Padraig McManus, Chairman Curragh Racecourse; Derek McGrath, CEO Curragh Racecourse; Frank O’Rourke TD; Guest Speaker Peter Carey, CEO Kildare Co. Co.; and Vivian Cummins, President North Kildare Chamber


North Kildare Chamber hosted a business lunch in The K Club last week with guest speaker Peter Carey, Chief Executive of Kildare County Council. The Corporate Partners Lunch was attended by an array of businesses including Pfizer, Kildare Village, Intel, Brady Fine Foods and Tegral.

In his speech Peter Carey spoke briefly about the Local Government Reform Programme which has resulted in the abolition of the Town Councils, the creation of 5 Municipal Districts and the establishment of the LEO (Local Enterprise Office). He also informed the attendees that Kildare County Council has now established a Business Support Unit to facilitate and support economic development in the County. One of the initiatives mentioned was the Shop Front / Town Centre Improvement Grant Scheme that has been rolled out in 2016. This grant scheme is targeted at providing financial support for independent business owners and it is hoped that the scheme will supplement and compliment the work being done by the Council in Town Centres around the County.

The Chief Executive went on to set the context in relation to Kildare being a dynamic County with a young, highly skilled population in the Greater Dublin Area. He referred to many recent success stories: The expansion of Kildare Village and The K Club; the recent opening of Kerry Group’s Global Innovation and Technology Centre; job announcements in Brady Fine Foods, Irish Dog Foods and major investments in the Curragh, Naas and Punchestown Racecourses. A special word of welcome was extended to Derek McGrath, the new CEO of The Curragh Racecourse.

The importance of education was highlighted on more than one occasion with Maynooth University referred to as significant asset, a key stakeholder and a strategic partner in the County. The role played by Kildare Wicklow ETB was also highlighted, particularly in relation to the re-skilling/up-skilling of the workforce and the roll out of SOLAS (the Further Education and Training Authority).

The potential for tourism was also referred to. Carey noted that Kildare is already seen as a premier location for Sporting Events and there are other exciting tourism offerings that could add significantly to the “Kildare” experience….the Ernest Shackleton museum being one such offer.

In conclusion Mr. Carey spoke positively regarding his vision for Kildare being a vibrant, Competitive and Self Sustaining County. A desired location for business development, education opportunities and cultural enrichment. He also referred to the need for the Local Authority to be proactive and accessible, at the heart of a wider public service. He finished with the Irish phrase “Ni neart go cur le cheile” there is no strength without unity; which was a very fitting ending to a very positive speech.

In his opening speech, Chamber President, Vivian Cummins said “We are very grateful to Peter Carey for giving us his time today. Kildare Co. Council is a huge player in the local economy and cooperation is the key. North Kildare Chamber continues to develop and nurture successful and inclusive enterprise initiatives and partnerships with other stakeholders in Central and Local Government and with academic and community organisations throughout the county for the betterment of all. We look forward to ongoing positive engagement with Peter and his colleagues in Kildare Co. Council”.


Guest Speaker Peter Carey, CEO Kildare County Council


Bernard Mahon, Vice President of Education and Research Maynooth University, Tommy Murray, and Guest Speaker Peter Carey, Kildare County Council


Hilary Cahill Punchestown Racecourse, Paul Keogh and Pat O’Connor Ballymore Group and Janet Creighton of Punchestown Racecourse


Mayor of Kildare Cllr Brendan Weld, Padraig McManus Chairman of The Curragh Racecourse, Peter Carey, CEO of Kildare County Council and Vivian Cummins North Kildare Chamber President


Peter Minnock, Kildare County Council, Rory Colville European Tour Championship Director and Leonard Hobbs Director of Global Public Affairs Intel


Louise Cox, Cox’s Cash and Carry Newbridge with Lee Ann McCarthy Tourism and Marketing Manage with Kildare Village