Monday 22nd January 2024— Limerick Chamber has hosted a comprehensive briefing session with members of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce for Minister Niall Collins, Deputy Brian Leddin, Deputy Richard O’Donoghue, Senator Maria Byrne, the purpose of the briefing was to provide a comprehensive update on the progress made to date in implementing the recommendations outlined in the Taskforce report. Furthermore, the session highlighted a unique opportunity for the development of a floating offshore wind industry in the Shannon Estuary.
The gathering, held in Adare, facilitated open and constructive discussions between Limerick Chamber representatives, key political figures, and members of the Taskforce. The event showcased the collaborative efforts made by various stakeholders in advancing the economic potential of the Shannon Estuary and turning the Taskforce recommendations into actionable initiatives.
Key aspects covered during the briefing included updates on infrastructure development, regulatory advancements, and economic growth indicators directly linked to the Taskforce’s strategic recommendations. The discussion also focused on the emerging potential for a floating offshore wind industry in the Shannon Estuary, emphasizing the region’s suitability for such innovative and sustainable energy projects.
“We were delighted to host Minister Niall Collins, Deputy Brian Leddin, Deputy Richard O’Donoghue and Senator Maria Byrne to meet with members of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce and Limerick Chamber Board members. The briefing provided an invaluable platform to showcase the positive strides made in translating the Taskforce recommendations into tangible progress to date and more importantly to highlight the need for accelerated development of the West Coast DMAP ,” remarked Miriam O’Connor, Limerick Chamber President.
The session emphasized the importance of continued collaboration between public and private sectors, policymakers, and local communities to maximize the economic potential of the Shannon Estuary. The floating offshore wind industry was highlighted as a prime example of the innovative opportunities that could further position the region as a hub for sustainable energy development.
Chair of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce, Barry O’Sullivan said “The Shannon Estuary is the only place in Ireland that can support the building of floating wind turbines at scale. It has an extensive electricity and gas network, and deep water next to plentiful land available for industrial development. The potential to create new opportunities for economic development, new sustainable green jobs, is immense. Therefore, I warmly welcome Government’s commitment to assess the potential for accelerating the development of a West Coast DMAP, in that context”.
Chamber Board Member and CEO of Shannon Airport Group, Mary Considine said “The Shannon Estuary offers a major opportunity to launch a new economic chapter for Ireland. The strategic location of Shannon Airport presents huge potential for the development of sustainable aviation technology and the production of green fuel for the aviation sector, a recommendation of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce Report. We welcome progress to-date on generating new avenues for economic development and we look forward to our continued work with the Taskforce and Government to advance these opportunities.”
Chamber Board Member, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port company, Pat Keating said “Shannon Foynes Port Company welcomes the strong ongoing Government support for its plans and indeed for Government’s support of the findings of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce. As part of its implementation of the Taskforce findings, Government announced in December last that it would assess the case for accelerating the development of West Coast DEMAP. We respectfully urge the Government to continue to prioritise this DMAP and further acknowledge the Government’s support in implementing the other priorities of the NDP pertaining to Shannon Foynes, such as the construction of new port infrastructure at Foynes, the ongoing construction of the Limerick to Foynes Rail line and the commencement of enabling works for the construction of the Limerick to Foynes Road Scheme.”
Following the briefing a productive round table discussion was held. In closing Limerick Chamber extended their thanks to all participants for their engagement and commitment to the ongoing success of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce initiatives. In closing the meeting President of the Chamber, Miriam O’Connor said
“In this important year of elections, we are seeking cross-party support for implementing the recommendations of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce and securing jobs and prosperity for Limerick into the future.”
Limerick Chamber is the largest business representative body in the Mid-West, with over 400 member organisations employing circa 50,000 employees.
Limerick Chamber Board members Pat Keating and Mary Considine, and CEO Dee Ryan were members of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce.
Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce full report published 8th July 2023
Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce Implementation Update published 21st December 2023.
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