Two million people now in employment in the State

Red dress desk

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor today (Tuesday) welcomed the latest Quarterly National Household Survey figures from the Central Statistics Office, showing that for the first time since Quarter 4 2008 there are now two million people employed in the State.  All regions of the country saw a fall in unemployment in the past year. Since 2012 when the first Action Plan for Jobs was launched 176,000 more people are at work.

The figures from the CSO also show that there is strong and continued employment growth in all regions of the country.

Employment has grown in 12 out of 14 economic sectors with largest increases recorded in construction, manufacturing and accommodation and food service activities.

Speaking today, Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said:

“These figures today from the Central Statistics Office are very encouraging and continue to show that the numbers of people employed in full time jobs is increasing steadily and I am particularly pleased to see that all regions of the country are seeing employment growth.  Having two million people now at work will also give a boost to the State as only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.  

My role as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is to ensure that this positive job growth continues and I am determined that we continue to put in place the right conditions for employment to grow across all counties in Ireland.”

Search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor has launched the latest search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE). With a €2 million investment fund available, the enterprise initiative from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, supports young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial investments.

Young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 are now being encouraged to apply, before the closing date of Friday, October 14th 2016.

Announcing the start of this year’s programme, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. said:

“The quest to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is one of the most exciting initiatives to create new businesses and new jobs in recent years. IBYE generates that “can-do” spirit in which young people excel.  I want to foster that spirit and to demonstrate that there is help out there for any young person that wants to take a risk and start their own business. The first-stop-shop to get advice and support on starting a business is your Local Enterprise Office.  I want to congratulate the Local Enterprise Offices on rolling out IBYE and I look forward to meeting Ireland’s young entrepreneurs up and down the country.   I would encourage all young entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35 to talk to their Local Enterprise Office about the IBYE programme and discuss their business ideas.”

The initiative is co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices and begins with a nationwide competition across three categories at county level: Best Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. A total of around 450 applicants, across every Local Authority area, will be invited to regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ in November, to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

With an available IBYE investment fund of €50,000 each, every Local Enterprise Office will award six investments to three category winners and three runners-up at county level. The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories at county level will receive investments of up to €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive up to €5,000. The Best Business Idea winner at county level will receive an investment of up to €7,000 and the runner-up will receive up to €3,000 of investment. These winners at county level will progress to Regional Finals early next year and the national IBYE finals will be held in March 2017.

Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices explains: “The substantial investments available under IBYE are a very important part of the programme and will help more young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create more jobs. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of IBYE. Last year, 450 young entrepreneurs benefitted from these business supports, so the rewards are there for participants, as well as for the winners. Taking part in IBYE will help Ireland’s young entrepreneurs to move their businesses to the next level, whatever stage their business is at.”

IBYE is now in its third year and last year’s winners were James Foody of Ayda in South Cork (Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015 and Best Start-Up Business), Blaine Doyle of GlowDX in Kilkenny (Best Business Idea) and James Wood of Rathwood in Wicklow (Best Established Business). The inaugural winner of the competition in 2014 was Eamon Keane of Xpreso Software in South Dublin.

To enter, young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 inclusive are being asked to visit the IBYE website at, to submit their entry online. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 14th 2016 and there is no entry fee. Further information and details are also available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide.


Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Local Enterprise Office

Phone: (01) 204 7083

First Floor, 1 Harbour Square
Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 9:00 – 5:00
Friday: 9:00 – 4:30

Lunch 1.00-2.00



Minister Mitchell O’Connor announces €45,000 funding for micro-enterprises in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown

Minister-Mitchell-O-ConnorMinister Mitchell O’Connor announces €45,000 funding for micro-enterprises in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown

A reallocation of funding ensures Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown is receiving €45,000 for LEO clients


Minister Mitchell O’Connor today welcomed the announcement that Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown will be receiving a further allocation of €45,000 in capital funding to assist micro enterprises in creating local jobs. The funding is part of a further allocation of €1.85m in Capital funding for 15 LEO offices throughout the country. These funds are being made available to meet identified demand for financial assistance for projects that can be initiated this year.


The funding will be available for use by LEO Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown to provide direct Capital grant assistance to micro-enterprises within the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown area. These supports are aimed at assisting enterprises to start-up or expand their business. It is expected that the funding will assist micro-enterprises to create or sustain jobs across the Dun Laoghaire area. Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown LEO supports almost 229 clients which last year created 164 new full and part-time jobs.


Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomed the announcement stating that: “I am pleased to be able to further support enterprise development in Dun Laoghaire, through my Department. The LEO Dun Laoghaire has identified a pipeline of demand for financial assistance from people who want to start a business or grow an existing one. This €45,000 in funding has the potential to support additional jobs within the area. It’s another example of how well the Local Enterprise Office in Dun Laoghaire has been working to promote entrepreneurial activity at local level around the area. I would encourage all interested businesses contact the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown LEO office”.



Good News from Local Enterprise Offices’ Food Academy Programme

Food Academy 1

Food Academy 2

A survey by the Local Enterprise Offices shows that 281 small food and drink producers, members of the Food Academy Programme who employ 1,131 people, have made the break-through into the retail market. Those same businesses expect to create a further 373 jobs over the next 12 months, bringing the total number of jobs supported to just over 1,500 across the country.

At an event organised in Dublin by the Local Enterprise Offices today, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. met with food producers from eight different regions, who are among the 281 producers to have successfully made the break-through into the retail market. Run over a series of workshops, the programme is an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, Bord Bia and SuperValu to nurture new start-ups in the food and drink sector and it focuses on areas such as business planning, understanding consumer trends and raising finance.

Minister Mitchell O’ Connor met with producers from Cork, Donegal, Limerick, Kildare, Westmeath, Galway, Tipperary and Dublin at a Food Academy Start showcase in Dublin’s City Hall, where she encouraged more ‘early-stage’ food and drink producers to apply for the programme. The Minister said: “The Food Academy Programme has been running very successfully for the last three years by the Local Enterprise Offices in partnership with Bord Bia and SuperValu. This programme has already enabled almost 300 small food businesses to start and grow, creating valuable jobs across every county and region. One of my priorities as Minister is creating an environment where job growth can thrive, particularly in rural Ireland. I want to thank Bord Bia and SuperValu for their support and I want to thank the LEOs for their endeavours in developing this opportunity”.

The businesses receive one to one mentoring and also pitch for a chance to trial their products in a SuperValu store. Since the programme began in 2013, over 1,100 products have been successfully trialled and are now on sale through the Irish supermarket chain. According to SuperValu, consumers in Ireland are expected to spend €25 million on Food Academy products in their stores in 2016.

Start-ups and small businesses in the food and drink sector are supported by Local Enterprise Offices through measures such as financial assistance, mentoring and on-line trading supports. Oisin Geoghegan of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “By equipping owners and managers of food businesses with industry knowledge and skills, they have a better chance of succeeding in business. The goal of the Food Academy programme is to help more food producers to start selling through supermarkets, as well as through farmers’ markets and to provide them with the supports, information and advice to scale up and achieve this retail break-through. According to research undertaken by the Local Enterprise Offices, the Food Academy producers already support 1,131 jobs across every region. Over the next 12 months, these producers are planning to create an additional 373 new jobs.”

Aidan Cotter, the CEO of Bord Bia highlighted how the programme helps new food producers understand market positioning and ‘Unique Selling Points.’ He said: “Bord Bia is delighted with the success of the Food Academy programme. The partnership approach with the Local Enterprise Offices and SuperValu has created a real opportunity to cultivate sustainable small food companies by supporting them through the initial challenging phases of growth. These small innovative and dynamic food businesses play an important role in Ireland’s agri-food sector both locally and nationally. The producers receive a combination of commercial and marketing insight from Bord Bia as well as expert advice in branding, market research, distribution and business development, which arms them with the tools to strengthen their chances of future success. The programme has consistently delivered tangible benefits resulting in job creation and sustainable local food businesses.”

Commenting on the announcement, Martin Kelleher, SuperValu Managing Director said: “As the number one supporter of the Irish food industry, we are committed to sourcing from local suppliers and helping to create the next generation of Irish food entrepreneurs. By supporting these Food Academy producers, we are bringing community based start-ups to market and providing them with the potential to grow their business as well as providing employment within the local community. We are proud to nurture the energy and passion of these entrepreneurial producers, which in turn contributes to the prosperity of local economies across Ireland.”

At the Food Academy showcase today, the Minister met with the producers behind eight different Irish brands including Emerald Oils – Tipperary, Kilbeggan Organic Foods – Westmeath, Wellnice Pops – Limerick, The Galway Food Company, Irish Fish Canners – Donegal, Loughbeg Farm Foods – West Cork, Nutraplenish – Kildare and HiRó by Róisin – Dublin City.

