What EU has done for you

A-to-Z of EU in Ire­land

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - 60 YEARS OF EUROPEAN UNITY - Re­porter: Ma­jella Flynn

Na­tion­wide guide to some of the EU-funded so­cial and busi­ness projects which have en­riched the lives of peo­ple liv­ing in ev­ery cor­ner of Ire­land.

Ever since Ire­land joined in 1973, the Euro­pean Union has pro­vided sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing to a range of projects across Ire­land. Along with large in­fras­truc­tural projects, it has funded sev­eral lo­cal ini­tia­tives. Here’s a small se­lec­tion of what the EU has done for you and your county.


In Car­low, the EU has funded Pol­ish en­tre­pre­neur Eva Milka’s Gaelic Es­car­got snail farm, the In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy Car­low’s cy­ber­crime course, the ed­u­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment of Eras­mus+ stu­dents, and prizes for St Leo’s Col­lege stu­dents’ Ju­nior Cert Science Dic­tio­nary.

Gaelic Es­car­got

Pol­ish en­tre­pre­neur Eva Milka is build­ing up a snail em­pire from her farm in Co Car­low. The com­pany has de­vel­oped unique breed­ing ap­proaches adapted to the Ir­ish cli­mate. The snails are free range and the brand cap­i­talises on Ire­land’s rep­u­ta­tion as a high-qual­ity food ex­porter. There is an in­ter­na­tional short­age of edi­ble snails — the in­dus­try is worth €115m in France alone.


In Ca­van, the EU has sup­ported win­ners in Ire­land’s Best Young En­tre­pre­neur com­pe­ti­tion, CG Power Sys­tems’ Smart Ru­ral Grid project, the Ca­van 365 Garda Youth Di­ver­sion Project, and the Get Youth Into IT pro­gramme.

Best Young En­tre­pre­neur

Re­cent Best Young En­tre­pre­neur win­ners in Ca­van were: Ty­rone Do Couto, Real Dy­nam­ics, Car­rick­aboy, win­ning a €10k in­vest­ment for Best New Idea; Nor­man Or­mis­ton, BearRub­ber, Vir­ginia, win­ning a €20,000 in­vest­ment for Best Start-Up; and Ali­cia Tre­anor, NutriS­nax Ltd, Poles, win­ning a €20,000 in­vest­ment for Best Es­tab­lished Busi­ness.


The EU is fund­ing Clare County Li­brary, in­no­va­tive farm­ing in the Bur­ren, prizes for the Stu­dent En­ter­prise Awards, and Shan­non ABC re­search cen­tre.

Clare County Li­brary

The Clare County Li­brary ser­vice has been handed a big boost with the al­lo­ca­tion of €1m to­wards the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment of the Clare Cul­tural Cen­tre in En­nis. The pro­posed €8.5m fa­cil­ity will lo­cate three sep­a­rate li­brary ser­vices to­gether in one build­ing with a fo­cus on com­mu­nity co­he­sion, cul­tural in­te­gra­tion and sup­port to the eco­nomic and so­cial ac­tiv­ity of the town.


In Cork, EU is fund­ing two ur­ban de­vel­op­ment projects in Cork city, UCC’s re­search on com­pul­sive be­hav­iour as part of the Tac­tics pro­gramme, the Priz d’Elite for the Ir­ish At­lantic Seafood Com­pany, the North­side Com­mu­nity Health Ini­tia­tive’s Area-Based Child­hood pro­gramme, and CAP pay­ments to the tune of al­most €205m in 2015.

Cork City projects

Cork City is di­vid­ing €5m fund­ing be­tween two projects. The first project is the de­vel­op­ment of the Ma­rina Park area to pro­vide a con­tem­po­rary city park with a fo­cus on wa­ter-based ac­tiv­i­ties, play and a range of event spa­ces. In con­junc­tion with this, there are plans to change the per­cep­tion of the in­dus­trial-look­ing Mon­a­han Road area to an at­trac­tive of­fice lo­ca­tion.

