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Regional Covid19 Response Group formed For Midwest

Regional Covid19 Response Group: Denis Kelly pictured above, formerly of Dell Technologies and now president of DK Strategic Solutions (picture taken before social distancing)
Regional Covid19 Response Group formed For Midwest

Public and private organisations in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary have launched a Covid-19 economic recovery programme, the first regional economic response to the fallout from the pandemic.

The initiative involves multinational and local employers, plus state and semi-state entities, that have come together to create a retraining programme for thousands affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic.

The Regional Covid19 Response Group (RCRG) says its immediate response has been to identify online retraining programmes to target people displaced in the tourism, retail, hospitality and allied sectors.

The Regional Covid19 Response Group is also developing a longer-term strategy to identify and maximise regional development opportunities. According to RCRG, these will be based on empowering individuals and communities, through digital technologies, “to accelerate the economic, social and environmental transition to a resilient and thriving carbon-neutral region by 2026”. 

The aim is to make the mid-west the most digitally connected and environmentally sustainable peripheral region in the EU by that date.

Regional Covid19 Response Group

Denis Kelly pictured with Dee Ryan, CEO of Limerick Chamber (picture taken before social distancing). Picture: Shauna Kennedy

The group was initiated by Barry O’Sullivan, vice president of manufacturing at J&J Vision Care; Denis Kelly, formerly of  Dell Technologies and now president of DK Strategic Solutions; and Eamonn Murphy, managing director of the  Irish Centre for Business Excellence.  

Group members include the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Limerick and Tipperary local authorities, Limerick Chamber of Commerce, and a range of multinational and indigenous enterprises located in the region.

Dee Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, Limerick Chamber said, ““Rolling out this coordinated Skills strategy will be critical to the speed of recovery in the Mid West. The Chamber and key member companies have been fully involved in the evolving process ensuring that employer needs are to the fore.”

Chairman Dr Eamonn Murphy said, “Before Covid-19 there were 220,000 people employed in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary and 48,000 were in tourism, retail, hospitality and allied sectors. These sectors have been dealt a massive body blow that is threatening to undermine the incredible economic success of this region over the past decade. 

“The establishment of the Regional Covid-19 Response Group and the strides already made in such a short time reflects the unrivalled degree of cohesion and collaboration here in the mid-west and that will give us a very significant edge in spearheading the recovery.

“There’s a huge can-do spirit here from top-down, that is not alone going to get us through this very difficult patch but position us as a European best practice region for the future.”

Dee Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, Limerick Chamber added, “With the welcome confirmation of phase one of the Government’s Roadmap to the Reopening of Business and Society being allowed to proceed as planned, we send best wishes to our friends and colleagues in the Mid West construction sector and those in our Mid West retail sector who have permission to reopen on Monday. 
These businesses will take the first tentative steps in the reopening of our regional economy. They lead the way in the slow and careful journey to what will be our new operating norm. 
Successful implementation of employee and public safety measures, as outlined in the ‘Return to work safely protocol’ document, will be critically important in preventing a resurgence of the virus in Limerick. It is a heavy responsibility for Limerick business  leaders and their teams to bear, but one that I am confident they can take on.  
The Chamber is available to all organisations to assist with any queries they may have over the coming days and weeks.” 


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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.