Irelandâ€™s dedicated Journal for the public sector, semi state bodies and civil service
Seeking private sector help
Encouraging small firms
Can it deliver?
Capitalising on the Queen
Reforming Public Services
Aer Lingus 75th birthday
Race for the park
Transforming energy distribution
Public Sector Magazine
Contents Ireland’s Dedicated journal for the Public Sector, Semi State Bodies and Civil servants
P94 08 Cabinet Lineout
25 Working Hours
Who’s who in the new Government.
Minister Brendan Howlin outlines his
56 State Savings Schemes
13 Reform Chief
Managing Editor Tommy Quinn firstname.lastname@example.org Operations Manager & Department Reports John Taggart Jtaggart@publicsectorjournal.ie Editorial Assistant Joanne Punch
Contributors Eoghan Hahessy Lynne Nolan Design: Minx Design
The Public Sector Journal is an informative guide for Government, Civil, Public Sector and Semi State decisionmakers. It is distributed to, amongst others, Government Ministers, Ministers of State, Dáil Members, Senators, Secretaries of Departments, Deputy Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Principal Officers, CEO’s of State and Semi-
All the latest public sector news.
58 Insurance Cover
28 Race for the Park
RTE goes digital.
The Presidential race heats up.
A healthier way to save money.
Applying innovation to reducing waste,
Raise brand awareness and generate
26 Broadcast News
Training Officers, Doctors, Financial Institutions, Unions, Representitive Bodies, Embassies, Public and Private Partnerships and Political Commentators.
error and fraud.
NTMA offers a range of state savings schemes available through An Post.
Reduce your insurance costs without compromising your cover.
62 It’s in the Post
sales with every envelope.
66 Brought to Account
The spending review examines the potential for outsourcing.
LHM Casey McGrath, one of Ireland’s leading accountancy practices.
42 Small firms Welcome
68 Print Perfect
Encouraging greater participation by small firms in public tenders.
IIP Aluset set new standards for printing services in Ireland.
44 Future Skills
74 HSE Homecare
Some positive news for jobseekers.
Ireland is forecast to become the most
46 Going Global
globalized nation in the world.
48 Tax Competition
State Bodies, County Managers, County Councillors, Purchasing Officers, Press Officers, IT Managers and
key priorities for public sector reform.
32 Tackling Waste & Fraud
Sales & Marketing Trish Phelan Dermot Hogan
The Government aims to standardise
Northern Ireland moves to compete with the Republic on corporate tax.
51 Foreign Investment
Ireland’s low corporate tax is a big draw for foreign investors.
The HSE has begun a national
procurement process for the provision of home-care services.
77 Air Partners
A leader in the field of home respiratory services and safe, patient focused care.
Ireland’s conference sector will emerge
from the downturn in an even stronger position.
we protect your digital worlds
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81 The Perfect Host
115 Easy Access
139 Winds of Change
From automated household gates to
have it covered.
139 Energy Distribution
Cara Fuller, discusses her role at INEC, Killarney.
85 Cead Mile Failte
Tourism Ireland Steps up its marketing
drive to capitalise on high profile visits.
88 Age of the Dino
The spectacular Dino Petting Show arrives in Ireland.
90 It’s Entertainment
Transitioning from a performer to
producer can be challenging, says Arcana’s Johnny Donnelly.
93 Flying High
Aer Lingus celebrates its 75th anniversary.
sophisticated security systems ASL
117 School Building
Minister Ruairi Quinn announces
€41.2m scheme to get summer building
JSL continues to remain profitable
124 Glasnevin Museum
The award-winning Glasnevin
Museum is rapidly becoming a mustsee visitor attraction.
Whether free standing or fitted Kelco
like a glove and completes the space.
130 HP celebrates 40
This year is the 180th anniversary of
108 Faulkner Interiors
The work of David Faulkner features in some of our most prominent heritage buildings.
112 Get Digging
Starting out with two staff members in 1998, The Irish Archeological
Consultancy now boasts four offices, 30 full-time employees and up to 350 archaeologists.
Encouraging and incentivising innovation will be critical to economic recovery. Hewlitt Packard celebrates its 40th anniversary in Ireland.
132 The Power of Technology
DNM Technologies explain how to
The latest news from the energy sector.
Constraints in the public finances will
Ireland’s first dedicated cloud,
virtualisation and enterprise systems management centre of excellence.
see a more modest programme of road works in the years ahead.
150 Safety First
“Creating safer roads” for the public
and people working on motorways is at the heart of Synoptix Traffic Solutions.
152 Driving Client Satisfaction
The Harris Group are the runaway leaders in Ireland’s commercial vehicles sector.
155 Taxi review
Following the unacceptable practices highlighted by Prime Time, the
government launched a review of
harness the power of technology.
134 Tech Centre
Electricity is distributed in Europe.
146 On the Road
and the role Ireland can play in the way
Galway based construction company
102 Custom Built Designs’ beautiful bespoke furniture fits
Energy Transmission and Distribution
145 Energy News
despite the recession.
Europe’s energy future.
works under way in 453 schools.
118 A Proud History
Ireland can make a real contribution to
the taxi industry.
157 Transport Projects
A €75m investment is expected to create 1,00 new jobs.
136 Oil Prices
159 Airport Funding
Continuing increases in oil prices
has the potential to hinder recovery prospects in the Eurozone.
From next year, no further government funding is being provided for Galway and Sligo airports.
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The Cabinet The new Government is charged with the onerous responsibility of rescuing Ireland from the brink of bankruptcy and will face enormous challenges in the years ahead.
Taoiseach Born in Castlebar, County Mayo in1951. Enda Kenny was educated at St. Patrick’s national school in Cornanool and St. Gerald’s College in Castlebar. Later he studied at St Patrick’s College of Education in Dublin and University College, Galway before becoming a primary school teacher. Enda was elected to the Dail in the by-election which followed the death of his father in 1975 and aged just 24, he became one of the youngest TDs in the Dáil. He served as junior minister at the Department of Education and Labour from 1986 to 1987 and as Minister for Tourism and Trade from 1994 to 1997. In the mid-1980s, he was a member of the Fine Gael delegation on the New Ireland Forum and later served on the British-Irish Parliamentary Association. He became Fine Gael’s tenth leader after Michael Noonan resigned following the poor performance of the party in the 2002 election. Under Enda Kenny’s leadership, Fine Gael gained seats in the 2004 local and European elections and increased its number of seats from 31 to 51 in the Dáil in the 2007 general election. Following the local and European June of 2009 and the byelections in Dublin Central and Dublin South, Fine Gael became the biggest party in a national election for the first time – in sharp contrast to Fianna Fáil which obtained the lowest share of the vote in its history. However, this failed to prevent a leadership challenge by the Fine Gael Deputy leader, Richard Bruton the following year after a poor showing in the polls. Kenny won the subsequent confidence vote and appointed Michael Noonan as deputy leader. In the last election he led Fine Gael to a 76 seat victory. In 1992 Enda Kenny married Fionnuala O’Kelly who worked as a press secretary for Fianna Fail during Charles Haughey’s period as Taoiseach. They have three children, Aoibhinn, Ferdia and Naoise.
Tanaiste & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Elected leader of the Labour Party in September 2007, Eamon Gilmore was born into a small farming family in Caltra. He was educated at Garbally College, Ballinasloe and later studied psychology at University College, Galway. Since he was a teenager he has been involved in some of the country’s most important political and social campaigns, including the peacetrain initiative and the tax marches in the 1970s. He was also one of the key strategists behind the election of Mary Robinson. Eamon was the youngest elected leader of the Union of Students in Ireland (1976) when he became President at the age of 20, and in 1985 he moved into national politics when he was elected to Dublin City Council. In 1989 he was elected to the Dáil to represent the constituency of Dún Laoghaire and he was re-elected in the 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007 general elections. During the 1994 – 1997 Rainbow government, he served as Minister for State for Marine where he is credited with overseeing major reform in port ownership, and investment in port development; banning nuclear vessels from Irish seas and restricting dumping at sea. Prior to becoming Party Leader he sat on the Labour Party front bench as Environment, Housing and local Government Spokesperson.
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Michael Noonan: Minister for Finance A member of parliament for 30 years, Michael Noonan has served as Justice Minister,
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Minister for Industry and Commerce, as well as Energy Minister, and Minister for Health in previous administrations. The 67 year old became leader of Fine Gael in 2001 but resigned in 2002 following the party’s worst ever performance in the parliamentary election of that year. He remained on the backbenches until July last when he replaced Richard Bruton as shadow finance spokesperson following his failed heave against party leader Enda Kenny. His strong performance in the brief is regarded as a crucial factor in Fine Gael’s election victory.
