Updated: 09/09/17 : 09:07:41
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New board of WDC unveiled in Ballaghaderreen

The inaugural meeting of the new Board of Directors of the Western Development Commission (WDC), recently appointed by Minister Micheal Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, was held yesterday, September 8, in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.

The WDC is the statutory body promoting ecomonic and social development in counties, Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway and Clare.

Minister Ring addressed the meeting at the WDC Headquarters saying that “having an organisation that is focused on the development of the West of Ireland provides us with an opportunity which we must fully exploit”.

Minister Ring said: “The WDC has had some great success in helping to generate jobs and investment and I believe there is a lot more which can be achieved for the West of Ireland through the WDC.

“I have put in place a high quality board and I’m excited about the skills and experience they can bring. Today’s first meeting of the board represents a new chapter for the Western Development Commission.

“In the last three years, there have arguably been more changes in the regional development arena than in the preceding ten years. An early challenge for the incoming Board will be to review the Commission's position in the changed landscape and consider how best it can pursue its core objectives and make a wider contribution in the context of these new structures. I am looking forward to working more closely together to ensure that we have a shared vision for economic and social development in the West and that our objectives are aligned.”

Minister Micheal Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development meets
 the new Board of the WDC in Ballaghaderreen

Acting CEO of the WDC, Mr. Ian Brannigan welcomed the new Board Members and in particular the Chairperson Dr. Deirdre Garvey who is a returning member from the previous board. Mr. Brannigan said: “On behalf of the whole WDC team we look forward to working with you all to increase the impact of our regional development remit in the western region.”

Mr. Brannigan also congratulated Minister Micheal Ring on his new appointment under a new Department. “I am delighted to have a Minister for Rural and Community Development in the West. I am positive that the board and staff of the WDC together with the Department, we can make a difference in progressing the economic and social development of the Western Region.”

Chair of the new board Dr. Deirdre Garvey said: “I am delighted to chair the new board of the WDC. Since its formation in 1998, the WDC has played a significant role in the economic and social development of this region. The analysis of 2016 census data highlights the challenges facing this region, some on-going and some new. However, there is also great opportunity in this region to develop a sustainable competitive advantage building on the strengths of the region.

"The WDC has sought to build a capability and capacity for future growth. I look forward to working with the new board, the WDC staff and our regional stakeholders on the economic, social and cultural development of the region. We look forward to working with Minister Ring and the Department and welcome his commitment in the Programme for Government and the role of the WDC.”