Údarás na Gaeltachta believes that Brexit will be one of the biggest challenges that Gaeltacht companies will face in the years ahead.
In its end of year report, the organisation states: “It is generally estimated, as details of the process become clearer, that this huge political change will affect every business and citizen on this island.
“The United Kingdom is generally the first port of call when a company begins exporting for the first time. According to this year’s updated ABSEI research, almost 30 percent, which is estimated at €147 million, of our client companies’ export sales go to both the United Kingdom and the European Union. There will be implications also for company running costs, as 60 percent of raw materials worth €227 million, are imported,” the report read.
Údarás na Gaeltachta also stated that it is cooperating with other State agencies as part of a coordinated response to international affairs in 2018, and that it will continue to administer its Brexit support and consultancy scheme, ‘Bí Réidh’, for its client companies operating in Gaeltacht areas.
The report also stated that 630 new full-time jobs were created in Údarás client companies nationwide in 2017, while 60 new jobs were created in companies in the Mayo Gaeltachta. This amounts to a net increase of eight jobs in Mayo on the previous year, and means that there were 648 full-time jobs in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in Mayo at the end of the year.
Commenting on the report, Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief Executive Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh said the agency is very happy with the level of job creation this year.
“We are very happy with the level of job creation this year in the context of our current resources, and that we managed to double our net increase in employment since last year. It is a huge boost for us to see that our development strategies have been a success and therefore that we are achieving our employment targets.
“We will be implementing our new strategy over the next three years, and we are very happy to add to the organisation’s positive results and consequently support the sustainable development of the Gaeltacht. We always welcome new businesses, both large and small, which will contribute to strengthening the employment base in rural Gaeltacht areas,” he said.