Council excluded from new Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce

Council excluded from new Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce


Clare Fianna Fáil Senator Timmy Dooley has expressed shock and disappointment at the announcement and make-up of the new Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce. 

In February, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) invited expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals for membership of the Taskforce.

The Department said at the time: “The Taskforce will be supported in its work by a secretariat from DETE with input and expertise as appropriate from relevant Government Departments, State Agencies and Local Authorities.”

Today, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD announced the membership of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce, following Government approval.

Senator Dooley has expressed concern that neither Clare County Council or its executive will be represented on this new economic task force for the Shannon Estuary region.

“The Shannon Integrated Framework plan has been a very successful project undertaken by local authorities in the region and chaired by the CEO of Clare County Council, the working group also included state and semi state entities such as Limerick Foynes Port, the ESB, and Waterways Ireland amongst others.

Whilst I have the height of respect for all those on the new group without local authority involvement, I fear this new group has the potential to become another talking shop without the boots on the ground to implement a strategic plan to ensure the area fulfills its economic potential,” Senator Dooley said.

“It has already undertaken a major body of work which this new task force aims to re-do. The existing Shannon Integrated Framework plan has been in place for a number of years and is reviewed at regular intervals.

“Local authorities in the region led by Clare County Council have already achieved much with the existing SIFP and its goals and objectives are even incorporated into the National Development Plan. It seems crazy that Clare County Council aren’t directly involved in leading strategy regarding the development of the Shannon Estuary region,” he added.

The members of the Taskforce are:

Barry O’Sullivan (Chairperson) – formerly of J&J and current IDA Board Member

Mary Considine – CEO Shannon Group

Siobhan Dolan Clancy – Managing Director – SDC Business Consulting Ltd

Seán Hegarty – ESB Generation and Trading

Seamus Hoyne – Dean of Flexible and Work Place Learning – Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest

Pat Keating – CEO Shannon Foynes Port Company

Professor Eamonn Murphy – University of Limerick & Chair of Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan

Dr. Brendan O’Donnell – Vice President Research & Vice President Academic Affairs & Registrar – Munster Technological University

Dee Ryan – CEO of Limerick Chamber

Professor Luuk van der Wielen – Director Bernal Institute, University of Limerick