Brendan Howlin Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Educated at C.B.S. Wexford and St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Brendan Howlin worked as a teacher before being elected to the Seanad from 1983 to 1987. He was first elected to the Dail to serve the Constituency of Wexford on behalf of the Labour Party in 1987. He was Minister for Health from 1993 to 1994 and Minister for the Environment from 1994 to 1997. In 1997 he was elected deputy leader of the Labour Party and in 2007, he was appointed Leas-Cheann Comhaile of the Dail.
Ruairi Quinn Minister for Education & Skills Ruairi Quinn is a Labour Party TD for the Dublin South East constituency where he has been a public representative since 1973. A Minister of vast experience, he started his political career as a member of Dublin City Council from 1974 to 1977 and he also served on the Seanad from 1976 to 1977 and from 1981 to 1982. He was first elected to the Dail in 1977 and his first Ministerial position was at the Department of the Environment where he served as Minister for State from 1982 to 1983. Other Senior Ministries he has held include Minister for Labour from 1984 to 1987 and Minister for Public Services from 1984 to 1987. He was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1990 to 1997 and during this period he served as Minister for Enterprise and Employment from 1993 to 1997 and as Minister for Finance from 1994 to 1997. He is a former Chairman of the European Council of Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) and Vice President and Treasurer of the Party of European Socialists. A former architect and partner with Burke-Kennedy Doyle and Partners he has published numerous articles on housing, urban design, planning and environmental issues
Richard Bruton Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Richard Bruton TD is an experienced Deputy representing Dublin North Central and a Research Economist by profession. First elected to the Dáil in 1982, he was Minister for Enterprise and Employment from 199497 and chaired the European Industrial Council during Ireland’s presidency in 1996. He was Minister of State at the Department of Industry and Commerce from 1986-87. He has had wide experience in the Fine Gael Front Bench, holding eight different portfolios including Finance, Education and Science, Employment, Economic Planning and Public Sector Reform. He also held the post of Director of Policy. He is also a former member of the Joint Oireachtas Committees on Education and Science, Women’s Rights, Enterprise and Employment, Public Enterprise and Transport and Commercial State Bodies. He has also served on the Dáil Committee on Public Expenditure. Educated in Belvedere College and Clongowes Wood College, Bruton studied economics and politics at University College Dublin and received an m.phil in economics from Nuffield College, Oxford. His publications include Irish Public Debt in 1979 and he was co-author of “Irish Economy” in 1975 and Drainage Policy In Ireland in 1982.
Joan Burton Minister for Social Protection A Chartered Accountant who trained and worked with Price Waterhouse in Dublin prior to becoming a Senior Lecturer in the Dublin Institute of Technology, Joan Burton was first elected to the Dáil in 1992 and again in 2002, 2007 and 2011. She has been Deputy Leader of the Labour Party since 2007 and she is the first woman to become finance spokesperson for a major party in Ireland. She also served as Minister of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Development Cooperation and Overseas Aid from December 1994 to June 1997 and as Minister of State in the Department of Social Welfare from 14 January 1993 to 17 November 1994. As Minister of State in Foreign Affairs, she initiated a dramatic expansion of Ireland’s Aid Programme in Africa and as Minister of State in Social Welfare (’92 to ’95) she initiated a series of Welfare to Work and Education initiatives for lone parents and families on Social Welfare. Joan is married to Pat Carroll, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the DIT, Bolton St. They have one daughter Aoife, a law graduate of TCD, who now works as a barrister in Dublin.
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Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Jimmy Deenihan was the opposition spokesperson for Defence from July 2007 -July 2010 when he was re-appointed spokesperson on Tourism, Culture and Sport - having served in this portfolio from June 2002 to May 2007. A Dáil deputy since 1987, Deputy Deenihan was appointed as Advisor to the Leader on Northern Ireland Policy and Party Spokesperson on Sport in February 2001. He was Fine Gael’s Junior Spokesperson on Environmental Information and Protection from June 2000 to February 2001 and spokesperson on the Office of Public Works (1997-2000). From 1994-1997 he was Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry with special responsibility for Rural Development, the LEADER programme, and monitoring the activities of An Bord Bia and the food industry. Mr. Deenihan has also served on the Seanad and has been a member of Kerry County Council and the Kerry County Vocational Education Committee. A member of the Gaelic Athletic Association he won All-Ireland football medals with Kerry in 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980 and in 1981, the year he captained the team. He received a GAA All-Star Award in 1981.
Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government After graduating from University College cork with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Higher Diploma in Education, Phil Hogan became involved in politics at a local level as a member of Kilkenny County Council from 1982 to 2003. He was Chairman of the council in 1985–1986 and from 1989–1990 and he was a member of the South-Eastern Health Board from 1991–1999. Having failed to win a seat in the 1987 general election he was elected to Seanad Éireann by the Industrial and Commercial Panel between 1987 and 1989. At the 1989 general election Hogan was elected to Dáil Éireann for the first time and has retained his seat ever since. He has held a number of Opposition Front Bench positions including spokesperson on the Food Industry (1989–1991), Consumer Affairs (1991–1993), Regional Affairs and European Development (1993–1994). Between December 1994 and February 1995 Hogan served as Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works. Following his resignation from this post when one of his staff members circulated details of the budget before it was announced, he became Chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources The new Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is a TD for Dublin South West. Born in County Mayo and educated at St Colman’s College, Claremorris and University College, Galway, Pat Rabbitte was a student activist at UCG and was later elected president of the Union of Students in Ireland (1972 – 74). Mr Rabitte worked as an official with the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, now part of SIPTU before being elected to Dublin city council in 1985. Four years later, in 1989 he was elected to the Dail as a representative of the Workers Party. He joined Democratic Left (DL) in 1992 and served as junior minister at Department of Enterprise in the rainbow coalition of 1994-97. After DL’s merger with Labour in 1999, Rabbitte became Labour leader in 2002 before stepping down after the 2007 general election. He was appointed to the Dail Public Accounts Committee in June of last year. Married with three daughters, he is regarded as one of the best speakers in the Dail .
Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter was re-elected to Dail Eireann in February 2011 having represented the Dublin South Constituency in the Dail since 2007 and previously from 1981 until 2002. He was educated at High School, Rathgar, and Trinity College Dublin where he obtained a law degree. He subsequently attended the Europa Institute of the University of Amsterdam where he studied European Law, Politics and Economics. Shatter has held various positions on the Fine Gael Front Bench including Spokesperson on Justice and Law Reform, Health, Labour, Defence and Children. He has served on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children from 2007 until that Committee completed it’s work in February 2010. An advocate of radical legal, social and environmental reform, he has published a large number of important Bills. He has practiced as a family lawyer in Dublin and is the author of “Family Law in the Republic of Ireland” now in it’s 4th edition and the best-selling novel “Laura” (1989).
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Simon Coveney Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food A TD for Cork South Central, Simon Coveny served as Chairperson of Fine Gael’s policy team, and produced Fine Gael’s policy on stimulus and economic recovery policy titled ‘New ERA’. Simon was first elected to the Dáil in 1998 as one of Fine Gael’s youngest TD’s aged 26. He has held numerous positions within the party including Spokesperson on Drugs and Youth issues, assistant Chief Whip and Secretary of the Parliamentary Party and Spokesperson for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. He was also a member of Cork County Council from 1999 to 2003 representing the Carrigaline electoral area. Simon was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 for Fine Gael with over 120,000 votes. He was a member of the EPP-ED group and was the author of the European Parliament’s Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2004. A member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, in June 2005 he was appointed the Co-ordinator for Human Rights for the EPP-ED Group.
Frances Fitzgerald Minister for Children Since her first election to the Dail, Frances has been appointed to six different portfolios under three different Fine Gael leaders - John Bruton, Michael Noonan and Enda Kenny. On her first day in the Dail Frances was appointed to the Fine Gael front bench as Spokesperson on Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht and went on to serve as Spokesperson on Defence, Social Community & Family Affairs, Equality & Family Affairs, Social Welfare and she also served as Spokesperson for Health and Children in the Senate. Frances has served on various Dail and Seanad committees including Justice, Health, the Committee on the Constitution, the National and Economic Social Forum, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Social Affairs and Health. Frances also cofounded the first ever Cross Party Group on Mental Health and worked closely with Amnesty International to help break down the stigmas associated with mental health issues. Prior to being appointed Ireland’s first ever Minister for Children. Frances was Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. She was also a high profile Chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (1988-1992) and Vice President of the European Women’s Lobby.
