Happenings from the Halpin Centre
The Irish Marine Industry Network visits Killybegs
[Killybegs, September 29th 2017]
HALPIN had the privilege to join other members of the Irish Marine Industry Network on a networking and industry visits trip to Killybegs this week. The event was organised by Enterprise Ireland with support from local marine and maritime businesses. The event kicked off with a networking dinner on Thursday evening attended by a diverse group of 30 marine & maritime businesses and other organisations. A very useful evening was spent by attendees, many whom were meeting for the first time and a number of substantive connections had been made before time was called so people could rest up before a busy agenda of company visits on Friday.
An early start saw attendees gather over breakfast to pick up on unfinished conversations from the previous evening. Everyone then headed off to the first site visit of the day to Sea Quest Systems, an Irish maritime engineering company specialising in pumping and deck equipment. The attendees were given a full tour of Sea Quest's impressive, modern and high-tech manufacturing facilities. A lengthy Q&A session followed about both the opportunities and challenges of running an internationally exporting maritime business in and from Ireland in today's global and dynamic market.
Next up was Swan Net-Gundry, an international fishing net manufacturing company with a significant presence in Killybegs. An impressive tour was given that provided a great insight into how modern fishing net manufacture is a unique blend of the latest technology combined with honed and practised traditional hands-on manual crafsmanship. The sheer size and complexity of modern trawls was something many attendees will long remember from the visit.
EK Marine were our next stop, an Irish SME, like Sea Quest manufacturing deck equipment for the Irish and international markets. An interesting tour was given during which many questions were asked and answered. Throughout the industry visits, attendees were impressed and appreciated the honesty, candour and detail that the host companies shared with the group making it a particualrly useful engagement for everyone.
The final stop on the tour was to Mooney Boats, a well known and very successful Irish boat builder, repairer and marine services company. Mooney's modern, efficient facility left attendees very impressed. The tour was rounded off by a visit aboard a new fishing trawler being fitted out by Mooney Boats, a fitting end to a useful and informative trip. The next IMIN networking event is planned for early in 2018 in the south of the country. Details will follow. Enquiries about the Irish Marine Industry Network can be directed to Liam Curran at Enteprise Ireland.