Leadership in Advocacy2018-01-16T16:55:54+00:00

Project Description

Leadership in Advocacy

There is sometimes a certain resistance in central government departments to policy proposals from regions because they can challenge current thinking. For the West of Ireland a further difficulty is that there has been a Government policy of prioritising investment in the largest urban areas, where it believes it will command the single greatest economic impact.

One of my ways to counter these challenges was to mount strong, intellectually robust arguments based on high level research and at the same time win public opinion through open sharing of information and debate.

AS CEO of the of the Western Development Commission (1997 -2001) I prepared and advocated a broad range of strategic policies supporting western development, EU Objective 1 status, policy proposals across infrastructure, IT, agriculture, tourism, employment, manufacturing, rural development and fisheries. The work involved not just expert technical reports, but the animation of groups at regional level and negotiations at the level of Taoiseach, Senior Ministers and Secretary General with the aim of converting recommendations into actual policy. We succeeded on many of these issues and achieved €3.7bn committed to different western projects.

Many objectives were not achieved in my time at the Commission but were implemented later. Back in 2000 we advocated to have a pan-west of Ireland coastal approach to tourism promotion in our “Blueprint for Tourism” document. This led immediately to the first ever single budget split across western regions to promote tourism and to-day the government promotes all regions under the brand of the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Irish Government’s  Cabinet meets for the first time in history outside Dublin and in the HQ of the Western Development Commission

“Since being appointed Chief Executive, Scollan has made an enormous contribution to Western Development, bringing it to the very forefront of the political agenda”
Chairman during my time as CEO, WDC
“I wish to record my appreciation for the work you have done and the leadership and inspiration given to many of us in regard to developing the West”
Frank Dawson, Director of Community and Enterprise
Liam, you have done Trojan work for the airport and the region over the years and I hope you are rightly proud of your achievements.
CEO, Allergan Pharmaceuticals
I can honestly say that Knock has grown significantly during your time in office…. when many other regional airport have closed, it is good to see Knock going from strength to strength
Eamon O Cuiv, TD
“The results achieved by the airport in terms of passenger numbers and connections to the West have been phenomenal. You can be proud of all that you have achieved”
Leo Varadkar , TD - Former Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Knock Airport grew rapidly in the years after Liam Scollan’s appointment and the entire facility was utterly transformed. At times the pace of change seemed mesmerising and there seemed to be barely a week when the airport was not making some positive announcement.
James Laffey, Editor Western People
“You can look back on the last ten years with considerable pride in a remarkable achievement of overcoming all the odds in maintaining the viability of a provincial airport in rural Ireland.”
Michael Cawley, Former Deputy Chief Executive, Ryanair
“I must thank you for your contribution towards bringing the organic sector to a larger audience. The Commission must indeed be congratulated on having the vision to allow a Blueprint document on the organic sector to be written. Your commitment to the organic sector no doubt contributed.”
Noreen Gibney, Former Operations/Certification Manager Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association
“Scollan in re-energised in his commitment to the West.” Read “Digging furrows for future” The Mayo News
The Mayo News
Liam provided strategic guidance and management advice to Western Forestry Co-op. His professional integrity and diligent work ethic were to be admired. In particular I admire his dedication to sustainable development and rural issues, working with a co-operative organisation was second nature to him. He is an asset to any organisation and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with him.”
Marina Conway, Chief Executive, Western Forestry Co-op
I hired Liam Scollan to plan the development of a World Centre for Yeats in in 2014/15. His vision for this major arts and tourism project was outstanding. He was excellent in enabling many different interests from business to arts and public sector to work together. I found him easy to work with and recommend him highly to any group who have ambition to get a major project off the ground.
Tom Daly, Businessman
Liam Scollan has served on the Board of the Mayo Rape Crisis Centre since 2014 in a voluntary capacity.
In that time Liam’s integrity and presence to the organisation has been exceptional. His sensitivity, support and commitment to the very difficult work of the organisation has made him invaluable as a board member. His willingness to be educated about the issues which a Rape Crisis Centre deals with on a daily basis is to be commended. Liam brought a wealth of experience and insight from other roles he has had in community which has been very beneficial for our organisation.
Having Liam as a Board member has strengthened the voice and credibility of Mayo Rape Crisis Centre. On a very personal level, Liam has also been a fantastic support and resource for me in my role as Director of Services.
Loretta Brosnan McDonagh, Director of Services, Mayo Rape Crisis Centre