Investment in the green economy and inflation concerns feature at Limerick Chamber luncheon with Colin Hunt, AIB

April 2022; Limerick Chamber welcomed attendees to the Savoy hotel on April 21st for a sold-out return to in-person luncheon events and a regional economic up-date.  

The event, which was originally due to take place in March 2020, had been postponed due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.  But the two year wait did not dampen local interest in hearing insights and the perspective of keynote speaker and special guest for the event, AIB Chief Executive Officer, Colin Hunt. 

A maximum capacity crowd of 110 filled the newly renovated 1st floor event space in the city centre hotel where the business community enjoyed an afternoon of networking over a three course meal, prior to the keynote address. Attending the event were businesses in the Limerick city region, and county as well as visiting Board members and President from Tralee Chamber, who had travelled to attend the event. Limerick Chamber past Presidents and current Directors of the Board were also in attendance.

Chief Economist at Limerick Chamber Seán Golden delivered a regional economic update to the room including results from the organisations recent Consumer Sentiment Survey.  The survey provided a snapshot of consumer intention and confidence, giving an indication of what to expect for Q2 regional spending trends. Seán also provided an analysis of local housing supply which is a growing matter of concern for employers in the Limerick region.

Colin Hunt addressed the businesspeople of Limerick by discussing the impacts of Covid 19 on the banking world. Colin was appointed Chief Executive of AIB in 2019 just before the pandemic struck. Colin discussed the difficulties in leading staff through the impact of Covid 19 and how he curated a path of success for AIB throughout the pandemic. He also addressed the recovery strategy and ongoing changes which will be a core focus of AIB as they face 2022-2023.

“AIB CEO, Colin Hunt, said that the war in Ukraine is causing severe headwinds — also coming so soon after the economic shocks of Brexit and the Covid pandemic.  Rising inflation and supply issues are presenting as major challenges, but Irish businesses have shown themselves to be extremely resilient and the economy came through Brexit and Covid in surprisingly good shape. 

“Ultimately, if the Limerick economy and the overall Irish economy are to work, we must think long term and invest heavily in a blend of inter-dependent pieces of sustainable infrastructure – energy-efficient housing, local food production, clean transport, green energy, high-quality education, efficient health systems, and digital/tech services. These elements, when properly planned and executed, provide the environment that allows businesses and communities to grow and flourish.  Looking around this city, this mid-West region, it is clear there is a unique set of advantages that provide a head-start in future development”, he said.  

Commenting on the event, Limerick Chamber CEO, Dee Ryan said “the atmosphere in the room today was electric, with members delighted to be back in person for our first big lunch. Chamber Chief Economist Sean Golden provided a very informative snapshot of regional economic indicators and set the stage for an engaging keynote address by Colin Hunt.  

I was particularly interested in Mr Hunt’s comments on sustainability and the huge opportunity he sees for developing business in the green economy.  Regionally, we are aware of the natural assets we have and Limerick Chamber is actively advocating for accelerated establishment of MARA, and it’s adequate resourcing to enable speedy development of Offshore renewable energy generation from the Shannon Estuary.   It is essential that we get out of our own way and realise this incredible opportunity.”

Kieran Considine, Head of AIB: Clare, Limerick and Kerry said

“I would like to commend CEO Dee Ryan and her team in Limerick Chamber and President Donal Cantillon, for the great work they continue to do in representing the business community here in Limerick and being one of the architects for positive change across the region. The Chamber, as the voice of business in the Mid-West is committed to economic development and prosperity in the region, through our continued partnership we will look to proactively support the Chamber and its members in every way we can.”



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