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The economy of Limerick is catching up

17 December 2015

Limerick Chamber of Commerce celebrates 200 years in business

Commercial Counsellor Wilhelm Nest and Austrian Ambassdor to Ireland Thomas Nader had a chance to witness economic recovery in Limerick on the occasion of a recent business trip to the West of Ireland.

While administrative reform is a slow burner in most other Irish cities, the merger of Limerick City and County Council has been a resounding success. Maybe that was the case because in Limerick, the city was economically weaker than the surrounding county. According to Lord Mayor Liam Galvin and City Manager Conn Murray, the city could only benefit from the merger, contrary to Galway, Cork or Dublin.

2015 Limerick Chamber of Commerce celebrates 200 years of representing business, highlighting to long tradition of the third oldest chamber of commerce in Ireland

With its renowned university, Limerick is the centre of a Medtech- and Biotech Cluster with several multinational companies at the forefront:

  • Johnson & Johnson/Vistakon operate the world’s largest production of contact lenses (®Acuvue) with the Limerick plant supplying 33 % of global demand.
  • Cook Medical in Limerick produces stents for the arteries of legs and joints as well as blood-thinners.
  • Soon, Regeneron will start the production of biopharmaceuticals in one of the former Dell manufacturing sites and aims to employ up to 1.000 workers in the medium term.
  • Dell has shifted its manufacturing to Eastern Europe but still employs approximately 1.000 workers in Sales and Back-Office tasks in Limerick.
  • University of Limerick (17.000 students) has just won the race as the location to establish a new branch of medical studies against stiff competition.

Limerick has embarked on an urban development project called Limerick 2030 which aims at revitalizing the city centre and which wants to abolish many of the eyesores from the past. Also, the river Shannon will be better integrated into the cityscape, which should attract more tourists.

Maybe Limerick 2020 will also win the national Irish nomination for European Capital of Culture 2020, which would be great for tourism. There is competition however from Dublin, Galway and ‘The three Sisters’ – Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny.