By Ronan Dodd
NENAGH Chamber of Commerce has described a meeting it had with Nenagh Town Council on improving trading conditions in the town as “positive”.
The two bodies met earlier this month to see how economic activity in the town could be boosted.
“We all understand the current economic environment and we will come up with new initiatives to increase economic activity in the town and increase footfall to help businesses,” said the Chamber’s president, Joe O’Connor.
The Chamber boss revealed that they had raised a number of issues with the council, including car parking around the town.
“The council were very co-operative. They listened and were very constructive. We engaged well. We are both working towards a mutual understanding about how to increase economic activity in Nenagh,” said Mr O’Connor.
“There was a reasoned case put forward and they gave us a reasoned hearing.”
Meanwhile, Mr O’Connor said that the Chamber welcomed the opening of Lulu’s milkshake bar in the former Roots restaurant premises on Pearse Street.
“This is good news for Nenagh and a positive move for the street. It is to be welcomed because it will make a contribution to the town and will increase footfall. Nenagh is a market town and if we can get back to that and give people a positive shopping experience at the same time, that can only be good.”
He said that it was great the the premises had reopened within such a short space of time.
“The Chamber would like to congratulate the owners, local men Tom McGrath and Liam Kelly, on opening the business and we wish them both success in their venture,” said Mr O’Connor.
Meanwhile, it is understood that terms have been agreed with a company to take over the former Dunnes Stores premises on Pearse Street, which has been vacant for a number of years, but that leases have yet to be signed. It is expected that an announcement on who will move into the building will be made in the next two weeks.
Following on from the success of the town’s St Patrick’s Day parade and celebrations, and particularly the influx of visitors with the visit of STA Rugby as part of the festivities, Mr O’Connor said that the town should “go to any positive enagagement in any town, at any fair, that can help sell the town”.
Asked whether or not he thought the town should be represented abroad over the St Patrick’s Day celebrations to tap into any goodwill towards Ireland, the Chamber president said that type of activity should not confined to a delegation heading away purely for St Patrick’s Day, but should be done throughout the year.
“Anything that can make a positive contribution to the town should be explored, but there should also be accountability. Anybody, no matter who it is who takes part in such a trip, should come back with something if they represent the town, whether that’s in Ireland or outside the country,” he said.
The Chamber is also hoping that Nenagh will receive a massive spin-off from the visit to Moneygall by US President Barack Obama. “Nenagh is the premier town in North Tipperary and we expect to get the spin-off from the visit,” said Mr O’Connor.