EU must work together to limit uncertainty following UK vote to leave

Chambers Ireland Brexit

UK will continue to be a key partner, but Ireland’s future remains with the EU


Speaking this morning (24th June 2016) after yesterday’s vote on UK membership of the European Union, Waterford Chamber Chief Executive Nick Donnelly said, “Although we await an official announcement, the outcome of yesterday’s vote indicates that the UK, our closest neighbour and a major trading partner, will be leaving the European Union."


"While this is not the result that we believe is in the long term interests of the Irish economy, the UK will continue to be a key partner for Ireland into the future. The EU and UK now need to focus on measured responses to limit future uncertainty and undertake a sensible, proportionate exit negotiation process that will work for all parties. A clear framework for a UK exit must be agreed and put in place that minimises disruption and enables businesses to plan for the new reality. The EU also needs to develop a new program of reform to improve the functioning of the Single Market and the competitiveness of European business."


"Chambers in Ireland have been quite clear that Ireland must remain at the heart of the EU in order to secure our economic future. Increasingly, European states face challenges that are global in nature and can only be met as part of a cohesive Union. The increasing competition between regional trade blocs, climate change and the migrant crisis are examples of current challenges that can only be surmounted by adopting a unified strategy through the EU. Notwithstanding the UK decision to leave, we firmly believe that Ireland’s economic future is best safeguarded as part of the EU."


Click here for an overview on what this result now means both for the UK public and for Irish business.

Midsummer Mixer


A night of networking in glorious sunshine


Burgers, beer and cocktails provided the perfect recipe for the Midsummer Mixer, hosted by Waterford Chamber, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Waterford Micro Business Network at the Athenaeum House Hotel on Thursday night last (June 23rd).


Designed to appeal to start-up and micro businesses and sponsored by Bank of Ireland, close on 100 business people arrived in glorious sunshine to mix, mingle and take part in some fun speed networking.


Hawk-Eye Falconry provided a spectacular opening to the event as their Harris Hawk did a fly over while guests sipped on Thin Gin and Claire’s Cordial Cocktails created by the talented team at The Reg or Metalman beer and enjoyed a delicious BBQ.


Getting proceedings under way, Waterford Chamber President Laurent Borla said that while multinationals are our front window, 99% of businesses are SMEs.


“We want to support start-ups. We NEED to support start-ups. And that’s why Waterford Chamber this year created a start-up/micro category, because networking is key to your success. You will not do it on your own. You need to share, to learn from others and to be exposed to business opportunities. SMEs and start-ups are passionate and love talking about their business so don’t be shy and avail of it. There is a strong and growing ecosystem in Waterford: the LEO, New Frontiers, SEBIC, Arclabs, New Frontiers, Fumbally Exchange, Waterford Micro Business Network, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, and loads of small initiatives like tonight. Get to know them, participate, give and I promise you will receive.”


Sponsors Bank of Ireland then led a ‘fire-side chat’ discussion, facilitated by Start-up Community Manager Ita O’Sullivan and featuring Sandra Whelan from Immersive VR Education; Barrie Rogers, Chia Bia and James O’Sullivan, FlavourHaus, who all spoke about the highs and lows of starting a business, the challenges they faced and the support they received.


Next up was keynote speaker Robbie Skuse, owner of and founder of Digest Waterford, a community designed to connect start-ups. Having worked on start-up networking groups in other cities, Robbie said it is essential Waterford replicates what they are doing and that the potential here for new businesses is second to none.


"I'm challenging you as an individual, not as an organisation to take action; to engage and to help create a better eco-system for Start-ups here in Waterford”, he said.


"Waterford is a very loyal city which makes it a great place to start a business but we need more synergies between the small companies starting out, and the businesses who have already established themselves here."


With that message in mind, guests joined Seamus Hayes of Fitzwilliam Training Consultants for a speed networking session and the event was brought to a close by Ronan Cleary, Chairperson of the Waterford Micro Business Network, who thanked sponsors Bank of Ireland for their support and also those who contributed to making the event such a success.

Increased commitment to capital expenditure welcomed, but more will be needed


Summer_Economic_Statement_2016‘Rainy Day Fund’ positive step in prudential economic management


Speaking today (21 June 2016) following the Government’s announcement of the Summer Economic Statement, Waterford Chamber President, Laurent Borla welcomed the increased commitment to capital expenditure but cautioned that further investment increases are likely to be necessary in the coming years.


“Increased Government spending should be weighted towards strategic investment in the infrastructure necessary to sustain our economic growth. A lengthy period of under investment in infrastructure has led to bottlenecks emerging, particularly in transport, housing and broadband and these areas need substantial investment as a matter of urgency.  We welcome the increased allocation of €1 billion to the capital investment programme over the coming years and the commitment to bring levels of capital expenditure up to 3.8% of GNP by 2021. However, as Ireland faces increasing demographic pressures, and the economy moves towards operating at capacity, it is very likely that further increases to the capital budget will be necessary.”


“The establishment of a Rainy Day Fund is another positive development which will help address the vulnerability of the Irish economy to cyclical shocks. As a small open economy, a Rainy Day Fund will provide a prudential counter-cyclical buffer to help smooth income and expenditure profiles in times of volatility.” 

Golf Classic 2016


Waterford Chamber


This year's Golf Classic will take place at Faithlegg Golf Club on Friday, 15th July 2016.


This will be a 4-Person team event with a shotgun start at 2pm (registration is at 1pm). Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, nearest the pin and longest drive.


Enter a team: €350 + VAT for team of 4


Bookings: To book a team or sponsor a tee sign please call Lynda at 051 311130 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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President's Lunch 2016


Presidents Lunch 2016 2



Waterford Chamber hosted Sunday Business Post Editor Ian Kehoe as the guest speaker at the annual President's Lunch at Waterford Castle.


The high-profile lunch was the first on the calendar for the new Waterford Chamber President Laurent Borla and Ian Kehoe Editor of the Sunday Business Post and award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster spoke about business in the region from a media perspective.


Speaking on national policy and business in the region, Ian said, “This government, like the one before it, talks constantly about business and business needs. It has become something of a mantra: “the best small country in the world in which to do business”. Yet the community is not feeling the love. SMEs feel a disconnect between themselves and government. Rightly or wrongly, many business owners feel they are subsidising government support for others. Indeed, new research shows that a third of SMEs don’t know who their public representatives are. This is something the government must address.”


Commenting at the event President of Waterford Chamber Laurent welcomed guest speaker Ian Kehoe and said, “When asked to come up with a theme for my year as President, I wanted it to reflect my own background as an engineer but also my vision for Waterford. Technology and innovation are to the core of who I am and it’s exciting to see Waterford developing as a highly respected innovative technologically advanced city and county. The emergence of new businesses is fundamental to job creation and economic development in Waterford. We want jobs, we want funding for education, we want skills and training and we as a Chamber won’t be afraid to ask for it. Infrastructure and capital expenditure are also high on the priority list for us locally as a Chamber but also nationally.”


Cpl Resources plc., Ireland’s largest recruitment, sponsored of the 2016 Waterford Chamber president’s lunch. 


Photos by Leo Murphy Photography.






Three Sisters 2020


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