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On… the Launch of

November 10, 2011
Emerald Valley, a place & a state of mind

Emerald Valley, a place & a state of mind

It has been a long time between blog posts and it was not for want of something to say, but rather time to say it.

Welcome to the Emerald-Valley. The metaphor of giving birth applies,  though elephantine. Conception to delivery has been two years, the baby is not particularly attractive. It still needs care.  The world has changed significantly in the process, not all for the better. So it is with some trepidation that we bring this vulnerable and still dependent infant into the world.

There have been midwives and godparents along the way.  I have thanked many personally, and have more to acknowledge. Most significant have been the communities who have supported us. It all began with the Dundalk-Newry Business Club,  the Carlingford Forum Salon,  the folks at, the generous on-line community who later morphed into the Social Media Association for Business in Northern Ireland and our former neighbors at Greenshoots. We were guided and supported by the Tangible Ireland Community and Common Purpose.

Who are we and what’s in it for us?

Nichola Bates, originally from Belfast came to Newry to settle and rear two young children for whom she wants a better future on this island. She wants nothing less than a local educational and technology ecosystem that is world class.

Kevin Parker, US based, needed to emigrate from Bracknell, UK to Redwood City, CA to achieve professionally; emigration for survival in a historic context is an unfortunate reality; emigration for career advancement should not be necessary in a global village with a level playing field.  This is about a game changing legacy.

Eve emmigrated to Ireland in 2008. She grew up and reared three daughters of her own between NY & Philadelphia. Returning 100 years following her grandparents’ emigration, she wants nothing less than a world of opportunity on par with the one they and their children helped to create “When New York was Irish” “They started with nothing and wound up with it all”. The children of this island deserve “it all”.

Where  is it?

The Emerald-Valley. It is a state of mind as much as it is a geographical region.  The M1 corridor from the Lagan to the Liffey, connects Dublin and Belfast. This highway offers three airports and two capital city centres – vibrant for their academic, cultural, business & political communities. Between them small city, village & rural life thrives. Living and working on the sea or in the mountains that inspired Narnia is anything but life in an anonymous suburban megalopolis.

Preserved in the small cities of Newry & Dundalk is the cultural advantage that gives this small island its edge on the world stage. Everyone knows everyone, small specialty businesses with a focus on quality are the norm, and the legacy of border life is an independent, innovative and creative community responsible for the highest number of startups on the island of Ireland.

What do we do?

We inspire people, promote the region and incubate small businesses. We are a social enterprise designed to create an ecosystem that supports the infrastructure needed to fill the jobs of the 21st century. We want to begin a legacy of exporting our intellectual property and not our children. Job creation here is dependent on fluency in the language of the day. It is binary. A workforce competent to design and execute the software that now powers the world’s economy has limitless potential.

How will we do it?

One day and one job at a time. Our offices are located at 17 Canal Street, Newry BT35 6PH and our event space faces Canal Quay right behind. We currently house 5 small businesses with more to come. Events in the pipeline include educational programming, skill sharing seminars, open coffees, industry specific salons and much more.

Lastly, special thanks to  Julie Collins, Sarah Meaney, Rebecca Phillips who have volunteered tirelessly on our behalf. Before year’s end we expect to have created jobs to reward their commitment!

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Comments (4)

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  1. Niall O'Neill says:

    Right on!

    • Eve says:

      So glad you are one of pioneering residents. Anyone who brings a sapling to plant for an opening – truly gets what we’re all about. Thank you!

  2. Eavan says:


    Congratulations on today’s huge achievement for Emerald Valley. If it were not for the vision, determination and persistence of you, Nichola and the rest of your team then this great enterprise would never have seen the light of day. Your willingness to learn, adapt, connect, exchange and drive forward with positivity is an inspiration to us all. This truly is the start of something great and I wish you all the very best of luck as you go forward and overachieve on every goal that you set.