The opening of the New Ross N25 Bypass is a real step change in the economic journey of the South East.
By Frank O’Regan, Chair of the South East Regional Enterprise Plan and the Ireland South East Development Office.
The bypass with its stunning new bridge is not just source of pride for its world-class engineering but by linking the entire region, it is also key piece of the South East’s economic present and future.
This is important because in an era of competitive challenges and where the region has had to reinvent itself, combining what the entire South East region offers in business and investment opportunities, careers and tourism gives us a key strength: scale. And this scale can be used to benefit all in our region.
In practice, the historically-linked communities of Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford will be able to interact easier. Commuters who move between our towns and villages will be able to move quicker, ensuring a better quality of life for them and their families. The talented people from our region who have left will be able to see more clearly the depth of opportunity which the region offers them. Exporters will be able to access our international ports easier which will be crucial in a post-Brexit Ireland. Visiting tourists will be able to seamlessly enjoy the best of what our region offers from the Hook Peninsula to Waterford’s Viking Triangle and up to Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile. Agencies like IDA Ireland will now be able to increase foreign investment site visits by bringing potential investors on a full itinerary of the South East.
It’s fitting that the bridge is named after Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, as the Kennedys have shown that people from our region can be world beaters. This is being reflected in the amount of dynamic world-leading business, research and innovation activity that’s going on here today. To paraphrase her son, Robert Kennedy, we in the South East are close in our goals, concerns and our hopes for the future. This bridge will allow us all to grow and prosper.
Frank O’Regan is Chair of the South East Regional Enterprise Plan and the Ireland South East Development Office.