General Election – A Vision for 2021 Promotional Campaign 15th – 25th February 2016

Chambers Ireland will run a short online digital promotional campaign beginning tomorrow and running until Election Day. The digital images and content will be run across various websites including RTE, Irish Independent, Done Deal and other sites targeted towards reaching those interested in business. You can see examples from the campaign below. The screenshots were taken after the campaign 

These ads will raise the profile of our Chamber Network manifesto and generate further interest in the issues that we are promoting in General Election 2016. This promotional campaign will run nationwide across various websites and will raise the profile of local Chambers and support membership development. 













Interdepartmental Examination of Retirement Age a Welcome Move


Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin today (19/01/16) announced the creation of an Interdepartmental Group to examine retirement age issues. Demographic trends indicate that the number of people aged 65 and older in Ireland will increase dramatically in the coming decades.


 Commenting on the announcement of the Interdepartmental Group, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive Chambers Ireland said: “The establishment of this Working Group is a necessary step as Ireland begins to address the challenges posed by changing demographics. It is a reality that in the future working lives will need to be extended as funding of pension schemes becomes more challenging. The problem of a lack of adequate pension provision amongst private sector workers in Ireland will require a coordinated approach to resolve, and this approach must involve the cooperation of the public and private sectors. We would welcome the opportunity for private sector engagement in this process in advance of the Group’s report.”





Ambitious Action Plan for Jobs 2016 puts key focus on competitiveness

 The Government today (18/01/16) launched the 5th Annual Action Plan for Jobs showing strong commitment to supporting SMEs and with the aim of creating 50,000 jobs in 2016.

 Commenting on the launch, Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive said, “The Action Plan for Jobs contains genuinely ambitious goals. The disruptive reforms that have been targeted for action in 2016 have real potential to support the expansion of Irish enterprises and to further boost job creation. Programmes to create a new generation of SME exporters, increased funding for apprenticeship schemes and greater investment in our digital economy will help Irish SMEs to scale up, compete internationally and create jobs.”

 “There is a welcome acknowledgement in the plan that maintaining our national competitiveness must be a key area of focus for 2016. Growth projections amongst many of our international trading partners are flat and we cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that as a small open economy we need to retain our cost competitiveness, labour market flexibility and invest more strongly in capital projects.”

 “The strong focus on regional development initiatives and the establishment of world class industry clusters through the National Clustering Initiative will drive economic growth in our regions will help ensure that the economic recovery is felt throughout the country.”





Free WIT event for businesses to learn from Contact Centre best practice


Businesses and management interested in Lean as well as contact centre management welcome to attend free event


On Wednesday, 20 January 2016 Ian Gourlay, a Lean/Six Sigma Consultant and approved Lean service provider with both Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland will present a seminar on ‘Lean & Operational Excellence in Contact Centres’ at Waterford Institute of Technology.


This is as part of the WIT Lean Enterprise Excellence Group’s Lean Practitioner Seminar Series. These free monthly events bring together practitioners in lean enterprise and operational excellence to share knowledge, experience, expertise, and best practice.


This month’s guest speaker Ian Gourlay is a graduate of the Master of Business in Lean Practice and Higher Diploma in Business in Management programmes at WIT. He has more than 10 years’ experience of project and process management programmes within customer services operations of contact centres of multinationals such as NTL/Chorus, AOL and Rigney Dolphin/Relatecare. Ian also has over 20 years’ extensive and progressive experience of process, project and change management programmes.


“The Lean Enterprise Excellence Group at WIT was established to create a lean enterprise excellence ecosystem combining education, research, and knowledge transfer through the development of a knowledge-led and research-based practitioner community that will deliver value to the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of Irish organisations,” explains Aidan Walsh, Co-Director of the Master of Business in Lean Practice at WIT.


The seminar series provides a straightforward method of promoting and accessing knowledge exchange from cutting-edge research and practice and provides attendees with free membership of a community of learning and practice.


Event: Lean and Operational Excellence in Contact Centres

Date: Wednesday, 20 January

Time: 18:00 – 20:00

Venue: Room: F06, Business School, WIT, Cork Road, Waterford


To book: email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Information presentations for mature CAO applicants 


Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) invites all adults considering applying as mature applicants (aged 23 or over) through the CAO in 2016, to a CAO Presentation on Thursday, 7 January 2016, in the Auditorium, WIT Main Campus, Cork Road, Waterford.

