Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
We must also avoid putting all our eggs in one basket. The continued attraction of foreign direct investment is important but realistically growth will emerge in indigenous micro enterprises. The green economy and digital media sectors provide realistic opportunities here as does tourism (including eco-tourism) and food and crafts. Waterford has a lot to offer and a lot is happening. However we need to do more as we still have far too many people out of work.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
What was most impressive was the positive nature of the gathering and the energy and enthusiasm of the delegates. One of the main speakers was Sean Gallagher of Dragons Den fame. He gave a powerful speech about the future of the Irish economy and the opportunities open to us. He spoke about the need for positivity, confidence and leadership in business, communities and politics. He said now is the time for people to lead from the front. I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly. Now more than ever we need civic leaders stepping up to the plate, be they entrepreneurs, employee representatives or community leaders.
His speech got me thinking. We have a dearth of leadership at national level from our Government. They are hanging on to power by their fingertips, doing more damage to themselves and the country as they do. I think one of the biggest failures of this Government is their distance from where ordinary people are at. They have lost touch with reality and seem to live in a bubble. They see people as being there to serve them instead of them serving the people. They have forgotten what politics is really about – public service.
Most of the conference speakers spoke about the need to have a plan and a strategy. To succeed in business you have to have a plan and a strategy on how to get there. Hope is no substitute for a strategy. The same goes for running the country. Hoping the problems will go away is not good enough. We need a strategy out of recession and into recovery. We need real leadership.
On a visit to Waterford last week Martin McGuinness spoke about his optimism about the future and the ability of the people of this country. We are in the midst of a bad recession but as the Mayor of Waterford reminded us – there is no recession of the mind. If you could bottle the enthusiasm, energy and confidence of the women at today’s event and bring it into every boardroom and our national cabinet Ireland would no longer be in recession. As the theme of the conference proclaimed, despite our problems – the show must go on.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I listened to a podcast of the interview several times. My first impression was that it was not as bad as it was made out to be. The Taoiseach was hoarse and probably a little hung over but in my opinion not drunk. He was certainly incoherent and exercised bad judgement in doing the interview. What was missed as the day progressed was the real story.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Speaking today Mr. McGuinness said:
I am delighted to be here in the South East today meeting with business, trade union, community and civic leaders.
I thank the Mayor of Waterford City Councillor Mary Roche for hosting a reception. I commend the efforts of local people and civic leaders who are trying to create enterprise opportunities in Waterford.
I am thrilled to be visiting the house of Waterford Crystal. I was saddened when I first heard the Kilbarry plant was to close and Waterford and Ireland faced losing an iconic brand. It was a loss not to just to Waterford but to the island of Ireland.
My heart went out to all the workers and I was moved by their courage when I saw the images on Television of the workers engaged in a sit in.
Today we have a different situation. The new House of Waterford Crystal is a top class facility. I want to commend all of those who were part of this exciting venture. The people of Waterford should be very proud of this gem in the heart of the city.
It was a remarkable effort by a lot of people to make all of this possible. The collective effort of Waterford City Council, trade union and business leaders to back this plan is a shining example of what can be achieved through genuine partnership, good will and dare I say taking a risk.
I hope that those former workers who are without jobs and pensions are supported and find new employment.
I also want to support the campaign for University designation for Waterford Institute of Technology. The arguments for W.I.T. becoming a university are unassailable.
I visited W.I.T. on the last occasion I was in Waterford. I was hugely impressed by the facilities, the range of courses and the research and development capacity at the institute. University designation would lift the entire region economically, socially and culturally.
I was reminded by the Mayor of Waterford that today is the second anniversary of the sinking of the Irish Sail Training Ship, the STV Asgard II. The Tall Ships fleet visited Belfast in the past and will visit Waterford next year.
I think the island of Ireland should have a ship and a sail training programme. I will raise the idea of an all-Ireland venture at the executive of the assembly and at a future meeting of the north south Ministerial council.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Waterford today. I know we face tough times ahead but as the new Waterford Crystal venture shows, by working together people can make a difference.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
The decision by the National Transport Authority to approve Iarnród Éireann plans to suspend the Rosslare to Waterford Rail service is regrettable. The Regional Authorities in the South-East and the Mid-West, together with their ten constituent local authorities, made a formal submission to the National Transport Authority (NTA) strenuously opposing the proposal of Iarnród Éireann to cease passenger services on the Rosslare to Waterford railway line. The two Regional Authorities, the city councils of Waterford and Limerick and the eight county councils in the regions joined together in a show of solidarity to strongly oppose the closure of the Rosslare-Waterford section of the railway line that links the Rosslare Europort with Waterford, Limerick and onwards to the South-West and the West.