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Connacht Tribune

IDA faces ‘fierce competition’ to attract jobs to the West

Enda Cunningham



The IDA is facing “fierce competition” to attract Foreign Direct Investment to the West of Ireland – but the presence of global giants here acts as a top reference for Galway.

And with hundreds of jobs created by IDA-supported companies in Galway during 2017, the number of site visits here by potential investors is on the rise.

Government figures show there were a total of 43 IDA-sponsored site visits to County Galway up to the end of September 2017 (the most up-to-date figure available), which is up from 42 for all of 2016 and 41 for all of 2015.

The only county with more site visits was Dublin (247 up to the end of September 2017), while Cork had 38 and Westmeath 34.

IDA Ireland’s Head of Regional Development, Anne-Marie Tierney-Le Roux told the Connacht Tribune that while the agency has had a good success rate in attracting multinationals, it has been an extremely competitive process.

“Every investment for Galway and the West region is hard won and the agency competes with other European and global locations as well as other locations within Ireland.

“Competition is fierce, but we will continue to work hard to win any and all potential investment for Galway and the West.

“Galway has proven itself to be an excellent location for investment, as evidenced by the number of global companies of international repute that we have here. Our value proposition is strong, we have demonstrated that we can meet their needs; we have the skilled workers, connectivity, the required level of infrastructure, services and third-level institutes they look for, coupled with a robust and supportive business culture and we will leverage that to the fullest extent.

“Working with established companies to help them develop and grow jobs is an important focus for us and in 2017, we saw SAP and Shopify do just that, adding 250 new jobs between them.

“It’s important to note too that the move to new premises demonstrates considerable commitment by companies to Galway and the West region, as in the case of Wood Group and MetLife.

“We should also remember the companies in Galway and the West region who have great longevity, and the benefit to the local economy that has accrued from their long presence here.

“Companies like Penn Engineering who established operations in Galway 16 years ago and this year celebrated the company’s 75th anniversary with a substantial facility expansion,” said Ms Tierney-Le Roux.

Looking to the coming year, the IDA’s Acting Regional Business Development Manager for the West region, Emma Goode, said the outlook is very positive.

“There is a lot to be optimistic about. We have a vibrant technology hub here. Our Med Tech sector is strong. The presence of global companies in these spaces here in Galway acts as an excellent reference seller for further investment.

“Site visits by potential investors are up on 2016. Another plus is the new Advance Technology Building for Galway which is being constructed as part of IDA’s property investment programme for the West Region.

“Construction is underway and the property is being marketed by IDA as a turn-key solution for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). We have had enquiries about it already,” she said.

That development in Parkmore East will see 45,000 square foot of office space – for up to 300 workers – completed by the middle of 2018 by the IDA along with Singapore investment fund Fine Grain Properties.

Galway’s reputation as an excellent location for companies to establish operations was further enhanced by a number of job announcements in 2017, the IDA officials said.

Announcements were made by two established companies; global software company SAP in May (150 new jobs) and commerce platform company Shopify in July (100 jobs) and new Italian company Antares Vision in December (53 jobs).

“Other activity during 2017 included Wood Group’s official launch of its new Data Analytics Centre of Excellence with the company planning to grow the data analytics team to ten people by year end and with the intention of developing further employment opportunities this coming year.

“In May, OpenJaw Technologies, the travel software company, announced 50 jobs between operations in Galway and Dublin.

“In September Penn Engineering officially opened an 80,000 sq ft facility. The expansion brings the total footprint of Penn Engineering operations in Galway to in excess of 200,000 sq ft The company employs 200 people.

“Another company which opened new premises in Galway in 2017 was MetLife. The official opening of their new Global Technology Campus in Galway took place in November.

“With plans to employ approximately 200 skilled IT professionals when at full capacity, the new campus represents a major investment in the digital initiatives that will help MetLife transform its customers’ experience around the globe,” said Ms Goode.

Galway currently has 68 IDA Ireland client companies, providing employment to 16,851 people.

Connacht Tribune

The Herbal Academy’s leading course on living a healthy life




There has already been a phenomenal upsurge in the use of holistic treatments to deal with a whole host of common ailments – but a Galway herbalist and educator has now taken this to the next level.

Because Tuam-based Patrick Murphy – owner and founder of the Herbal Academy – believes that that anyone can learn to make and use herbal remedies at home, for their own wellbeing and that of their families and clients.

Which is the ethos behind the Herbal Academy as an institute of alternative medicine for the general public, delivering a variety of courses completely online to allow for remote learning.

The courses offered at the academy, designed by Patrick, were produced during the lockdown months – and now the work is ready to be presented to the public.

The Herbal Academy itself was developed to use a unique blend of Western Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine to learn how to create a range of holistic treatments for common ailments.

And, as Patrick points out, all of this can be safely used alongside medical treatments, if necessary.

His philosophy in his work is to ‘cleanse, nourish and heal’ – and that is woven through the course material, which he has written and which is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

It’s the latest career evolution for Patrick Murphy, who as the Skin Herbalist, provided his first herbal remedies to his patients back in 1995 – with good results.

Then as different ailments emerged in his patients, he would accommodate them by using new herbal formulas, again with marked success. These formulas worked well with subsequent patients that they became standard.

