One County – One Chamber!
North Kildare and Newbridge Chambers agree to merge to form Ireland’s first fully affiliated County Chamber of Commerce
New entity will have 400+ members
Member businesses employ 42,000 people in Co. Kildare
More support and services for businesses throughout Co. Kildare
North Kildare Chamber of Commerce and Newbridge Chamber of Commerce (t/a Kildare South Chamber) are pleased to announce that they have both voted unanimously to merge to create a single Chamber of Commerce for Co. Kildare at EGMs held on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th February 2017 respectively. The merged entity, to be known as the ‘Co. Kildare Chamber’, will commence operating on 1st March 2017. It will automatically become one of the largest regional Chamber of Commerce’s in Ireland and will be matched only in scale by the Chambers of Commerce in Ireland’s larger cities.
The process to bring about this merger involved a series of mediated meetings over a period of months last year. This endeavour enjoyed huge support from a broad range of stakeholders including Kildare Co. Council, TDs from North and South Kildare, Councillors from all five Municipal Districts as well as organisations such as the Education + Training Board of Ireland and Maynooth University.
The final agreement that was presented to members at the EGMs of both Chambers was signed off by the two mediation teams on 22nd December last. Chambers Ireland have welcomed the move and believe the agreement represents a roadmap for other counties to follow suit.
While warmly welcoming the decision of both Chambers, Vivian Cummins President of North Kildare Chamber stated that, “While we face a series of challenges from across the Irish Sea and Atlantic, that are currently unpredictable, this is the time for building bridges and not walls. I am grateful to my colleagues on both Chamber committees who worked so hard to bring about this decision. I am confident that a united Co. Kildare Chamber will be better able to utilise its resources towards developing the interests of the Co. Kildare business and broader community on a local, national and international level”.
Sean Dunne, President of Kildare South Chamber, added that “2016 will perhaps be recorded as a very significant year in the 49-year history of Newbridge Chamber t/a Kildare South Chamber as it will be the last year of Newbridge Chamber activity and hopefully the decisions made in 2016 will herald a new era of a whole united County Chamber in the future. Businesses and representatives around the County will now have a common platform that is conducive to the creation of a healthy business environment. The Co Kildare Chamber will be the one voice representing business in Kildare, it will have the best potential to deliver greater benefits, greater strength in representation and more effective networking to the members throughout Co Kildare”.
Allan Shine, CEO of the newly formed County Kildare Chamber said,”The enlarged Chamber will provide more services and support for businesses throughout the county. This newly formed entity will be a more effective lobbying organisation in that we now have a single voice for the business community in Kildare. Particular thanks must go to the respective Presidents and mediation teams of both Chambers. Work starts now to promote this new organisation throughout the county. County Kildare Chamber will aim to protect, promote, maintain and enhance business in every village and town throughout Kildare.
The committee of the Co. Kildare Chamber will be made up as follows:
President: Vivian Cummins (Athy)
Vice-President: Sean Dunne (Kildare-Newbridge)
Vice-President: Keith Traynor (Celbridge/Leixlip)
Co-Treasurer: Brendan Allen (Maynooth)
Co-Treasurer: Alistair Conway (Naas)
Hon. Secretary: Noel Dempsey (Naas)
Andrew Cody (Kildare-Newbridge)
Maureen Bergin (Kildare-Newbridge)
Pat Sutton (Kildare-Newbridge)
Ronan Twohig (Celbridge-Leixlip)
Mick O’Shea (Celbridge-Leixlip)
Bernie Everard (Maynooth)
Denis Buckley (Maynooth)
Michael Moriarty (Naas)
Luke Hanahoe (Naas)
Areas in brackets denote the Municipal District in which the committee member’s business is located. Following the first AGM of the Co. Kildare Chamber, to be held in September 2017 at the latest, the 15-member committee structure of the proposed new entity, ‘Co. Kildare Chamber’, will be made up with three members from each of the five Municipal Districts in Co. Kildare to ensure broad representation and facilitate engagement with local and national public representatives.