Continued Investment and Acceleration of Key Cork Developments Essential to Safeguard Cork’s Future,

- Support of the green transition in areas such as renewables needed to propel the Cork region to further success -

Cork has a real opportunity to integrate economic growth and environmental responsibility, while cementing its position as a world-leading destination of choice for global companies, said President of Cork Chamber, Ronan Murray at the 2024 Chamber Annual Dinner sponsored by AIB.

“We are indeed at the very heart of our national eco-system with an offering that continues to win on the world stage,” he noted while outlining the region’s recognition as a hub for life sciences, professional services, and financial services, as a hot spot for technology businesses, as a location with a thriving agri-sector and as a leading tourist destination often denoted as the food capital of Ireland.

Cork Chamber welcomed 1,000 guests to the annual black tie corporate event with guest of honour, Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath T.D., among those in attendance. In his President’s address to a full auditorium in City Hall, Mr. Murray used the opportunity to highlight Ireland’s extraordinary capacity to attract and retain substantial foreign direct investment while also fostering a supportive environment for indigenous firms to expand internationally.

“This success is not a happy accident. It is defined by a culture of hard work, supported by insightful political decisions as shown by this Government over a number of years. Equally it’s the level of collaboration between cities, local councils, communities, government and business, that plays a key role in why Cork is such the economic success story it is today.”

The importance of strategic infrastructure projects already in development and in the pipeline were also a key message in the President’s address. In particular, Mr. Murray referenced advancements in public transport delivery, a key enabler in achieving our climate targets, “Collectively, we have achieved a lot in the past year, with improvements to our suburban rail lines drawing greater numbers. The electrification of these rail lines is crucial for a more sustainable future, and the addition of new stations and improved frequencies, will enhance Cork’s appeal as a place to live and work. The early establishment of an urban light rail system is equally important for the city's future”.

The delivery of the Cork/Limerick motorway, the completion of the M28 and the transformative affect it will have for the Port of Cork, the highly anticipated regeneration of the Docklands, the Dunkettle Interchange project and the Morrison’s Island public realm and flood defence scheme were among the projects mentioned on the night.  

“The continued investment and acceleration of key infrastructure projects, housing and apartment developments must remain a priority with additional support of the green transition in areas such as renewables, particularly offshore wind. This continued investment is essential to safeguard and enhance Cork’s future attractiveness to live, work, visit and invest in.”

Mr. Murray highlighted the collective responsibility to contribute to political stability and peace, “As leaders in business and as responsible citizens, we should remain vigilant. Political stability and peace are two key pillars for continued economic growth. That political stability and certainty should always attract a premium. It’s something we should never take for granted.”

M. Murray also urged everyone in attendance to take the essential steps needed to cultivate an atmosphere of unity and integration and highlighted the potential consequences that may arise if we do not act, “We should continue to take proactive steps to ensure deeper integration across our communities that will further enhance social cohesion. Our social and economic infrastructure are critical to underpinning a thriving, sustainable and attractive city region”.

In what would be his last Annual Dinner speech as Cork Chamber President in City Hall, Mr. Murray commended the resilience shown by the business community in the face of various changes in the economic environment and a sometimes unstable global geo-political landscape, “The responsiveness and resilience shown to these challenges that are replicated in other similar modern advanced economies by both the government and the business community, continues to encourage innovation and flexibility in these times of social, climate and technological change”.

He concluded by paying tribute to all stakeholders and businesses in Cork when he said that the success of the Cork region to date is testament to the confidence that is unique to Cork, “That vision of what we want to be and the grit and determination it takes to get there, is the hallmark of our own identity.”


To view the full speech delivered by Ronan Murray, Cork Chamber President CLICK HERE