James Reilly Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly was first elected to Dáil Éireann for Dublin North in 2007 and He was appointed Fine Gael’s Party Spokesperson on Health the same year and Deputy Leader in July 2010. Dr Reilly has worked as a G.P in North County Dublin for the past 25 years. He was president of the Irish Medical Organisation prior to his election. Dr Reilly has served on the former Eastern Health Board, the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Northern Area Health Board.
Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport A TD for Dublin West, Leo Varadkar was appointed a member of the Fine Gael Front Bench when first elected to the Dáil in 2007. He served initially as Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment and in June 2010 he was appointed to the Communications, Energy and Natural Resources portfolio. Prior to his election to the Dáil, Leo Varadkar served as a member of Fingal County Council from October 2003. He received the highest ever vote in Ireland in the Local Elections of 2004, and was elected Leas-Cathaoirleach of the county. Hailed as a potential future leader, Leo was born and raised in the Blanchardstown/Castleknock area. He studied medicine in Trinity College where he earned a BA, BAO, BCh and MB in 2003. He worked in several hospitals before opting for a career in General Practice. Ministers of State: Paul Kehoe: (FG) Government chief Whip & Defence – Department of Taoiseach & Dept of Defence. Wille Penrose (Lab) Housing & Planning – Dept. of Environment, Community & Local Government. Jan O’Sullivan (Lab) Trade & Development – Dept of Foreign Affairs. Kathleen Lynch (Lab) Equality & Mental Health. Shane McEntee (FG) Food, Horticulture & Food Safety, Dept of Agriculture, Marine & Food. Sean Sherlock (Lab) Research & Innovation. Roisin Shortall (Lab) Primary Care – Dept of Health. Alan Kelly (Lab) Public & Commuter Transport – Dept of Transport, Tourism & Sport. Lucinda Creighton (FG) European Affairs – Department of the Taoiseach & Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. John Perry (FG) small Business – Dept of Enterprise. Fergus O’Dowd (FG) NewEra Project – Dept of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources & Dept of Environment, Community & Local Government. Ciaran Cannon (FG) Training & Skills. Michael Ring (FG) Tourism & Sport. Brian Hayes (FG) Public Service Reform & OPW – Dept of Public Expenditure & Reform & Dept of Finance. Dinny McGinley (FG) Gaeltacht Affairs.
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Driving Reform The role of Brendan Howlin, the new Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform will be critical in stabilising Irelandâ€™s public finances and restorating our economic sovereignty. In the following interview he gives his views on the merits of the Croke Park deal and presents his key priorities for reform in the delivery of public services.
The key areas identified in the OECD report were the need for greater integration of the various branches of the Public Service, the more efficient use of resources, a greater customer focus and the need for better governance generally.
Many commentators are critical of the lack of progress on the Croke Park Agreement. Would you agree that progress has been extremely slow and how do you plan to speed up implementation of the agreement? The Government is committed to reforming the way in which services are delivered and ensuring that meaningful changes come into place. Government has to deliver better value in order to reduce the deficit and protect frontline services. Genuine reform is now being achieved under the Croke Park Agreement, but the pace has to be accelerated. This is a key focus for me in the coming weeks and months. The issue of reform has to be pursued across the Public Service so as to ensure that the savings are achieved at a broader level. The next phase is to ensure that that process is even more ambitious, that we can get a different attitude. We want to work on integration of public service organisations, so that services are designed around the practical needs of the citizen. One example of this is the planned integration of employment advice and social
welfare supports in a single National Employment and Entitlements Service. We also want to ensure that services are better directed to target groups, so that we avoid duplication of effort. I am currently working on a Comprehensive Expenditure Review which will take a fresh look at how services are delivered. This comprehensive spending review looks not only at the amount that is spent but also looks at the effectiveness and efficiency of how services are delivered. The review gives Ministers the responsibility to look at all expenditure that theyâ€™re responsible for, within their Parent Department and in their Agencies, and to evaluate outcomes and come to the Cabinet with what should be funded, and what shouldnâ€™t be funded. How things could be done more effectively, what things can be amalgamated, what supports can be amalgamated, back office, IT and so on. The results of this Comprehensive Spending Review will inform the Budget later this year.
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“Reforms of the scale that is required cannot be delivered from Merrion Street: they have to be managed locally. We want to empower those who work in the public service to take initiatives; to manage risk; to solve problems; and to be innovative.” New Minister for Public Sector Reform, Brendan Howlin What, in your view, are the most critical aspects of the agreement which require the most urgency in terms of their implementation? In 2008, the OECD undertook a comprehensive review of the Irish Public Service. Obtaining an expert international view on the Public Service was hugely beneficial. The key areas identified in the OECD report were the need for greater integration of the various branches of the Public Service, the more efficient use of resources, a greater customer focus and the need for better governance generally. I believe that those findings remain valid today, and I will be targeting major reforms in these and other important areas in the coming months – the reform agenda is now centre stage and is recognised as being essential to the future of this country. We now have an opportunity to radically change what we do, and how we do it, and it is an opportunity that we must take with vigour and commitment. What is your response to those who remain sceptical of the Croke Park Agreement in terms of its ability to deliver the necessary savings and efficiencies required to restore balance to our public finances? The new Government is clear in its commitment to the Croke Park Agreement – but only so far as it is a genuine and equal agreement, honoured in deeds as well as words. The deal committed to no compulsory redundancies in the public sector, as long as staff accepted redeployment to new tasks and organisations. In practice that means that staff need to be willing to retrain, where necessary; to take on more responsibility; to work across professional and technical boundaries; and to be open to travelling within a radius of 45 kilometres to take up their new posts. The Croke Park Agreement facilitates the reduction in public service employee numbers while maintaining industrial peace and maintaining the provision of necessary public services to the maximum extent possible. It also provided for the cessation of industrial action precipitated by an effective reduction in remuneration of an average 14% (through imposition of a Pay Reduction and a Pension Related Deduction) on public servants and provides for an effective pay freeze up to 2014.
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How can you be confident of achieving 25,000 voluntary redundancies in the public sector given the lack of alternative employment opportunities and the fact that the HSE sought 5000 voluntary redundancies but only succeeded in attracting 2000 applications? Public service numbers have been brought down by nearly 16,000 or 5% between end- 2008 and end 2010. The Programme for Government requires additional numbers reduction of the total number of public sector employees by between 18,000 and 21,000 by 2014, compared to the total number at the end of 2010. And a reduction of this number by a further 4,000 by 2015. These are challenging numbers and we have to ensure that the numbers are reduced in a manner that does not impact on the deliverance of services. My Department is currently working on recommendations on issues concerning the accelerated fall in numbers required under the Programme for Government. The Quarter 1 2011 Public Service Numbers which are currently being finalised will help determine how these figures will be achieved. Even though a substantial number of retirements is indicated, it may necessitate targeted early exit packages. The experience over the last 3 years of offering early exit packages, including in the HSE, will have to be taken into account. There is of course a large up front cost to offering early exit packages which will have to be part of the consideration on this matter. Incremental pay increases have cost the State more than €1 billion since the onset of the recession in 2007 and before entering office, Ministers Leo Varadkar and Richard Bruton called for such increases to be frozen while we remain in recession. What is your view on the issue of incremental pay increases and do you anticipate any changes to the current system? Public sector workers have taken an average 14% pay cut over the past 2 years. The protection of lower paid workers in the public sector is a priority for this government. Lower grades have more increments on their pay scale hence the abolition of increments has a disproportionate effect on those workers rather than senior public sector employees.
