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WDC hosts gathering of business leaders from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany

Business leaders from the Celtic regions of Lorient, France, Wales and Scotland are set to join forces with their Irish counterparts after the inaugural Irish Interceltic Business Forum in Galway’s Portershed recently.

Previously held in France and Wales, this is the first time the event was hosted on Irish soil. The event was an engaging forum for sharing business best practice with compelling dialogue and insights, interspersed with honouring shared Celtic heritage, in the form of music and spoken word.

Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Eddie Hoare,  opened the event before a keynote address from Fabrice Loher, President of Lorient Agglomération, who led the French delegation.

The first roundtable talk was on ‘Doing Business the Lorient Way’ followed by a discussion on ‘Successfully Scaling your Business in the West of Ireland’ which was chaired by Olive McLucas, Investment Executive of WDC.

The Scottish Government in Ireland led a roundtable discussion on ‘Scotland and Ireland Working Together to Build the Rural Economy’.

Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst with WDC, gave a presentation on ‘Remote Work and Relocation: Evidence from Ireland’. This was followed by a roundtable discussion on the topic featuring Helen Leahy, IBEC and Ricky Conneely, IDA West.

In the afternoon there was a Startup Spotlight on AI, with a roundtable that included Linda Heimisdóttir, CEO,, John Clancy, CEO, and Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO, Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Founded in 2016 by Charles Kergaravat, the Interceltic Business Forum is a dynamic convergence of minds, set against the backdrop of the legendary Festival Interceltique in Lorient.

“We are excited to bring this prestigious event to Galway, a vibrant hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, to further expand opportunities for economic collaboration and growth,” said Mr Kergaravat.

Western Development Commission CEO Allan Mulrooney said this was a way of embracing what he described as ‘an exceptional opportunity’ for Galway, the ‘twin city’ of Lorient.

“By forging partnerships across Europe and beyond, we’re not just accessing funding and support, but also broadening our global outlook,” he said.

“Hosting our Celtic counterparts in Galway underscores our shared heritage and mutual ambitions. Together, we’re navigating towards collective growth and innovation.”

Pictured: Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Eddie Hoare, with Niall Burgess, Ireland’s Ambassador to France, and WDC CEO Allan Mulrooney at the previous Interceltic Business Forum in Lorient.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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