Chamber News

Paul O Neill Editor Irish Times

Paul O’Neill, Editor of the Irish Times, will make a welcome return to his native county for the Waterford Chamber President’s Lunch, which takes place on Friday, 21st June in the beautiful surroundings of the Majestic Hotel in Tramore.

During the mid-summer lunch event, which is sponsored by AIB Bank, guests will enjoy a sumptuous meal, preceded by a drinks reception compliments of Legacy Irish Cider.

Always a popular corporate event on the Waterford Chamber calendar, the President’s Lunch sees the coming together of business owners and executives for an informal gathering and sharing of ideas.

Incoming President Jonathan Earl said he is very much looking forward to hearing Paul’s story from local journalist to editor of Ireland’s leading newspaper.

“I have spent my adult life attempting to interpret and communicate messages, and today I find myself in a role, in an organisation, in a city where now more than ever a confident, consistent and positive message is required. The media plays an integral part in delivering that message and it will be interesting to hear how Waterford is perceived on the national media agenda.”

Speaking in advance of the event, Paul said he looked forward to getting a better sense of the challenges facing Waterford at a time of such momentous change at home and abroad. “It’s not a question of me coming home because I don’t feel I ever went away. But some, no doubt, will see me as an outsider and perhaps there’s a different perspective that comes with that.”

Event sponsor Marian Keane of AIB Homes said: “This is our second year sponsoring the President’s Lunch, which we view as an important event for the business community to network and take time out to engage with peers.”

Paul O’Neill was appointed Editor of The Irish Times in April 2017. He has had a long and varied career with the company, having joined in 1989 as London Correspondent. Over 30 years, he has been a news reporter, Crime Correspondent, Deputy News Editor, Finance Editor, Editorial Director and Deputy Editor.

In more recent years, he has played a central role in the transformation of The Irish Times into a digital publisher.

Paul began his career as a reporter with the Waterford News & Star in 1982 and subsequently joined the then Cork Examiner in 1989.

The acquisition by The Irish Times last July of the Irish Examiner, the Echo and a number of regional titles, including the Waterford News & Star, has brought his journalistic career under one umbrella and brought him back to the place where it all began almost four decades ago.

Tickets for the lunch are €65 including VAT and can be booked by contacting Lynda Lawton on 051 311130 or online at here.

RLP Michael Doherty

‘One More Attempt’ was the theme of Michael Doherty’s address at the Waterford Chamber Regional Leaders Programme Inspiring Lunch talk at the Majestic Hotel.

In front of a large crowd, the Cheekpoint native and CEO of Woodbrook Group said: “Fear and failure are indicators you’re on the right road, not roadblocks. The more you handle your fear and accept failure and move forward, the more you continue creating entrepreneurial vision and graft, the more you will come to appreciate important errors.”

Having started his own mobile phone company at just 16, Michael went on to have many successes and failures along the way and spoke about how hitting rock bottom while sleeping in a Metro Station in Moscow made him realise the only way was up and to give it one more try.

This led to the foundation of the Woodbrook Group just over five years ago, which he has led through a period of significant international expansion and he is now considered one of the '100 Most Influential People in the Global Financial Services Sector' by the respected International Advisor publication.

Things have come full circle for Michael as he is now looking to expand his European operations in Ireland, having just secured a new company in Galway, which will be re-located and expanded right here in Waterford, under separate to the Woodbrook operation.

He has full confidence in the Waterford of the future and in its entrepreneurs and business leaders.

“There are no limits to the Waterford’s next millennium of opportunities because we are world class, and that is reflective in the investment flowing into the region at present. We have survived underfunding, marginalisation, and dismissal. We created the new future Waterford out of consistent campaigning for infrastructure, links and development funding.

“The seeds not just of economic recovery, regeneration and renewal are sprouting in Waterford today. Waterford’s global engagements – Crystal Valley Tech, the emergence of vibrant tech and pharma hubs, the world class development at North Quays – are fully representative of the new way of working and the new way of succeeding. Waterford is returning to its roots as a global trader of excellence. Entrepreneurship and the further shore are in our DNA. There are no barriers to the entrepreneur, only obstacles leading to opportunities.”

Speaking at the event, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said, it is these opportunities we must now grasp with both hands.

“It is companies of international repute, working with our own indigenous companies, which will make Waterford great again and we all have a responsibility to work together to achieve that common goal. 

