A delegation from Letterkenny Chamber met with Donegal’s five TDs at Leinster House today.
Chamber says it was an opportunity to put forward the views of its 300 members directly to Minister Charlie McConalogue, and Deputies Pearse Doherty, Joe McHugh, Padraig MacLochlainn and Thomas Pringle.
Chamber President Fionnuala Rabbitt says the delegates briefed the TDs on a number of key issues affecting business in Letterkenny and Donegal………….
Caption Group Photo One:
Letterkenny Chamber Council pictured outside Dail Eireann.
Front L-R: Jimmy Stafford, Annette Houston, Clare McNickle, Fionnuala Rabbitt – Chamber President, Claire McDonough – Vice-President, Michael Margey, Toni Forrester – Chamber CEO
Back L-R: John Watson, Kristine Reynolds, Chris Lynch – Chamber Vice President, Shane Grant, Karoline Sweeney, Phil Boyle.
Statement in full –
Letterkenny Chamber visit to Dáil Éireann
A delegation from Letterkenny Chamber made a visit to Dáil Éireann today to meet Donegal TDs.
Chamber Council members had meetings with Minister Charlie McConalogue TD, Thomas Pringle TD, Pearse Doherty TD and his colleague Padraig MacLochlainn TD – and Joe McHugh TD.
This was an opportunity to put forward the views of Letterkenny Chamber’s 300 members directly to the TDs.
Led by Chamber President, Fionnuala Rabbitt, the delegates briefed the TDs on key issues that reflect members views – namely Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Skills & Talent.
The North & Western Region has been designated as a transition region by the EU. This means the region is lagging behind others in the country. This is caused by lack of investment in infrastructure which has contributed to reducing competitiveness and productivity and attractiveness as a place to invest.
The infrastructure deficit acts as an inhibitor to growth and investment. In order to be a connected region and a net contributor to the Irish economy the region needs infrastructure that is comparable to the rest of the country.
Specifically, we made the case for the Ten-T Network, Western Transport Route (A5/N2). These routes if delivered would make for safer journeys, more predictable travel times and make this region much more accessible.
In terms of Housing, the crisis is well documented although it is exacerbated because of the Defective Blocks issue. Many businesses are finding that potential employees are having major challenges with finding places to live resulting in undue stress, pushing out start dates or turning down roles. We actively promote Letterkenny and Donegal as an attractive place to live and work but people are being put off by the lack and cost of housing and look elsewhere.
Chamber President, Fionnuala Rabbitt explained the rationale behind the visit;
“Our role in Letterkenny Chamber is to lobby and advocate for our members. In recent surveys members have consistently told us about the issues and concerns that impact them on an ongoing basis. We felt it was time to go directly to our TDs to reinforce the message.”
The delegation put forward the views of our members on a range of issues. As well as Housing and Infrastructure there were discussions around Skills, Hospitality and Tourism and lack of Gardai leading to Anti-social behaviour that is on the increase in our towns and villages.
“We encouraged our TDs to do everything in their power to ensure that the legacy deficits are addressed. Our members and the wider business community work hard to create a vibrant business environment.
We have ambitious growth targets for Donegal over the next 20 years where we see the population growing substantially, however we will need significant investment and follow up on the commitments made in the National Development plan.
We hope with the support of our TDs that we see our ambitions realised and be enabled to create opportunities for our young people be more attractive to investors and retain talent and expertise.”