Douglas Hyde Conference 2009

Conference hears that the Arts can play a central role in our economic recovery.

The Douglas Hyde Conference, taking place this weekend in Ballaghaderreen, has heard that the creative sector is uniquely positioned to lead, contribute to and enhance the smart economy.

Dara Calleary, T.D., Minister for Labour Affairs said, “Crucial to any recovery and its sustainment is the willingness to improve and pursue new opportunities. Ireland is ideally placed with its reputation for creative thinking to ensure what we offer, more than anywhere else – is a diverse and different experience. Our cultural and artistic identity as a nation gives us a competitive advantage that now more than ever must be exploited.”
Minister Calleary said that the Minister for the Arts, Martin Cullen will continue to campaign for the Arts Council’s budget, for the retention of the Artists’ Tax Exemption Scheme, and the further promotion of Ireland’s artistic activity abroad by Culture Ireland. “It is our duty to preserve and protect our cultural heritage,” he said.

A DKM research report which Minister Cullen’s Department commissioned into the “Economic Impact of the Arts, Culture and Creative Sectors” demonstrates that there are over 170,000 people working within the arts, creative and cultural sectors in Ireland and that in 2008 the total impact of the sector was €11.8 billion or 7.6% of total GNP. The report is due to be published soon.

Lisa McAllister Chief Executive of the WDC said, “Creativity has long been associated with the Western Region. The WDC completed a study in 2008 ‘Creative West: The Creative Sector in the Western Region’, the first study of its kind conducted in Ireland and it showed that there are 4,779 creative businesses operating in the Western Region, directly employing over 11,000 people or 3% of all employment in the region. This generates an annual turnover of €534m and directly contributes €270m to the Gross Value Added of the regional economy. It is therefore a major economic contributor to the region that we believe can be grown significantly, even in these difficult economic times.”

Ms McAllister added, “The WDC is working to promote and position the Western Region as Ireland’s hub for the creative sector because we know that when international comparisons are factored in the Western Region has the potential to create at least an extra 2,000 jobs in the creative sector. The creative sector has strong growth potential, generates high quality employment, facilitates innovation in other sectors, plays a key social role and can stimulate rural and regional development.”

Kathleen Martin, Director of Community and Enterprise at Roscommon County Council said, “The Douglas Hyde Conference was founded in 1988 in an economic climate not unlike the kind that we are currently experiencing. It was founded then in the knowledge that the things that Douglas Hyde valued during his lifetime – our language, culture and literature – were vitally important to our society in 1988, and they are still as vital now in 2009.”

Presented by Roscommon County Council in association with the Western Development Commission, the format of the conference is built around four talks on Saturday by keynote speakers followed by a panel discussion. The four keynote speakers are; Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin who will talk about festivals and their role and value economically, as platforms for celebration and as platforms to bring Irish arts to audiences all over the world; Finbarr Bradley, economist and author of “Capitalising on Culture, Competing on Difference: Innovation, Learning and Sense of Place in a Globalising Ireland” who sees our cultural identity as being our unique selling point where we can set ourselves apart from other countries; Lisa McAllister, CEO, Western Development Commission; and Roger O’Keeffe Co-ordinator of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 whose presentation will quantify the size of the creative sector in Europe and link it to the importance of creativity and innovation to industry, social activities and quality of life issues.

WDC supports “Sligo is Enterprising” Event at Breakfast Meeting in Dublin

“If Sligo has the highest entry to 3rd Level education, a young workforce, one of the highest disposable incomes along with one of the shortest commuting times in the country – why aren’t more industries coming there?”
– Lisa McAllister, CEO, Western Development Commission

Sligo has become renowned as one of the world’s finest surfing centres. Conservative estimates suggest that there are 20 million surfers worldwide and over 2.5 million of them based in the USA.

“I want every one of those surfers to know they can come to the West of Ireland to work and play, if they bring their businesses with them,” said Lisa McAllister, CEO of the Western Development Commission (WDC). She added, “The announcement of fifty new jobs in Sligo this week by Equinoxe, the global hedge fund administrator makes me wonder why, as the county with the island’s highest entry to 3rd Level education, a younger workforce, one of the highest disposable incomes along with one of the shortest commuting times in the country – why aren’t more industries locating there?”

Ms. McAllister was speaking at the ‘Sligo is Open for Business’ breakfast event, organised in Dublin today (Thursday, 8th October 2009) by Sligo Chamber and Sligo Enterprise Europe Network, in association with the WDC.

The breakfast briefing was the first of its kind and was focussed on highlighting Co. Sligo as the ideal location for investment, both national and international. The 140 attendees, mostly prominent business people with a Sligo heritage, were addressed by Dermot Mannion – former CEO of Aer Lingus, John McAteer – HR Director, Abbott Ireland, Professor Terri Scott – President, IT Sligo as well as Lisa McAllister of the WDC.

