TheLiberty is a local paper for Dublin's south inner city

February 2001

Harney: Guinness will give Liberties strength

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Ms Harney: Centre will bring great economic success

By Lisa Deeney

THE Guinness Enterprise Centre will bring "great economic success" to the Liberties according to An Tanaiste, Mary Harney, who spoke at the launch of the centre last month.

"It is very difficult for businesses in the early years to sustain and ensure that they can succeed. In this environment companies can get a good start," she said.
Ms Harney joked that if she ever needed a job, she would come to the centre. "I don't need a job yet, until, maybe the next election but it might be sooner than I think."
Ms Harney was very impressed with the centre, in particular the local company Baby Blossom.

The School St/Thomas Court Bawn enterprise project has been in operation for four years and last year acquired units in the Guinness Enterprise Centre. "We specialise in a lot of products such as communion dresses, christening gowns, prams nets, cot quilts and curtains made to measure," explained the project manager, Ms Elaine Diver said. "With this unit it will increase our output and create more local employment. And any profit we make will go back into developing the business further."

Also speaking at the launch was: the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Maurice Ahern; chairman of the Dublin Business Innovation Centre, Mr Hugh Govenery; and the managing director of Guinness Ireland, Mr Clive Brophy.

The manager of the centre, Mr Tony Prendergast, said it was a "very proud moment". "This will give a great opportunity to the community. It will be a catalyst for regeneration," he said.

The centre will become the largest enterprise centre in Ireland. It is a joint venture between Dublin Corporation, the Dublin Business Innovation Centre, the City Enterprise Board and Guinness Ireland Ltd. Six companies have already outgrown the centre and it is expected to attract 300 new businesses and create a new environment for commerce in the South Inner City, according to Mr Michael Stubbs, project manager of the Integrated Area Plan.

"This centre will be a benefit to the community. But there is a progression element to the project," he said. "The IAP will work closely with the people in the area and identify their needs in starting up business ventures and other social enterprises."

The idea for developing an enterprise centre emerged from discussions between Dublin Business Innovation Centre and Guinness Ireland from 1994 onwards. In response, Guinness Ireland offered a site at Taylor's Lane within its James St complex. They also offered a cash contribution towards the centre's development.

Speaking at the launch Mr Clive Brophy said: "There has been a great history between Guinness Ireland and the local community. We believe strongly in supporting this centre as it helps the regeneration of the area".