Employment in Gaeltacht companies highest for seven years, says agency

Údarás na Gaeltachta gives details of job gains and warns of changes due to Brexit

Galway Gaeltacht: along with Cork, saw the highest net jobs growth in 2016. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Údarás na Gaeltachta, which is responsible for securing industry and business for Gaeltacht areas, has said that its client companies created a total of 559 full-time jobs last year. However, when job losses were taken into consideration, there was only a net gain of 80 jobs over the previous year.

At the end of 2016, there were 7,963 jobs in Údarás-supported companies, 7,348 of which were full-time. The total sales of client companies exceeded €900 million, while the companies spent more than €420 million in the Irish economy for two consecutive years.

“The Galway and Cork Gaeltachtaí saw the highest net jobs growth in 2016,” stated Údarás na Gaeltachta. “It is encouraging that the employment base in Gaeltacht companies has now stabilised and has reached its highest level in seven years.”

The food and drink industry, as well as services and the medical device sectors, saw the highest gain in employment levels.


Údarás na Gaeltachta said that Brexit will have major implications for its clients, with the UK accounting for nearly 25 per cent, or €154 million, of their export sales. Meanwhile, about 60 per cent of client companies’ raw materials are imported through the UK.

“It is more important than ever to make strategic and adequate investment in Gaeltacht infrastructure, and in the infrastructure of Údarás na Gaeltachta, so that potential business opportunities, especially those involving foreign direct investment, which may arise as a result of these geopolitical changes, may be fully exploited for the benefit of the Gaeltacht,” the agency said.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times