Limerick City and County Council Chief Executive Conn Murray caught plenty breaths 18 months ago when he told an international conference that just short of 6,000 jobs had been created in Limerick since the beginning of 2013 alone.
A year and a half on, the flow of job announcements continues unabated.
The facts: some 33 companies have invested in Limerick in 2016 alone, across a range of sectors, delivering 1,857 jobs.
In September of this year, the next five years were laid out in front of us as the biggest single Irish commercial property development programme undertaken outside the capital was unveiled with the launch of Limerick Twenty Thirty.
It’s a special purpose vehicle established by the local authority to accelerate Limerick’s emergence as a competitive international investment location.
The ‘what’ is impressive; the announcement signalling a €500m programme to rebuild four key sites in the city – three in the city centre – to create a stock of 21st century state-of-the-art office, retail, residential, education and enterprise space.
The ‘who’ equally so, with one of Ireland’s best known and most successful business people, Denis Brosnan, unveiled as Executive Chairman. When the Kerry Group founder talks, people tend to listen. And when he described the targeted jobs figure as conservative, it further reinforced the sense of ambition.
As if to drive the point home about Limerick’s remarkable renaissance, the day after Twenty Thirty was unveiled,US-based Fazzi Healthcare Services were in town to announce 300 jobs over five years.
And there’s been much more - Becton, Dickinson and Company, Trusource Labs, WP Engine and Ortec Inc. to name but a few international brands announcing hundreds of jobs.
2016, from an Irish political perspective, was very much about looking back and celebrating a great centenary. In an economic context, 2016 for Limerick was also a celebration – a celebration of where we’ve arrived at but, moreover, what lies ahead.