Waterford News

Deise Sleep Out 2018 photo

Almost 4,000 children will be homeless this Christmas and they urgently need your help.

Focus Ireland is calling on the people of Waterford to take part in a sleep-out on Friday, November 30th. The venue for this year’s sleep out is The Edmund Rice Centre. The event will raise funds and awareness for families and children who are homeless or at risk of losing their home in Waterford City and County.

David Niblock, South East Regional Services Manager said: “In August, 388 people across the South East were homeless, including 71 children. Since January 2016, the number of families experiencing homelessness in the South East has increased by 227%. Focus Ireland is to the fore in responding to the housing and homelessness crisis, as we see increased demands on our services locally in Waterford, and nationally.”

Focus Ireland has provided homeless services in Waterford for the last 18 years and the city is now the charity’s largest centre outside of Dublin. Over 300 people access our Waterford Services every month. In the last year Focus Ireland has helped 491 households in Waterford who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Focus Ireland is driven by the fundamental belief that homelessness is wrong. Wrong because it is a failure of society that creates victims out of ordinary people and robs them of their potential. Wrong because it can be prevented, it can be solved but is allowed to continue and in doing so, undermines society. Focus Ireland believes that everyone has the right to a place they can call home.

David further said, “The Big Deise Sleep Out is an opportunity for the Waterford community to show their solidarity with families and children who face homelessness this Christmas. Sadly, many parents in Waterford and around Ireland will have to explain that although they no longer live in their home Santa Claus will still know how to find them this Christmas. These families live under terrible stress and children suffer the most; so much so that specialist support services for children and families traumatized by their experience of homelessness are now needed. We are asking the people of the Deise to come out sleep under the stars for one night after which we can go home unlike so many others. Sleep Outs are always unique and very rewarding to take part in so all are welcome to join us in making a statement that much more needs to be done, and very importantly to help raise funds to help us meet the constant rising demand for our services. 89c of every euro received goes to frontline services.

The Big Deise Sleep Out will take place in the Edmund Rice Centre 8.30p.m on Friday November 30th. If you would like to take part and help raise vital funds and awareness for Focus Ireland this Christmas please contact Cathryn O’Leary on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 086 6042854 for more information.

STEAMWORKS meetup is back at Boxworks, Patrick Street, Waterford on Wednesday, 21st November from 6.00-8.30pm.

Format: Couch Discussion with a panel of speakers including:

Chaired by: Maria McCann - Presenter of The Chat Room - WLR

Jennifer O Connell - The Irish Times staff features writer and Magazine columnist. Presenter of StressedIrl documentary. Ex SBP, RTE, TheJournal. Waterford & Dublinirishtimes.com

Julie (Kirby) Smyth - Presenter of The Business Show - The Hot Desk at WLR 
freelance journalist with extensive experience across broadcast and print. She can shoot, edit, write, research, pitch, report live on air, analyse and produce all with professionalism and polish for broadcast, print or web.

Jacquai Corcoran - Producer 20 yrs with #RTE as producer Jacquai is currently working on a number of creative projects, including writing for The Irish Times

Mary Frances Ryan - Editor Waterford News & Star

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/steamworks-boxworks-women-in-media-in-times-of-turmoil-tickets-52291204400

Ireland and the EU

The Waterford Europe Direct Information Centre in partnership with The European Commission Representation in Ireland, European Movement Ireland and Waterford Institute of Technology is delighted to bring this Citizen's Dialogue to Waterford City.

This public meeting is your chance to hear from key players and experts what Brexit will mean for Ireland and where Europe is headed. More importantly, the format will allow you to share your ideas, concerns and expectations on these topics, facilitating real engagement and debate. With European Parliament elections in May 2019, it is more important now than ever to have your voice heard.

Expert Panel:

Gerry Kiely, Head of EU Commission Representation in Ireland

Deirdre Clune, MEP

Dr. Mary C. Murphy, Lecturer in Politics, UCC University College Cork

Gerard Arthurs, Lecturer in International Relations & Politics, Waterford Institute of Technology


Rory Harte – European Movement, Future of Europe Project Manager

This is a free event and all are welcome. Reserve your place here

For more information contact Sinead O'Higgins, Waterford Europe Direct Information Centre, Central Library, Lady Lane.