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“We are trying to capture the country in a collective effort to bring us from a bad place, an economic disaster zone, into a better place and that will be done by shared burden and nobody can be exempt from that.” Increments are part of the contracts public sector workers sign up to. Furthermore, if increments were to be stopped then this would be unfair treatment of newer public servants as older workers doing the same job would already be at the top of their salary scales whereas the newer workers would not be able to achieve that parity. You have stated that the protection of lower paid workers in the public sector is a priority. Given that the EU and IMF frequently cite figures they have compiled which show the rate of pay increases in the Irish public sector in recent years has been 100% higher than that of other EU countries - do you anticipate continuing pressure from the EU/IMF on this issue and how will you respond? The actions of the previous government have bequeathed us the economic straitjacket that is the EU-IMF deal. It is a priority for this government to work our way out of this deal, and to regain full sovereignty over economic policy. Reform is, of necessity, a major part of that, both in terms of reducing expenditure and
modernising parts of our economy. As set out in the Programme for Government we have set more ambitious targets to achieve the necessary reforms required to regain full sovereignty over economic policy. This year, our country will spend €18 billion more than it will earn – a deficit that is simply unsustainable. We have engaged positively with the EU – IMF and have set out our position. The Croke Park deal mandates that if there is industrial peace and time-limited means to resolve any disputes; if the work of the many thousands of those leaving the public service is absorbed by those remaining and if there is cooperation with new work practices and rosters, and reduced incidence of overtime and allowances - then further pay reductions can be kept off the table. What is your view on the refusal of semi state bosses in Ireland to respond to calls from former Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan at the last budget to take a voluntary pay cut to €250,000 and do you have any measures under consideration to tackle the exorbitant pay rates among semi state bosses which amount to multiples of what their political bosses earn? I am currently looking at the issue of senior pay levels in the public sector, including CEOs of Commercial State Companies, and assessing how best to effect reductions in the remuneration of these posts and I will bring proposals to Government on these matters shortly. There are contractual arrangements with existing people and we live in a litigious country. We can’t arbitrarily break contract law without finding ourselves in very expensive litigation. There is a determination of Government to address this issue, we are trying to capture the country in a collective effort to bring us from a bad place, an economic disaster zone, into a better place and that will be done by shared burden and nobody can be exempt from that.
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if the work of the many thousands of those leaving the public service is absorbed by those remaining and if there is cooperation with new work practices and rosters, and reduced incidence of overtime and allowances - then further pay reductions can be kept off the table.
Do you accept that public confidence in the potential to affect meaningful public sector reform was damaged by the findings of the arbitration board in relation to cuts in privilege days and the news which emerged later in relation to extremely generous annual leave entitlements enjoyed by county managers, etc. – and what plans do you have to address this issue? There is a need to take a more public service wide approach in tackling outdated practices. The recent publicity around leave rates in some sectors shows the need for a more realistic approach to these entitlements across the system. Rates have got out of sync with the norm in some areas and these will be reviewed. The Government intends to pursue the issue across the Public Service so as to ensure that the savings are achieved at a broader level. However, given the array of jobs the Public Sector covers – the job of a teacher or a soldier is very different to that of an office worker so complete standardization will not be possible. I want to make it clear that it is the Government’s objective to achieve a more integrated Public Service with greater mobility within and between sectors. What vision do you have for Ireland’s public services and can you provide an overview of the kind of transformation you wish to affect and the broad shape of the kind public service which we ought to be aspiring to? The Government is committed to reforming the way in which services are delivered and ensuring that meaningful changes come into place. Government has to deliver better value in order to reduce the deficit and protect frontline services. We want a more integrated Public Service which meets the needs of the public. Better management of information and payments can deliver faster service to the user, minimise opportunities for fraud and reduce transaction costs for the Exchequer, so progressing e-Government will be a priority. Savings will also be sought through the consolidation, as far as possible, of
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financial, payroll, procurement, pensions and HR services across the public service. Reforms of the scale that is required cannot be delivered from Merrion Street: they have to be managed locally. We want to empower those who work in the public service to take initiatives; to manage risk; to solve problems; and to be innovative. The public service is only as good as the people who work in it, and the freedom they have to put their experience and their knowledge into practice. We will be exploring ways of tapping into the substantial front-line expertise that exists throughout the public service, including greater delegation of power over local budgets. Finally, we intend to focus on performance and accountability in a way that is meaningful; that is transparent; and that starts at the top. Strategic priorities will be set by Cabinet, with clear delegation of responsibility for delivering on these priorities laid out in legislation. Both the Public Service Management Act and the Ministers and Secretaries Act will be replaced with a reformulated code of laws that reflects clearly the reality of the responsibility that is vested in both Ministers and senior civil servants. Finally, do you have a message for public sector workers who are concerned about a further erosion in living standards and pressimistic about the country’s future prospects? This is a difficult time for all our citizens; those who work in the public sector, those who work in the private sector and the very large group of our people who are unemployed. The new Government is determined to chart a way out of the economic confinement that has been imposed on us by the previous Government. That will require a great deal of effort by everybody, and a willingness to change and to adapt. But, if we are willing to change then we can recover our economic sovereignty in the years ahead.
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Public Sector Job Cuts
The Rights Skills Many companies in Ireland are finding it difficult to fill positions, according to the President of the Chambers of Commerce in Ireland. Gerard Kilcommins, head of medical technology company Medtronics operations in Ireland said that despite the barrage of negative stories about Ireland over the last two years, many companies are experiencing problems in finding the correct skills set to fill vacancies. “There is a mismatch between what industry wants and what the education system is producing,” he said. “Ireland’s success in attracting foreign direct investment depended on a commitment to continue funding second and third level education.” Mr Kilcommins was speaking at the ACCI spring business lunch where the 350 delegates also heard from the author of IBM’s yearly global locations trends report, Dr Jacob Dencik, a consultant who advises companies on their locations strategy. Dencik said Ireland faces increasing competition for foreign direct investment but that companies still see Ireland as a good place to do business. He said that Ireland now competed on quality rather than price but that we are overly dependent on US investment and have attracted little inward investment from emerging economies.
IBEC Calls for Infrastructure Investment Employers group IBEC has urged the Government to invest billions of euro in capital projects to create jobs and stimulate the economy. It warned that reducing investment in social housing, health infrastructure, schools and transport projects below €3.5 billion over the next three years would seriously erode prospects for economic recovery and result in longer term social problems. IBEC has urged the government to develop proposals for a loan guarantee for small and medium sized businesses in order to allow them access financing. It’s measures would cost around €100 million which IBEC believes should be funded by means other than higher taxation. “It is essential that neither the measures proposed here or any other initiatives brought forward by Government are funded through taxation increases,” it said. “This would be entirely counter productive.”
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Up to 2,00 jobs were cut in the public sector in the first three months of this year. The numbers were part of the first quarterly report on the issue sent to the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. They show that 303,457 people were employed in the public service at the end of March, down from 305,402 at the end of 2010. Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin said: “These figures reflect the Government’s determination to take control of the public finances and to reduce the size of the public service.
Salary The €14,000 pay cut to the Taoiseachs salary still leaves him with a hefty pay packet exceeding that of many other European leaders, including the British Prime Minister. The Taoiseach enjoys a €200,000 salary, significantly higher than the £142,500 (€165,760) paid to David Cameron who took a 5% pay cut when he took office last May. Even Ministers in Ireland who took a €12,000 pay cut to €169,000 are still paid more than the British Prime Minister. However, the Taoiseach’s reduced pay packet is less than the €242,000 paid to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the €253,000 paid to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The series of reductions to the Taoiseach’s salary since 2008 has seen it fall behind the €276,038 salary paid to the US President Barrack. Before the crisis hit, the Taoiseach enjoyed a salary of €285,582, The Taoseachs salary remains significantly higher than that of the Spanish Prime Minister who is paid €92,000 and the Swedish Prime Minister who earns €138,000, the €181,000 paid to the Dutch Prime Minister or the €126,00 paid to the Prime Minister of Finland.
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Call for Levy on High Earners
Trade Boost Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD has welcomed the latest NCB Purchasing Managers Index which shows growth in manufacturing hitting its second highest level in eleven years. “A strong export performance will be crucial in driving the recovery in the wider Irish economy. These figures, the latest in a growing body of evidence of high levels of performance in manufacturing and exports, show that there are grounds for hope. However we must not become complacent about export performance. I, together with my colleagues across government, am developing plans to ensure that exports can continue to grow and lead a recovery in the domestic economy. Above all, we must ensure that business costs continue to fall. These figures show the need for government to act decisively to bring down costs at a time when oil prices and other costs outside our control are rising.”
