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09/10/2015 - Official opening of The Base Enterprise Centre

Donegal entrepreneurs encouraged to ‘create success’


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Eamon Quinn officially opening The Base Enterprise Centre in Stranorlar on Thursday and also in the photo left to right front row: Kieran Doherty, BASSIC (Chair), Paschal Maguire, Enterprise Ireland, Seamus Neely Chief Executive Donegal County Council, Mary Moy, International Fund for Ireland, Eamon Quinn, Paddy Harte, International Fund for Ireland, Cllr. Patrick McGowan, Minister for State Joe McHugh T.D. and Donna Maskery, Centre Manager and back row: John Burke, Chartered Accountant, Cathy Taffe, BASSIC, John Patton, BASSIC, Rory Farrell Business Owner/ Manager, Mick Coleman, Business Owner/Manager, Barry Naughton, AIB, Emmett Ryan Business Owner/ Manager, Christopher Morrow Business Owner/ Manager, Paul Henderson, Business Owner/ Manager, Helen Cleary Community Development Officer, BASSIC.


Donegal’s newest entrepreneurs were encouraged to ‘create success’ through their work and determination and from the advantage of being located at The BASE Enterprise Centre in Stranorlar.


Dragons Den star Eamonn Quinn officially opened the new 19,000 square foot of prime space on three floors which is located at Railway Road.


The facility is the brainchild of Ballybofey and Stranorlar Integrated Community Company (BASICC Ltd) which was established to address the social, cultural and economic needs of the area.


Outlining the background to the establishment of the centre at the official opening on Thursday, the Chairman of BASICC, Kieran Doherty thanked all the local individuals for their input saying it was a testament to their community commitment. He also praised the organisations that helped in any way through funding, expertise or advice.


“Your support, patience and willingness to work with us over a period of four to five years was a vote of confidence in the towns of Ballybofey and Stranorlar and the wider Finn Valley community and we owe you and your organisations a big debt of gratitude.”


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Special guests at the opening of The Base Enterprise Centre, Stranorlar


Donegal County Council’s Chief Executive, Seamus Neely spoke of the combined input getting such a centre going and the efforts of local elected members to turn the dream into a reality.


“This is a key milestone for Ballybofey and Stranorlar. The Council has been a committed supporter and partner in the deliver of the BASE and the elected members were very, very strong in putting forward the case that existed, where this had a key role to play stimulating enterprise and development at a local level.

Mr Neely stressed the importance of the MAN broadband network in this area and the Council’s strong culture of collaborations at an appropriate level to serve a particular purpose whether this was in community, a sector of the county or across the county generally.


“The BASE is a combination of a major investment and lot of hard work and a model we as a Council are proud to be associated with and a model that the Council can work with in other aspects of what it does,” he said.


Cllr Patrick McGowan, who was representing Cathaoirleach Cllr Ciaran Brogan praised  the ‘real dedication and belief in the locality’ of the voluntary committee transforming a Greenfield site into a state-of-the-art enterprise centre.

On a personal level Cllr McGowan, a BASICC board member himself, paid tribute to chairman Kieran Doherty for his commitment and leadership over the years and to Chief Executive Seamus Neely for delivering this and the swimming pool project in the Stranorlar Municipal District.


Other speakers including Regional Director North East-North West Enterprise Ireland, Paschal McGuire; International Fund for Ireland board member, Paddy Harte Regional Director AIB, Barry Naughton and Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with Special Responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh TD.


The minister praised the work and promised he would always be available to assist them as would local councillor Martin Harley who was unavoidably absent but very supportive of the BASE too, he said.


BASE Centre manager, Donna Maskery invited the huge attendance to view the new facility after the opening and explore ways they could become part of the facility. She also encouraged the business community to support their new entrepreneurs in the process.


Special guest Mr Quinn congratulated all involved in the development of the enterprise centre and interviewed each of the new start up businesses based there.

“The real work at the BASE starts now which is getting those entrepreneurs going and creating success,” he said.


Local CC Fr John Joe Duffy then presided at a blessing of the new building


The opening also hosted ‘A Creative Touch of Donegal’ exhibition where creative businesses displayed their rich and diverse creative offerings throughout the building.


Exhibitors  included: Morgan Ferriter, Local Hands, Ruby Doodle, Kara Gems, Michelle McKee Felt Connected, Kennedy or Ardara, Edel MacBride, Stephen Bennett Studio Gallery, Fiach Art Circle, Maria Noonan McDermott, Bogbean Designs, Hata, Paper Tree, Connell McGinley, Tony Gallinagh, Fiona Higgins, Ruth Graham Design and The Pinnacle Office Furniture Company.”

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