WHILE Vincent Browne’s debate stirred a lot of negative
reaction among a great many Waterfordians last week, City
& County Mayor James Tobin and local authority CEO
Michael Walsh were in the United States. Promoting Waterford.
Showcasing this city and county in a favourable light.
There, they met with representatives of West Pharma,
whose €100 million site at Knockhouse is currently under
development and where, in due course, 150 staff will be
employed. They made the trip without issuing any advance
press release to the media. Neither man sought self-promotion
from the visit, but I was glad I caught wind of it.
At the conclusion of the TV3 debate, Minister Coffey referenced
the 800 jobs that have been announced in Waterford
in recent months, suggesting that the region is now moving
beyond “crisis management” as he put it.
Referencing the drop in local unemployment from 20%
to 11% (not including JobBridge, he said, amidst the
heckles), Paudie Coffey added: “There are so many positives
about our city and county which haven’t been spoken
about tonight”.
Had TV3 invited at least a section of the audience to
discuss the increase in Foreign Direct Investment, the urban
renewal of the city, the development of Glanbia’s Belview
plant, the Deise Greenway, the Purple Flag initiative, the
pulling power WIT is attracting in terms of research funding,
etc, we’d certainly have had a more balanced debate.
But, as one Facebook poster put it to me last week, TV3
“want good TV, not good democracy”.