A LOCAL well-known businessman will be celebrating 40 years in operation on July 1.
The name Ernest Levingstone is synonymous with the financial services sector not just in New Ross and Gorey, where he has also run a successful business for 38 years, but across the south east region.
Having opened his first office, E. W. Levingstone & Co. Accountants, in New Ross on July 1, 1977, he followed that up by opening an office in Gorey two years later while his business expanded to Waterford in 1981.
In addition to his business interests in the town Mr. Levingstone, who is originally from a well known Enniscorthy family, has always played an active role within the New Ross community.
In the wake of the Albatros plant closing in 1987 he organised a meeting in conjunction with New Ross Lions Club which ultimately led to the formation of the John F. Kennedy Trust in 1988.
When the health board closed New Ross Community Hospital that same year Mr. Levingstone was involved in setting up the hospital as a community facility the following year and was a founding Director.
Always striving to further the development of New Ross he was acknowledged for his role as President of New Ross Lions Club when, in 1997, he was awarded the prestigious International President’s Certificate of Appreciation.
Mr. Levingstone has many fond memories of his time working in the town including his role as President of New Ross Chamber of Commerce, in 2004.
“I lobbied consistently for a second bridge in the town,” he said, while acknowledging the work that is now ongoing on the New Ross by-pass.
The link to the gas network was also something that he saw as crucial for the town: “I organised a meeting with relevant parties to try and get a gas connection from Great Island to New Ross and we are still hopeful there will be a positive outcome on that.”
Mr. Levingstone is currently on the Economic Development & Enterprise SPC of Wexford County Council and said the opening of the new bridge and by-pass in 2019 should be hugely beneficial to the town and its surrounds.
“On May 21, while I was President of the Chamber I met with the late Minister Seamus Brennan in Rosslare,” he said.
“As it turned out the minister was stuck in the New Ross traffic mayhem and Gardai had to help him get through and he acknowledged when we met that he didn’t realise the situation was as bad as it was, and is,” he added.
“He said he would meet the National Roads Authority at an early date and try and get the by-pass back on track.”
With regard to the current situation Mr. Levingstone said New Ross has a reputation as “a major black spot for traffic delays”.
“That will continue for the next two years and it is the main road from Rosslare to Waterford, Cork and Limerick so it’s not just New Ross that is affected by delays but the whole of southern Ireland,” he said.
“Businesses can’t conduct their business on the other side of the bridge because of delays and a lot of transport companies are based in New Ross and their trucks encounter considerable delays,” he added.
With regard to when the new bridge opens he said the benefits will be massive to the entire southern region.
“It will benefit the people of New Ross and also local businesses and while there will be challenges for existing businesses [in the town] some will benefit while others may suffer because of less traffic passing the door,” he said.
Mr. Levingstone said he enjoys working in New Ross and Gorey and has many fond memories from the last 40 years.
In addition to being a Fellow of the Association of Certified Accountants and the Life Insurance Association he is also an Associated of the Taxation Institute and in 2015 was awarded a Professional Certificate in Credit Union Management Control and Supervision.
He was also awarded a Professional Certificate in Credit Union Compliance in 2015.