Recent Events

Paul Nolan Pat Cox

“This is coming, this will happen but to what degree we don’t know”, was Pat Cox’s stark warning on Brexit to a large audience of business people at a Waterford Chamber Breakfast Briefing, held in association with Appian Asset Management in Dooley’s Hotel this morning (Thursday, 22nd March).

Offering a “Brexit countdown - one year on, one year to go - a mid-term evaluation”, Mr Cox, former President of the European Union and Director of Appian Asset Management, outlined the path to the current situation and where to from here.

“We are the country who will have the most brutal consequences as a result of a hard Brexit”, he said. “Don’t think when we get to this time next year it’s the end – it’s only the beginning of a new chapter.”

While he believes there are many opportunities for Ireland as a result of Brexit, in terms of UK-based companies looking to have an English-speaking European base, he said we must also be aware that the reverse is also likely, where Irish-based companies will look at relocating within the UK to be closer to their markets.

Outlining the potential scenarios in terms of trade, he said at this point nobody could be sure as to what lies ahead but he warned that business people must begin to take the issue of Brexit seriously and start to look at the implications for their own business, pointing out that there is plenty of help available from agencies like Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Waterford Chamber and its membership.

Mr Cox also remarked that he was hugely encouraged by the air of positivity he felt during his visit to Waterford, saying the thinking is now coming in line with Scandinavian models of working together for the betterment of the entire region on a macro basis.

Fully supporting Waterford Chamber’s 2040 Vision, Mr Cox said, “Your imagination for the future should be yes for Waterford but not for Waterford only.”

Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan echoed the sentiments, saying “We are spending a lot of time talking about the National Planning Framework and working with other regional cities to create a viable alternative to Dublin. The Scandanavian model is certainly interesting and merits study. We have been told to think ‘big’ and with joined up thinking and ongoing collaboration, we will achieve ‘big’.”

Also speaking at the event, Appian Asset Management Director Eugene Kiernan outlined that they are a leading Irish-based and owned asset manager, managing a range of funds which invest globally, to grow and protect client assets while generating sustainable income. For more information on Appian go to

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Charming, warm and honest, Abbott’s Country HR Director Margaret Morrissey entertained and inspired a capacity audience at the Majestic Hotel for the fifth annual Waterford Chamber Inspiring Women in Business Lunch, sponsored by Bank of Ireland.

Speaking at the lunch, Ms Morrissey said: “At Abbott, our work allows us to create possibilities for the people we serve and for ourselves. But it starts with us. Being open to opportunities and experiences has been key to a successful and fulfilling career for me. It takes confidence and self-awareness to do this, but with the right support in place, it can lead to truly life-long learning, whilst empowering you to support others along the way.”

On behalf of Waterford Chamber, Deputy President Kathryn Kiely thanked Margaret and the guests for their continued support of the organisation and said it had been a very positive year for Chamber, with plenty more on offer for 2018.

“It has been a busy year at Waterford Chamber with the launch of our new website, getting the Regional Leaders Programme underway, our hugely successful Toys4.0Engineers Conference and a full networking events schedule. The most important thing for us is to keep our activities relevant for our members and we appreciate your input on an ongoing basis.”

She also took the time to launch Waterford Chamber’s new business magazine ‘Network’, saying the organisation had identified a gap in the market for a publication that would inform and enlighten the readership of the relevant issues pertaining to Waterford and the wider South East region.

“We all have busy lives and while we have many questions about Waterford and the Region’s future, we often don’t get the time to find the answers. ‘Network’ endeavours to do just that in one place. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have in putting it together and a special word of thanks to our advertisers and contributors.”

This is the fifth year Bank of Ireland has come on board as sponsors of the Inspiring Women in Business Lunch and Waterford City and County Manager Pamela Pim said they are very aware that female entrepreneurship is strong in Waterford.

“Making connections is an important part of succeeding in business. It’s not always about who you know but rather who knows about you. At Bank of Ireland, we are very focused on facilitating connections in communities around the country through initiatives like Enterprise Town and we are very proud of our continued involvement with Waterford Chamber. It can be hard keeping on top of everything but it is fantastic to see so many busy women in business here today connecting, supporting and sharing experiences. Hopefully many of you will leave today feeling re-energised and motivated by the conversations you have had and the people you’ve met. In addition to creating positive leads for business, many of the Chamber connections you make will be a continued source of support for you and your business for 2018 and beyond.”

Ms Pim outlined a number of key initiatives run by Bank of Ireland to support people in business such as the Enterprise programme. She also expressed the bank’s continued commitment to Waterford, through their support of Waterford Walls and other community based projects. 

