BY ENDA CUNNINGHAM
The construction of a new purpose-built European Software Centre by Hewlett Packard in Ballybrit – which will create up to 350 new jobs – has been hailed by the Taoiseach as a major boost for Galway.
Mr Kenny was in town yesterday for the announcement of the new building – which will see up to 200 new positions created, as well as a further 150 during construction.
The project – first revealed by this newspaper 12 months ago – is currently with city planners, who are awaiting further information on a right of way issue, as well as more detailed drawings of the proposed 90,000 square foot building, which will be located on a six-acre site beside the existing HP building.
The three-storey building will replace the existing 40 year-old premises, which no longer meets HP’s requirements.
Speaking at the announcement, the Taoiseach said: “The construction of a new state of the art R&D building by HP is a testament to their Galway staff and operations in Ireland.
“The project will create 150 construction jobs during its development and will provide a much-needed boost for this sector.
“HP has been a valued business partner in Ireland throughout the years and this new investment will see HP and Ireland remain at the forefront of software research and cloud computing technology,” said Mr Kenny.
John Hinshaw, HP’s Executive Vice President of Global Technology and Operations, said: ”The new facility will be a modern office building, built with flexibility and environmental sustainability features and fitted out to support the needs of HP employees into the future.
“Our facilities in Galway are proving to successfully attract some of the best and brightest talent in key IT growth areas for HP. We are pleased to announce an investment in a new state of the art facility to support future development of new cutting edge technologies,” said Mr Hinshaw.
Mark Gantly, Managing Director in Galway, praised his existing workforce of 600 who helped secure the new investment.
“This announcement today is testament to the strength of the team on the ground who are developing new and meaningful technologies in Ireland that are being brought to the rest of the world,” said Mr Gantly.
The head of HP in Ireland said the new building represents an ‘expression of faith’ in Galway.
Martin Murphy said: “This is an exciting and very important development for HP in Ireland. This investment in Ballybrit is an endorsement of Galway as a strategic location of choice for HP and affirms the company’s ongoing commitment to its operations in this country.
In March, our sister newspaper the Galway City Tribune, reported that HP is in a row with neighbouring multinational APC over the plans for the new building.
A submission – and not an outright objection – by APC on the planning application expressed concerns that their building will be “dwarfed” by the new HP building, as well as over access and a right of way.
Those issues must be addressed by HP before planners can make a decision, although the company has said it is confident the application will be approved.
Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones
These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.
But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.
If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.
All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.
You can email that with a photograph to us, to email@example.com or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.
We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.
This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances. You can contact our team for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org
WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!
Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.
A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.
Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.
Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down.
The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.
Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.
Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.
However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.
“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.
Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.
Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.
“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.
There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.