SIPTU chief and president of ICTU Jack O’Connor has called for a tiered levy to be applied to all incomes over €100,000 and for a strategic investment bank to be established to provide a stimulus to the economy. In an address at the Jim Connell festival in Crossakiel, County Meath, Mr O’ Connor said radical thinking outside the box was required if we are to avoid social and economic catastrophe. He proposed a new investment levy on high earners to generate jobs and said it would operate as an investment fund rather than a traditional tax “A further €1 billion per annum could be raised by a tiered levy on all incomes over €100,000 per annum. A conventional level would appear to be precluded by Fine Gael’s no tax increase commitment to the better off, which is reflected in the programme for Government. We can use the revenue generated to create venture capital funds administered by the Strategic Bank liaising with Enterprise Ireland.” Mr O’ Connor said that those affected by the levy would receive a dividend and ultimately hope to get their money back. “A 3 billion venture capital fund comprised of €2bn from the NPRF and €1bn from the levy would increase investment in the economy by 16 per cent this year, without accounting for what additional amounts could be raised through additional borrowing and risk sharing with private investors. The same should be done again next year and at least 2 billion should be penned in for 2013,” he said.
Stepping Down The report from the Nybert Commission which was extremely critical of the role of the Department of Finance as well as the Government, the banks, the financial regulator and the media for the economic collapse is set to result in a radical reshuffle of senior civil servants. Dermot McCarthy, secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach is to step down ahead of schedule and Kevin Cardiff, secretary general of Finance is another prominent official due to take early retirement. It is expected that up to ten top level civil servants are set to leave the service or be reassigned to alternative duties as part of the overhaul. The new Government has indicated its intention to remove senior officials who were in place during the economic, fiscal and financial collapse as well as those involved in the catastrophic blanket bank guarantee. The Nybert Commission noted the consensus that house prices would continue to increase and when the property market turned, there would be a soft landing.
Call for Semi State Jobs Boost The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has said that the best way to achieve immediate results in boosting jobs is for large semi-state companies to undertake specific labour intensive infrastructural projects. Secretary General of the Irish Congess of Trade Unions wrote to Taoiseach Enda Kenny as part of its submission on the jobs initiative and said that these companies have the financial strength, management capacity, geographic spread, administrative infrastructure and procurement capability to move quickly to undertake projects with a high labour component. He also said it was necessary to radically overhaul the country’s skills and training system and called for a new training agency and a fund to finance upskilling of the labour force. He said this could be achieved by diverting a portion of the existing National Training Fund.
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Property collapse delays recovery The aftershocks of the property collapse means growth this year could reach just 0.6%, lower than the Government’s target of 0.75%. The European Commission’s Spring economic forecast shows that unemployment this year will reach 14.6% and fall only slightly to 14% next year. The report says emigration has not had as positive an impact on the unemployment levels as previously thought. However, Ireland’s exports were continuing to show strong growth. The Spring forecast also suggests that higher interest rates pose a risk to the Irish economy, although this could be offset if Ireland was granted a reduction in the interest rate paid for the EU-IMF rescue package. Meanwhile, Ireland’s budget deficit will narrow to 10.5% in 2011, higher than the Government forecasts due to lower tax revenue. The deficit is expected to fall to 8.8% in 2012. Ireland’s public debt is expected to rise to 118% of GDP by 2012, although that could be offset if the Government proceeds with the sale of some €5bn worth of State assets. The report shows Ireland is gaining competitiveness thanks to wage moderation. However, the report contains a reminder that Irish wages levels between 2002-2006 were among the highest in the eurozone. The forecast says net exports are continuing to make strong positive contributions to growth. Irish exports increased by 9.4% in 2010 while exports were expected to put in a ‘solid performance’ in 2011-12. However, Irish exports remained vulnerable to US and
UK currency movements, while sluggish domestic demand remained a problem. Speaking at the launch of the report Ollie Rehn welcomed the Governments jobs initiative and said, “Growth and jobs are now the real challenge for Ireland, and in terms of growth I think it’s important that export growth and industrial production are showing positive signs. In order to support this tendency it is important that the government is taking the initiative in terms of its recent jobs initiative.”
Contradiction’ in ESRI Position
Euro is a ‘straitjacket’
Congress has rejected calls for deeper spending cuts from the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) as they would push Ireland much deeper into recession and have “terrible social consequences.” Congress General Secretary David Begg also queried the body’s track record, noting that the latest call is a complete reversal of the ESRI’s position of just seven months ago, in Autumn 2010. “Just a few months ago, the ESRI was warning that planned Government spending cuts were too big and could tip the country into prolonged recession. That was in October 2010, when Government planned to cut just €4 billion - but it went on to cut over €6 billion in the budget. And we are living with the negative consequences of this austerity, with suppressed demand and bigger job losses,” Mr Begg said. “Previously, the ESRI warned that we were going too far and too fast in terms of cuts. They said we should slow the cuts and extend the period of deficit reduction to 2016 - a proposal first made by Congress. Now they’ve reversed that and say we need to go much further and much faster. Which is it? To my mind, this raises questions about the credibility of the ESRI, Mr Begg said. In its Autumn 2010 report, the ESRI said: they have grave doubts over the wisdom of the parameters of an austerity programme where such a high level of savings will be sought in such a tight time frame. “The Institute warned this would have “severe implications for growth. Leaving aside the serious inconsistency in their position, the ESRI’s latest recommendations would tip the economy into deep recession and could have terrible social consequences for very many people who are already struggling with debt and reduced incomes.“said Mr Begg
Independent MEP, Marian Harkin, has branded the euro currency as “a straitjacket” and said: “It is inherently fragile and not strong enough to withstand the economic turmoil eurozone countries such as Ireland are experiencing right now.” She said the survival of the euro will depend on countries like Germany and France being prepared to pay the price to keep it afloat.
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Ibec: Inflation will ease this year Ibec has claimed that inflation will ease later this year after official figures revealed that the cost of living has jumped more than 3% over the past year. Fergal O’Brien, the organisation’s chief economist, said planned VAT cuts on tourism-related goods and services would help slow down the overall rising cost of living. “The focus over the coming months must remain on reducing costs across the economy and regaining competitiveness,” he said. Despite moves to make Ireland a cheaper place to live and work, rising car fuel prices as well as health, home and motor insurance hikes are driving up household bills. Increased mortgage interest repayments and higher home heating oil charges are also making it more difficult for people to make ends meet. The latest report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed a 3.2% rise overall in the prices of consumer goods and services.
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Flood Relief The MW Hire Group is Ireland’s 1st point of contact for Flood Relief and General Dewatering application Solutions. The MW Hire Group is the exclusive distributors in Ireland for The Big Bag Flood Defense System – the market leaders in flood prevention in the USA, Europe & Asia. With this new product comes the knowledge of a Global team of flood prevention experts and offer the latest technologies in flood prevention and flood consultation. The Big Bag is an innovative time and cost saving flood solution using the latest technologies in textile manufacturing. The Big Bag System is set up in a matter of minutes. To build up the protector only 2 persons are necessary, after setting up the system the bags can immediately be filled with sand. The filling can be carried out, depending on the local circumstances, by means of a concrete mixer truck, wheel loader, excavator or similar machine. By filling on site the best possible sealing is attained. Due to the high ‘own weight’ of the big bag – a safe stability is guaranteed.
Why use The Big Bag? n Effective - A fast solution that fights back large water masses in a safe way. n Reactive - The Big Bag System can be stored in strategic locations in your flood prone areas e.g located near public works facilities, municipal buildings etc and can be pulled out and set up when the flood waters rise. n Safe - Through a high stability and robust polypropylene. n Simple - When setting up, filling and disassembling. n Economical - The favorable purchase saves staff and time. (1 system corresponds to approx. 670 conventional sandbags) n Environmentally Friendly - Only natural materials are used (PP membrane does not contain any hazardous substances) and the sand used in the Big Bag System can be re-used. n Reliable - Big Bag system has been used extensively throughout the USA, Europe and Asia over the last decade to fight the growing problem of flooding. The Big Bag Flood Defense System has a multitude of uses, and not just limited to Flood Relief, other common uses are: n Retaining Walls n Coastal Erosion n Raising Areas of Existing Ground n Shelters / Camps n Support Walls (Gravity Feed Tanks) n Emergency Water Supply n Oil Spill Containment n Traffic Safety Barriers n Military Defence Walls n Noise Control The MW Hire Groups Flood Division are available to conduct a consultation on site, we can offer you The Big Bag Flood Defense System as well as any ancillary items such as Pumps, Generators, Excavators, Dumpers and consumables. The MW Hire Group has the best equipped Plant Fleet in Ireland, and are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accredited for your peace of mind.
