Athenry Chamber of Commerce was founded on the 16th November 1992 by the business people of the district.
At the time it was felt that there was huge vacuum in the business life of the town and the people agreed that the Chamber of Commerce would be best suited to ﬁll this gap.
Its main aim is to promote local economic development.
The ﬁrst project undertaken was to tackle the very inadequate water supply system and together with other organisations, we eventually got a twenty-four hour a day water supply. We initiated the setting up of the Tidy Towns Committee and are delighted with its success.
Christmas 1993, a retail committee, of Barney Carroll, Tommy Flynn and Eamonn Neary was set up, when a very successful draw took place which was supported by all the businesses. It was also the ﬁrst time that Santa arrived in Athenry by helicopter, thanks to the very hard working Peadar Monaghan.
1993 also saw the 1st Arts and Crafts fair in Athenry where local business people displayed arts and crafts. This was complimented by a very successful Fashion Show compered by Peggy Carthy O’Brien. A similarly successful show was held in 1994.
In 1994 the ﬁrst major Tourist Information Booklet was launched in Athenry. It was funded by local businesses and proved to be a tremendous success. Eight thousand copies were circulated throughout Ireland, Europe, America and Australia. An updated version is been launched in the summer of 1995 and a free copy of this booklet is available at the Board Failte Information point in the “Fields of Athenry” gift shop.
The retail committee were again responsible for a very successful Christmas promotion with Galway Bay FM broadcasting from the town. Again, the business community came up trumps and funded it. Our most recently completed project is the ofﬁcial tourist information stand which was so kindly erected by the County Council opposite Athenry Castle on the Community Council property. The overall cost was in excess of two thousand pounds, sponsored by local businesses whose names can be seen on the stand.
Another achievement in 1994 was the erection of the “Welcome to Athenry” signs on the approach roads to the town. Further signs are to follow.
As a result of social events organised by the Chamber of Commerce substantial donations were given to Cystic Fibrosis at the Galway Hospice.
Our aims for 1995 are:
(a) To improve our water system.
(b) To improve traffic control in Athenry.
(c) To erect street signs.
Our meetings are held on the second Monday of every month, in Hanberry‘s hotel and new members are very welcome.
Eamonn Neary (Chairman)
Written by Eamonn Neary
Published here 30 Oct 2022 and originally published 1995
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