President of Sligo Chamber, Kevin Quinn Jnr., commented, “Many people ask, ‘what did the Celtic Tiger do for us?’ – well in Sligo’s case it gave us greatly improved infrastructural links to major international centres and there has been a tremendous investment in our Institute of Technology. Some desk research that we have carried out suggests that office costs in Sligo are up to 30% lower than in Dublin and that was one of the reasons, I understand, that Equinoxe chose to move to Sligo, as well as for the availability of qualified staff, easy access to its Dublin office and the support of IT Sligo as a centre of innovation in the North West.

Mr Quinn added, “There is a significant differential between financial services salaries in the North West and the Dublin region. Depending on the skills and qualifications, financial services salaries tend to be around of 15% lower in the North West. What is more interesting is that companies tend to be able to recruit and crucially, retain staff in the region. A recent survey by HR consultants, Collins McNicholas, showed that 85% of people’s work-life balance improved since they relocated to the North West and 96% of respondents would recommend relocating to the region.”

For further information please contact:
Lisa McAllister, CEO, WDC, 086 771 9969
Kevin Quinn Jr. – 087 220 2200

About Enterprise Europe Network Sligo

The Enterprise Europe Network operates in 40 countries and is hosted by 500 business support organizations. Sligo Chamber hosts one of the six regional centres of the Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland. The network was created by the European Commission with the remit to assist, advise and inform SMEs on all aspects of business within the Internal Market. Enterprise Europe Network Sligo has an array of services which it offers to SMEs, such as our business enquiry service, public procurement information and Tender Watch service, market access information and our business partner search service. The Enterprise Europe Network also plays an important role as a “bridge” between the Commission and SME’s in providing feedback on Community matters affecting small businesses in the form of the SME Feedback Mechanism, part of the larger “Your Voice in Europe” programme.

For more information please visit

About Sligo Chamber:

Sligo Chamber was established in 1923 to further the interests of its members, to provide a range of effective and efficient services for the business community and to promote the long term economic development of Sligo City and County. Sligo Chamber currently has over 320 members and is part of the Chambers Ireland network comprising 60 member chambers representing over 13,000 businesses on the island of Ireland.

For more information please visit


Ag glao ar na marcaigh thoinne uile – “Tagaigí go Sligeach le hoibriú, le scíth a ligean agus le spraoi a dhéanamh”

“Nuair atá an céatadán is airde daoine a théann chuig oideachas 3ú leibhéal, lucht oibre níos óige, ioncam indiúscartha atá i measc na n-ioncam indiúscartha is airde sa tír agus roinnt de na hagaí comaitéireachta is lú sa tír ar fáil i Sligeach – cén fáth nach bhfuil níos mó tionscal ag teacht chun lonnú ann?” – Lisa McAllister, Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin, Coimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair

Tá cáil ar Shligeach anois mar cheann de na lárionaid mharcaíochta toinne is fearr ar domhan. De réir meastachán coimeádach tá 20 milliún marcach toinne ar fud an domhain agus tá breis agus 2.5 milliún díobh siúd lonnaithe i SAM.

“Teastaíonn uaim go mbeidh a fhios ag gach marcach toinne gur féidir leo teacht go hIarthar na hÉireann, le hoibriú agus le spraoi a dhéanamh, má thógann siad a gcuid gnóthas leo,” a dúirt Lisa McAllister, Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Choimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair (WDC). Dúirt sí freisin, “Tar éis do Equinoxe, an riarthóir cistí fálaithe domhanda, a fhógairt an tseachtain seo go gcuirfidh siad caoga post nua ar fáil i Sligeach, ní thuigim cén fáth nach bhfuil níos mó tionscal ag lonnú sa chontae – nuair atá an céatadán is airde daoine san oileán a théann chuig oideachas 3ú leibhéal, lucht oibre níos óige, ioncam indiúscartha atá i measc na n-ioncam indiúscartha is airde sa tír agus roinnt de na hagaí comaitéireachta is lú sa tír ar fáil ann?”

Bhí Ms. McAllister ag labhairt ag an imeacht gnó bricfeasta ‘Sligo is Open for Business’ a bhí ar siúl i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu (Déardaoin, 8 Deireadh Fómhair 2009), agus a d’eagraigh Comhlachas Lucht Trádála Shligigh agus Líonra Fiontraíochta Eorpach Shligigh, i gcomhar leis an WDC.