To arrange a Consultation or if you require further information on The Big Bag Flood Defense System, Contact:The MW Hire Group, Unit 14 Urlingford Business Park, Urlingford, County Kilkenny, Freephone: 1890 905275/ Telephone: 056 8831418/Email: email@example.com orr visit online : www.mwhire.com
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Loo-dicrous A County council is paying a private company €75,000 a year to maintain two public toilets that have earned just €5,000 over the last four years. The two automated toilets in the Fairgreen in Loughrea and at Vicar Street in Tuam, County Galway costs 50c a time for users while Galway County Council estimate that the upkeep and maintenance of each was in the region of €37,500 each year.
Tackling Debt The frustration felt by the Master of the High Court, Master Edmund Honohan, at the lack of an effective legal system for people who are seriously over indebted is also a longstanding matter of concern for FLAC which have long called for the reform of an antiquated legal system which is not fit for purpose in the current recession. Similar calls are made by a range of organisations including the Law Reform Commission, the Irish Banking Federation and even the IMF. Proposals to examine change are also in the Programme for Government. However, progress on reform has been miniscule. In FLAC’s view, this is due to the lack of a comprehensive government approach. According to FLAC’s director general Noeline Blackwell: “It seems that the government still has to come to grips with the absolute urgency of the need. Right now, people who are overindebted must grapple with a court system which is never going to actually solve their problem and where all the power still lies with the lender. Banks will say that they are engaging with debtors, but they still can do this in whatever way this suits their agenda. Any sustainable solution will involve a number of sections of government coming together and coming up with an overall solution”. Ms. Blackwell went on to say that the technical work has been largely done, through the sterling work of the Law Reform Commission over the past 3 years. “What is needed now is the political will to implement a solution” she said
Trade Centre Up to 9,000 jobs could be created if plans are successful in their application for an international trade and commerce centre. Plans were lodged recently with Westmeath County Council for phase one of a proposed business centre near Athlone. It is estimated that phase will cost up to €175 million and create up to 1,500 job, the majority of them in construction. The 137 hectare would be developed to promote trade between China, Europe and the US and the facility will include an exhibitions with space for 135 separate display areas, nine smaller halls and an administrative building.
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TV is Changing In the next eighteen months television broadcasting in Ireland will change dramatically as we switch from analogue to digital transmission. The EU has mandated the end of 2012 as the final date for Analogue Switch Off (ASO) in Europe. By then Ireland needs to have launched a replacement digital transmission system to ensure all Irish audiences can continue to access free-to-air television.
Viewers used to receiving analogue television through an aerial will notice a significantly improved picture and sound quality on SAORVIEW.
The Broadcasting Act 2009 mandates that RTÉ has the primary responsibility for providing the new free-to-air digital transmission service. By ASO, RTÉNL (a wholly owned subsidiary of RTÉ) will have invested a total of over €70 million building the necessary infrastructure to enable Ireland make the successful transition to free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT). This is a significant piece of national communications infrastructure and it is being financed entirely by RTÉNL from a combination of its own resources and from bank borrowing. From a national economic perspective, digital transmission will free up radio spectrum for use by other important communications services such as broadband, mobile TV and others. The Government has estimated that the Irish economy will benefit by up to €500 million over the next decade as a result of the switch to digital television. This is a very significant contribution by RTÉ to the national exchequer. SAORVIEW is the name of the new digital television
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service that will replace the analogue system which has been in operation since 1962. From the end of May 2011 SAORVIEW will be accessible to 97% of the population. By October 2012 SAORVIEW will be accessible to 98% of the population. SAORVIEW is primarily for people who will lose, in whole or in part, their television services when the analogue service is switched off in late 2012. There are currently approximately 1.6 million TV
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households in Ireland. Almost 600,000 (37%) Irish TV households receive some television services through an aerial (either for their primary television or other televisions). These households will all be affected in some way by Analogue Switch Off. Of those households, a little over 335,000 (21%) of Irish TV households choose to receive television free exclusively through an aerial. These households will lose their Irish television services completely if they do not switch to another form of TV reception by the end of 2012. In terms of demographics; the households who choose to receive television free exclusively through an aerial tend to be mainly in rural areas in Munster, Connaught and Ulster. These households are also more likely to be older and many of these households are on lower incomes than the average Irish TV household. SAORVIEW is Ireland’s first free (free-to-air) national digital television service. This means that for people who currently receive their TV through a rooftop aerial there will be no ongoing costs associated with the SAORVIEW service after an initial purchase of a set-top-box receiver or a new integrated digital television (iDTV). The following TV channels and services are planned for SAORVIEW: n RTÉ One n RTÉ Two HD n TV3 n TG4, n RTÉ News Now n 3e n RTÉjr n RTÉ One + 1 n RTÉ Aertel Digital In addition SAORVIEW will carry all of RTÉ’s radio services.
During 2010, the channels planned for SAORVIEW broadcast all of the 100 most watched TV programmes in Ireland. Combined viewing of the existing TV channels planned for SAORVIEW (RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3, TG4 and 3e) captured an average daily share* of close to 50% (48.73%) during 2010. Viewers used to receiving analogue television through an aerial will notice a significantly improved picture and sound quality on SAORVIEW. This is because digital transmission offers much better standard definition (SD) pictures and sound. In addition, SAORVIEW will offer free-to-air High Definition (HD) pictures and sound for the first time. HD television provides exceptionally clear, sharp pictures with vivid colours and up to five times more detail than standard definition. Certain types of television programmes particularly benefit from HD, for example sports, wildlife, drama and film. The SAORVIEW on-screen programme guide will give full 7-day TV listings information for all TV channels on the service. This allows viewers to easily plan their viewing without the need for anything other than a remote control. For viewers with digital video recorders (DVRs) it also allows for easy recording. Educating and informing the public is critical to the success of SAORVIEW and to ensuring Irish Licence Fee payers continue to enjoy the best free-to-air television services in the years ahead. To this end SAORVIEW began a comprehensive public information campaign in mid March 2011. The SAORVIEW platform will be officially launched at the end of May and the communciatons campaign will continue until Analogue Switch Off. For more information go to: www.saorview.ie , Lo Call 1890 222 012 or Aertel Page 650 * National Individuals 4+ All Day Share
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Race for the Park Candidates for the Presidential election in Autumn have a hard act to follow to match the success of Mary McAleese.
