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VYING FOR THE EMERALD ISLETHE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND HAS BEEN ONE OF THE HARDEST EUROPEAN ECONOMIES HIT BY THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN. EW ASKS HOW ITS EMERGING EXHIBITION INDUSTRY IS MANAGING TO STAY FOCUSEDfl avour. Proactive efforts by Ireland's public and private sector to drive exhibition business into the country have also raised the image of the Emerald Isle.Citywest International Events and Convention Centre is a new entrant to Dublin's venue offering, appearing in 2010. Special events and exhibitions manager Sally-Anne Browne says clients are largely from the UK and Ireland. However, the venue has partnered with the CCD, Dublin Tourism and Failte Ireland to promote Dublin as a destination to organisers in Europe and the US. The venue offers 15,000sqm of interconnected exhibition space. While shows have largely been trade-based so far, the launch of the new Luas lightrail service in July connecting Citywest to Dublin's city centre, plus Citywest's accessibility for visitors across the country, is bringing more consumer exhibitions business. "Dublin previously really only had one exhibition venue before - the RDS," Browne explained. "We're opening up new markets for organisers that weren't accessible previously and people who hadn't looked at Ireland before are looking at us now."very geographic region has been impacted in some way by the sliding economy, but Ireland has arguably been one of the hardest hit. Crippled by public debt brought about by over-ambitious bank loans and credit swaps, the implosion of its property market and the global economic crisis, the country is beset by fi scal volatility and uncertainty. This has subjected exhibition venues and organisers to questions about their viability, credibility and competitiveness against UK and international rivals. At the same time, Ireland's position on the outskirts of Europe and its Euro currency has left it with the tough task of competing with other well-established European destinations such as Barcelona, Prague, Berlin and Paris for international events business.Despite this, Irish exhibition venues are keeping focused on getting shows through their doors. In the past 12 months, their international standing has been helped by the launch of Conference Centre Dublin (CCD), a new selling point to national and international organisers looking for a European city destination with world-class facilities and cultural