“By supporting Waterford Chamber through membership and initiatives like the Regional Leaders Programme, we in turn can support you, by working on your behalf to be the voice of business in Waterford. By coming together the business community is a powerful voice and one we are proud to champion and advocate for.”

This was the last Inspiring speaker lunch before the programme’s closing lunch on June 19th in Faithlegg with Waterford Ambassador of the Year and renowned chef Paul Flynn. Expressions of interest and applications are now being accepting for year three of the Regional Leaders Programme, which is designed to develop leaders for the future in the South East Region. It is aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership competencies and will benefit companies seeking to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool.

The programme runs monthly from September to June and incorporates practical guidance on leadership styles, problem-solving and key recommendations during 1:1 mentoring sessions. Mastermind workshops and speaker lunches create opportunities for programme participants to engage with Regional Leaders colleagues and expand their network.

The programme is supported by Bausch + Lomb, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Waterford Institute of Technology.

For more information, contact Lynda Lawton or Kelly Cummins on 051 872639.

Ahead of local and European elections taking place on 24th May, Waterford Chamber is calling on voters to support candidates who are committed to realising a long-term vision for Waterford.

According to Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley, there has never been a more important time to vote. “I would urge everybody to exercise their right to vote on 24th May. It is imperative that we select candidates on a local and European level who can drive the Waterford agenda. Local government make decisions on housing, transport and infrastructure, and these decisions shape our daily lives. More significantly, decisions that are made at European level dictate the choices our governments can make across a wide range of issues, from trade to agriculture to regulation. We must not underestimate the opportunity we have before us on the 24th May to elect representatives who will work to build a prosperous, sustainable Waterford.

“It is critical we have the right voices heard locally and in Europe who will fight to improve planning, secure investment for our city and county and support the delivery of the objectives set out in the National Planning Framework.

“As a business community, we will drive the economy of our city but as we outlined recently to An Taoiseach Leo Varadker, we need the infrastructure to do so. We need you to support us, so we in turn can support you. We need strong voices locally, nationally and in Europe to achieve that. Working together, we can drive Waterford forward, create sustainable jobs, spend more money locally and ultimately grow our businesses and economy for the betterment of all.”

Chambers Ireland is the national voice of Ireland’s largest business network. Our network has the broadest geographic presence, reaching towns and cities across the country. As a network, we want to see sustainable communities thrive in locally vibrant economic environments. A fast, national, reliable broadband network is a prerequisite for this.

Speaking following the Cabinet’s decision to appoint a preferred bidder to the National Broadband Plan, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “Our network of Chambers are aligned in their view that access to reliable high-speed broadband is an economic necessity. Broadband is essential infrastructure for the 21st century and it is already as important to our professional and personal lives as the telephone network was at the end of the 20th century. A community without broadband today is as disconnected from the wider economy as the communities without electricity were in 1945.

If flexible and remote working is to become a lived reality for people in all parts of the country, then it is conditional on broadband being available in their homes. The alternative is economic stagnation, long commutes and regional decline, all of which contribute to poorer quality of life, lower productivity and a bigger carbon footprint.

Government policy itself has effectively made access to broadband mandatory. Many public and business related services now have an online dimension, despite the absence of broadband in so many parts of the country. This alone makes a clear case for increased, sustained public investment in broadband infrastructure. The economic benefits make national broadband access a necessity.

However, in respect of Government action on broadband, for this investment to be worthwhile it will need to be capable of delivering ever faster speeds exceeding 1,000 megabits per second. A network which does not meet that need will not be future-proofed and will not be capable of delivering for communities and local economies in the years to come."

Taoiseach Visit 2019

Following an invitation by Waterford Chamber, An Taoiseach Leo Varadker met with representatives of the business community at a private meeting on his visit to Waterford, where he was presented with five critical issues to the future development of the Waterford City Region, including Health Care, the Technological University, Waterford Airport, required infrastructure and upgrading the road network.

Pictured welcoming An Taoiseach to the Waterford Chamber offices are Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford Council; Waterford Chamber President, Kathryn Kiely and Gerald Hurley, CEO, Waterford Chamber. Photo: Leo Murphy Photography

Chambers Call for Strong Voter TurnoutAhead of local and European elections taking place on 24 May, Chambers Ireland, as the national voice of Ireland’s largest business network, launches the “Our Time To Vote” campaign. The campaign calls on voters to support candidates who are committed to realising a long-term vision for our communities by improving planning, investing in our cities and regions and supporting how we transition to a resilient low carbon economy.

