What’s Happening in Shannon

You’ll never run out of things to see and do in the West. 

The Shannon Region not only has superb access to Europe and North America through great transport and logistics networks (the pinnacle of which is Shannon Airport), it is also central to Ireland’s major infrastructural networks, providing excellent connectivity which is vital to our customers.

Deep-water ports, railways, motorways, two world-class universities and technical colleges. Multiple international businesses, and hundreds of consultants and business services providers.

There are abundant lifestyle amenities here too, helping to make the Shannon Region one of the most unique places to live and work. Shannon is at the heart of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, the world’s longest defined coastal driving route. Shannon is close to the routes’ signature cities Limerick and Galway and makes an ideal base for touring to the fifteen signature sights along the coast. For more information on the world’s longest coastal driving route visit www.wildatlanticway.ie.

In addition the the region hosts some of Europe’s best hotels, championship golf courses, first class restaurants and breath-taking tourist attractions and cultural attractions. But don’t just take our word for it, come and explore Shannon for yourself!

Shannon Free Zone

The World’s First Free Trade Zone

And still one of Ireland’s most important investment locations.

The Shannon Free Zone (SFZ) is one of Ireland’s most important investment locations. It is Ireland’s biggest multi-sectoral business park and houses the country’s largest cluster of FDI investment outside of Dublin. In addition to being the world’s first free trade zone (established in 1959) the Shannon Free Zone has direct links to Shannon Airport and buildings adjacent to runways.

Located beside Shannon Airport, 24 km north west of Limerick city, 18 km south of Ennis, 64 km from Galway and two hours from Dublin, the land comprises of over 600 acres and boasts over 2 million sq ft of developed buildings for manufacturing, distribution and offices.

Shannon Free Zone is home to more than 100 international and Irish companies employing over 8,000 highly skilled employees. SFZ offers a range of special tax efficient incentives to businesses.

History of the SFZ

On 28th January 1959 Sean Lemass (Irish Prime Minister) established Shannon Free Airport Company (SFADCo) and construction commenced on the initial Blocks B, C, D, E and F in the SFZ. At that time two incentives were in place for businesses locating in the Shannon Free Zone – customs freedom for import/export incentive (i.e. where companies were exempt from paying duty on imports and exported goods), and exemption from corporation taxation for 25 years. Today the standard national tax rules apply. At the time, Shannon’s success depended on transatlantic flights stopping to refuel here. But advances in aeronautic technology meant that those days were numbered as commercial aircraft would soon have the range to bypass the airport.

Shannon Airport’s director at that time, Brendan O’Regan, submitted a proposal to the government to establish a distinct manufacturing zone with special tax incentives. This would create much needed jobs and specific Shannon Airport bound air traffic. The site adjacent to the airport was established in 1959, and expanded some years later to include Smithstown.

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