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The last Presidential election in 1997 failed to generate the level of public interest and excitement which the Mary Robinson campaign attracted in the previous Presidential race. Mary Robinson is credited with having redrawn the parameters of the Presidency and introduced a new dynamism and energy into a role which had become stale and devoid of purpose. Mary McAleese, a former Barrister and academic was a surprise candidate by fianna Fail who it was presumed would back former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who was widely admired for his work in initiating the peace process. Bertie Ahern made a public show of supporting Reynolds while behind the scenes he was encouraging the party to support the nomination of McAleese who was largely unknown in the Republic and perceived by some commentators as a divisive figure who was sympathetic to provisional republicanism However, she quickly laid any such perceptions to rest and her tireless work on building bridges with the unionist community and promoting unity in the North has been the hallmark of her presidency. She also focussed diligently on representing the country abroad and during her first term she made 53 trips overseas and welcomed over 70,000 visitors to Aras An Uachtarain as well as attending an average of 600 public engagements a year. Her commitment was appreciated by the public and approval ratings in the mid 70s dissuaded any potential challengers in 2004 and she was re-elected without a contest. President McAleese has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for what was a potentially hazardous first visit by a first British monarch to these shores in a century. The rapport which she has established with the British monarch was plainly evident and in her speech at the state dinner in Dublin Castle the Queen paid her a generous tribute for her work in promoting peace in Northern Ireland and for highlighting the often neglected issue of the Irish volunteers who fought with the British army in the first world war. The final months of her Presidency have been the culmination
of years of patient diplomacy and bridge building and she has ingratiated herself with the Irish public in manner that will be difficult for her successor to follow. Mary Robinson may have been a hard act to follow but President McAleese has proven a worthy successor and has also set the bar high for candidates for the next presidential contest. The next Presidential election will take place in the Autumn and so far it is shaping up to be a packed contest. Three independent candidates have already declared their intention to enter the race – Sean Gallagher, a successful businessman who features on the panel of Dragons Den, Senator David Norris and Special Olympics Chief Mary Davis. Each independent candidate must secure the support of four local authorities or 20 TD’s or Senators. Sean Gallagher is exploring the possibility of a loose arrangement with Fianna Fail which would involve him getting the support of 10 Fianna Fail Oireactas members as well as 10 independent TD’s and Senators. It would allow him to remain as an independent candidate and would be similar to the arrangement which Mary Robinson pursued in 1990. While remaining an independent candidate she received the backing of Labour, Democratic Left and the Green Party. Mr Gallagher is hopeful of securing the backing of the business community and believes that the office can be used to help address our economic challenges. If elected, he says he will work to restore Ireland’s international reputation. The businessman who overcame blindness as a child went on to established the award winning company Smart Homes. He is also involved with a number of charities including Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Ms Davis will be canvassing support from across the political parties and believes that the next President will need to create a new belief and confidence as to the possibilities in Ireland and create a more positive image of Ireland abroad. Best known for her role in the successful 2003 Special Olympics summer games. Ms Davis now runs Special Olympics Europe and Eurasia covering 58
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countries. She said: “I’m going to be looking very much at running a grassroots campaign, Obama style through the internet.” According to a Red C Poll, produced for Paddy Power, Senator David Norris is the current favorite to become next president of Ireland, with 27 per cent of the vote in a poll of more than 1,000. However, the reemergence of a nine year old interview in which he made controversial remarks about pedophilia is threatening to derail his campaign. Norris has said he will prioritise three main issues, mental health, culture and enterprise and currently working to attract nominations from oireachtas members and county councils. Fine Gael was rebuffed in its attempt to secure the candidacy of the Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and more recently, the former party leader and Taoiseach John Bruton has indicated that he will not be contesting the election. Fine Gael has never won a Presidential election and it is thought to be a high priority for Taoiseach Enda Kenny who is searching for a candidate with a strong profile and an international reputation who would capitalise on the Party’s dominant electoral position. Candidates currently linked to the Fine Gael ticket include Leinster MEP Mairead Mc Guinness and the former GAA president and MEP for Munster Sean Kelly. Mairead McGuinness is regarded as a strong candidate; elected as an MEP in June 2004, she topped the poll with one in every four votes cast in the Ireland East constituency. She was re-elected in June 2009 with another poll-topping result and was the only candidate in Ireland to be elected on the first count. Prior to becoming an MEP she was a journalist, broadcaster and commentator. Former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox has also joined Fine Gael and is seeking to be nominated as the party’s candidate. However, he is likely to face an uphill battle in securing the nomination particularly now that Gay Mitchell has entered the race. Former TD Michael D Higgins, Barnardos’ boss Fergus Finlay and Kathleen O’Meara have all declared their intention to seek the Labour Party nomination. All are popular figures within the party and the choice represents a dilemma for many members. Higgins who did not defend his Galway West seat in the last election is the Party’s elder statesman, a philosopher and poet who has often served as the conscience of the Labor Party. He is said to have the support of key figures such as Emmet Stagg, Willie Penrose, Kathleen Lynch and Sean Sherlock. However, there is also a view within the party that his time may have passed and there are concerns as to whether he will be able to replicate his popularity in his own constituency throughout the country. Fergus Finlay is a widely respected figure and as chief executive of Barnardos children’s charity he has a national profile. He has served as an advisor to four Labour Party leaders and made an important contribution to the peace process. He is thought to be attracting the support of younger members of the parliamentary party. Kathleen O’Meara, the former Labour Senator has also declared her intention to seek the Labour Party nomination. Ms O’Meara, who was unsuccessful in her General Election bids of 2002 and 2007, is currently head of communications for the Irish Cancer Society. She said that she wants to create a new proclamation of independence for the Republic to be announced in 2016. Fine Fail, still staggering from the party’s wipeout in the general election has yet to declare whether it will contest the
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Senator David Norris
Michael D Higgins
election. The party is carrying substantial debts and its reputation makes it hard attract anyone of sufficiently high caliber from outside its depleted ranks. The candidate most frequently mentioned in the event that they decide to contest the election is MEP Brian Crowley. Brian Crowley is the longest serving Irish MEP in Europe. He has also served in the Irish Senate and was a member of President Mary McAleese’s Council of State. Uachtaran na hEireann is a plum position, carrying a 240,000 salary and an entertainment budget of more than 300,000, not to mention an army of staff, a Palladian mansion and the frequent trips overseas. However, President McAleese and the former President Mary Robinson have redefined the parameters of the office and shown that it can be used to provide effective and beneficial representation for the country. The next President will have to do likewise and establish a platform and a vision to match the energy, commitment and sense of purpose which has marked the tenure of Mary McAleese.
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Reducing Costs Waste, error and fraud – Applying innovation to reducing public sector costs
The downturn in the Irish economy and focus on cost reduction in the public finances has undoubtedly increased the focus on the elimination of waste and error, as well as the detection and prevention of fraud. A recent Ernst & Young study found that half of Irish organisations surveyed have suffered, what they consider to be, serious fraud in the last two years. This compares to just 16% of organisations globally and 21% in Western Europe. Of particular note from this research is that, as organisations focus on reducing costs and improving processes in the downturn, many are uncovering pre-existing fraud schemes which went largely undetected during the boom years. Parallels can be drawn with the public sector, where similar analysis is ongoing to reduce the cost associated with waste and fraud. However, the breadth and volume of services delivered by the public sector present challenges for managing the risks of fraud, waste and error. The public sector is the largest employer in the State, providing services and entitlements to the general public, through multiple systems, across multiple departments, procuring goods/services from thousands of suppliers along the way. Such complexity naturally leads to challenges when it comes to managing waste, error and fraud.
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Why now? The new Government has clearly set out its intention to prioritise reduction of wasteful public sector spending and establishing a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude to welfare fraud; both key highlights contained within its Programme for Government. Obviously, in doing so they are hoping to replicate the savings achieved in other countries who have already taken similar corrective steps. Traditionally, the most common detection methods for waste, error and fraud for many organisations are through tip offs, audit reviews or stumbling across frauds ‘by accident’. However, such methods are limited in their effectiveness and only scrape the surface, particularly when organisations, such as the public sector, maintain vast quantities of data. While there have been some positive advances in recent years in terms of fraud detection and waste elimination, these traditional methods are no longer sufficient on their own and more effective and innovative fraud and waste detection strategies are now required. One key area which is becoming critically important in this respect is how any organisation
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use the data it collects to detect anomalies, and in doing so proactively prevent fraud, waste and error. Examples of where this could be applied in the public sector include: n Detecting benefit fraud where person is receiving welfare payments even though they do not meet eligibility criteria (e.g. based on income) n Identifying overpayments to suppliers by analysing historic procurement data n Identifying errors and anomalies in payroll such as excessive overtime payments The Irish Government has recognised the potential in this area and the recent Programme for Government and committed to a major anti-fraud enforcement drive supported by the “latest available technology and better sharing of data across government departments and agencies”. While the successful deployment of these techniques to combat welfare fraud offers the greatest potential for cost savings, it is also possible to use the same approach to identify waste, error and fraud in areas such as procurement, payroll and cash management.
The data ‘glut’ and challenges Making sense of large volumes of structured data is not a simple task. Most organisations do not fully appreciate the volume of data they collect. What is referred to as ‘structured data’ is everywhere within an organisation, much of it is buried in systems that were designed to support operational processes and which do not lend themselves easily to analysis. Examples include person records, entitlements/payments, supplier data and employee records. In order to assess this data correctly one must understand and interpret the real-world activities which gave rise to the data and why it is being stored. Once this is understood, the challenge then becomes how to search this data to highlight potential indicators of fraud, waste and error and investigate further – e.g. flagging social welfare payments being transferred under multiple names but into the one bank account etc. A further complication in the public sector is that public services are managed by several departments and there is no single data repository which can be used for proactive analytics. Even within individual departments there are often several systems used to deliver services and this presents challenges in providing comprehensive and consistent sources of information. While it is generally accepted that there needs to be an increased the level of data sharing between Departments and State agencies, there are legal and data protection implications to consider around the level of information that can be shared and how such data must be protected. However, these challenges can be overcome – several countries for example, have introduced codes of practise for public authorities sharing data for the prevention of fraud.
Detection versus review An important distinction in the deployment of data driven fraud detection techniques is the distinction between fraud detection and fraud review. n Detection is the process of identifying and prioritising
potential fraud, waste and error from available data within an organisation n Review involves the confirmation that fraud has actually taken place and includes the process of taking corrective actions when it has, such as blocking payments, recouping paid monies and prosecution. In recent years, many organisations have focused on fraud review, improving their review procedures through internal audit and ‘special investigations’. However, the challenging task of detection – i.e. effectively identifying suspects in the first place – has received less attention although this clearly offers the greatest opportunity for significant return on investment if addressed in a comprehensive fashion.
