J.P. Gilmartin, a Partner of Ronan Daly Jermyn law firm, was confirmed as the new President of Galway Chamber at a recent board meeting.
Speaking about his new role, Mr Gilmartin said, “I start my tenure amid a pandemic and in the prelude to a tough Brexit, so these are very challenging and difficult times for businesses and our economy. In times like this we need, more than ever, to remain positive, ambitious and focused on our objectives as a Chamber. “
Mr. Gilmartin outlined some of his key priorities for the year ahead.
“In relation to transport, we will continue to lobby on sustainable transport, through our campaign ‘Get Galway Moving’. There needs to be a fundamental change in the nature of our approach to transport to achieve the required improvements in climate impact and quality of life.”
Mr. Gilmartin also called on the new government to deliver on critical projects that are crucial for the development and growth of the region. “Delivery of the Galway City Ring Road is a key deliverable in the context of implementing the Galway Transportation Strategy and it is essential for the development of the region. It will reduce congestion in the city, reduce carbon emissions and allow for viable alternatives to private car usage such as improved cycle lanes, bus routes and pedestrian facilities”.
“Ensuring access to high quality broadband is essential to the development of the regions both socially and economically. We will work with and lobby relevant stakeholders for the accelerated roll out of the National Broadband Plan and the roll out of enterprise hubs along the Atlantic Economic Corridor.”
“Galway Chamber will continue its support for the redevelopment and extension of Galway Port. It will safeguard the future of the Port, attract new businesses and facilitate the economic growth of the region.”
Mr. Gilmartin also highlighted the work Galway Chamber has been doing over the last few months in response to the Covid-19 crisis. “In response to the pandemic the Chamber set-up the Business Recovery Forum, engaging with businesses across all sectors. The Chamber has been liaising on a local level with the Galway City Mobility Team and on a national level with the Department of Finance and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through Chambers Ireland relaying Galway businesses concerns and recommendations. We support:
- Extend the waiver for those who had closed and are struggling to reopen
- Agree a proportional waiver for those who remained open however are significantly impacted
- Reset the basis on which future rates revaluations are set to 2020 rental yields as opposed to 2019 yields, as was the basis of the work last year in a pre Covid-19 world
Wage Subsidy Scheme
- Agree proportional continuation of the subsidy scheme for all who are on it with an agreed level of tapering off to afford business owners the ability to project and manage payroll costs and cashflow
- Continuation of the scheme into 2021 for certain sectors who have been considerably impacted
Grants / Funding
- At present the levels of grant aid are very low and aligned to rateable businesses, we need to increase the amount of funding, aligned to levels of employees. Separately we need to allow a different mechanism separate to rates, as many businesses in the services and tourism sector do not pay rates, yet urgently require restart funding support.”
Mr. Gilmartin concluded by paying thanks to the work of outgoing president Dave Hickey highlighting his “relentless drive, dedication, commitment and ambition for this city and region over the past two years in representing the voice of members and advocating for Galway at every opportunity.”
J.P. Gilmartin Bio
JP is a partner in the Corporate and Commercial Department of Ronan Daly Jermyn. Prior to joining Ronan Daly Jermyn and moving to Galway, JP worked with one of Ireland’s largest corporate law firms and also spent time in the US working in-house in the legal department of a large US pharmaceutical corporation. JP is a highly experienced transactional lawyer representing a broad range of clients from scaling companies to multinationals. JP is a B.Comm and LL.B. graduate of NUI Galway and has been a Council member of Galway Chamber since 2011. JP has a keen interest in all sports, but in particular, hurling, rugby, triathlons and swimming.