Speaking this morning, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot calls on the business community to engage with candidates and turn out to vote on 24 May.

“Although they have the largest franchise, Local and European elections aren’t prioritised in the same way as general elections and turn-out is often low. Today, with the support of our Network of 41 chambers, we are launching the “Our Time To Vote” campaign in an effort to give these elections the attention they merit.

Our members want to see sustainable communities thrive in locally vibrant economic environments, but in order to achieve this, we need to elect representatives who share this vision. Our goal in this campaign is to help educate Chamber members and voters as to the importance of these institutions and encourage them to turn out to vote.

Local government make decisions on housing, transport and infrastructure, and these decisions shape our daily lives. More significantly, decisions that are made at European level dictate the choices our governments can make across a wide range of issues, from trade to agriculture to regulation. We must not underestimate the opportunity we have before us on the 24 May to elect representatives who will work to build a prosperous, sustainable Ireland.

We encourage every eligible person in the country to ensure that they are registered to vote, and then to vote on polling day 24 May itself. Every adult, legally resident in Ireland, can vote in at least one of the upcoming elections. The deadline for voter registration is this Tuesday, 7 May. This is Our Time to Vote.”

workforce ireland south east event 2019Attracting and retaining talent is a growing concern for industry across Ireland. As one of the five key pillars in the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland 2019 report, enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent is recognised as a significant contributor to securing Ireland’s economic success.

The challenge of attracting and retaining talent will be addressed at the upcoming Workforce Ireland 2019 seminar, jointly hosted by Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet, County Tipperary Skillnet and Wexford Chamber Skillnet. The seminar takes place on Wednesday, 22 May at Mount Juliet Estate.

The event will be facilitated by one of Ireland’s foremost trainers Michael Cox of MCX Training and Development and will feature a number of keynote speakers throughout the morning, including Michael’s presentation on ‘Theory into Action’.

At Workforce Ireland 2019, Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland will discuss how we can ‘Address Current and Future Skills Shortages’. Speaking on the importance of having a strong workforce, Healy said At Workforce Ireland 2019, Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland will discuss how we can ‘Address Current and Future Skills Shortages’. Speaking on the importance of having a strong workforce, Healy said:

"Fostering a skilled and educated workforce is critical for strengthening Ireland’s competitiveness and sustaining our future success. The world of work is transforming, and the pace of technological development is redefining the future of economies globally. This presents challenges but also new possibilities - many job roles will be redefined, and emerging job roles will require new and different skillsets. Businesses need to consider new ways of attracting and retaining talent by becoming flexible, innovative and adaptable. I am delighted that a number of Skillnet Networks have joined together to bring this expert event to businesses in the South East.” 

David Cooney, Associate Director with Morgan McKinley, will speak on ‘The South-East as part of Ireland Inc – Attracting Talent to our Business Unit’ Other topics throughout the half day seminar include Staff Retention with Brian Cleary of Acorn Regulatory; Recruitment with Dr Karen O’Connor, Datapac; Learning & Development with Elaine Hayes, Zurich; Spending your Training Budget with Ria White, Eirgen and Creating a Great Workplace with Lisa Murphy, Scurri.

Speaking about the event, Network Manager of Waterford Chamber Skillnet Sara Mullally said “Future-proofing, succession planning and retention are all key concerns for industry right now. As we approach full employment, attracting and retaining talent must be given due consideration at all times and our seminar will offer expert opinions, advice and shared experiences, so we can ensure our workforce is reaching its full potential. We are delighted to have such a high calibre of speakers lined up and we would encourage all HR Executives, senior managers and business owners to take the half day away from the office to engage, learn and of course offer their own advice.”

To book your place at Workforce Ireland 2019 for €50, please contact your local Skillnet Network; Waterford Chamber Skillnet on 051 311139, Wexford Chamber Skillnet on 053 9122226; County Tipperary Skillnet on 052 6191105 and Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet on 059 9132152.

