A message from John Geoghegan 2021, President at Mullingar Chamber

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Dear Members and Mullingar Stakeholders,

Following on from the enormous work of my predecessors in the role as President of Mullingar Chamber, particularly that of Tom Hyland, Ian Kerr and Bridget Manley, I am delighted to report that 2021 has been a transformative year for Mullingar Chamber.

During 2021 we have grown our membership from 140 to close to 200 members with over 4,000 employees in the town of Mullingar and Municipal District.  This results in Mullingar Chamber being one of the fastest, if not the fastest, growing Chambers in Ireland.  Mullingar is a town on the move.  Mullingar Chamber is doing all it can to push this forward.

This work has been carried out by myself as President supported by Aisling Coleman as Office Manager and Louise Kelly as Office Administrator and several other volunteers and overseen by a voluntary executive board of 15 members.

We have worked extensively in 2021 on co-operation with other stakeholders including Westmeath County Council, the IDA, Land Development Agency, Local Community Development Committee and the Economic Development, Enterprise and Tourism SPC at Westmeath County Council in achieving our goals for the year.

We have also worked closely with local Government Ministers Peter Burke and Robert Troy who have excelled in their roles at national level as part of a coalition government that is governing at one of the toughest times in living memory.  This constructive co-operation facilitated meetings and webinars with An Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris during 2021.

We have also worked closely with all elected members of Westmeath County Council in achieving our mutual goals and promoting Mullingar, and Westmeath, as a place to live and work.

We take enormous satisfaction from seeing the Advanced Manufacturing project at IDA Ardmore become part of the IDA’s 5 year strategy.  We would like thank Ken Whitelaw and the entire team at the IDA led brilliantly by Martin Shanahan for pressing this transformative investment forward that will continue to build on the incredible commitment of Steripack and Garry Moore at the National Science Park and other stakeholders in this space in the town [Robotics and Drives, ACS Drives and others].

We feel the future of the Mullingar economy will be driven by Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics, Data and Analytics supported by a brilliant leisure and hospitality and retail centre in the town itself.  Mullingar is one of the best towns in Ireland.  Never was this, and the future of our town and economy, more evident than in 2021 when The Ardonagh Group [led by Mullingar native and global industry leader David Ross] announced the location of their Global Data and Risk Management Centre at Marlinstown, Mullingar, creating over 60 new jobs initially and with potential for considerably more.

We were also delighted to contribute extensively in public consultation on the Columb Barracks, Blackhall, the Westmeath Tourism Strategy and Westmeath Development Levies and several other items during the year.  This is all hard laborious work and would not be possible without the support of our members.  We feel Mullingar Chamber needs to be front and centre of all these issues to make sure the powers that be are aware of the views of the business community and cultural community of our town and Municipal District.

Our final announcement of 2021 is that this year, so far, we have sold more than EUR265k of Mullingar vouchers, a 37% increase on the same time last year worth more than EUR1m to the local economy.  This is an outstanding achievement for everyone in the town and we are delighted to play our part in making it happen.

We feel 2022 offers an outstanding opportunity to continue with our objectives as set out.  To this end we are appealing to all our members to stay with us in 2022, and beyond, and to build on these achievements.  We are also appealing to all businesses who are not, as yet, members to please get in contact and consider joining us.  We feel we are offering one of the best value propositions in Ireland and with your support, we can grow and deliver more and more and get the job done.

Together Everyone Achieves More.

Happy Christmas,

John Geoghegan