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Working together and building a brighter future for Waterford and the South East Region was the key message at the Waterford Chamber Annual Dinner in the Tower Hotel on Friday night last.

Sponsored by Liberty Blue Estate Agents, the annual black tie event played host to over 250 business people from across the city and county.

Opening proceedings, following a drinks reception hosted by McDonald Dwyer Reddy & Byrne Insurances Ltd., Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr Pat Nugent said we are living in exciting times and are on the cusp of many exciting developments for the city.

“In the early years of the recession, Waterford Council would have indentified key economic drivers which were necessary to position Waterford to be ready for a future economic upturn.

“The SDZ designation of the City’s North Quays is one of the most significant developments for Waterford and indeed the South East region. Waterford is ready for significant retail developments and the opportunities that will follow.”

Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan began his address by saying Waterford Chamber is working hard for the business community in Waterford and appealed for the next generation of business leaders to come forward and consider joining the Board of Management.

Speaking on the National Planning Framework (NPF), he said: “We need an urban centre to drive the region and Waterford has been designated such. We now have a tremendous opportunity to spell out what we need, which is easy – we just need half a chance to succeed. We have the can do and will do attitude.

“We see University status as a key that will unlock the potential in this area. The USP for Waterford is we are diverse, in terms of tech, pharma, life sciences and more. We are the bread basket of Ireland, with family farms and bountiful produce. We have all the ingredients to make the cake, we just need a little help to bake it. The opportunities are now there. Can we really afford not to grab them?”

Sponsor Regina Managan of Liberty Blue Estate Agents spoke of her involvement in the Waterford Chamber Regional Leaders Programme, saying that working collectively and learning from each other would make Waterford and the South East a stronger place to do business and grow.

Guest speaker Waterford City and County Council Chief Executive, Michael Walsh, spoke passionately and emotionally about how Waterford City is now entering a new and exciting phase of its development. Key investments in City Centre Regeneration, Waterford Greenway, Mount Congreve, the Michael Street Shopping Centre, the North Quays and by many enterprises, both foreign direct and indigenous, are reflecting a new energy and for the first time the dividend to be gained from the major infrastructure investments of the Celtic Tiger are manifesting themselves.

Mr. Walsh stated, “The challenge for all of us now is to seize the opportunity presenting itself to drive the City forward, in the spirit of its Viking founding fathers, to be one of the locations of choice in this country in which to live, visit or do business. We are blessed to inhabit a beautiful corner of the world with the amenities of the Comeraghs and the Coast on our door step and combining this with economic vibrancy will make Waterford a European Micro-City with few peers.”

As guests toasted to the future of Waterford sipping their Muldoon cocktails, the air of excitement in the room was palpable and the message clearly delivered. In Michael Walsh’s words “We have a collective vested interest to tell the story of Waterford. We are the people who control the action so let’s tell the story.”

Click here to view photo gallery for this event.

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Blaas, brioche, Blaager and Barista coffee made for a very enjoyable evening at Walsh’s Bakehouse.

On arrival, guests were given a tour of the new state of the art facilities at Lacken Road Business Park, showcasing the huge investment Dermot and Michael Walsh have made into the growth and production of the world famous Blaa.

As the networking began, chef Fergal Phelan and his team served up delicious treats using the freshly baked products, while Tim Barber from Metalman Brewing and Mark Bergin from Coffee House Lane offered the perfect accompaniments.

Speaking at the event, Waterford Chamber Vice President Jonathan Earl said: “Like the Blaa, Michael and Dermot are a bit of an enigma. Third generation bakers, they could have been happy doing what previous generations have done and serving Waterford. But they had the ambition and drive to make their product sit alongside the most notable food brand names in the world. This ambition drove them to invest in blast freezing technology, the key to making the Blaa an international product. And now this, a new chapter in the history of Walsh’s Bakehouse. With state of the art equipment and even greater plans for the businesses and all its products, we just know Michael and Dermot will hold true to their Waterford origins and their high standards.”

On behalf of Walsh’s Bakehouse, Dermot Walsh said: “We hope that you enjoyed seeing our new state of the art facility. We have delivered on a vision Michael and I have had for many years. Through careful planning and research, and with incredible support, we are delighted to show you, the most modern, sustainable bakery built in Ireland this year. By now you have got to sample some of our range of products.  We supply locally to retail, nationally through select distributors and on to the UK, France, Germany and Dubai. We proudly continue the tradition of baking which has been in our family for three generations since 1921 – this facility is the beginning of the next chapter.”

The next Waterford Chamber Business After Hours takes place on Thanksgiving night, November 23rd at Musgrave Marketplace, with a special Christmas theme and is in aid of Pieta House. To book, please contact Lynda Lawton on 051 311130.