Bhí an cruinniú faisnéise bricfeasta ar an gcéad chruinniú den chineál seo riamh agus bhí sé dírithe ar Chontae Shligigh a chur chun cinn mar cheantar idéalach don infheistíocht náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta araon. Labhair Dermot Mannion – iar-Phríomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Aer Lingus, John McAteer – Stiúrthóir Acmhainní Daonna, Abbott Ireland, an tOllamh Terri Scott – Uachtarán IT Shligigh agus Lisa McAllister ón WDC leis na 140 duine a d’fhreastail air, a bhí ina ndaoine gnó tábhachtacha de shliocht Shligigh den chuid is mó.

Dúirt Uachtarán Chomhlachas Lucht Trádála Shligigh, Kevin Quinn Sóis., “Cuireann a lán daoine an cheist, ‘cén tairbhe a bhaineamar as an Tíogar Ceilteach?’ – i gcás Sligigh, bunaíodh naisc bhonneagair i bhfad níos fearr le lárionaid thábhachtacha idirnáisiúnta agus infheistíodh a lán airgid san Institiúid Teicneolaíochta. Tugann roinnt taighde deisce a rinneamar le fios go mbíonn costais oifige i Sligeach suas le 30% níos ísle ná mar atá siad i mBaile Átha Cliath, agus de réir mar is eol dom, ba é sin ceann de na cúiseanna a chinn Equinoxe bogadh go Sligeach. I measc na gcúiseanna eile, bhí infhaighteacht ball foirne cáilithe, rochtain éasca ar a oifig i mBaile Átha Cliath agus tacaíocht IT Shligigh mar lárionad nuálaíochta san Iarthuaisceart.”

Chomh maith leis sin, dúirt an tUasal Quinn, “Tá difríocht shuntasach idir tuarastail seirbhísí airgeadais san Iarthuaisceart agus i réigiún Bhaile Átha Cliath. Ag brath ar scileanna agus ar cháilíochtaí, bíonn tuarastail seirbhísí airgeadais thart ar 15% níos lú san Iarthuaisceart de ghnáth. Rud atá níos suimiúla fós ná de ghnáth bíonn cuideachtaí in ann baill foirne a earcú, agus go ríthábhachtach, baill foirne a choinneáil sa réigiún. Léirigh suirbhé a rinne na comhairleoirí Acmhainní Daonna, Collins McNicholas, le deireanas gur tháinig feabhas ar chothromaíocht oibre saoil 85% de dhaoine ó bhog siad chuig an Iarthuaisceart, agus go molfadh 96% de fhreagróirí do dhaoine bogadh chuig an réigiún.”

Maidir le Líonra Fiontraíochta Eorpach Shligigh

Oibríonn an Líonra Fiontraíochta Eorpach i 40 tír agus óstálann 500 eagraíocht tacaíochta gnó é. Óstálann Comhlachas Lucht Trádála Shligigh ceann de na sé lárionad réigiúnacha den Líonra Fiontraíochta Eorpach in Éirinn. Chruthaigh an Coimisiún Eorpach an líonra chun fiontair bheaga agus mheánmhéide a chabhrú le gach gné den ghnó laistigh den Mhargadh Inmheánach agus chun comhairle agus eolas a thabhairt dóibh faoi. Cuireann Líonra Fiontraíochta Eorpach Shligigh raon seirbhísí ar fáil d’fhiontair bheaga agus mheánmhéide, mar shampla, ár seirbhís um fhiosrúcháin ghnó, faisnéis ar sholáthar poiblí agus seirbhís Faireacháin Tairiscintí, faisnéis ar rochtain ar an margadh agus ár seirbhís um chuardach comhpháirtithe gnó. Tá ról tábhachtach mar “dhroichead” idir an Coimisiún agus fiontair bheaga agus mheánmhéide ag an Líonra Fiontraíochta Eorpach freisin, mar tugann sé aiseolas ar chúrsaí Comhphobail a théann i bhfeidhm ar ghnóthais bheaga trí mheán na Meicníochta Aiseolais d’Fhiontair Bheaga agus Mheánmhéide, atá ina cuid den chlár níos mó “Do Ghlór san Eoraip”.

Chun tuilleadh faisnéise a fháil tabhair cuairt ar

Maidir le Comhlachas Lucht Trádála Shligigh:

Bunaíodh Comhlachas Lucht Trádála Shligigh i 1923 chun leasanna a chomhaltaí a chur chun cinn, chun raon seirbhísí éifeachtúla agus éifeachtacha a chur ar fáil don phobal gnó agus chun forbairt eacnamaíoch fhadtéarmach Chathair agus Chontae Shligigh a chur chun cinn. I láthair na huaire, tá breis agus 320 comhalta ag Comhlachas Lucht Trádála Shligigh agus tá sé ina bhall den líonra de Chomhlachais Lucht Trádála Éireannacha ina bhfuil 60 comhlachas lucht trádála a ionadaíonn breis agus 13,000 gnó in oileán na hÉireann.

Chun tuilleadh faisnéise a fháil tabhair cuairt ar .