The Food Academy Start programme is delivered through the Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities and details around the next programme are available through

Article from Business World on my visit to announce 150 new jobs at Sigmar Recruitment

Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor arrives at Sigmar offices in Dublin 2

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor arrives at Sigmar offices in Dublin 2

Job Announcement

Sigmar Recruitment yesterday announced the creation of 150 new jobs to service its new Centre of Excellence.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD.

These new positions will more than double the workforce by the end of 2018. Sigmar Recruitment is on track to deliver 50 of these new jobs by the end of this year, with another 50 by the end of 2017 and a further 50 by the end of 2018.

The jobs are in recruitment, sales and digital marketing at both experienced and graduate levels with a significant number of positions available in locations outside of the capital to include Cork, Galway and Kerry.

The new positions are announced as part of the company’s expansion plan to deliver a wider portfolio of services globally and will bolster the position of the company as Ireland’s leading independent recruiter.

The establishment of the Centre of Excellence is largely due to an uplift in demand for talent by US companies who are expanding internationally from Ireland.

Successful candidates will be eligible for the company’s own Recruitment MBA, which is run in conjunction with Trinity College Dublin and Notre Dame, the first transatlantic executive programme of its type in the country.

According to Sigmar CEO Adie Mc Gennis the net effect of this announcement is far greater than the 150 jobs, he commented, “As recruiters by their very nature have a huge impact on job creation, the end effect of a creation of 150 jobs will have an enormous effect in terms of the actual number of jobs being created in Ireland over the next number of years. Everyone at Sigmar is proud and excited to share our expansion plans. We have experienced very strong growth and this confirms our confidence in the recruitment sector, the Irish economy and most importantly in all of our people to continue Sigmar’s success.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor added, “These new jobs will contribute greatly to the prosperity of communities across the country. Sigmar is a great example of the type of company Enterprise Ireland is working with. I warmly congratulate Adie and his team and wish them continued success for the future.”






Minister Mitchell O’Connor receives the Low Pay Commissions Recommendation on the National Minimum Wage

 19th July 2016

The Low Pay Commission is recommending an increase in the national minimum wage of 10 cents per hour. In its second report a majority of the members of the Commission recommend that the appropriate rate of the national minimum wage should rise to €9.25 per hour.

The current rate of the minimum wage is €9.15. The minimum wage was last increased on 1st January 2016, following Government acceptance of the Low Pay Commission’s first recommendation, made in July 2015, that the rate increase by 50 cents an hour from €8.65.

In a report submitted to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, the Low Pay Commission sets out a range of data it has considered in recommending the increase. The Commission also sought submissions from interested parties and consulted directly with workers on the minimum wage and employers in relevant economic sectors. The Report relies on data available in the period up to 1 July 2016.

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD said, “I also welcome the Report and would like to thank the Commissioners for their service in producing a full and comprehensive report.   I look forward as well to receiving the Reports from the Commission later in the year on the ‘Related Matters’ which they have been asked to study, namely the appropriateness of the sub-minima rates, which have not been reviewed since their introduction, and the reasons behind the preponderance of women on the NMW.

Both Ministers expressed their full support for the independent work of the Commission both in terms of the work it undertakes on an annual basis in relation to making a recommendation on the appropriate rate for the NMW and also for the work it is undertaking on related matters.  They also thanked all who had responded to the Commission’s call for submissions on the NMW, and those who had shared their experiences of employing minimum wage workers, or living on the minimum wage, in meetings with members of the Commission.

The report can be found on the link below


Minister welcomes announcement of approval for Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre redevelopment

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, has today welcomed the news that a €10 million redevelopment of the landmark Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre has been granted planning permission.

The redevelopment, due for completion mid-2017, will see the creation of two large anchor stores fronting on to George’s Street and Marine Road.

Speaking on the issue, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre is a major landmark in the centre of the town and I am delighted to hear that plans to redevelop it have been given the green light.

This is great news for Dún Laoghaire and the surrounding areas. Not only will the new stores create jobs, but they will also help to put Dún Laoghaire on the map as a shopping destination. We cannot underestimate the boost to the local economy that the increased footfall will bring. “

Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payment limit increases are good news for Dun Laoghaire area

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD has today welcomed the rent limit increases for those in receipt of Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payment.