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

060 Winterval2016 highresInternational Rose of Tralee, Kirsten Mate Maher will join Santa and the Mayor for the launch of Winterval, Ireland’s largest Christmas festival, this Saturday (17th November) in Waterford City. They will arrive from 4.15pm at John Roberts Square to turn on the city’s Christmas lights at 5pm, with music provided by local band, Brass & Co. WLR FM will broadcast live from the event.

Kicking off festivities this Saturday from 2.30pm, Santa’s elves will hit the streets of Waterford city for an exclusive “Golden Ticket” giveaway — offering free entry to some of Winterval’s top attractions. Clues for the giveaway will be promoted on Winterval’s social media channels this week.

Over 500,000 visitors are expected to attend Winterval 2018, running from 17 November to 23 December. There will be more than 60 free and ticketed events at Ireland’s Christmas Capital, including a brand new Santa experience. For more, visit www.winterval.ie.

Festival Director, Tommie Ryan said: “The exclusive Winterval Golden Tickets, not available for purchase, provide access for two adults and two children to some of the top highlights of Winterval including the Enchanted Christmas, a brand-new Santa experience at the Old Postal Sorting Centre; the Winterval Express Train and Sleigh; Winterval on Ice; and rides on the Waterford Eye, Carousel and Helter Skelter. We’d encourage everyone to keep an eye out on Winterval’s social media — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — in the lead up to Saturday for clues on where the elves will be in Waterford that day.”

Among the 60 free and ticketed events running across the Festival is the Winterval Illuminates Christmas Light Show at Cathedral Square, a light show with music which runs every half hour from 5pm on Winterval days. There is also an opportunity to have breakfast and afternoon tea with Santa at No.9 Café in December; a Christmas Cinema Club at The Reg; and Christmas markets at Cathedral, Constitution and Arundel Squares.

There will be a Black Friday Weekend in Waterford from Friday, 23 November to Sunday, 25 November celebrating Christmas shopping in Waterford city. There will be live radio broadcasts from WLR FM and Beat 102-103, as well as selfie stations, competitions and gifts for shoppers.

Tommie added: “There is great excitement in the air as we prepare for the seventh annual Winterval. Saturday is set to be a fantastic day, from the Golden Tickets giveaway with Santa’s elves in Waterford city, to the arrival of the man himself, and the International Rose of Tralee and the mayor, for the turning on of the Christmas lights. These events will certainly sprinkle some festive magic on what is sure to be an amazing festival this year in Ireland’s Christmas capital.”

For full details, visit www.winterval.ie or see:

Facebook: @WintervalWaterford

Twitter: @Winterval_WAT

Instagram: @winterval_waterford

waterford port 13An economic impact study commissioned by the Port of Waterford shows that the Belview Industrial Zone surrounding and including the port now supports 632 full-time jobs directly and a further 348 indirectly, a total of 980.

In 2017, the 265-hectare zone in south Co Kilkenny generated turnover of €388m directly and a further €555m through its multiplier effect in the wider economy, giving an overall impact of €942.4m.

The zone’s estimated gross valued added (GVA) last year was more than €190m while the direct regional impact of the Belview Industrial Zone is underlined by a review of those employed within it.

Of 588 personnel reviewed for the study, 317 (54%) live in Waterford, 147 (25%) in Kilkenny and 94 (16%) in Wexford. This makes the Belview Industrial Zone one of the biggest sources of employment across three counties in the southeast with the remainder commuting from counties Tipperary, Laois, Limerick, Kildare and Cork.

The value of goods shipped through the Port annually is estimated at €1.7bn in the 36-page study completed by Raymond Burke Consulting.

Reviewing the sources and destinations for freight transiting Waterford, the report’s authors found the direct impacts of Brexit should be minimal as three-quarters of the Port’s business is with mainland Europe and just 2% with the U.K. Furthermore, the Port’s southeast location makes it a good option to facilitate businesses wishing to bypass the U.K. and provide direct connections with the continent.

