Dear Chamber member,


As we reflect on 2023, it has without doubt been a year of great progress for the business community in Cork, undeniably marked by significant advancements.


Cork has experienced growth in various dimensions, and the city itself is undergoing a notable transformation. Exciting projects, such as the Docklands redevelopment, are on the horizon, promising to rejuvenate the city and contribute to significant population growth by 2040. From the perspectives of both foreign direct investment (FDI) and indigenous businesses, Cork has demonstrated exceptional performance. In 2023, substantial investments and expansion announcements from major employers in the region underscored the positive trajectory. Addressing the necessary elements for this growth, including housing, infrastructure, sustainability, education, policing, and public transport, has been a top priority for Cork Chamber. Encouragingly, progress is evident in these areas, with constructive engagement from the highest levels of government.


Our lobbying and advocacy activity on behalf of our region is unsurpassed. As a member, you benefit from having the most active regional lobby group representing your interests. Over the course of the year, we have met with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien on the challenges being faced by some of our members in relation to the undersupply of housing in the region. We also met with Transport Minister Eamon Ryan on the need to progress all elements of public transport including the accelerated delivery of Cork’s highly anticipated light rail option. We raised the issue of the need for increased policing resources with Justice Minister Helen McEntee when she visited Cork Chamber’s Fitzgerald House and we presented our Budget 2024 submission to Finance Minister Michael McGrath. A broad range of issues including the progression of the renewable energy sector here in Cork were also discussed at a meeting with Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Simon Coveney. We continually welcome your input, feedback and views on what our city region needs in order to thrive and grow.


In late November it was a pleasure to welcome An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar as the keynote at our Dublin Dinner - an evening which allows our business, political and diplomatic circles to network. Our events team is immensely proud of the unrivalled access and reach they offer you, our members, through the annual calendar of events, and we look forward to your engagement and attendance through 2024.


Through the year, interest and commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices has increased right across the business sphere. This is to be welcomed. At the Chamber, we too have chosen to sharpen our focus through the lens of our ESG policies and through the frameworks of 5 SDGs we have committed to. Perfection may be daunting, but we simply must work collectively to ensure that any progress is delivered in a sustainable, equitable and considered way.


In the final months of 2023, we all witnessed the devastating scenes of unrest both at home and abroad - on our television screens, in our newspapers and on social media – and some bore personal witness to these shocking events. It has renewed the need for a proactive approach to diversity, equality and inclusion. Each individual has the capacity to contribute, and our business community can set the precedent. By embodying these principles within our businesses, we can extend their influence into our communities.


Leaders in both business and politics bear a responsibility to champion diversity, equality, and inclusion, particularly in light of recent national and international events. Simply being pro diversity is no longer enough, we must be actively anti-racist, or we will irrevocably damage Ireland’s global leadership role and undermine our communities. Social cohesion and strong vibrant communities are the foundations upon which all aspects of our society thrive.


As we embark on the new year, let our commitment to peace be the guiding force shaping our collective future.


It has been a privilege for myself, the Chamber President, Board and the entire Chamber team to represent you and all our members through 2023. Thank you for your continued support. I wish you all a very happy Christmas, and we look forward to a wonderful 2024 filled with growth and opportunity for all.


Best regards,




Conor Healy