The sec­ond project is a ded­i­cated cy­cle and pedes­trian bridge across the North Chan­nel of the River Lee, link­ing Mer­chants Quay to Har­ley St.


EU has funded The Food Coast, Let­terkenny In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy’s part in the tech­nol­ogy project TAOIDE, Ar­ran­more Is­land’s ef­forts to be a green en­ergy com­mu­nity, and the Foróige Youth De­vel­op­ment Scheme.

The Food Coast

The Food Coast, Done­gal’s Good Food Ini­tia­tive, was de­vel­oped by LEO Done­gal as a pro­gramme to sup­port de­vel­op­ment, growth and qual­ity in Done­gal’s food sec­tor. This ini­tia­tive acts as a cen­tral plat­form for es­tab­lish­ing Done­gal as a food county, pro­vid­ing food busi­nesses with the op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with fel­low busi­nesses while en­gag­ing the sup­port ser­vices of LEO Done­gal.


In Dublin, EU has funded On­coMark’s work in prog­nos­tics for breast can­cer, Dod­der Val­ley Green­way cy­cle and pedes­trian routes, a top prize for Loreto Col­lege stu­dents’ FenuHealth equine sup­ple­ments busi­ness, and the LEO-op­er­ated Food Academy.


On­coMark is ded­i­cated to sup­port­ing the dis­cov­ery and de­vel­op­ment of novel di­ag­nos­tics and prog­nos­tic as­says that help to save lives and im­prove the qual­ity of life of can­cer pa­tients. Re­cently, On­coMark was awarded €2.7m to de­velop a di­ag­nos­tic as­say for breast can­cer. On­coMark cur­rently em­ploys 10 staff at their lab­o­ra­to­ries in Dublin and in­tends to dou­ble this over the next two years.


In Gal­way, the EU has funded Sea Power’s wave en­ergy de­vice test­ing, work to re­store Car­row­na­gap­pul raised bog, Gal­way Com­mu­nity Cir­cus, and the in­volve­ment of Gal­way Arts Cen­tre and Cúirt in their third EU transna­tional project with Shar­ing the Wor(l)d.

Sea Power

Sea Power is pre­par­ing to test its pro­to­type wave en­ergy de­vice at the Gal­way Bay Ma­rine and Re­new­able En­ergy Test Site. The com­pany, which also re­ceived grant sup­port from the Sus­tain­able En­ergy Au­thor­ity of Ire­land, is pro­gress­ing to quar­ter scale test­ing in open sea con­di­tions for the first time. The sea power de­vice will soon make the short trip from Foynes in Lim­er­ick, where it was built, to the Gal­way Bay test site.


EU has sup­ported the IT Tralee’s TRADEIT project, hun­dreds of farm­ers in the EU Milk Re­duc­tion Sup­ply Scheme, Kerry Mu­sic Education Part­ner­ship, and prizes for St Brigid’s Sec­ondary School, Kil­lar­ney, for its work fos­ter­ing en­trepreneur­ship.

TRADEIT project

The In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy Tralee is co-or­di­nat­ing the €4.5m TRADEIT project, which has de­vel­oped a Euro­pean net­work of bak­ery, dairy and meat-pro­duc­ing SMEs, food net­works, as­so­ci­a­tions, re­searchers and tech­nol­ogy providers. The project aims to sup­port tra­di­tional food pro­duc­ers, by shar­ing new knowl­edge, tech­nolo­gies and best prac­tice on prod­uct, process and op­er­a­tional in­no­va­tions.


In Kerry, the EU has sup­ported the In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy Tralee’s TRADEIT project, hun­dreds of farm­ers through the EU Milk Re­duc­tion Sup­ply Scheme, and Kerry Mu­sic Education Part­ner­ship.