The presentations are being organised by the Regional Educational Guidance Service for Adults (REGSA) and mature applicants can choose to come from 11am to 12 or 7 to 8pm. Both presentations will include detailed information on applying through the CAO and completing the WIT Mature Applicant Assessment Form, with a questions and answers session at the end.

With the CAO deadline of 1 February fast approaching, mature applicants should not miss out on the invaluable tips and information which will be shared at this event.

Peter Lucey Co-ordinator and Guidance Counsellor at the Regional Educational Guidance Service at WIT said “Making the right choices at CAO time is important and we’re delighted to be able to offer free advice and helpful tips for those considering coming to WIT or any other third level college. Anyone even considering going back to college should really come along. There’s no need to pre-register – they should just turn up for either the morning or evening session.”

For further information, please go to or phone (051) 302287.


WIT news:

Upcoming events:


Diary Notice

CAO mature applicant information sessions

Date: Thursday, 7 January

Time: 11am to 12pm or 7pm to 8pm

Location: the Auditorium, WIT Main Campus, Cork Road, Waterford

Details: Over 23s will learn how they can apply through the CAO and complete the WIT Mature Applicant Assessment Form. The presentations are organised by the Regional Educational Guidance Service for Adults (REGSA) and are for people interested in studying at WIT or any third-level college.

Booking: not required.

For further information, please go to or phone (051) 302287.



Waterford Science Region stand for BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition


There are a number of schools from Waterford taking part in the 2016 exhibition, namely: Blackwater Community School, Lismore, De La Salle College and St Angela's in Waterford City

Students from local secondary schools aren’t the only ones representing Waterford at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, the Southeast will yet again have one of the largest, most interactive, entertaining and educational stands at the exhibition.

This amazing Waterford Science Region stand co-ordinated by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), will illustrate the wealth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in the Southeast and is part of the ongoing efforts to create a region of STEM.

30 volunteers of WIT staff and students, joined by industry professionals will provide hands on interactive science activities ranging from touch tanks to robotics. WIT remains the biggest third level institute exhibiting at the exhibition and entertains the 60,000 strong crowd in attendance for three full days.

The Waterford Science Region stand is always one of the busiest at the exhibition, and WIT’s STEM outreach centre Calmast (Centre for the Advancement of Learning of Maths, Science and Technology) works with students and teachers in Waterford and across the Southeast all through the year.

One of the organisers Dr Sheila Donegan, says that WIT is delighted to support the terrific BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition for the 14th year along with industry and local government partners.

“We’re working with Pharma companies Teva and Bausch and Lomb and with Waterford Council to promote the Southeast as a science region.”

 “All areas of science, engineering, maths and technology will be displayed at the stand in the hope of exciting visitors about the importance of science in our everyday lives. The stand will illustrate how many technology-related companies are operating in the Southeast region and how the institute works with them.”

One of the key attractions for pharmaceutical companies to set up in a new location is an existing cluster, and proximity to suitable graduates.

Dr Donegan’s advice for students thinking of studying science or parents’ eyeing up careers in science is that “A degree in science or any of the STEM areas will take you anywhere whether you want to travel or want to stay locally. There are a wide range of courses at different levels in Science, Technology and Engineering at WIT right up to PhD level.”

Eoin Gill, director at Calmast who will be part of the Waterford Science Region team at the annual exhibition explains that demand for science, engineering and technology courses continues to increase. “Against the backdrop of the CAO 1 February deadline, whether to pursue a future in STEM may be the topic of conversation in many households. It’s great to see so many students from Waterford involved in this exhibition. However you don’t have to be a young scientist to become a scientist or engineer. If you want to know how the world works, you are inquisitive, creative, and like problem solving, you’re on the way to a career in STEM.”

“Visiting the Waterford Science Regions stand at this great exhibition or taking part in one of our many events throughout the year open to primary and secondary schools is a great chance to find out the excitement and wonder of science outside of the classroom,” he adds.

Visiting the BT Young Scientist’s exhibition? Call to the Waterford Science Region stand where you can discover the wonders of science, the ingenuity of engineering and the magic of maths in a fun and interactive way.

