Chamber Welcomes Change

Fergus O’Dowd TD, Declan Breathnach TD, Minister Eoghan Murphy TD, Paddy Malone Rodd Bond

The Government’s second draft of the 2040 National Development has seen a shift in the targeted growth areas and a greater emphasis on collaboration with Northern Ireland. It now recognises the importance of the M1 corridor when considering the island of Ireland. Section 7.3 states The Dublin to Belfast Corridor is the largest economic agglomeration on the island of Ireland (please see attached document).

The submission of Louth County Council, arguing for a linear city in Louth and the Dundalk Chamber submission which extended that to Newry from Drogheda has been taken on board.

Both of these submissions argued, in different styles, that the North East and Louth offered a unique opportunity to work with the North in developing infrastructure and development. Louth CC argued for the “LINEAR CITY” while Dundalk Chamber pointed out that we were one of only two counties that had a 50% urban population. The area therefore has the critical mass to be an economic generator, separate to Dublin/Belfast but working with the two cities.

The Plan now recognises the unique position of the M1 corridor and by extension the huge potential in Newry Dundalk and Drogheda. The report highlights the need to encourage growth in the urban areas of the M1. It recognises the unique advantages of the Dundalk Newry “Twin City” proposed in 2003 at the Ireland Harvard Conference 2003.

Paddy Malone who led the team along with Rodd Bond and Pat McCormick (both DKIT) points out that this win will mean that the IDA will still see this area as a prime location for FDI. In addition Government Agencies and related organisations will be encouraged and instructed to see development in the M1 corridor as well as the initial areas targeted of cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

Paddy had feared that the initial draft plan would have downgraded the whole North East. In addition the initial draft Plan had not adequately addressed BREXIT and the legacies of the border.

The revised draft report now discusses Brexit and the uncertainty that this has generated for the island and the border. The report believes that the level of uncertainty makes it difficult to plan and that reviews of the Plan in the future will need to focus on this area. It does call on organisations to work closely with their counterparts in the other jurisdiction. Both Louth CC and Dundalk Chamber have been doing this for years.

Paddy points out that the Chamber’s recent budget submission had made a number of practical proposals in addressing BREXIT and it is hoped that these, or similar will be implemented in the coming years.

The Chamber is currently working with a number of stake holders on a number of proposals to maximise any advantage which may be earned from BREXIT. However it is recognised that the impact will overall be negative one.

Paddy Malone PRO Dundalk Chamber , Tommy McGuinness (CEO Horseware and CXSports+, An Taoiseach Leo Varadker, David Minto CX Sports + and Vice President Dundalk Chamber and Michael Gaynor President Dundalk Chamber


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