Three Regional Assemblies holds Regions in Focus 2023 event

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The Association of Irish Regions (AIR), the representative body for the three Regional Assemblies, held its first seminar and training event on 7-9 February 2023. Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan, the event explored the role of regions in navigating present and future challenges and opportunities. The seminar and training event proved to be a great success and was a platform for regional perspectives for policy making, economic and spatial development and how the Regional Assemblies are a key delivery mechanism for strong regional development.

Over the three days, over 260 participants, including councillors and some local authority executive staff, engaged with and enjoyed discussions on enhanced regional planning, strong regional economic development, connected regions and EU affairs. There was representation from every local authority in Ireland at the event.

Fascinating and thought-provoking keynote addresses from entrepreneur Eddie O’Connor and journalist and environmentalist John Gibbons offered much food for thought for those in attendance. OECD Policy Analyst Michael Flood also addressed the event. Mr Flood is one of a larger contingent from the OECD and was on hand to launch a report on rethinking Ireland’s regional attractiveness.

Other speakers included Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer with the National Transport Authority, Professor Niamh Moore-Cherry, Professor of Urban Governance and Development at University College Dublin, Niall Cussen, Chief Executive and Planning Regulator at the Office of the Planning Regulator, and Helen Healy, Head of Regional Policy at Ibec, along with many more.

There was also a half-day seminar on Thursday 9th February on emerging EU policy and funding opportunities that included presentations and 2 panel discussions with representatives from a range of EU Funding programmes.

Newstalk radio presenter Jonathan Healy served as MC for the event, which was sponsored by IPB Insurance and supported by the Southern Regional Assembly, Northern and Western Regional Assembly, and Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly.

The full programme and speakers can be found on the event website:


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