T4E1Toys4Engineers - to infinity and beyond!

Industries from across the South-East region and beyond put their best foot forward at the Toys4Engineers Conference & Expo, showcasing how innovation and technology is leading the way.

Organised by Waterford Chamber and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Toys4Engineers at the WIT Arena on 22nd September 2017 saw over a thousand people turn out to view in excess of 50 displays,  everything from virtual reality headsets to robotics and 3D printing to a fleet of electric cars.

Speaking at the event, Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan said: “Innovation and technology is to the fore in our region and I am hugely impressed by what I have seen today. If we can work together and support what’s on our doorstep, the future is certainly a brighter one.”

The 200 delegates to the morning Conference enjoyed presentations from leading experts in industry, including Jim McCann, Medite Smartply; Declan Roche, BAM; James Murtagh, Domino/Codico; Stephen Farrell, Inmasoll; Bernard Bagley, KUKA Robotics, Shane Robinson, Dataworks and a keynote address from Andy Crowley, TEVA Pharmaceuticals.

The afternoon Expo attracted a large attendance of students from all over the country and Dr Ken Thomas, Head of School of Engineering at WIT said “It is great to see so many young people here today finding out more about the high-tech toys being developed and used by engineers to make a better world. We are all aware of the skills shortages and terrific job opportunities, particularly in the South-East, so it is really encouraging to see the next generation having a high level of interest.”

Plans are already being made for next year’s Toys4Engineers event. Speaking live at the event on WLRFM, the IDA South-East Regional Manager Brendan McDonald said: “Events like Toys4Engineers showcase the various strengths of the South East Region and the professional, globally significant work that companies are delivering in the Region on a daily basis. The event highlighted the fact that traditional sectors such as Engineering are evolving and Advanced Manufacturing and collaboration with the Technology Sector is growing, making it more exciting than ever to be an Engineer – and more importantly that companies in the South East are not only adapting to the challenge of change but leading the way. It was also great to see so many secondary schools attend the event – it is clear that this event can be built upon in the years to come. IDA Ireland wishes Waterford Chamber, WIT and organising committee every success in the future.”

Toys4Engineers was sponsored by Siemens and supported by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Waterford Local Enterprise Office and Waterford Chamber Skillnet.


'Smartply Renewal at Belview Port' - Jim McCann, Medite Smartply

'IIoT keeps production rolling at Continental Tyres' - James Murtagh, Domino

'Applying Lean to a Product Design Process'Stephen Farrell, Inmasoll

'Technology of the new N25 Barrow Bridge, New Ross' - Declan Roche, BAM

'Robotics and the Future of Automation' - Bernard Bagley, KUKA Robotics

'IoT: Connecting Devices and Manufacturing Equipment to the Cloud' - Shane Robinson, Dataworks

18 SummerFiestaNetworks collaborate for fun Summer Fiesta

Four of Waterford’s business support agencies joined forces for a networking event at the River Cottage, designed to inform and assist Start-ups and SMEs.

Organised by Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Waterford Chamber, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Waterford Micro Business Network, Summer Fiesta, had all the ingredients for a fun night out – live music, sangria, delicious Spanish inspired cuisine, Legacy Irish Craft Cider and Argentine Tango Dancers.

Opening the event, Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan said: “Networking and making new contacts is a key component to success in business. Events like this are the perfect platform to do that and it’s encouraging to see so many new businesses here starting on their own journey.”

Jacqui Gaule, Waterford Local Enterprise Office also said: “Having a collaborative event like this is fantastic as it showcases what supports are out there for new and small businesses. We are all here to help in various ways and encourage you all to make the most of what we can offer.”

During the evening, MC and Chairperson of Waterford Micro Business Network Joyce O’Carroll introduced a panel of business owners, including Tom Carroll, Tom’s Cases; Nuala Treacy Browne, Meraki Marketing; Michael Kelly, GIY and Margaret Fleming, DessertFirst, who offered words of wisdom on the Perils and Pearls of Business.

Waterford Walls were also present on the night with artist Estr creating a beautiful canvas, which was raffled off, bringing the night to a close.

For business support, please see,, and

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What Our Members Say

“We found the Toys 4.0 Engineers exhibition to be an excellent platform for us to showcase our business. The attendees were exactly the people we hoped to meet and we are delighted to have made new contacts as a result. We also unexpectedly had some success in making supplier connections with other exhibitors. The venue was ideal with adequate sound and space and the presentations were informative. Overall the event was professionally run and we had an excellent experience. We will definitely be exhibiting again next year. I cannot recommend the event highly enough.”

Emma Lacy, Marketing Manager, Horan Automation & Consulting



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