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Michael Martin who was elected for a second term as President of the Cobh & Harbour Chamber.

At the recent AGM of the Cobh & Harbour Chamber Mr. Michael Martin was re elected for a second term as President.  In his address Mr. Martin, outlined the multitude of activities which the Chamber were involved in which took place over the past year. “Experiencing as we are, a recession of epic proportions, it stands to reason that new and difficult challenges have to be met and contained, if the business community is to survive” he stated.

 “However, what we are experiencing in the economy today is difficult but not catastrophic. The majority of the workforce is still at work. Our international credit rating remains credible and agencies such as Tourism Ireland and the Department of Enterprise are still trying to nurture growth in the sectors that create income and employment. It is nevertheless my view that the healthiest way out of recession is through local enterprise and making the best return on what you have. In that respect we in Cobh and the lower harbour are lucky. Few towns have the spatial infrastructure that we have. Access by air, rail, road and sea are important assets. In terms of visitor attractions there are hundreds of towns around Ireland who would envious of what the harbour and the town has to offer. While the local workforce had benefited from the concentration of the pharmaceutical and energy orientated industry around the periphery of the harbour, the town has yet to utilise in full the enormous tourism potential that just hangs there waiting to be realised. We in the Chamber have been at the forefront of trying to realise this potential. We are active contributors to a new review of tourism being facilitated by PLATO that it is hoped will bring numerous bodies to the same table with the same aims.

I sincerely hope that this PLATO facilitated study will iron out some of the issues and lead to a situation where the industry, the voluntary sector and the statutory sector can be working together assisting and enhancing each other’s roles, not diminishing or undermining them”.

In conclusion he stated “Cobh has the potential, has the assets, has the experience and the ability to make great things happen let the chamber be central to that effort. If we need to realign ourselves to new realities, if we need to tap more fully into the communications highway, if we need to look with a fresh perspective at what we need to do as a Chamber, well, let us begin not next week not next month but now, this evening, tomorrow and every day thereafter”.

On the night, John Sweeney was elected Vice President, Liz Burns was re-elected Hon. Secretary while Brian Curtis was elected to the position of Hon. Treasurer.

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