Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, facilitated a meeting between the directors and supporters of the Shannon Venue Limited and the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to discuss possible funding for the project which received planning permission in March 2015.
Also in attendance were Fine Gael representatives Deputy Joe Carey, Senator Martin Conway and Cllr John Crowe. Clare County Council CEO Pat Dowling and Director of Social Development Liam Conneally were present as were Mick Guinee, CEO of Ei Electronics, and Paddy Purcell, chairman of the Mincon Group.
Minster Breen has also held discussions with his party colleague, Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, about the possibilities of part-funding The Venue from central Government.
Previously he had received strong indications for the project from former Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD.
At the meeting, Minister Breen impressed upon his colleague Minister Murphy the huge advantages of such a centre to Shannon and any plans to further develop the town.
“The Shannon Venue has the potential to be more than a multi-functional Community, Civic and Arts Centre for the people of Shannon and surrounding areas. It also has the capacity to become a focal point for the town and a catalyst for community growth,” said Minister Breen.
He added, “I believe this building will have multiple benefits to the community and therefore a multifarious approach to its funding even within Government is the most likely way to succeed.”
Commenting in the aftermath of the discussion, Minister Breen said, “I have been in constant contact with the Minister for Finance about the Venue and was pleased that Minister Murphy took such an interest in the project.”
He said, “The Shannon Venue has been designed as space for community groups to meet, rehearse and plan. It will provide much-needed accommodation for concerts and performances and be a place the people of Shannon and the surrounding areas can interact on a daily basis.
“This building also has the potential to provide civic amenities and council office space, bringing services and the community together at the centre of the town.
“The Shannon Venue has the potential to be a catalyst for more amenities and services to develop in the centre of Shannon, opening it up as a community focal point to the 10,000 residents and 10,000 more workers arriving into Shannon every day,” added the Clare minister of state.
“While Shannon is known as an economic engine, it is all to often overlooked as a living town. The Venue will have a focus on community, civic and creative activities that are central to all towns and communities.
“Such an undertaking is not easy however and must be a three-way partnership between the businesses, local community and Government.
“Many of the business people in the town and surrounding areas have already pledged their support to this ambitious project with their time, skills and financial support.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Shannon Venue Limited to get this worthwhile project to the next stage, and I commend them on all their work to date,” said Minister Breen.