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Connacht Tribune

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

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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.

Country Living

A day when Tuam Races put paid to the innocence of a young punter

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The date was Friday, July 31, 1970, and the race was the Carling Black Label Maiden Plate with Lucky in Love, ridden by P. Sullivan just edging it from None Better with M. Kennedy on the saddle. The Tuam Races drew large crowds for their one big day of the year before the reins were pulled in 1973. Photo researched by Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I couldn’t even remotely claim to have any knowledge of the gee-gees although here and there I’d have the odd little flutter on a horse, and of late, Pateen has been kind enough to me with a couple of good wins across the water. Pateen of course is called after Galway three-in-a-row start, Pat or ‘Pateen’ Donellan, with his original owner, the late Michael Corcoran of solid Dunmore stock.

My childhood memory of horses probably relates to that of many people of a certain generation where the horse – and indeed the donkey as well – were the mainstays of farming life and especially for ageing farmers who just had no interest whatsoever in the purchase of a second-hand or a rebuilt Massey Ferguson. (Ruanes of Athenry were the great specialists of the time in rebuilt Masseys).

We owned the most imperious of a black gelding, his only concession to colour contrast being a white face, and whose pulling power was lauded across the village. But he was never an animal to be taken for granted and especially during the later summer season when the quills or horse flies could provoke him into a sudden and sometimes violent enough tantrum. Only my father could handle him with a mixture of firmness and platitudes but our equine warrior still managed to overturn a load or two of oats or hay when negotiating dodgy gaps that bit too impatiently.

His ageing demise and subsequent sale coincided with my journey into teenage years and that loss of childhood innocence when the realisation strikes that life is transient, made all the more poignant by the fact that it coincided with the gradual decline of my father as he slipped into the 70s and the sunset years of life.

The Galway Races though were always special even if we didn’t venture into Ballybrit that much as a family, as invariably there was always hay to be saved, although a ‘concession’ would often be made in terms of calling into a neighbour’s house with a television to watch The Hurdle or The Plate.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Cool the jets – let’s give Galway sideline supremos a fair hearing

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Mayo's Aidan O'Shea feels the strain against Galway's Cathal Sweeney and Seán Mulkerrin during Sunday's Connacht Football Final at Croke Park. Photo: Ray McManus /Sportsfile.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

IN all my years (more like decades) involved in hurling, I have never seen a team play the game at a faster pace than what Waterford did for 55 minutes in Thurles last Saturday. They were like Olympic sprinters and Galway simply couldn’t keep up with them in the open expanses of Semple Stadium.

Galway hurlers have often plumbed the depths when least expected, but trailing by 16 points after three quarters of Saturday’s knock-out clash was a total shock to the system. We know the Tribesmen have a terrible record against Waterford, but this was embarrassing and unacceptable for a team which had been touted as Limerick’s chief threat.

Though Galway are understandably getting some credit for their grandstand finish, it’s only papering over the cracks and, let’s be honest, there would probably have been no comeback at all only for Waterford being reduced to 14 players for the entire second-half. And then having whittled the deficit down from 16 points to three and all the momentum behind them with over six minutes still left to be played, they were found wanting again.

After substitute Jason Flynn’s first goal, there were five more scores and Waterford got four of them. That alone tells you that Liam Cahill’s men had more of what it takes to succeed at this level. Waterford were in disarray but somehow were able to find the inspiration to get over the line.

Meeting Galway supporters before the game, we shared the same concerns about the men in maroon jerseys. Eyebrows were raised by the team chosen and some of the positions players were picked in. Having failed to raise much of a gallop against Dublin, Galway should have been straining at the leash to achieve some redemption. Instead, they were worse; swept aside by a ravenous Waterford team which had everything their opponents didn’t

Though leaving Daithí Burke at centre-back didn’t cost Galway the game, it was still stubborn of the team management to stick to their guns when his zealous patrolling of the square continued to be so blatantly missed. Keeping faith with the unrelated Cooneys’, Joseph and Conor, also attracted criticism.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Evoke broaden their sound to fuse Motown with folk!

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Evoke...new single from Loughrea four-piece.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Almost a year on from the release of their debut EP, Loughrea four-piece Evoke are back, with their fourth studio single Sorry than Safe. And the track sees the group push themselves in its arrangement and production – experimenting with Motown-style rhythm and soul, while retaining the folk sensibilities that run through their extended catalogue.

It was August of last year when the Revelations EP came to life and progress has naturally stalled through multiple lockdowns.

Having found themselves in need of work to replace the income lost during the national pause on live music, the band has been busy in the intervening eleven months – but not quite in the circumstances they had hoped to be. Sorry than Safe has been in the pipeline since that EP’s conception so realising the song as a finished article now feels like a big moment.

“We’d just come off the release of the EP and we went down and recorded this song and another one off the cuff,” recalls lead singer Keagan Forde.

“It was a tough song to blend with everything we wanted. The banjo is at the root of our sound all the time and it’s something we really wanted to keep in but with this, it was really difficult to blend the banjo into such a dense mix. The drums are really thick, the bass is really thick, there are layers of organs and vocals and guitars… layers upon layers of everything and trying to arrange the banjo and get it to sit in nicely caused a few headaches.

“It was tough to navigate staying true to our own sound and what we’re able to replicate live but making the most of the production and throwing ourselves into that. It’s our most complicated song if that makes sense. For two and a half minutes, there’s a lot going on.”

Given the time the band spent toiling over the single, it is no surprise to hear Keagan emphasise the importance of the production on Sorry than Safe. The song feels like a marked studio upgrade, and it seems to have required plenty of planning. Having orchestrated the EP in the leadup to the recording of the song, the group benefitted heavily from its increasing recording experience.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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