leading it”.
Minister Donohoe praised Ennis Chamber President Colin Ryan and Chief Executive Margaret O’Brien for their work and their intimate knowledge of how an effective Chamber operates.
In addition to Minister Donohoe’s presentation, two additional excellence addresses were made at this year’s Ennis Chamber President’s Lunch. Dr Val Cummins , director, Simply Blue Group, explained the need to move quickly in order to capitalise on the opportunities for floating wind energy off the Clare Coast, to reap the substantial benefits of same. Meanwhile, Interim CEO of the Western Development Commission gave an overview of his organisations activities and raised awareness within the room of what the WDC can bring to the Clare economy.
Dr Val Cummins, Simply Blue Group, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy , Mayor of Ennis, Minister Donohoe. Colin Ryan, President Ennis Chamber and Marie Gleeson, Simply Blue Group.
Photos by : Arthur Ellis
Caption: Minister Paschal Donohoe keeps his eye on the ball!
Presidents from Ennis Chamber recent past and present – L to R : Darragh McAllister, Allen Flynn, Minister Paschal Donohoe, Gwen Culligan and current Ennis Chamber President Colin Ryan