TRADEIT project

The In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy Tralee is co-or­di­nat­ing the €4.5m TRADEIT project, which has de­vel­oped a Euro­pean net­work of bak­ery, dairy and meat-pro­duc­ing SMEs, food net­works, as­so­ci­a­tions, re­searchers and tech­nol­ogy providers. The project sup­ports tra­di­tional food pro­duc­ers, by shar­ing new knowl­edge, tech­nolo­gies and best prac­tice.


In Kil­dare, the EU has funded Maynooth Uni­ver­sity’s work on de­vel­op­ing an in­te­grated Arc­tic Ob­ser­va­tion Sys­tem (AOS), The Crooked House Theatre Com­pany’s ‘Speak Out’ project, and the Cur­ragh/New­bridge Garda Youth Di­ver­sion Project.

Maynooth Uni­ver­sity

NUI Maynooth is a part­ner in a €15.5m project to de­velop an in­te­grated AOS by ex­tend­ing, im­prov­ing and uni­fy­ing ex­ist­ing sys­tems in the dif­fer­ent re­gions of the Arc­tic. An in­te­grated AOS will en­able bet­ter-in­formed de­ci­sions and bet­ter-doc­u­mented pro­cesses within key sec­tors in or­der to strengthen the role of the Arc­tic re­gion and sup­port the EU strat­egy for the Arc­tic and re­lated mar­itime and en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies.


In Kilkenny, the EU has funded de­vel­op­ment of the Abbey Cre­ative Quar­ter in Kilkenny City, feed in­no­va­tions by Her­mitage Her­itage Pigs Ltd, and the Young Film Mak­ers group.

Abbey Cre­ative Quar­ter

The Kilkenny city project has been al­lo­cated €1m fund­ing to de­velop the Abbey Cre­ative Quar­ter in what was for­merly the Smith­wicks brew­ery site. This will in­clude cre­at­ing a a new River­side Gar­den pro­vid­ing ac­cess to the Rive Nore and Na­tional Mon­u­ments and a pub­lic square at St Fran­cis Abbey.


In Laois, the EU has funded an ini­tia­tive to gen­er­ate busi­ness in Rath­downey, prizes for en­ter­pris­ing Moun­trath CS stu­dents, and Birr Out­door Education Cen­tre.

In­spire Rath­downey

An ini­tia­tive has been launched to gen­er­ate new busi­ness in Rath­downey. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Laois County Coun­cil, the Laois Lo­cal En­ter­prise Of­fice, Laois Part­ner­ship and the In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy Car­low launched the In­spire project to help 20 par­tic­i­pants to ex­plore and cre­ate new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.


In Long­ford, the EU has funded work place­ment for Tem­plemichael Col­lege stu­dents, the cre­ation of 50 jobs at Kier­nan Struc­tural Steel Ltd, and a project to pre­serve Ardag­ul­lion Bog.

Tem­plemichael Col­lege

Un­der the Eras­mus+ pro­gramme, Tem­plemichael Col­lege, Long­ford Col­lege of Fur­ther Education, re­ceived €63,000 to of­fer Beauty Ther­apy and Busi­ness Stud­ies stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to un­der­take a three-week work place­ment in Tener­ife. The stu­dents can work in four and five-star spa ho­tels, tourist in­for­ma­tion of­fices and ex­cur­sion cen­tres.


In Louth, the EU has funded G&M Steel Fabri­ca­tors Ltd’s ‘gmSCAN’ project, the up­grad­ing of Clan­bras­sil Street and re­ju­ve­na­tion of the St Ni­cholas quar­ter in Dun­dalk, and the Food Dudes pro­gramme in 63 schools.

G&M Steel Fabri­ca­tors

G&M Steel Fabri­ca­tors Ltd re­ceived €1.9m of the Hori­zon 2020 SME In­stru­ment fund­ing for its ‘gmSCAN’ project. The com­pany has de­vel­oped an au­to­matic scan­ner for de­ter­min­ing lean meat dis­tri­bu­tion in pig car­casses, of­fer­ing a low-cost grad­ing so­lu­tion for pork pro­ces­sors. GM Steel is a world­wide mar­ket leader in slaugh­ter­ing and han­dling sys­tems in meat pro­cess­ing fac­to­ries.


