Drogheda Chamber President Shona McManus, centre, pictured at the Chamber’s Chamber Christmas Networking Lunch with (from left): Mayor of Drogheda Paul Bell, IDA Regional Manager James Boyle, Deputy Fergus O’Dowd and Frank Pentony of Louth County Council.
It’s been a busy year for the Drogheda Chamber of Commerce campaigning on behalf of local business and of course attracting new investment and badly need new jobs to the town.
There have been long meetings, late nights and much hard work, most, if not all, of it done on a voluntary basis and on top of members’ normal work schedules.
So it was good to see the members in more relaxed mode at their Chamber Christmas Networking Lunch which took place in the Westcourt Hotel yesterday.
In her presidential address Shona McManus looked back at what she said was an incredible year for the Chamber as they celebrated 125 years serving the business community.
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One of the highlights for 2019 was the recent Business Excellence Awards ceremony which was the largest ever with the highest number of applications, awards and attendees. A night which included Padraic Kierans being awarded the lifetime achievement award and, for the first time, three Local heroes awards were awarded – to Frank Godfrey, Aoife Ruane and Geoff Fitzpatrick.
Looking forward and strategically, Shona said: “…as we know, Drogheda is now one of the five towns listed for strategic development under the 2040 national development strategy.
“It’s been a hectic year driving plans forward, achieving goals set out and developing stronger relationships and collaborative working partnerships to build in stringer foundations for the future and our vision.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has worked with me and the whole chamber team and council and worked with Drogheda so far this year…
Shona had plenty of people to thank which she duly did, along with “A very big, warm, Christmassy welcome.”
She had special thanks for Guest Speaker Cathal Divilly of Great Place to Work, State Street for sponsoring the event and local TD Fergus O Dowd for his support and assistance in achieving a number of key objectives such as a meeting with the IDA and Minister Humphries and bringing An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to Drogheda twice.
There were special mentions too for The Mill Enterprise Centre, The BIDs Committee, The Fleadh Committee, The retailers and Vintners Associations, the Tidy Towns, Drogheda City Status Groupall of whom have been busy campaigning on one front or another this year.
“All of these volunteer groups who are so very active in driving Drogheda forward, looking for new ideas for festivals and developing business, retail, hospitality and tourism and helping the community ……..all the immense work, done on a voluntary basis, is incredible” she said.