American Chamber has excellent access to Irish and European public policy networks, opinion leaders and leading media commentators. Through participation in Working Groups and contributions to submissions for Government, the Chamber keeps Irish decision makers focussed on the factors contributing to the continued attractiveness of Ireland as a location for foreign direct investment. More about the Chamber

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Western Region

Western Region

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Western Region at a Glance

  • The West region comprises the counties of Galway, Roscommon and Mayo. The total population is over 413,000. Galway City is the major urban centre in the region with a population of 72,500. The principal towns in the West include Tuam, Ballinasloe, Loughrea, Roscommon, Athlone, Castlebar, Ballina and Westport.
  • In total, there are over 70 multinational companies with operations in the West region, employing over 12,000 people directly.
  • Medical Technologies, represent the prime sector for FDI in the west at more than 60% of the total, Pharmaceuticals, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), Engineering and Financial and Professional Services, complete the broad sectoral contribution of western investment.
  • A Western Development Fund (WDF) was set up to promote economic and social development in the Western Region to provide risk capital by way of equity and loans to projects and businesses. This fund is in the region of €34.4 million and is only available to the seven Western counties. Since it was set up the Investment Fund has made investments totaling €27 million with over 75% of the monies having gone to SME’s and the balance invested into community projects.

Access

  • Galway Airport provides the region with vital access to hub airports like London Luton, Manchester International and Dublin. Through these hubs, the population of the region has easy and immediate access to a multitude of onward destinations worldwide.
  • Knock Airport in Mayo provides links to international hubs such as Dublin and Birmingham. The airport is currently undergoing an expansion that will increase its annual capacity to 1 million passengers.
  • Shannon International Airport is also within easy reach and provides links with a number of locations in the US and Europe.

Knowledge Infrastructure

  • Ireland’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has a network of world-class Business & Technology Parks in the West. These parks are fully serviced with all the necessary telecommunications and utilities infrastructure.

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Western Lifestyle

The region is noted for its beautiful scenery, picturesque landscape and coastline and is rich in all that is best in Irish sport, folklore, music and song. It hosts many famous festivals, which include those with a special focus on racing, arts, oysters, films and music. The many and varied outdoor pursuits within easy reach include golf, sailing and hill-walking. The area is renowned for the warmth of its people and for the continuation of traditions, particularly the Irish language. The Irish language is widely used in the Gaeltacht areas of the region, in particular the Connemara Gaeltacht, which is the largest Irish-speaking area in the country.