Email Address:




   Forgotten Your Password?


News and reviews

On this page, members will be able to submit items of news, reviews of recent events, comment on issues in the news and much more.

If you’d be interested in contributing, just tick that box on your membership registration (you can add categories at any time once you’ve registered) and we’ll provide you with information on how you can submit items for inclusion on this page. We want as wide a range of contributions and contributors as possible – geographically and in terms of interests and expertise – so please do get in touch!

Inaugural Seminar: The North East of England and the island of Ireland - Interconnect

Le Chéile - The North East of England Irish Network hosted its very first event at Ramside Hall, Durham on Friday 16th November 2012. It opened with a specialist seminar with the title above and all of the right people were in attendance to consider the important issues around supporting businesses to engage across the Irish Sea.


The seminar was facilitated by Paula McNeany of Ravensworth Professional Property Services and its aim was to explore opportunities for businesses to work collaboratively and to develop effective trading relationships between businesses and individuals in The North East of England and their counterparts in Ireland. Expert input was available from, among others, Dermot Keehan, Commercial Attaché at the Irish Embassy, Alan Gallagher, Vice President (International Development) of ConnectIreland, Matthew Ord of the North East Chamber of Commerce, and Dave Anderson MP. They were joined by representatives of Irish businesses active in the North East and other local entrepreneurs.


There was a huge amount of interesting and informative discussion and several important points emerged where Le Chéile can make an impact in supporting businesses to develop strategies which will improve their productiveness and profitability. Some of the most significant suggestions related to linking areas of shortage and capacity across the Irish Sea. For instance, John Duggan (Beamish Hall Management Development Centre) pointed out the shortage of skilled engineers in the North East where engineering components for export is one of our great strengths. Ireland has skilled engineers who cannot currently find work at home and they may value opportunities in the North East as preferable to emigration further afield. Similarly, we explored the shortage of IT graduates in Ireland where the IT sector has been expanding more quickly than the workforce can meet demand. North East universities offer high quality graduates who could, potentially, fill this gap. As Ian Pilkington of i2i Consultants commented, there were some very clear and realistic ideas emerging to meet real business needs.


Dave Anderson, MP for Blaydon, made some very astute contributions regarding opportunities in the subsea industry. He rightly described the sector in the North East as the envy of the world and showed what a great impact our skills could have if transferred to the Irish context of an emerging industry of the West Coast.


Alan Gallagher of ConnectIreland was keen to put people in touch to take forward some of these ideas. Dermot Keehan from the Embassy was particularly interested in the idea of a single region linking with a whole nation and wanted to be kept informed of progress and the individual projects develop.


We'll keep our members informed via the website of developments as they emerge...


Added on : at 15:49:32
Added by : Paula McNeany
Website Link :
Establishment of Le Chéile - The North East of England Irish Network: 28th May 2012
Céad míle fáilte and welcome to the birth of Le Chéile - The North East of England Irish Network.


This is a Network founded out of necessity and need with a clear vision, a strong conviction and a desire to forge and build stronger links between the North East of England Region and the island of Ireland. We believe we are the first group founded linking a very specific region of one country to do business with the whole of another nation.


From the outset, we have one very strong common denominator: the similarity between these two peoples, the Irish and the North Easterners, is quite pronounced. They are both industrious, hard working, well educated, highly skilled, professional and progressive, dedicated and loyal. Both have shown in the past and, regrettably again in the present, their strength and resilience in adversity and their capability to change, adapt and progress, never shirking from getting on their bikes without being told to, always having to fight for what they got and then fight to retain it. Now, we need to work together for the benefit of both communities.


In addition, we wanted to mobilise the very strong Irish Community in the North East to support local businesses - and particularly local businesses with an Irish link or flavour. A lot of the work that the Network will undertake will be in helping Irish businesses to tap into that Irish Community market. Also, we wanted to add a new energy to the linking of Irish people (first, second, third and ninety fifth generation) for social and cultural purposes as well as education and sport. The new Irish Diaspora have different aspirations and different expectations from former generations. The great work done by Irish Associations here (The Tyneside Irish Centre, The Felling Irish Association and many more, including less formal groupings and organisations from the Tweed to the Tees) may need to be augmented with some new approaches - including online opportunities.