Explore microbes and freshwater macro-invertebrates and meet Bengie and other robots. Robots built by electronics students will also feature as well as chemistry magic demonstrations. Bausch & Lomb and TEVA will be showcasing the latest developments from the Healthcare / Pharma industry.


To arrange an interview please contact Dr Sheila Donegan directly on (086) 234 7259.

Images: Chemical magic in action at Science Week

Notes for editors

Ireland’s most spectacular science and technology showcase will open to the public from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th January 2016 with up to 60,000 visitors, young and old, expected over the course of the event.

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is a must for anyone with a passion for science and technology. For information, log onto, check out, follow on twitter at #BTYSTE or call 1800 924 362.

The exhibition will incorporate the 550 secondary school student projects that were shortlisted from over 2,000 entries for display at the event. As well as that, there is a jam-packed programme of events, including creative inventions, interactive education and mind-blowing live shows. Tickets are available at the door costing €6 for students, €12 for adults and €25 for a family pass which includes 2 adults and 2 children.






 Regional Strategy Key to Future Jobs Growth in South East



Monday, 07 September 2015

Chambers Ireland today (07/09/2015) welcomes the launch of the South East Action Plan for Jobs which aims at creating an additional 25,000 jobs in Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. 


Commenting on the launch, Mark O’Mahoney, Director of Policy and Communications at Chambers Ireland, said: “The creation of unique regional growth strategies is fundamental to supporting regional development and today’s publication is therefore very welcome.”


“The South East has been particularly badly hit by the recession, but the latest employment figures from the CSO show that the recovery has now also spread to this region. Today’s launch of a targeted job creation strategy for the South East will act to further accelerate job recovery and economic growth.”


“We urge the Government to work closely with the local Chambers in the region to implement the plan and call on Government to ensure that Budget 2016 also underpins the deliverable actions, notably in relation to supporting entrepreneurship and encouraging investment”. 




The Register of Lobbying is Going Live Today!!!




The Standards in Public Office Commission is now in operation. The register of lobbying is now in Business.

Who is it for?

  • The Board of your Chamber of Commerce
  • Chamber of Commerce Staff
  • Every Chamber Member and their staff

We had a briefing session with Aidan Moore of the Standards and Public Office Commission at our last South East Chambers meeting on August 31st 2015. The regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 raises many questions for all of us. Check out or contact your local Chamber of Commerce for updates.


VLM Airlines announces the continuation of scheduled services to London Luton and Birmingham at Waterford Airport 

VLM Airlines who commenced services at Waterford Airport to London Luton and to Birmingham in late April have announced that they will continue these flights in the autumn/winter period with bookings now available at through to March 2016.

The current schedule on Waterford-London Luton and Waterford-Birmingham will continue 

to operate until late November whereupon the winter schedule will begin and continue through to early March of next year.

The Belgian-based airline is currently flying twice-daily Waterford-London Luton services from Monday to Friday, as well as providing a Saturday and Sunday service. The Fokker 50 aircraft on the route has a capacity for up to 50 passengers. VLM also operates a four times 

a week service from Waterford to Birmingham. 

Welcoming the airline’s commitment to maintaining their Waterford services through the

autumn/winter season, Desmond O’Flynn, CEO, Waterford Airport said: “The continuation 

of our scheduled passenger services on a year-round basis is a great endorsement of the experience that VLM has had on their Waterford-based routes since beginning them less than three months ago. 

“The early announcement of their intention to operate the routes through the winter also allows passengers to plan ahead and – based on previous years - we would anticipate particularly strong demand over the Christmas holiday period.

“With this ongoing opportunity, it’s now incumbent on all of us in the southeast to think Waterford Airport first when making our travel plans – whether for business or leisure. As I have said previously, it’s very much a case of ‘use it or lose it’. VLM Airlines is an excellent operator to work with and we look forward to continuing to partner with them and all stakeholders to promote the Waterford routes to inbound and outbound passengers at every opportunity.”

VLM Airlines’ first service was on the Antwerp-London City route. A previous winner of Regional Airline of the Year, in addition to Waterford they operate scheduled services to/from Antwerp, Birmingham, Geneva, Hamburg, London Luton, Rotterdam and Southampton.

•Bookings on the Waterford-London Luton and Waterford-Birmingham services can be made through


Chambers Ireland

Government Must Incentivise Entrepreneurship


Chambers Ireland has today (15/07/15) called on Government to use the tax system to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in all sectors of the economy. The call came as the Department of Finance undertakes a review on tax and entrepreneurship.


