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Taoiseach will take questions in the chamber

AN TAOISEACH Brian Cowen will be in town on Monday, September 28, having taken up an invitation from Shannon Chamber president, Ian Barrett.

The Taoiseach’s visit will be just days before the country votes on the Lisbon Treaty. The lunch normally takes place around Christmas but has been brought forward especially.
Announcing the event, Mr Barrett said, “The chamber is delighted to get an opportunity to directly represent its members’ interests in these challenging times to An Taoiseach and to support the case for the passing of the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.”
Speaking about the Lisbon vote, he said that Europe has been good to Ireland. “Despite significant minority opposition and concerns, Ireland took a major decision in 1972 to join the EEC and subsequently to adopt the euro as its currency. Both of these positive decisions have contributed significantly to the economic development of this country. The fact that Ireland is an integral and active participant of the EU is of paramount significance when foreign organisations are deciding exactly where to make their European investments.
“Ireland was a large net gainer in terms of EU funding throughout the 1980s and ’90s – from 1989 to 1999 Ireland’s receipts from EU structural funds averaged around 2.6% of Gross National Product and currently Ireland continues to benefit greatly from a strong currency and significant European Central Bank funding. Ireland needs in turn to play its full part in Europe. Concerns on a number of significant matters affecting the economic and social future of our country and a lack of information and knowledge influenced the vote last year.”
Mr Barrett said that the Taoiseach would be answering questions from the floor. Tickets for the lunch, organised by CareerWise Recruitment, are available from Shannon Chamber at 061 360611/708341 or online at hdownes@shannonchamber.ie. The event will get underway at 12 noon and is open to members and non-members.


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