We hope to bring together (le chéile) all people of good will, from all spheres and all strata of society, to provide some resources for the building up of the communities, both here in the North East of England and in Ireland. We are, and will be, a broad church.


We hope you'll join us on our journey...

Added on : at 21:20:36
Added by : John Coyne
Website Link :
Celebratory Launch of Le Chéile - 16th November 2012

Le Chéile - The North East of England Irish Network - hosted its Official Launch at Ramside Hall on Friday 16th November 2012. Video snippets from the event and a gallery of some of the many photographs taken are available to view via the Home Page.


What a night it was!


We were delighted with the turn out. The great and the good came in numbers: Dermot Keehan from the Irish Embassy, Alan Gallagher from ConnectIreland, Dave Anderson, MP for Blaydon, Ted Salmon, Chair of the North East Region Federation of Small Businesses, Fr Joe Travers, Founder of the Tyneside Irish Centre along with Barney Fitzgibbon and Tony Corcoran - the current Chair and Secretary, Féidlim MacLoughlin, former Irish Rugby star, and numerous members of the business communtiy from across the North East as well as guests from Ireland.


Excellent entertainment was provided by Matt Dean and Fiana Ní Chonaill and The Dogs of Tralee. As Ted Salmon said "It was a great ice breaker event - which was what was needed."


The speeches from the stage put a particular emphasis on the business and trade ambitions of the Network. The Founder, John Coyne, explained the current  political and financial context across the UK and Ireland and the place that the North East holds in that matrix. He described the ways in which Le Chéile can play a part in supporting businesses here in the North East of England and in Ireland - and particularly in supporting businesses with a foot in both places: Irish businesses operating in the North East and North East businesses wishing to expand into Ireland. He spoke passionately about the need for us to work together (le chéile) to achieve progress for both communities. His plans were supported by Dermot Keehan of the Embassy, by Alan Gallagher and, with great emphasis, by Dave Anderson MP.


The Le Chéile banner was unfurled by Féidlim MacLoughlin and Alan Gallagher, the new website and logo was unveiled and everybody present was encouraged to get registered on the website - there's business to be done there and savings to be made.


Then we all got down to enjoying ourselves!



Added on : 03/03/2013 at 16:38:32
Added by : Paula McNeany
Website Link :
Irish Culture comes to Calvert Trust Kielder
A group of Irish musicians gave up their time to spend an evening entertaining guests at Calvert Trust Kielder on Saturday evening to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.


The group, also known as The Reel Rakes, played and sang traditional Irish music whilst children and adults with disabilities gathered round to join in the fun.


Paula McNeany supporter of Le Chéile  arranged the performance for the centre as part of their Irish Week.


Le Chéile has committed to supporting Calvert Trust Kielder and Percy Hedley as their chosen charities for the next three years.


John Coyne, Founder of Le Chéile – The North East of England Irish Network said:

“At The North East of England Irish Network we’re delighted to provide what support we can to Calvert Trust Kielder. The work they do is fantastic and it’s been a pleasure to visit their facilities and see the pleasure they bring to people with disabilities and their families. They prove that nothing is beyond the reach of their clients – whatever their disability, there’s still something exciting and challenging that they can engage in. The dedication of their staff is a true and genuine vocation. It will therefore be our pleasure to support the Trust up to the end of 2015 and we’re really looking forward to developing strong links with the charity.”


Paula McNeany, musician and supporter of Le Chéile said:

We had a great time at Calvert Trust Kielder on Saturday night. I had friends over from Ireland for St Patrick’s Day and visiting Kielder gave us the opportunity to play some music in a lovely, relaxed atmosphere where people clearly enjoyed what we did and were very supportive. It’s a pleasure to bring music out into the woods and to find people there to enjoy it! Our friends from Ireland were truly impressed with the work that’s being done by Calvert Trust Kielder and, especially, by the care and dedication of the staff.”

Added on : 22/03/2013 at 10:37:26
Added by : Hazel Ditchburn
Website Link :

           © 2018 North East Irish Network

     Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions | Website Design By Byrne IT Solutions