Time to end 'parish pump politics', says Limerick Chamber boss

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Time to end 'parish pump politics', says Limerick Chamber boss

James Ring, CEO Limerick Chamber, Catherine Duffy, Limerick Chamber President and Minister Leo Varadkar at the gala event

LIMERICK Chamber CEO Dr James Ring has urged the local business community to “take off the county colours” and start working with neighbouring areas.

Calling for an end to “parish pump politics”, he said this new approach will make the Mid-West a “real alternative” to Dublin.

Addressing more than 400 local business leaders at the annual Chamber Business Awards on Friday night in the Strand Hotel, Dr Ring warned that Limerick will “struggle to compete on its own, as will Clare and Tipperary”.

“We can no longer afford to waste time competing with each other. However, if we start meaningfully working together to attract investment and jobs into the Mid-West region, we will have a real chance,” he told the audience of 450 guests.

“So I say enough of the parish pump politics, enough fighting for the scraps off Dublin’s table. Let’s stand together with one voice and I would include Galway in this conversation, and we will make the Mid-West a real alternative to Dublin,” Dr Ring added.

In her address, president Catherine Duffy said the outlay for the Limerick/Cork motorway would be returned by “two to one” in terms of economic benefits.

“Balanced regional development means developing the full potential of each area to contribute to the optimal performance of the state as a whole. Economically, socially and environmentally.

"If the proposed Cork-Limerick M20 motorway is given the green light, the government's original research show the benefit of this motorway would outweigh its cost by two to one, as well as delivering significant advantages and increased safety to road users,” she said.

Nine companies in all claimed the 2016 Regional Business Awards, with the top award, Overall Business of the Year award going to Dell EMC.

The President’s Award, for an individual or organisation who made a significant business economic contribution at local or national level, went to John Moran, former Secretary General at the Department of Finance.