2018 has been a challenging year for business. We have had to cope with changing weather conditions more online purchasing impacting our retail capacity and the turbulent effects of the still unknown British EU withdrawal agreement which has hampered business investment locally and nationally.
I hope 2019 brings a steadying of consumer confidence and assurances that Brexit will not hamper our export markets.
In an ideal situation it would bring opportunity as Ireland offers the only English-speaking European nation to large employers seeking a European HQ and conversely will force us to seek larger export markets in mainland Europe and to forge better business relationships with other non-EU nations.
I hope we win the overall National Enterprise Towns Award as we nearly got there this year winning the regional award! I hope we ringfence a substantial third level campus commitment for the TUSE to offer university level education to our children right here in the City.
I would love to see hundreds of new high-quality jobs on offer as a result of businesses setting up at the Abbey Quarter and, with that, to see the skate park and linear park developed so we can enjoy the entire riverside amenity.
I hope Kilkenny enjoys a wonderful warm temperate year in terms of our weather that brings a sense of joy and pride of place.
I hope we connect with our neighbours and remember the real value of friendship and kindness.
I hope Neil Young and Bob Dylan resurrect our appreciation of them at Nowlan Park under a hot Summer sun.
I hope everyone makes a committed effort to #shopkilkenny for life and finally I hope that we can overcome the homeless crisis and the mental health crisis that is destroying the lives of our young men to suicide.