History of Action Tuam
“ Because I am an optimistic rather than a superstitious person I look forward to meeting you on the 13th”. So said Dr. Joseph Cassidy, Archbishop of TUAM 1987-1994, when inviting representatives of local business and community organisations, statutory bodies and State Agencies to the inaugural meeting of Tuam Community Group on Thursday 13th April 1989.
The genesis of the Tuam Community Group owes its origins to the feasibility study to set up an Enterprise Centre which was drawn up by the Tuam Self Help Centre in 1988 under the supervision of the centres administrator Mr. Bernard O,Connor.
The setting up of the Tuam Community Group under the patronage of His Grace The Archbishop of Tuam was deliberately calculated to present a united front in the face of the undue delay by the Irish Sugar Co., now Greencore, in honouring their commitment to invest a total of £2 million
In replacement jobs in Tuam following the closure of the Sugar Factory in January 1987. After mush discussion with Greencore, the Tuam Community Group were advised that Greencore needed a legal entity to deal with. With this requirement in mind , the Tuam Community Group set up a company limited by guarantee which is now known as Action Tuam Limited. All members of the Tuam Community Group agreed to be members of the company. Action Tuam Limited came into being and held its first meeting in May 1990.
The first officers were appointed at the inaugural meeting were as follows: Joseph Burke, Chairman, Joseph McGlynn, Treasurer, Mrs. Teresa Burke, Company Secretary, Mrs. Attracta Behan, Frank Biggins, John A Flaherty Michael McGrath and Jarlath P. Canney, Directors.
The original enterprise centre, formerly known as Ix Textiles was acquired with financial assistance from Greencore and officially opened on 24th March 1994 by the then Minister for Enterprise and Employment Mr. Ruairi Quinn, T.D.
The building which housed the first Tuam Enterprise Centre originally started out as a textile factory in the mid 1950’s. The original company to set up on this site was John Bruton & Sons Ltd., with the address, Weir Mills, Tuam, Co. Galway, manufacturers of fine quality cloths. Their motto was “ Goods of high quality produced in Ireland by Irish labour.
This textile business went through a succession of owners and was eventually acquired by IX Textiles Ltd., in 1973. Under their ownership the factory was expanded in 1978 with a doubling of the original size to 80,000 sq. ft.. Following the completion of this expansion a total of 180 people were employed in the textile business in Tuam.
The textile business suffered serious decline in the early 1980’s because of cheap imports from Third World countries and the factory eventually closed under the ownership of Homecare Fabrics Ltd., in 1988. A total of 70 people were employed at the plant when it closed.
Part of the factory (the original building) was purchased by Action Tuam Ltd., in 1991 for the purpose of establishing an Enterprise Centre. By 1996 70 people were employed at the Enterprise Centre with over 80 people being employed in the enterprises that purchased the remainder of the building, JFC Manufacturing Ltd., and Home Lee Bedding Ltd.,
By the year 2000 it became apparent that, in order to expand and develop, a new centre would be needed. The board of directors decided to sell the existing units to the current tenants so that funding could be put together for the building of the new centre.
Plans were drawn up, submitted to the local authority and approved, but were then considered by the board of directors to be too ambitious and too costly at almost €3 million.
New plans were drawn up for a technology unit and industrial units & office block. Eventually, after a long wait, the sod turning for the construction of the industrial units and office block took place on 16th October 2009 with construction work commencing the following week. The building was completed in just over a year with the contractor John Moran Plant Hire Ltd., finally handing over the building in January 2011.