His true philosophy is ‘getting to the root cause of the disorder’, helping him to create healing tonic herbals. These herbs help the body overcome disease by strengthening through cleansing and nourishing.

Patrick’s ultimate vision is to cleanse and nourish so the body can heal, using wild crafted, organic herbs.

The Herbal Academy itself has a comprehensive mission statement.

It aims ‘to empower energy, wellbeing, and confidence, physically and mentally by imparting knowledge of healing, nourishing, and cleansing the body using natural, organic, earth-sourced sustainable herbs and supplements that focus on treating the root causes of ailments rather than just the symptoms’.

The Academy offers three courses – the Foundation Course; Herbal Home Remedies, and Colour Therapy.

Material on the Foundation Course is aimed to provide the basics in herbalism, that students can recognize and devise effective herbal treatments for themselves and others and to educate themselves in how to use herbal remedies for first aid use and how to use alongside mainstream medical treatments.

Participants will also gain the knowledge of distinguishing between supplements and their properties as well as learning to make their own effective herbal treatments for a range of common ailments including common colds, IBS and various skin conditions.

Those studying Herbal Home Remedies will learn of the herbal remedies available to treat an array of situations such as insomnia, infections, rashes, coughs, digestive issues, stings/bites, bruises, and joint problems amongst many others.

Students will learn to prepare these remedies using a range of fruits, spices, oils, and herbs-all ingredients that are completely natural and have been used and relied on for centuries to promote wellbeing and vitality.

Colour Therapy is used as part of medical practice for hundreds of years, colour therapy is an important element in the holistic approach to complimentary health practice.

In this course, people will identify and understand the need for certain colour themes in their lives and how to use it for healing, good health, relaxation and protection as well as learning how to use this therapy to compliment other therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and aromatherapy.

“The Herbal Academy is delivered completely through online learning. No prior experience is necessary,” says Patrick Murphy.

“The courses can be accessed on the website instantly and offers a payment plan to spread the cost if needed. Upon completion, students will receive accredited certificates for each course.

“We have a special limited time offer in place from now until September 30 – if you order the Foundation Herbal Medicine Course, you get the Colour Therapy and Healing for free.”

Patrick also has his own herbal dispensary, stocking herbal remedies from highly reputable organic herbal suppliers. Mainly organic, bio dynamic and fresh herb tinctures are stocked.

Dried herbs which are always organic where possible, as well as pessaries, capsules and specifically made up creams, are also dispensed, when required.

Patrick helps people with common ailments such as arthritis, asthma, acne, eczema, Fibromyalgia, ME, constipation, digestive problems, heartburn, acid reflux, back pain, menopause and more.

For more information on his online courses, visit the website or contact Patrick via – or phone 093-27033.





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Connacht Tribune

We’re on the move – but we’re going nowhere!




This week marks the end of one major chapter in the history of the Connacht Tribune – and the start of a new one.

Because this is the last edition of this proud old newspaper to be produced from the Market Street offices where we’ve been from the Tribune’s inception in 1909.

From next week, we will be working from our new state-of-the-art offices in Liosban Business Park – or at least those not working remotely because of Covid restrictions will.

But while we’re on the move, in truth we’re going nowhere – because we are committed to covering everything that goes on in Galway now as our predecessors were back in 1909.

And by deploying the latest in technological advances, we aim to make that an even smoother journey from the source of the story to your homes and workplaces every week.

These are troubled times, not just for newspapers, but for all businesses; so this investment in a new base – complete with cutting-edge technology – is a real investment in our future and a vote of confidence in our staff and readers.

Covid has tested every one of us, not just in Galway or indeed in Ireland, but across the globe; we’ve seen such loss of life and such threat to livelihoods – and perhaps there’s much more to come.

But while we leave Market Street with memories and sadness, we also look forward to the brighter days ahead – as we do what we always did, which is to provide all the news, sport, features, entertainment and more as our colleagues have done over more than 110 years.

It’s the end of one chapter for sure, and the beginning of another – but this is a story that we know will just run and run.


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Connacht Tribune

Students asked to steer clear of house parties

Dara Bradley



Students returning to Galway for the start of the new term later this September have been urged to avoid house parties to help lower the risk of Covid-19 outbreaks.

The HSE has said that the majority of confirmed cases in the West in the past two weeks were linked to socialising.

The latest mini ‘surge’ of infection in Galway, though better than the national average, was worrying, according to Director of Public Health Dr Breda Smyth.

“We have been growing incrementally at a very low rate but at a steady pace. In the West we’ve been doing well in our overall 14-day incidence rate compared to national levels but even withstanding that we are seeing an increase and it has started since late August.

“It has been rising slowly and in the last two weeks in particular we’ve seen a surge,” she said.

Dr Smyth said third level institutes have initiatives in place to reduce the spread of infection.

“But once again what we have seen and will continue to see is that if students congregate in crowded areas – so, high volumes of house parties and socialisation, which is reducing social distancing – then there’s a high risk that we will start to see outbreaks in that community. It is important that students do also take personal responsibility while at college to reduce the risk of outbreaks,” she said.

For full story – and Covid-19 coverage – see this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in all shops now. Or download the digital edition from

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