Saturday 25 November 2017

330 new jobs to boost badly hit areas

Eimear Ni Bhraonain and Mark O' Regan

UNEMPLOYMENT blackspots in a number of counties are to benefit from 330 new jobs thanks the expansion of low-cost retail chains and construction of a multi-million-euro sports centre.

Poundland, under the new brand name Dealz, will open two new flagship stores in Donegal and Kerry tomorrow, creating a total of 90 new jobs.

Located in Letterkenny Retail Park, the new Dealz store will provide 50 jobs in the Donegal area.

And it will open a new store in Killarney, generating 40 new jobs.

Meanwhile, Iceland supermarket is opening its third store in Ireland in Ashbourne, Co Meath, tomorrow, which will provide 40 more much-needed jobs to the local economy.

In Waterford, 200 new construction jobs will be created in part of the city badly hit by unemployment while a €10.5m sports arena is under construction.

GAA president Christy Cooney visited the site at the Waterford Institute of Technology yesterday, which is set to become one of Ireland's most modern sports facilities.

WIT Campus Services is funding the development at Carriganore on the outskirts of Waterford city.

The region has been devastated by job losses since the high-profile closures of Waterford Crystal and, more recently, the Talk Talk call centre.


Four playing pitches, an indoor sports arena that transforms into a conference centre with seating for up to 2,000 people or an examination hall for 1,000 students, and other sports and catering facilities are part of the ambitious plans.

There are also six labs for performance analysis and an e-learning centre for 180 people included in the design. Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin, who turned the sod yesterday, said the project had "the potential to become a world-class venue" to showcase hurling.

"It is a very good example of co-operation between institutions such as the GAA, WIT and private enterprise, which will yield substantial benefits for athletes, students and other young people as well as the community as a whole, while creating a centre of sport excellence in Waterford," said Mr Howlin.

The conference centre will also bring a boost to the south-east as there has not been a large facility to cater for such events since the closure of the Ard Ri hotel in Waterford some years ago.

Irish Independent

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