Tomás Ó Síocháin appointed as CEO as the WDC welcomes renewed focus on Regional Development


Tomás Ó Síocháin appointed as CEO as the WDC welcomes renewed focus on Regional Development

The Western Development Commission has today (Tuesday 25th September 2018) announced that Tomás Ó Síocháin has been appointed by the Board of the WDC as Chief Executive Officer. Tomás joins the organisation from NUI Galway, where he was External Engagement Programme Manager, having previously spent more than 14 years as an editor and journalist with RTÉ and TG4.

The Western Development Commission, established by statute in 1998, advises the Government on policy for the western region, plays a key role in regional development, supports small and medium business through the Western Investment Fund and raises the social, cultural and economic profile of the west through and other initiatives;

  • Investment in the region – Since 2010 the WDC has sourced and directed over €13M in total funding towards regional enterprise and employment development
  • Regional Policy and analysis – in critical areas such as census analysis, broadband rollout and the creative economy
  • Western Investment Fund – 2700 direct jobs and 5000 in total (indirect and direct) supported by the WDC in the region in recent years
  • EU project work to total value of €12m (FY2017) in areas such as renewable bioenergy, the creative economy, cultural tourism and micro and SME enterprises

The appointment is timely, given the renewed focus on Regional Development as part of the National Planning Framework and the announcement of €4 billion in funding under the Ireland 2040 project. These developments build on the establishment of the Department of Rural and Community Development, and the appointment of a new Board to the WDC.

Dr Deirdre Garvey, Chair of the Board of the WDC, welcomed the appointment saying; “On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to announce the appointment of the CEO and welcome Tomás to the WDC. It is a time of significant opportunity for the WDC in context of the National Planning Framework. I look forward to working with Tomás and the staff as we build on the success of the WDC and develop these opportunities for the Western region.”

A native of Co. Clare and living in Co. Galway, Tomás Ó Síocháin sees first-hand the opportunities for the policy, development and financial support offered by the Western Development Commission: ‘In terms of work-life balance, opportunity and physical beauty, the west of Ireland has few if any parallels on a global stage. I am privileged to lead an organisation that has done so much in facilitating and supporting growth in this region. A significant opportunity now exists to build on the work of the WDC and others in a collaborative and cohesive way; supporting economic, social and cultural growth, not only for those who currently live and work here but to help to inform the decision making of those that will ‘look west’ and choose a better quality of life in the future.’

Read more about the work of the Western Development Commission at or what living and working in the west offers on

 Note for editors:

Further information contact: Caroline Coffey, WDC 094 9861441 |

 Brief biography: A native of Quin, Co. Clare, Tomás Ó Síocháin holds degrees in law (B.Corp & LLB) a H.Dip in Applied Communications (Gaeilge) and an MBA from NUI Galway. As External Engagement Programme Manager in NUI Galway, he led the incorporation of Shannon College of Hotel Management into NUI Galway, was the inaugural Chair of the Regional Skills Forum West and is currently Chair of the Communications Committee of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Task Force.

He worked for over 14 years in public service broadcasting, as a broadcast journalist covering business, news and sport for RTÉ and as a programme editor working across Nuacht RTÉ and Nuacht TG4. He was Executive Producer of the 2011 TG4 General Election Leaders’ Debate and Presidential Debate and is an External Assessor for the Broadcast Authority of Ireland’s Sound and Vision Scheme.