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Westgate Retail Park, Tramore Road, Waterford.
Opening of Head Offices on Canada Street

Her Excellency Nancy Smyth, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland opens new Waterford Area Partnership offices on Canada Street

“Although many will associate the famine as a time of mass emigration from Ireland, the fact is tens of thousands were fleeing the country for many years prior to the catastrophic events of the 1840s. Canada Street owes its name to this era … Canada Street – the Emigration Connection. From Tides & Tales Maritime Community Project by Andrew Doherty. https://bit.ly/3wDBUVc)
Andrew Doherty’s blog, which documents the origin of the naming of Canada Street in Waterford City, a site where many Irish people left to make a new life in Newfoundland, was the catalyst for an invitation from Waterford Area Partnership’s (WAP) CEO Liam Quinn to the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Her Excellency Nancy Smyth, to open WAP’s new Head Office at Unit 1, Neptune House, Canada Street, Waterford on Friday 24th May 2024.
The opening event was addressed by Cllr Joe Conway, Mayor of Waterford City & County who welcomed the Ambassador to Waterford, and spoke of the “….dedication of the WAP Board and Staff to the communities and people of Waterford with needs based work which focuses on inclusivity, access, participation, equality and human rights”.
Jim Finn, Vice Chairperson of Waterford Area Partnership’s voluntary Board of Management followed the Mayor’s comments with a deeper dive into the impact of the work of the local development company, detailed in its 2023 Annual Impact Report;
• 3,127 People supported to improve their quality of life through training, employment, work placement, education or well-being opportunities
• 83 Local Community Groups supported to improve their capacity and services
• 7, 548 Food parcels delivered that provided meals for over 30,000 individuals in the city.
• 400 Ukranian refugees and International Protection Applicants attended Failte Isteach volunteer led English language classes
Jim Finn also thanked the outgoing CEO of Waterford Council, Michael Walsh, for his outstanding support for WAP during a difficult period for the company and staff post Covid.
Nancy Smyth officially opened the new office with a plaque dedicated to her visit and spoke of the close ties between Ireland and Canada, and her interest in climate justice which led to her contact with The Think Tank for Social Change (TASC) which has been partnering WAP and the Larchville & Lisduggan Resident’s Association on a People’s Transition Project. The intention of the project is “to listen to and learn from the community’s needs and abilities and then attempt to design a number of climate solutions that would benefit the community and address a number of the main development priorities of the community.”
Prior to Nancy Smyth’s opening of the WAP offices she accompanied WAP staff to the Manor of St John Community Centre in Lisduggan to hear about their Community Engagement process to gather community needs, priorities and strengths. She visited St.Francis Court, where community volunteers have been engaged in a community clean up and planting scheme to support the wellbeing and sense of safety of older community residents. From there she was taken to the Knights Templar Graveyard, a heritage and conservation project led by members of the community. `
WAP CEO summed up the morning spent with the Ambassador in both Larchville & Lisduggan and Canada Street by expressing “the huge benefits that people and communities garner by focusing on the things that unite us locally, nationally and internationally and that enrich all of us and our planet.”

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