Colin Ahern is the new President of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce.
Following a first ever digital, socially distanced Zoom AGM held last week, the General Manager of the Ormonde Hotel takes over from Marion Acreman, who served as President for the last two years.
Speaking following his election, President Ahern noted the challenges that faces business and industry in general during the Covid 19 pandemic.
“Kilkenny Chamber has been the voice of business in Kilkenny since 1948 and continues to contribute hugely to the success of our city and county as a great place in which to work and live,” said Mr Ahern, noting the strange times local business finds itself in.
The Limerick man has served on Chamber’s Board for a number of years.
He noted the South East regions reliance on tourism stating that the year ahead will be full of challenges and opportunities. “Through our engagement with our members, the Local Authority, Local Enterprise Office and support agencies such as the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Failte Ireland and others, Kilkenny Chamber will continue to represent business interests here and ensure that our city and county continues to grow and prosper,” he added.
He noted the role Chamber, and Chambers Ireland played in lobbying government for grants and other payments to help business through the present crisis.
He also referred to the new one way system in Kilkenny city centre, and urged business owners directly affected to remain engaged with the local authority, assuring them of the support of Chamber.
He thanked the outgoing directors and extended a welcome to those joining. He ackowledged the work of the outgoing President Marion Acreman and also outgoing treasurer Paschal Bergin, who had served as treasurer for six years.
Accounts for 2019 showed a very healthy increase in revenue and profit for the finanacial year, ending December 2019 more than doubled to €26,804.
Mayor of Kilkenny John Coonan congratulated Mr Ahern on his election. "On behalf of the Kilkenny Municipal District and personally, I wish you great success in the role and I am excited to continue forging a successful partnership for the greater good of business in Kilkenny City," he said.
"I am certain that under your leadership, the Chamber of Commerce will continue to successfully lobby on behalf of businesses throughout this challenging time and be an essential voice of business owners at every meeting and event in which key decisions are made about the future direction of Kilkenny Inc”
Mayor Coonan also thanked the outgoing president Marion Acreman for her 'exceptional contribution' during her term leading the Chamber of Commerce.
"Now that the third phase of lifting of restrictions due to Covid-19 have commenced and businesses re-open, the message is clear: Think local, support local, and shop local," he said. The incoming members for Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce are President: Colin Ahern, (Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel);Vice President: Brian Keyes, (Kilkenny People), Honorary Secretary Owen Sweeney, (Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan). Honorary Treasurer: Gordon Murphy, (Glanbia plc). Assistant Honorary Treasurer: Jane Devlin, (PwC), PR Officer - John Masterson, (Purcell Masterson). Board Members: Marion Acreman, (MacDonagh Junction). Anne Barber, (Butterslip). Paschal Bergin, (Paschal Bergin Accountants). Michael Brannigan, (PRL Group) Margaret Clancy, (Transfermate) Laurence Conroy (Security Risk Advisors) Martin Costello, (Murphy’s Jewellers) Jason Dempsey, (AIB Bank) Gary Graham, (Graham Shoes) Claire McInerney Brown, (KIDCO) Tom O’Connor, (Poto Consulting Ltd) Deirdre Shine, (Bank of Ireland).