Vivian Cummins (NKCC), Joe Boland (KCC), Alan Dempsey (Minch Malt)

The Athy ‘First Friday’ business networking meetings are continuing and the second event took place in the Clanard Court Hotel last Friday.

Approximately 25 local business people heard a presentation by Alan Dempsey, the Craft and Brewing Manager of Minch Malt Ltd. who have operated from its premises in the town since 1847. Alan gave a run through on the entire malting operation and outlined new areas of product development in the niche craft brewing sector including plans to expand into the North American market. The Minch Malt premises operates 24/7 and is at full capacity employing 50 people.


Joe Boland, Director of Services with Kildare Co. Council outlined the current status of six of the main developments proposed for Athy by the Local Authority including the new library and social housing at the Dominican Convent, Blue Way facilities on the canal, expansion plans for the Heritage Centre, a re-vamp of Emily Square, a new footbridge over the River Barrow and the Athy Distributor Road (Option C2). Helen Dowling of the Athy Enterprise Company gave feedback on a study carried out on Athy by environmental consultant and  Tidy Towns judge, Billy Furney. It included a series of short and medium term recommendations.


The ‘First Friday’ event came about as a result of one of the main recommendations in the Athy Regeneration Plan, commissioned by the Athy Enterprise Network and published late last year. It advised that an ongoing enterprise awareness programme should be organised as a monthly structured event to encourage Local Enterprise and Commerce. The Athy Enterprise Network is made up of representatives of the Athy Lions Club, Athy Enterprise Company, Kildare County Council and Kildare Leader Partnership. The North Kildare Chamber of Commerce have undertaken to host the ‘First Friday’ meetings in association with the Athy Enterprise Network during 2016.


The next ‘First Friday’ takes place on 1st April 2016 between 12.45 – 2.00 pm and will have a presentation by a Social Media expert looking at things like ‘content creation for social media’, ‘how to save time on social media marketing’, ‘how to measure results’ and ‘getting leads’.


Numbers are limited to ensure the meetings are productive and pre-booking is essential. Contact Jennifer (045) 894 074 or


FF2 Trevor Shaw (Shaw Dept. Stores) Helen Dowling (Athy Enterprise Co.) Paul Langton (Athy Enterprise Network)

Trevor Shaw (Shaw Dept. Stores) Helen Dowling (Athy Enterprise Co.) Paul Langton (Athy Enterprise Network)


FF1 William Quinn (Quinns Agri-supplies) Paddy Kelly (Tegral) Clodagh Judge (LES)

William Quinn (Quinns Agri-supplies) Paddy Kelly (Tegral) Clodagh Judge (LES)