Theresa May's Brexit speech: More Questions Than Answers


Commenting on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech today (17/01/2017), Nick Donnelly, Waterford Chamber CEO said, "Ultimately the speech was no more than an articulation of the UK’s top-line negotiating position.


"Businesses in Ireland are no further advanced in understanding the issues that will need to be dealt with at the conclusion of this process but can take some solace in matters which the UK specified as being key elements in the negotiations. The reference to the special relationship with the Republic of Ireland and the importance of retaining the Common Travel Area is welcome although more clarity on barrier-free arrangements with Northern Ireland remains critical for businesses on both sides of the border.


"The acknowledgement of the desire to take in “elements of the Single Market” and a “new agreement on Customs Union” is positive for Irish exporters but will clearly be very contentious parts of the forthcoming negotiations and mutually beneficial solutions will need to be identified.


"Timing of any changes remains very unclear. The Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of the need for reasonable transition periods is positive. However the process for approval of any negotiated agreement by the remaining EU States and the UK Parliament, where both Houses will be given a vote, will generate continued uncertainty and potentially the risk of a Brexit with no deal in place.


"In addition the expressed desire to conduct negotiations with a high level of privacy will only contribute to continued uncertainty and volatility. While we understand the need for a degree of confidentiality to facilitate negotiators in identifying an agreement, a process to create some level of transparency to enable businesses to plan for possible future scenarios must be put in place.


It is vitally important that the Irish Government and all relevant stakeholders ensure that Ireland’s interests are properly represented in the forthcoming negotiations, that the desire for reasonable transition periods forms part of any agreement and that all States negotiate and reach agreement based on economically rational principles."

Business After Hours at the Theatre Royal


Waterford Chamber


Waterford Chamber invites you to our first Business After Hours networking event of 2017 at the Theatre Royal. Come along to explore the historic venue, get a preview of what the season ahead has to offer and be in with a chance to win some great prizes.


Join the Theatre Royal team and see the facilities at the venue from an entertainment and corporate venue perspective, while also enjoying a guided historical tour of one of Waterford’s oldest buildings.  Artistic Director Ben Barnes will launch the new season, showcasing some of the exciting events on the 2017 schedule, of which highlights include the much anticipated return of My Real Life and the tour of Lyric Theatre’s Educating Rita and Opera Theatre Company’s Acis & Galatea.


Book early to avoid disappointment and be in with the chance to win a voucher for the Theatre Royal valued at €50, four tickets for My Real Life on 2nd February, or four tickets for Acis & Galatea on 3rd April.


About Waterford's Theatre Royal

In the 220 years since the establishment of the Georgian playhouse, which was subsequently adapted in the late nineteenth century to the Theatre Royal we know today, Waterford has been renowned for its local musical and dramatic traditions. The Theatre Royal, often referred to as “the peoples theatre”, has been the traditional venue for this creative activity down through the generations.


Date: Thursday, 19th January

Time: 5.00–7.00pm

Venue: Theatre Royal

Cost: Free of charge


Bookings: Contact Lynda at 051 311130 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Chief Executive Officer


Waterford Chamber of Commerce founded in 1787, representing Business in Ireland’s oldest city for over 200 years, wishes to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from April 2017.


The CEO will provide leadership, vision and guidance in the daily running of operations and the strategic direction for the Chamber, facilitating and leading the Board organisation in their efforts to deliver the mission and goals laid down. The CEO will have full responsibility for financial management revenue generation and will demonstrate an effective understanding of the local and regional economy, and the overall political and economic environment within it.


Marketing, membership development and the opportunities and challenges of both large and small employers must be fully understood in order to deliver for current members and attract new operators on an ongoing basis.


Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Identify and create opportunities to grow Waterford Chamber membership
  • Support local business through innovative ideas and practices
  • Be responsible for all strategic planning and execution based on the Board’s strategic plans
  • Align the Chamber with other economic development groups, working closing with its stakeholders and collaborators
  • Develop the Chamber’s annual business plan with measurable objectives for delivery of successful outcomes on all events, programmes & projects
  • Planning, organising and executing the Board and all Chamber meetings and activities
  • Exercise an excellent rapport with the media
  • Ensure the smooth running of the Skillnet Programme
  • Compete for appropriate/beneficial EU projects
  • Maintain and increase income streams for the Chamber
  • Develop an annual budget for the Chamber’s operations, setting projected revenues, expenses & P&L
  • Reinforce the Chamber’s position as the voice of business in Waterford


Person attributes and competencies required:

In order to achieve the requirements for this post the successful candidate will need highly developed interpersonal skills and communication skills with an ability to team lead, negotiate and influence.


Applications should be sent by Friday, 27th January 2017 to:

Michael Lynagh

Communications Executive

Waterford Chamber

2 George’s Street


Action Plans for Jobs 2017 must focus on youth unemployment


Commenting on the release of the CSO Monthly Unemployment figures for December 2016, Laurent Borla, Waterford Chamber President said, “The ongoing reduction in the unemployment rate is positive news, coming as it does at a time of uncertainty for the Irish economy.


“However, the most encouraging aspect of the December figures is the drop in the rate of youth unemployment. Youth unemployment fell by 0.9% to 14.5% in December and while remaining high, the trend over the past six months is moving in the right direction. High youth unemployment remains as a legacy of the recession and needs to be addressed. Increasing opportunities for young people starting out in the workplace is important not only for economic reasons but is essential for the future social cohesion of Ireland.


“Government must remain focused on job creation and tackling youth unemployment in 2017. There are two clear ways this can be achieved. The first is by making youth unemployment a specific focus of the Action Plan for Jobs 2017. The Action Plan for Jobs programme has made a significant contribution to job creation over recent years, and by focusing on youth unemployment in 2017 we believe further progress will be made on this front.


“Secondly, the Action Plan for Education must be delivered as soon as possible. This Plan provides for an expansion of apprenticeship programmes, traineeships and workplace focused education and training, all of which will prepare young people for a modern labour market. These two measures will help Ireland meaningfully deal with what has proven a stubborn problem.”



Calendar of Events 2017




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