With Waterford now established as the country’s third most popular cruise destination – attracting more than 20 cruise calls this year – there is also a considerable economic spin-off to the Southeast’s tourism and hospitality sector.

Commenting on the study, Frank Ronan, CEO, Port of Waterford, said: “The findings highlight the very significant economic impact of the Belview Industrial Zone on the southeast and national economy.

“While this is something we’ve obviously been aware of, it is valuable to have the data collated so we have a holistic view of the zone and how the 20 or so companies based alongside the port here contribute in terms of employment and economic activity.

“What has been delivered here over the 25 years since shipping activity was relocated from the quays in Waterford is a strong infrastructure, a major economic asset in the port and a business-friendly environment. There is very considerable potential for further development here and, for our part, the Port of Waterford is committed to working with other stakeholders to unlock that growth potential.”

Going for Growth aims to assist ambitious female entrepreneurs achieve their growth goals. 60 new female entrepreneurs will be selected this year. The programme is seeking female entrepreneurs – across all sectors – who are strongly focused on growth.

Ideally, businesses should be well established and trading for at least two years. Consideration will be given to those with less than two years sales, if the new business is highly innovative, with a longer development cycle than the norm and with an entrepreneur that has very significant growth ambitions. If selected these participants are known as Starting Strong.

This is the 11th year of the programme. Over 600 female entrepreneurs have already taken part in Going for Growth to date and 60 new participants will be selected this year. The award winning Going for Growth has been recognised internationally as a best practice by the OECD, EU and the European Institute for Gender Equality.

The success of the previous 10 cycles shows what a difference peer learning can make to women scaling their businesses. Previous participants have reported an increase in confidence, a reduction in psychological isolation and a feeling of being nearer to achieving their growth goals. Participants on the last programme (from Jan 2018 – Jun 2018) reported combined sales of €66.8 million and the creation of 90 full time jobs over the six-month period. While four became exporters for the first time.

The programme is structured and includes attendance at monthly round-table meetings with the participant’s Lead Entrepreneur and small group of fellow entrepreneurs and a national launch on 14th January in Dublin, where everyone involved in the new cycle comes together.  

A core element of Going for Growth is the involvement of ‘Lead Entrepreneurs’, successful business women with personal experience of growing a business. These business women, on a voluntary basis, facilitate the interactive round table sessions, act as role models and hold the participants on their round table  to account in achieving the goals and milestones which they have set for themselves. The Lead Entrepreneurs on the 11th cycle are Fidelma McGuirk, Payslip, Fiona O’Carroll, Louise Phelan, Marian O’Gorman, the Kilkenny Group, Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown, Monica Flood, formerly OLAS IT, Oonagh O’Hagan Meagher’s Pharmacy Group, and Susan Spence, SoftCo.

After the six-month programme, participants have the opportunity to stay involved with the Going for Growth community and attend topic based workshops, networking events and Continuing the Momentum round tables devised specifically around the needs of participants who wish to continue to drive forward the growth of their businesses.

To be considered for this Going for Growth programme, applicants must demonstrate a real growth ambition, be a major shareholder and key influencer, and  working full time as the owner-manager of the business. It’s expected that the business will have been trading for at least two years. In exceptional cases, a business at an earlier stage will be considered. However, earlier stage companies must already have generated some revenues, be highly innovative, with significant ambition. The programme is open to all sectors based within the Republic of Ireland.  

The deadline for application for this year’s Going for Growth programme is Wednesday 28 November 2018. Interested female entrepreneurs can access information and should register their interest at www.goingforgrowth.com to receive an application form.

The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 published on 4 November 2018 sees Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) placed as the top institute of technology in the annual ranking.

WIT, in 7th place for 2019, jumped five places in one year. Altogether 21 higher education institutes are listed.

WIT’s areas of excellence included: research funding, staff:student ratio and high spend on facilities. According to the Sunday Times the institutions were ranked according to marks scored in eight key performance areas, with student satisfaction given the heaviest weighting. Funding for a new 12,800 sq m engineering, computing and general teaching building was one of the highlights mentioned.

