The new Waterford Crystal Centre at The Mall is all set for opening the first week of next month, with an official ceremony to follow on June 22, preceded the previous day by an elaborate celebration of the occasion in City Hall and the Theatre Royal. In attendance will be dignitaries from around the world.
That was confirmed by City Manager Michael Walsh at Monday night’s May meeting of the City Council.
He said the official opening would consist of a series of events over two days and it would enable Waterford to advertise worldwide the fact that it was open for business in tourism terms.
Cllr Jack Walsh said the project, which will generate a hundred jobs, was a credit to all involved, including Mr Walsh and his staff who played a leading role. It indicated that Waterford was on the road to economic recovery and that was something worth celebrating.
IDA should take note
Cllr Davy Daniels agreed that the crystal scheme represented a very bright light at the end of a dark tunnel, but he was anxious that full advantage be taken of the momentum it generated. He had particularly in mind the fact that the IDA had expressed the hope of attracting over 100,000 new jobs over the coming years and he wanted to remind them that Waterford now had all the infrastructure in place to qualify as a leading contender. He urged the Council to liaise with the IDA and try to ensure Waterford was permanently in the hunt in terms of job creation.
The Manager said the Council was engaged in ongoing dialogue with the IDA and other agencies in vigorous efforts to attract employment. But that was a separate matter from the crystal project which in itself would be a cornerstone of an economic and tourist drive for the city.
Mayor John Halligan agreed with Cllr Daniels that the general issue of job creation merited a full debate and undertook to place it on the agenda for a future meeting.