New President calls for Midlands Development to be Hogan’s Priority

John O’Donovan hands over the Chain of Office and the role of Midlands Gateway Chamber President to John Humphries at the Annebrook House Hotel.

By Una D'Arcy Put the Midlands at the top of your list for development is the message being sent from Midlands Gateway Chamber to the Irish Government. “The Midland Gateway, Mullingar, Athlone and Tullamore, was identified as one of nine Gateways in the country for economic development in the 2002 National Spatial Strategy. “On February 12th Minister Phil Hogan announced that the strategy was to be scrapped.  This chamber will work to be a constant presence reminding the Government and the Minister that the Midlands is the perfect place for development and that the Minister should make this development a priority,” said John Humphries, Midlands Gateway Chamber President 2013. John, who works in a voluntary capacity with Mullingar Chamber of Commerce, received his chains of office on Wednesday night. “When I first approached Mullingar Chamber it was because I wanted to offer my skills to help the business community in the town. I serve on a number of their development Committees including Marketing Mullingar and the board of website; “With this new position, which I am honoured to hold, I intend working closely with all the chambers in the Midlands to focus on our strengths and focus on Mullingar, Tullamore and Athlone working together to foster development encourage entrepreneurship and identify new streams of support and funding. “I am hoping to capitalize on my existing work on business development with Mullingar Chamber to attract industry, create jobs and help the midlands achieve its potential. I would also want to strengthen the links between government agencies, Westmeath and Offaly County Council, voluntary bodies and enterprise and development agencies” said John. Before working with Mullingar Chamber John worked with Intel. Using both his life skills and experience John came to the Chamber to offer his help with business consultancy. John is from Paisley in Scotland and a life-long fan of St Mirren's although Mullingar has won him over to the joys of the GAA and he has served on the St Loman’s committee since 2001. “Mullingar is a great town with so much going for it. There is always something going on, lots of clubs and incredible people who work hard to make a difference. The challenges being faced now by businesses in Mullingar and in Athlone and Tullamore must be faced into together. Working together, polling resources, supporting each other, that’s the solution. That’s where we will find success.”    
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