To find your local Skillnet Learning Network in the South East region, visit

Chambers Ireland Local Government ManifestoChambers Ireland has launched its Local Government Manifesto and calls on voters to ask their candidates the hard questions about the long-term future of their areas: How candidates intend to deliver sustainable infrastructure and housing for their communities? What will they do to support local economic development? And, how will their policies help adapt our economy to decarbonisation?

Chambers Ireland is a network of businesses with a geographic reach that spans the cities and towns of Ireland. Chambers have been active in Ireland for over 200 years. This lends a long-term perspective to how we look at the economy and the world we live in.

Speaking today, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot calls on all voters to get engaged and to vote on 24 May, saying;

“We’ve come a long way since the last election in 2014. Our economy is growing and we’re almost at full employment, so while prosperity might have returned, the sustainability of our economy must now be the focus of our attention.

The National Development Plan sets out a long-term view on how to build a better future for Ireland. Our cities and towns need tens of thousands of new homes. We need to build better places to live and do business. Better planning and long-term thinking will improve the quality of life and quality of local economies around the country. The decisions that elected members of our local authorities make in the coming years will be central to realising this ambition.

We in Chambers Ireland are calling on all voters to vote. Our local authorities matter, and their decisions can’t be left up to someone else. We call on all candidates to take the long-term view and help build a better Ireland.”

Chambers Ireland calls on candidates for local government to support the long-term vision for Ireland and consider the following;

  • Our approach to the urban environment needs a revolution, we need integrated housing, transport, and civic spaces which prioritise the needs of the people living and working there.
  • Our local authorities need to co-operate to guide the development of our cities and towns so that policy decisions are coherent at the regional level and are consistent over multiple election cycles.
  • All our regions need to benefit from the production of green energy. If rural Ireland is to benefit from our decarbonising economy, it will need help to move beyond the traditional agri-food sector and into innovative new industries.
  • Ireland needs to work harder to facilitate women remaining in or returning to the workforce. The network of Local Enterprise Offices and other Local Government structures need to develop strategies that will support women in their areas.
  • If we are to have thriving local economies, our local authorities need to have procurement policies which look towards quality and long-term sustainability.

Click here to download the Local Government Manifesto

Business Expo 2019 1

Autoboland Jaguar and Land Rover was the place to be on Thursday night last for the Waterford Chamber Business Expo, which saw over 80 exhibitors showcase the vibrant business offering in Waterford right now.

Special guest, horse trainer and jockey Joseph O’Brien took time to go around to meet with exhibitors and said he was hugely impressed by the diverse businesses on show and in particular High Horse Events, who provided free tea and coffee for everyone in attendance from their converted horse box.

He also lent his support to the Noah’s Wish to Walk Campaign, who were fundraising and raising awareness through the evening.

Speaking at the event, Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely emphasised the importance of taking the time to network with other businesses.

“Events such as these allow us that time away from the office to share ideas and learn from our peers. The buzz in the showroom this evening only emphasises how strong the Waterford business community is and we wish you all continued success.”

Teresa-Jane O’Mahony, BMCI Insurance & Investments Ltd, who sponsored the event for the sixth year running said: “Six years ago myself and my business partner Michelle decided to follow our dreams and go out on our own. There are so many people like us here today, who are working hard to make a difference. Entrepreneurs are the life blood of our business community and to see so many here today is really encouraging.”

Pat Drea of Autoboland Jaguar and Land Rover thanked all those who made the event such a great success and in particular their brand ambassador Joseph O’Brien.

WLR’s Teresanne O’Reilly was broadcasting live and certainly added to the occasion by playing great music, coupled with interviews with various exhibitors.

The event concluded on a high note as Rob Cass of Falcon Real Estate and Niall Harrington of Fewer Harrington & Partners made a presentation on delivering the vision for Waterford, revealing new images of the North Quays and the 2000 new homes planned for Kilbarry.

The message was clear – North Quays is happening, Kilbarry is happening and there are opportunities abound.

Chambers Ireland Awards Event of the Year

Waterford Chamber scooped the award for Event of the Year at the Chambers Ireland Annual Chamber Awards yesterday (10th April 2019) for their Toys4Engineers Conference & Expo.

These national awards, sponsored by Zurich, are an opportunity to recognise best practice and to showcase the diverse activity taking place across the country led by Chambers.

Having topped the judging in the category with the most entries, Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely said: “This award is testament to the hard work of the team who spend months planning Toys4Engineers and to be recognised by our peers in this regard is a tremendous achievement.

