Following the appointment of Colm O’Rourke as Chairperson of the Meath Economic Development Forum, Fiona Lawless, Meath County Council Chief Executive hosted an introductory meeting of the forum on September 28 in Buvinda House.

The aim of the Economic Development Forum is to build on and increase collaboration within the county to maximise its assets, attract further investment and create additional jobs and opportunities.

The Forum sees various business leaders, entrepreneurs and high achievers come together to share their experience to facilitate economic activity and growth in the county while overseeing the preparation and implementation of the new Meath Economic Development Strategy.

Forum Members include Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council Cllr. Tommy Reilly, Fiona Lawless, Meath County Council Chief Executive, Colm O’Rourke, Chair of Meath Economic Development Forum, Des Foley, Director of Services, Cllr. Stephen McKee, Chair SPC, Planning, Economic Development, Enterprise and European Affairs, Conn Murray, Chair of Public Sector Practice Ireland, BDO, John Harkin, Executive Chairman of MoneyJar, Martin O’Brien, CE Louth & Meath Education and Training Board, Alan Connell, Managing Partner and Head of Tax, Eversheds Sutherlands Ireland, John Gilroy, CEO College Proteins, Marian Finnegan, Managing Director, Residential & Advisory, Sherry Fitzgerald, David Geraghty Deloitte, formerly Google & Facebook and Board Member of Meta Ireland, Valerie Moran, Director Bective Stud Ltd., John Horgan, Board Chair of Kepak Group, Blair Fanning, Chief Financial Officer Vanguard Europe, Declan Maguire, Managing Director CRH Cementitious Trading, Joanne Mallon, Proprietor, Ribbon Rouge and Paula McCaul, CEO Meath County Chamber.

Some of the main areas that were discussed covered Meath’s employment sectors and its skill base, challenges employers are facing around the retention of staff specifically against global competition and the ability to work remotely, challenges facing the construction section and the increase in the green economy.

Following the first meeting of the forum, Meath County Council are preparing a strategic employment sites brochure, along with an expression of interest for appropriately zoned lands suitable for enterprise and employment.

The forum is due to meet again in November to further discuss areas of focus.