Date Published: 09-Jun-2011
Former minister Eamon Ó Cuív TD has revealed that crucial advice from bodies such as the IDA, Fáilte Ireland and Enterprise Ireland warned that cutting funding to Galway Airport could have serious implications for future investment in the region.
Ó Cuív said that during the weeks of controversy over whether the Government would come up with the €1 million-plus subvention to pay the airport operating costs, he had held discussions in the background with a number of bodies he considered crucial.
Ó Cuív said that the key consideration had to be whether a decision to refuse the finance to Galway Airport, was disproportionate to the risks involved. According to the Industrial Development Agency, he said, the idea of keeping a functioning airport was important.
“In decision-making such as that involved in Foreign Direct Investment, of course issues like tax rates are important, but when all the financial issues are done out and taken into consideration, then the so-called ‘softer’ things come into play.
“These include things like access, lifestyle, executive lifestyle, good educational facilities, good hospitals and, of course, air access comes into it. It is a consideration that comes into play even if there is a motorway link to Dublin,” he said.
He said that for a company setting up here on
an island off mainland Europe, people would want to see that getting into and out of the place was not a hindrance.
“The question was whether it was worth a figure like €1.5 million to possibly prejudice investment into the region. In fact it is totally disproportionate to the possible saving and certainly according to the IDA the risk is there.”
Ó Cuív said his discussions had included background consultations with bodies such as the IDA, Fáilte Ireland and Enterprise Ireland and the county managers . . . his opinion following this was that “the airport was of significance” in future development.
He said that Transport Minister Leo Varadkar had handled the controversy poorly from the start . . . announcing a decision first so that any variation would be more difficult. It put the minister in a position of real difficulty in any decision to change or vary.
Ó Cuív said he refused to believe that Varadkar could not have found funds in a Department allocation of over €600 million – before he made a move like publicly announcing that there would be no operating expenses funding for Galway.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.