In Mayo, the EU has funded job cre­ation at re­tail tech firm CBE Soft­ware, am­a­teur sport soft­ware plat­form SportLoMo, and a prize for Best Young En­tre­pre­neur Nigel O’Reilly Gold­smith.

CBE Soft­ware

CBE Soft­ware is cre­at­ing 40 new jobs in a R&D-led ex­pan­sion that will in­crease the com­pany’s work­force to 150 peo­ple by the end of this year. CBE de­signs and sells point-of-sale so­lu­tions for the re­tail and hospi­tal­ity sec­tors and is the largest in­dige­nous re­tail IT player in Ire­land. CBE con­tin­ues to avail of ad­di­tional sup­ports via En­ter­prise Ire­land en­abling it to ex­pand.


The EU has funded a Hy­dro In­ter­na­tional Ltd project, Meath Part­ner­ship’s schemes for youth and adult learn­ers, and an en­ter­prise award for St Oliver Post-Pri­mary School stu­dents.

Hy­dro In­ter­na­tional

Na­van’s Hy­dro In­ter­na­tional Ltd was awarded €1.69m to de­velop an anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion tech­nol­ogy for low-tem­per­a­ture treat­ment of waste­water in the food and drinks sec­tor. The low-tem­per­a­ture op­er­a­tion al­lows for 100% of the bio­gas pro­duced be­ing made avail­able for re­use or re­sale and has a high im­pact on en­vi­ron­men­tal sav­ings.


In Mon­aghan, the EU has funded R&D work at Mon­aghan Mush­rooms, a prize for Pa­tri­cian High School stu­dents’ SpotGet app, and the Lo­cal Arts in Education Part­ner­ship.

Mon­aghan Mush­rooms

Mon­aghan Mush­rooms is in­volved key projects, such as the €8m ODIN Vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency study, as well as a BIOres­cue project to de­velop an in­no­va­tive biore­fin­ery con­cept based on the use of spent mush­room sub­strate, and the MACY (Mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal Aug­men­ta­tion of Mush­room Com­post to Im­prove Yield, Qual­ity and Flavour of Mush­rooms) ini­tia­tive.


In Of­faly, the EU is sup­port­ing a te­le­scope project at Birr Cas­tle, an In­no­va­tion Award for Gallen Com­mu­nity School stu­dents’ Farm Friendly Feeder busi­ness, and a street en­hance­ment project in Tul­lam­ore.

LOFAR te­le­scope

EU fund­ing will en­able an ad­vanced hi-tech te­le­scope to be built at Birr Cas­tle, Co Of­faly — which was home to the largest te­le­scope on earth in 1845. The LOFAR project aims to build a new mod­ern te­le­scope to join the wider Euro­pean net­work of sim­i­lar tele­scopes called the ILT. The LOFAR te­le­scope in Birr will be the ILT’s most westerly te­le­scope — the ILT net­work stretches all the way from from Ire­land to eastern Poland.

The wave en­ergy pro­to­type de­vice be­ing de­vel­oped by Sea Power in Gal­way Bay.

Eva Milka, founder of Gaelic Es­car­got, who is build­ing up a snail em­pire in Co Car­low.

Some of the 2,500 stu­dents from 100+ coun­tries who visit Uni­ver­sity of Lim­er­ick each year un­der the Eras­mus ex­change pro­gramme. Each year, thou­sands of Ir­ish stu­dents also study in EU mem­ber states un­der Eras­mus, one of nu­mer­ous EU-funded ex­change...

Hy­dro In­ter­na­tional, which is de­vel­op­ing unique anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion tech­nol­ogy in Na­van.

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