When Shannon Free Airport Development Company, or Shannon Development, as we are known today, was formally inaugurated in 1959, ambitious plans were put in place for the development of Shannon as an industrial and tourist location. At that time, transit passengers accounted for almost all traffic at Shannon Airport and the Shannon Free Zone did not exist. A new era was about to dawn which was to have significant spin-off effects for the entire Shannon area.
Our first Annual Report covering the period from inauguration to March 31 1960, recorded that definite arrangements to begin manufacture had been made with 10 overseas firms and that these would employ approximately 580 within a year. There was a shortage of staff to work in these new industries which necessitated attracting “Irishmen” to return from abroad. Ireland had entered the Industrial Age. The Shannon Region has come a long way since those pioneering days. Over forty five years of development have reaped rewards, in terms of development and employment, not only for Shannon but for the entire region and across all sectors. For over 45 years, management and staff at Shannon Development have been committed to the principle of integrated regional development as a driving force for growth.
Looking ahead, not for the first time, the changing economic environment poses new challenges for the region. With your support, and with the collective energies of the region clearly focused, we know that even greater results can be achieved in the future. We in Shannon Development look forward to continuing to play our part in that process. For a more detailed look at some of our activities please visit our Organisational Structure.