“Showcasing the strength of our engineering sector, across tech, pharma and life sciences, is hugely important for the region and plans are already afoot to build on the success of last year’s event, which saw over 80 exhibitors from across the country converge on WIT Arena.

“Waterford Chamber is committed to offering events of the highest standard catering to the needs of our members and being recognised for our endeavours is very much appreciated.”

According to Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley: “What began as a local event is now firmly established as a regional event and last October we were delighted to welcome a number of large companies from outside the region also, as far away as Sligo and Dundalk to Toys4Engineers. There is an appetite for businesses to showcase their technologies and innovations and we have been encouraged by the level of business that has been done in recent years. We intend on growing that B2B interaction this year by introducing a ‘Meet the Buyer’ section to the event, while also adding CPD certified Masterclasses with expert speakers.

“Toys4Engineers will also offer a platform for students considering a career in STEM to hear from the leaders in the field and also interact with the companies who are paving the way with graduate programmes.

“Following our win yesterday, we are more determined than ever to make this year’s event even better and cement the South East as leading the way in engineering.”

Siobhan Kinsella, President of Chambers Ireland said, “It’s fantastic to see such creativity and energy from Chambers across the country on display at today’s ceremony.

“The winning projects, as well as all of the shortlisted projects, are a reminder of what opportunities, knowledge and skills are available of a national standard which continue to be accessible through local Chambers. The utmost of congratulations to all the award-winning Chambers.”

Waterford Chamber was also shortlisted for Most Innovative Project for the Regional Leaders Programme.

The full list of winners for each of the awards categories is as follows:

Overall Chamber of the Year

County Kildare Chamber

Event of the Year

Waterford Chamber – Toys4Engineers Conference & Expo

Most Innovative Project

Northern Ireland Chamber – Learn Grow Excel – Business Support Initiative

Most Successful Policy Campaign

Cork Chamber & Limerick Chamber – Gearing up for the M20 Cork – Limerick Motorway

Local Authority Collaboration

South Dublin Chamber – Sustainable Business Partnership Programme with South Dublin County Council, South Dublin LEO & South Dublin Chamber

Best Chamber Marketing Campaign

Mullingar Chamber – Winterfest Mullingar 2018

Membership Services Events Executive 2019

Are you passionate about Waterford? Do you want to be part of a small but dynamic team, which is the largest business representative organisation in Waterford?

Waterford Chamber currently has an opening for a Membership Services and Events Executive. It is a position of considerable responsibility within the organisation and one that requires a self-motivated and goal-orientated person. Recruitment of new members and retention of existing members is a critical function at the Waterford Chamber. The role will provide an efficient service to members of Waterford Chamber, through direct interaction with members by way of direct communication; face to face, telephonically and electronically and by way of provision of a full range of member-supporting back office functions.

Reporting to the Operations Officer and CEO, you will become an integral part of the team lending support in the following areas:

  • Existing and new membership engagement
  • Develop and implement strategies for member retention
  • Sell Chamber membership
  • Event Management
  • Social Media Management
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Public Relations
  • Project Management


  • Ideally have minimum 2 years’ experience in customer service/sales
  • Minimum relevant Degree level qualification required
  • A passion for customer service and continuous improvement
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Flexibility will be required in relation to hours and place of work to meet the needs of the role.  Work outside normal office hours may be required.


  • Strong communications & media/PR skill
  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, Access) and IT skills
  • General administration skills
  • Customer service
  • Sales & marketing
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Knowledge of local business community
  • Full driving license and own means of transport
  • Ability to work as part of a team and on own initiative


CVs should be sent by post to:

Gerald Hurley


Waterford Chamber

2 George’s Street


Or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This is a permanent full-time position (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday). The successful candidate must be available to work flexible hours as required by Chamber events.

Remuneration will be in line with relevant educational & business experience.


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What Our Members Say

"Both Waterford Chamber and Bausch + Lomb understand the importance of leadership for the achievement of business success. Working with Waterford Chamber on the Regional Leaders Programme demonstrates just how effective it can be to come together and work collaboratively. The Regional Leaders Programme provides an opportunity to share our talents and expertise with the motivation to really ‘make things happen’."

Jackie Roche, Learning + Organisational Development Manager, Bausch + Lomb




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