Dr Derek O’Byrne, Registrar, and Vice President for Academic Affairs praised the dedication of staff at the institute. “I am delighted to see the rankings increase. It’s testimony to the effort we are putting in at the moment to maximise the student experience and help prospective students make the right choices,” he said.

WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly said he believed the ranking is recognition of international leadership that WIT’s global connections such as 350 partners in academia and industry worldwide have brought to the region.

“Through these partnerships the student experience is a wider, providing students with strong work-life experience. We are a research-driven university-level performing institute and we have made a huge impact on the region. WIT has contributed to the transformation of the region which means that our graduates can get high value jobs in the South East – we have a 95% employment rate.”

In its Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2021 WIT outlined its goal to be amongst the Top 100 universities under 50 years old by 2030 and described the ongoing Technological University designation process as an important step towards achieving this ambition.

Dr Richard Hayes, Vice President for Strategy at WIT said the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 ranking of 7th place is further validation of the WIT Strategy.

“WIT’s positioning as the highest ranking institute of technology and in 7th place overall among universities and institutes of technology reflects our position as a university-level third level institute.”

The Sunday Times ranking came in a week where it was revealed as part of WIT’s conferring speeches that the institute has had a €1bn impact on the economy over two decades.

WIT President, Prof Willie Donnelly stated: “The institute has been awarded more than €200m euro in competitive research funding since 2000. It has been calculated that every €1 of research funding generates a 5-fold impact on the surrounding economy. This equates to €1bn generated for the regional economy over this period.”

As the CAO opens for applications on November 5, applicants for 2019 are off to a good start with a selection of ‘how-to’ guides developed by WIT. Two booklets containing worksheets to help students make the right choices are available at www.wit.ie/how. They are College Choices: The Parent’s Guide and CAO: Research Your Options. These are ideal in preparation for upcoming open days. WIT’s Schools Open Day is on Friday 23 November at the end of College Awareness Week and is followed by a more general open day on Saturday, 24 November which typically attracts school leavers and their parents, as well as adult learners interested in applying as a mature student or attending our part-time, postgrad and Springboard courses.

WRD poster

Road Safety Authority’s Memorial Service for ‘World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims’ 2018

Venue: Tower Hotel & Leisure Centre, Waterford 

Date:  Sunday, 18th November 2018

Time: 2:30pm to 3:30pm

As you may already be aware, Sunday 18th November 2018 marks ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’, a UN initiative to remember victims of road collisions internationally.

’World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’ gives us an opportunity to remember those who have died on our roads and the families, friends and communities who have been devastated by their loss and also we remember those who have survived with life altering injuries. For thousands of families around the country, their lives are forever changed as a result of a collision.

On ‘World Day of Remembrance’, we remember not only the people who have died on our roads, but we also encourage people to consider the other preventable tragedies that will happen before the end of the year. This year, we have tragically already seen 120 lives lost on our roads. That is 120 families and communities who are devastated by a loss this year in counties all over Ireland. ‘World Day of Remembrance’ serves as a stark reminder to us all to consider what we can do to prevent more loss of life on our roads this year.

At the ceremony family members will have an opportunity to say a poem or prayer to remember their lost loved one, a candle ceremony will also take place. Others in attendance on the day will include representatives from the Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána, Emergency Services and road safety support organisations & local clergy. A light lunch will also be served after the ceremony.

Families are requested if they would like to bring a photo of their loved ones and to please RSVP by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 087-6123969 by Friday, 16th November 2018.

The South West Hospital Group or Department of Health need to take action to free up 5,000 acute care beds that will be needed this winter in the south east region.

This ‘free bed capacity’ could be released in the region by immediately providing cardiac interventional procedures in the modular cath lab recently arrived at UHW to cardiac in-stay patients awaiting cath lab access. The modular lab at UHW has its own contract staff and only requires a single Interventional Cardiologist appointment to begin immediately targeting the regions long stay cardiac patients. These patients wait in the regions hospitals for up to 14 days to access the cardiac catheterisation service at UHW – the national standard waiting time is 24 – 48 hrs.

Recruiting an Interventional consultant to provide immediate access in the Modular Cath lab would immediately free acute care beds (estimated at 5,000 in a year) which other patients so badly need.


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