Speaking today, Mark O’Mahoney, Director of Policy and Communications, Chambers Ireland said, “We must incentivise a new generation of entrepreneurs to establish businesses and generate indigenous growth and employment. With the appropriate adjustments to our tax structures, Government can support a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation which will create jobs and help sustain our economic growth.”


Irish tax structures discriminate against the self-employed and owner directors on a number of fronts.


“Entrepreneurs take great risks and this should be recognised and rewarded by our tax system. Currently, owner-directors and the self-employed cannot avail of a tax credit in the same fashion as their PAYE counterparts. We believe that a tax credit on earned income similar to that available to PAYE workers (€1,650) should be introduced for the self-employed.”


“Similarly, those earning over €100,000 are faced with an additional USC burden of 3% over and above what PAYE workers earning the same income must pay. In order to encourage and support entrepreneurs, the USC for self-employed earnings over €100,000 should be brought in line with that of PAYE workers. Given the critical role of entrepreneurs for the future of the Irish economy, it would be appropriate that the tax system is adjusted to reflect their contribution,” he concluded.



Brian Cody Champions the South East European Capital of Culture 2020 as a Bid Ambassador

Hurling Manager Brian Cody has come on board as a Bid Ambassador for the Three Sisters 2020 – the partnership of the cities and counties of Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny whom are jointly bidding for the 2020 title of European Capital of Culture.

Brian Cody is regarded as one of the greatest managers of Ireland’s national game and has been in charge of the uber successful Kilkenny Senior Hurling Team since 1998. It has been said that Cody lives and breathes hurling and there is no doubt that he derives much enjoyment from the ancient Gaelic game of some 3,000 years of age and what is the world’s fastest field sport.

Commenting on what inspires him in the region and his support for the Three Sisters 2020 Bid, Brian says, “I am delighted to be associated with the Three Sisters 2020 Bid. We have a lot to offer in this region; one of my favourite places is along The River Nore which defines our county in so many ways as it flows right through, it is an immense presence here for all of us, famous for our trout and salmon fishing and you can see its sheer beauty and splendour as it flows through the City and on to Thomastown and Bennettsbride and onwards to join up with its sister Rivers the Suir and the Barrow.

Nowlan Park is also a place of huge inspiration for me and for all in Kilkenny, it is the home of Hurling and GAA in Kilkenny and every young fella who ever dreamed of wearing the famous black and amber jersey. Our national game is something of course that the whole South East region is famous for; Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny are all counties immersed absolutely in Hurling. 

This region stands out for me as the South East has always been a gateway to Europe even back to when the Vikings landed in Waterford and the Normans in Wexford and the huge European influence as a result of these arrivals can be seen right throughout the very fabric of the whole region. If the South East is successful in its 2020 Bid it would mean an opportunity to share our regional heritage for all of us to further work together to make a difference from the point of view of our heritage, our culture, the arts and tourism. It is something that will be absolutely mutually beneficial for the entire South East.”

Brian is hugely passionate about the Bid and is asking the people of the South East and beyond to join him in supporting the Bid, “Join me and do your ‘Bit for the Bid’, and join us at

Three ambassadors have teamed up with the Three Sisters 2020 Bid; joining Kilkenny-man Brian Cody is Wexford-man and author Eoin Colfer and Waterford-man and music festival director Vince Power whom have both also joined the South East’s Bid team.

Watch Brian Cody’s video for the Three Sisters 2020 Bid at and get involved and support the Bid on the site. The ‘Three Sisters 2020’ can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube at ‘Three Sisters 2020’. The websites’ ‘Get Involved’ page allows everyone to submit his or her thoughts and ideas on what the European capital of Culture 2020 in the South East might look like.

The European Capital of Culture is designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which the host city or region organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension.

The South East’s Bid name and website draws on the three rivers of the three counties, The Barrow, The Nore and The Suir. It re-affirms the connection amongst the three South East counties and also sets the unique regional Bid apart from the other single city bids.

#BitfortheBid #ThreeSisters

- See more at: Cody

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Mission Statement

"The various chambers, staff and volunteers of South East Chambers work endlessy to ensure the region as a while is an attractive & successful location to do business"

Madeleine Quirke


chamber of commerce ireland

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