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Shannon sells best of the west on Chicago mission

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (third from left) with the Shannon Group Delegation (from left) Liam O’Shea, Director; Rose Hynes, Chairman; Neil Pakey, CEO; Andrew Murphy, Chief Commercial Officer, and Marie Slattery, Head of Marketing.

The West of Ireland’s appeal to one of its key markets, Chicago, for inward trade investment and tourism has been reinforced in a three-day visit by Shannon Group to the third most populous US city.

The delegation, which included Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes, CEO Neil Pakey and Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Murphy, had eight separate engagements with key stakeholders from the Chicago region, including with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

There was a particularly strong Galway reference to the delegation through the city’s twinning with Chicago – because also present on the trip was Chairman of the Galway Sisters City Committee and CEO of Galway Bay FM Keith Finnegan, who also broadcast his morning radio programme live three days running from Chicago.

“It really was a very positive, relationship building trip for Shannon but also for the West.  All the business links through 25 years of Galway’s relationship with Chicago were used to make the trip the success it was,” said Keith.

“It was a relentless three day trip, with meetings from early morning to late at night with key stakeholders.  Shannon Group did an excellent job selling the West coast of Ireland.  There was a major emphasis, of course, on access, on getting people in and out of our region.

“Statistics tell us that a very large percentage of people who visit Ireland arrive in the east coast and stay there when there is a unique offering here in the West. Shannon is our local international airport and for the future of tourism and access into the west, it is crucial.  coast and into Shannon is crucial.

“The level of engagement also impressed greatly.  United Airlines, which operates services between Chicago and Shannon, attend two separate events but the Mayor and Deputy Mayor also endorsed the efforts of the Shannon Group to grow trade and tourism between our regions.

“They want traffic going into West of Ireland and they also want traffic coming out of it. These are endorsements at the highest level in Chicago,” he added.

The three-day visit, which concluded at the weekend, saw the Shannon Group promote trade and tourism investment into the West of Ireland, and in particular through the Group’s assets such as Shannon Airport, the Shannon Free Zone and Shannon Heritage.

 

 

Connacht Tribune

Galway passengers are all smiles at Shannon!

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Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport

The smiles on the faces at Shannon Airport very much told its own story this week – with passengers taking to skies as the easing of restrictions and the first day of the European Digital COVID Certificates took effect.

And it wasn’t just the joy of travel starting to resume that lifted spirits at the airport but also the announcement by Ryanair of a new once-weekly service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) to commence on August 7 – the third new service announcement for Shannon Airport over recent weeks.

There was a real sense of excitement as passengers of all ages became very much at ease with the heightened public safety measures in a ‘back-to-the-future’ day for the West of Ireland gateway airport.

There were reunions as inbound flights arrived but also a palpable degree of anticipation as others got set to depart on the earliest flight out of the airport today, the 7:10am flight to Gatwick.

Among those boarding was Clarenbridge native Claire Tomlin and her husband Jake, together with their three children, including their twins who turn a year old next week.

“It’s been amazing to get back. The kids saw their grandparents for the first time and their cousins and aunties and uncles, so it was fantastic,” said Claire.

“Shannon is just so convenient for us because it’s only about 40 minutes’ drive. So, it just makes everything a lot easier in terms of getting to and from places with little ones. So, yeah, Shannon is a great resource for us. Really, really good. We hope to be able to go back more and more.”

It was smiles all around for Shannon Airport staff as they got back to doing what they do best. “Well, today is a great day because you can see the atmosphere around the place, people are at ease here and they’re glad to be back, they’re glad to get up in the sky again,” said Shannon Duty Free Sales Associate Helen Quinlivan.

“It’s great to see the excitement. People are really looking forward to going back and seeing their loved ones and they’re very at ease.”

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Connacht Tribune

Skillnet reports record year

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Minister Simon Harris...welcomed report.

Skillnet Ireland has reported an 18% increase in supports to Irish businesses across 2020 – and an investment of €51 million in upskilling programmes for companies across the economy.

In its 2020 annual report, it also revealed that 6,846 Galway-based employees and 1,590 Galway-based companies participated in upskilling programmes over those twelve months.

That aligned with the national trends, despite the challenging year for businesses and the workforce, which saw 81,895 people participate in upskilling programmes through Skillnet Ireland – a 17% increase on the previous year.

It also reported an increase in the number of companies engaging with the organisation in 2020, up 18% on the previous year, at 21,695. 94% of the companies Skillnet Ireland supported in 2020 are SMEs.

Skillnet Ireland delivered 9,110 different programmes spanning industry and professional certified courses, management development programmes, specialised upskilling, new industry and academia collaborations, and many innovation and research-based projects in 2020.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris welcomed the report – and the record figures.

“Talent is at the heart of our national competitiveness. It has been instrumental in helping businesses navigate a challenging year and will be especially important in preparing businesses for future challenges such as climate change and digital transformation,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
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Connacht Tribune

New website offers real-time information on local water supply

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Yvonne Harris, Head of Customer Operations at Irish Water.

Householders across the county can now avail of quick access to relevant information on their water supply, based on where they live – thanks to the rollout of a newly designed Irish Water website.

The changes will allow people in Galway to immediately see what works and projects are ongoing in their locality by setting their location at www.water.ie

Designed to work on a mobile phone or any other device, the state of the art website lets you set your location with updates and news relevant to your locality served upfront on the homepage.

It also enables Irish Water to deliver important public health messages and reassurance to the public that we are working every day to provide a clean and safe supply of drinking water for our customers while returning wastewater safely to the environment.

Head of Customer Operations with Irish Water, Yvonne Harris explains how this dynamic, new-look website will better serve customers: “We have upgraded our website so it is more user-friendly. We talked to our customers, we listened to their feedback and made changes to better improve the user experience for all.

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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