35 new tech jobs for Shannon

14 Jul 2008

The Shannon Free Zone is to benefit from 35 new jobs as part of an expansion of hardware and software design specialist Mentor Graphics, it emerged today.

Mentor Graphics already employs 80 people at a 31,000sq ft facility in Shannon where it provides design support to some of the world’s most successful electronics and semiconductor companies.

The expansion was announced this morning by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employmen, Mary Coughlan TD, who used the occasion to launch the Shannon Free Zone annual report as well as announcing a new chief executive of the agency, Dr Vincent Cunnane.

A further 15 jobs are to be created in the zone by financial services player PAFS Ireland, which is establishing a new business centre.

“The decisions by Mentor Graphics Ireland to expand its business, and by PAFS Ireland, a subsidiary of California-based financial services group Phoenix American Financial Services, to establish a new business in Shannon Free Zone, is a strong vote of confidence in the facilities and skilled workforce the Shannon Free Zone has to offer,” Minister Coughlan said.

Coughlan said the Shannon Free Zone performed well despite a difficult environment, with its sharpened regional focus yielding dividends for the region. The latest report shows that some 354 jobs were created in firms backed by the agency, while 485 were lost.

Newly appointed chief executive, Vincent Cunnane, acknowledged the Zone faces some tough challenges in the years ahead.

“One of Shannon Development’s key priorities will be to play an active part in the re-generation of Limerick using key Shannon Development programmes, such as the delivery of broadband infrastructure, the use of property to stimulate economic investment and tourism development and promotion,” Cunnane said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years