Gerard P Kilcommins

HomeGalway CitizensGerard P Kilcommins

How would you describe Galway to someone who has never been here before?

Galway is a city of vibrancy, of diversity and of culture. It is a modern city which also boasts a colourful history. The city is noted for its lively social scene, the arts, music and sport (the city caters for a broad range of sporting interests) and its wonderful environmentally-friendly location on the Atlantic coast with the beauty of Connemara practically at the city’s doorstep. All of this co-exists with a strong, diverse business sector. When you put it all together, the city has a formula that one would be hard pressed to match anywhere in the world and we should be very proud of it..

Why would you recommend Galway for a business venture?

Galway has much to offer as a location to do business. The city’s youthful demographics, vibrancy, cultural diversity, quality of life and positive outlook continue to foster an innovative and constructive atmosphere for business. We have a very high standard local educational system at all levels including two third level institutions i.e. NUIG and GMIT. For multinational companies such as Medtronic, the latter is attractive as it is important to be close to academia with whom we have built strong linkages over the years. Also, the value of having a healthy local educational pipeline producing highly skilled and professional talent on an ongoing basis to support the diverse and evolving needs of industry and business here cannot be overstated.

We now have a healthy mix of business sectors in Galway. The IDA West Region team has done tremendous work over the years in supporting existing multinational companies and in attracting new companies and sectors to the city and its environs. Galway now hosts a significant number of multinational and indigenous companies spanning the Life Sciences, ICT, Engineering and Business Services sectors.

Another reason to recommend Galway as a location of choice for business is access. In the past, access to the city and region was seen as a big drawback in terms of attracting business investments. While visitors loved Galway and what it had to offer, I occasionally heard negative comment around the difficulty and time involved in getting to and from here. Thankfully, as a result of the investments in infrastructure in recent years e.g. the N18 Galway to Shannon and N6 Galway to Dublin road systems, allowing quicker and easier access between Galway and two international airports, the access issue has been addressed to a large degree.

For Medtronic, the improvement in transport infrastructure and access has been a key and very welcome development. Each year we host many visitors, including senior company executives and hundreds of customers from around the world, to our site in Parkmore, on the outskirts of the city. The typical purposes of such visits are to engage with site staff on new product and therapy innovations and to discuss and review other aspects of the business. While those visitors are in Galway, they generally also like to experience what the city and region has to offer on the social and cultural fronts. In all cases, they leave here with many happy memories and vow to return.