Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce Draft Terms of Reference

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Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce
Draft Terms of Reference


The scale of Ireland’s growth since the early 1990s has been unprecedented. Our population has increased by more than 1.1 million people to 4.75 million, and the number of people in employment has also grown by more than 660,000, to in excess of 2 million people. There is an emerging concentration of population and economic activity along the M1 corridor and the M7/M9 Dublin-Portlaoise/Carlow corridors, reflecting a concentration of larger towns and their hinterlands.

Recent spatial growth patterns have led to overdevelopment in some places and decline in others. This has led to pressure on infrastructure - particularly in the Eastern part of the country - and has not been conducive to balanced or effective regional development. The National Planning Framework is a key policy tool to assist in the achievement of more effective regional development, while the Government has also placed an increased focus on the regional dimension of national policy through initiatives such as the Regional Action Plans for Jobs.
In February 2016, a proposal for the development of an Atlantic Economic Corridor was published by the Chambers of Commerce of Limerick, Shannon, Ennis, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, and Sligo and the American Chamber of Commerce.
The aim of the proposal is to develop a ‘city of scale' along the western seaboard to match the success of Dublin and Cork in developing infrastructure, attracting Irish and multinational investment, and growing jobs and wealth in vibrant communities.
The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to progress the concept of an Atlantic Economic Corridor. The establishment of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce supports this commitment.
Progressing the proposal for an Atlantic Economic Corridor must, by its very nature, have a medium to long-term perspective. It must also be situated in the context of the National Planning Framework and be complementary to, and consistent with, the new Framework.
Membership of the Taskforce

Progressing the potential for an Atlantic Economic Corridor required a collaborative approach on the part of the business community, Government and public bodies (including education and training institutions) and the wider community in pursuit of shared objectives.

The membership of the Taskforce will reflect the collaborative effort required. A list of Taskforce members is attached at Appendix 1. The membership may be expanded, as required. The Taskforce will be chaired by Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring, T.D.

As a general principle, the Taskforce will meet every 8-10 weeks. Sub-Groups may be formed from within the Taskforce to progress particular pieces of work as required, and external expertise may be invited to join and contribute to these sub-groups depending on the nature of the work in hand.


The Secretariat to the Taskforce will be provided by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Role of the Taskforce

The role of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce will be to:

  1. Define the geographic area(s) to be included in the economic corridor.

  1. Provide a platform for engagement between stakeholders from the private and public sectors and the wider community to consider how best an economic corridor can be created to maximise the potential of the region.

  1. Identify the research required to support the development of the corridor and conduct/commission a detailed analysis of the potential of the region and the issues that need to be addressed to maximise that potential.

  1. Suggest infrastructural priorities which could help to support economic development of the Atlantic Economic Corridor area to provide alternative investment options to the East Coast.

  1. Identify short-to-medium-term actions which can be taken to reach the longer-term goals of the Atlantic Economic Corridor, and work collectively to implement those actions.


The Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce is a new and innovative collaborative approach to support the development of a proposal for an economic corridor on the western seaboard. The format and efficacy of the Taskforce will be reviewed within 24 months.

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

March 2017
Appendix 1 – AEC Taskforce membership
Departments and Public Bodies

  1. Ms. Eadaoin Collins, D/Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

  2. Mr. Niall Cussen, D/Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

  3. Mr. Michael Lenihan, Department of Education and Skills,

  4. Mr. George Burke, D/Taoiseach

  5. Mr. Ray O'Leary, D/Transport, Tourism and Sport

  6. Mr. Ciarán Ó hÓbáin, D/Communications, Climate Action and Environment

  7. Mr. Tadgh Ó Conghaile, Údarás na Gaeltachta

  8. Mr. David Minton, Northern & Western Assembly (Director)

  9. Mr. Stephen Blair, Southern Assembly (Director)

  10. Ms. Clodagh Barry, WDC

  11. Mr. Barry Egan, Enterprise Ireland

  12. Ms Catherina Blewitt, IDA

  13. Ms Nandi O'Sullivan, Shannon Group

  14. Mr. Oran Doherty, Regional Skills Fora representation

  15. Mr. Fearghal Reidy (LGMA)

  16. Mr. Peter Hynes (Mayo County Council)

Universities/IT Sector

  1. Mr. Eamon Cregan, University of Limerick

  2. Dr. Liam Brown Limerick Institute of Technology

  3. Professor Chris Curtain, NUIG

  4. Dr. Rick Officer, GMIT

  5. Mr. Henry McGarvey, Letterkenny Institute of Technology

  6. Mr. Tom Reilly, Sligo Institute of Technology

Chambers Group & Business leaders

  1. Mr. Mike Devane – Chambers Group (lead Advocate)

  2. Mr. David Kiely, Sligo Chamber

  3. Mr. Sean Keenan, Galway Chamber

  4. Mr. Kevin Thompstone, Shannon Chamber

  5. Mr. Brian Hopkins, Mayo Chamber

  6. Representative from Allergen

  7. Ms. Helen Leahy, IBEC

  8. Mr. Eamonn Kielty, (Moneyplus, ISME representative)

Community Sector

31. TBC

32. TBC

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