Following a two year freeze, the announced increase means people who cannot afford the full cost of private rented accommodation will see an average increase of 27% to the maximum available payments from this Friday, July 1st.

In the greater Dun Laoghaire area the increases across the seven categories are as follows:


  Single Shared Couple Shared Single Couple Couple/One Parent Family with 1 Child Couple/One Parent Family with 2Children Couple/One Parent Family with 3Children
Previous €350 €400 €520 €750 €950 €975 €1,000
Revised Limit €430 €500 €660 €900 €1,250 €1,275 €1,300
Increase €80 €100 €140 €150 €300 €300 €300


In addition anyone with an informal top-up arrangement with their landlord is advised to contact their community welfare service, as the Department of Social Protection will regularise these top ups in most cases.

Speaking this morning, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “This is good news for the people across the Dun Laoghaire Constituency who rely on housing benefits.

The programme for Government committed to increasing the rent subsidies in line with varying rents across the country. It has been a priority of the Government to bring this forward and as of this Friday, rent limits across the country will rise to a point that will give individuals and families access to housing that is so desperately needed but was previously beyond their reach.

In Dun Laoghaire, increases of between €80 and €300 will mean that those who qualify for subsidies will have greater access to the rental market and that those already in subsidised rented accommodation will have some security knowing that a rent increase will not automatically price them out of their homes”.



Statement on UK vote to leave the European Union


The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., has acknowledged the result of the UK referendum on EU membership.

“The Irish Government respects the decision that has been made by the people of the United Kingdom in the referendum”, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said. “It is important to note, however, that although the decision is to leave the EU, this decision will not take effect for some time. As of now the UK is still an EU member, so our businesses can continue to trade with the UK on the same terms as before, and our citizens can continue to move freely on the island of Ireland, and to and from the UK. The precise implications of today’s result will now depend on the period of negotiation ahead, involving the UK and our EU partners. The Government has undertaken careful planning in recent months for the contingency of this result, and we will now take this work forward to ensure that we respond appropriately, and that Ireland’s interests are represented fully in the negotiating process.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor continued “It is very important to emphasise that Ireland will continue to be an EU member, with full access to the single market and retaining all of our advantages for inward investment. We are committed to working within the EU to achieve the jobs and growth that are vital to deepening and broadening our economic recovery.”

“While there is a lack of clarity as to how the negotiation process will proceed, I will be working to ensure that there is certainty as early as possible on the terms of future trading relationships, including the extent of access by the UK to the EU’s single market. I have already held a meeting with Enterprise Ireland and IDA this morning to discuss our contingency plans and I will be in constant contact with them during the days and weeks to come. I, together with the enterprise agencies under my remit, will also be working to ensure that businesses, investors and potential investors in Ireland are fully informed of Ireland’s continued commitment to the EU, and of developments as they unfold. I have asked for a revised extended schedule of Trade Missions from IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland and I will be meeting both organisations again early next week.

Enterprise Ireland and IDA are going to be in close contact with their clients on the challenges and opportunities that this vote presents. ”


Work with Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD

Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor is looking to hire a Secretarial Assistant (SA) to help work with her in her role as a TD representing the constituency of Dún Laoghaire. The role of the SA will be to assist the TD in representing the needs and concerns of her constituents through her work in Dáil Éireann and at a local level.


Duties will include:

  • Handling all correspondence between constituents and the TD in a professional and efficient manner
  • Meeting with constituents and constituency groups in Leinster House and in the constituency on behalf of the TD
  • Managing the TD’s office and supporting the TD on all administrative matters
  • Coordinating the TD’s diary
  • Representing the TD at events and meetings in the constituency
  • Maintaining and consistently updating the TD’s database of representations
  • Organising and preparing correspondence for distribution to constituents and party members
  • Office experience essential
  • Other related duties as may be assigned by the TD



  • An interest in, and understanding of, politics and current affairs
  • Knowledge and understanding of the general political environment
  • Excellent organisational, research and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently, to tight deadlines, and in line with changing priorities
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Qualifications relevant to the role


How to apply:

To apply for the position please send your CV and cover letter to by 10am on Wednesday, 20th April 2016.

The remuneration will be based on a scale determined by the Houses of the Oireachtas, is not at the discretion of the TD, or Fine Gael.

Successful candidates will be subjected to full Garda Vetting in accordance with An Garda Síochána, as per standard Houses of the Oireachtas procedure.