Proactive data analysis can help: n Increase fraud detection and prevention by unwinding the complex relationships in large volumes of data and isolating unusual behaviours and patterns n Make future savings by eliminating waste which leaks from your current processes. n Identify cash recovery opportunities by pinpointing errors such as overpayments to suppliers amounting to full percentage points of your total expenditure n Close control gaps by identifying specific controls that are flouted by employees on a regular basis and deviations from expected business processes.
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Mining for gold The starting point in identifying waste, fraud and abuse is the analysis of historical data that you already have in your systems. Detection is a statistical game with the goal of improving the odds of finding the target. The process is analogous to fishing for rare fish in the ocean. Without the right tools, you are left to fish the endless sea of legitimate activity for our rare fraudulent catch. Not surprisingly, a tremendous amount of time and effort can be spent to identify a single suspect case. A good detection system will filter the entire ocean and help identify a small pond where the odds are much more in our favour. Fishing in a well stocked pond translates into substantial savings because the system to focus expensive human effort and expertise on reviewing those activity records that are most likely to pay off. The effectiveness of a detection system can be quantified using the following two measurements: n Detection rate - the percentage of total fraud isolated in the pool of suspects -and n False positives rate - the ratio of legitimate to fraudulent entities in the pool of suspects. Experience has shown us that, with the deployment of an effective detection based fraud monitoring system, the detection rate goes up, the false positives go down and a more effective result is achieved in terms of time, cost and recovery. These sophisticated detection systems combine data matching algorithms with a statistical model-based approach which allows an organisation to more effectively and accurately detect fraud by highlighting situations where fraud is statistically most likely to occur. The models ‘learn’ from the data associated with real instances of fraud and look for similar patterns in the wider population of data –for example, in the public sector, this principle can be applied for means test data, benefit payments and procurement entries.
Data linking and matching The key to the performance of any detection approach is the ability to automatically carry out fraud detection over a large number of different data sources such as person records, entitlement assessments, payments and life events. Fraudsters work hard to disguise their true identity and details in order to appear “normal” each time they repeat their fraudulent behaviour. Their techniques have evolved to evade current simple matching systems which aim to detect identical pieces of data e.g. names, addresses, telephone numbers etc. However, these simple matching systems cannot always correctly link records where there might be minor differences in, for example, the spelling of someone’s name or address, or the format of their telephone numbers. In the example below, the table below would not be matched using simple data matching as the format of the dates of birth and telephone numbers are slightly different. However, in recent years more sophisticated data matching have been developed to overcome these hurdles and also enhance the linkages between records. One might still want to link or associate two records that do not match directly together if they are indirectly matched via a
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third piece of data. In the example, there is no immediate link between Record A and Record C when looking at name, date of birth or telephone number. However, there is overlap between Records A and B (surname and address) and overlap between Records B and C (date of birth and phone number). As a result there is direct and indirect connection between all three records and so this may warrant further detection. A simple matching technique however, would not identify this.
Date of Birth
John Murphy 16.01.1958
+353 86 555 5555
Address Apt 3, 80 Long Road, Bigtown, Dublin 6 3/80 Long Road, Bigtown, Dublin 65 Short Street, Dublin 2
Conclusion While positive progress has been made in recent years reducing fraud and error, the Government has made it clear that the level of waste, error and fraud in the system remains unacceptable. A fresh approach is needed to deliver the cost saving targeted and to combat the increased sophistication of fraud schemes. The use of advanced data analysis has proven highly effective in fraud detection in the retail banking, credit card, property and casualty insurance and healthcare insurance industries, where they typically can reduce fraud losses by up to 20-50%. These techniques are now also being used to track down benefit and occupational fraud, error and waste with remarkable results. The results of detection efforts can ultimately feed into fraud prevention programmes to prevent future occurrences of the same type of fraud. By Eoin O’Reilly – Advisory Senior Manager – Ernst & Young
© 2011 Ernst & Young Ireland. All Rights Reserved.
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Outsourcing Trojan Horse or White Knight? Feargal Brennan considers how the tendency to present outsourcing negatively masks the real contribution the private sector can make to public sector transformation.
As Bob Dylan turns 70 the times they certainly are a changinâ€™. May, not April seems like the cruellest month. Just as the Queen and President Obama departed leaving us on a high, the OECD saw fit almost literally to rain on our parade and suggest that far from growing at a decent pace, GDP in Ireland would stagnate for 2011. The growth rates, vital to our projections for a sustainable recovery, have been cast in doubt. In its recent, generally positive, review of our bailout, the IMF seemed pleased with how things are going on the implementation side. That is good news, but the levels of growth necessary to assist in significant deficit reduction are just not there right now and may not be for some time.
Croke Park â€“ own goal or championship victory? Things are moving quickly. Our ability to restore credibility internationally will be determined by our success in transforming how we go about our business whatever the sector. At the time of writing the review of the Croke Park Agreement is imminent. It is highly likely that the Agreement will deliver substantial
savings. It may be on target, who knows. What is clear is that the landscape has changed considerably since its ratification and the challenge for government is to deliver more than Croke Park ever sought to do but from within that agreed framework. Innovative policy responses are Fergal Brennan required. Complex problems require complex solutions. It may not seem like the time for debates on the old principles, but perhaps that is what is needed.
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Partnership – open handshake or closed first? The role of the private sector in the delivery of public services must be scrutinised carefully. New models of service delivery must be considered to imaginatively harness the benefits the private sector can deliver in changing the way public services are provided. It will not be a question of “outsource or not”, “redundancies or else”, or of the government abandoning public sector employees to the vagaries of private sector opportunists. In assessing opportunities to involve the private sector in the provision of public services, Government must view the process not as an abdication of its responsibilities but instead as an opportunity to ensure that those who provide services to it and its citizens do so efficiently, cost effectively and in a consumer focused manner - n other words, allow Government the space to do its job.
What’s happening across the water? The UK has long recognised the contribution the private sector can make in the delivery of public services. Many of its boroughs and councils have partnered with the private sector in the delivery of many of their activities. In some instances Councils have entirely handed over management of large swathes of functions to private sector entities. In 2006, Birmingham City Council entered into a transformation agreement whereby services were transferred to a joint venture organisation (Service Bermingham) majority owned by a private operator but where the Council retained a significant stake. Under what it styled a “Choices Model”, staff could remain with their current employer as they were, transfer to the new entity
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or second across on secondment. The deal has saved the Council hundreds of millions of pounds. An openness to partner with the private sector can drive innovation and increase efficiency, enable private capital to finance public transformation, and provide staff development and training that the public sector simply cannot deliver in the current environment.
If you build it, will they come? The opportunity is not all local. The development of private sector expertise in the delivery of public services opens up the prospect of major opportunities in foreign markets with the consequent boost to employment, here in Ireland. Ireland is already recognised as a leading location for shared services for foreign direct investment so there is no reason to believe the development of a vibrant indigenous sector selling services to other countries is not eminently possible and become a driver of Irish employment. Real solutions will not be binary in nature but instead blended to meet the needs of relevant stakeholders. Public Service Unions must not view private sector involvement in the delivery of public services as anathema, and the private sector’s commitment to pay and conditions, education and career opportunities must also be real. Above all, the models of partnership chosen must not be characterised by dissent but rather by recognition that what is required is not one solution or the other but positive elements of all. By Feargal Brennan, Partner & Head of Outsourcing, ByrneWallace
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Under Pressure to Reform Can the Croke Park Deal confound its critics and deliver the savings necessary to restore the nation’s finances? The Croke Park deal is fast running out of friends and coming under increasing attack from commentators who claim little progress has been made in implementing the key provisions of the deal and it is incapable of addressing the deficit in our public finances. At the root of the scepticism is the scale of the savings likely to be achieved through the efficiencies targeted by the Croke Park deal which protects existing rates of public pay and promises that there will be no compulsory redundancies. The memorandum of Understanding agreed with the IMF and the European Union last November warns that unless borrowing is reduced by agreed levels, the issue of public pay will be re-examined in September. Critics of the Croke Park Deal say it is increasingly likely that the lack of substantial reforms will force the IMF to intervene and force the Government to undertake further cuts in public sector pay. The Programme for Government is committed to reducing the number of employees in the public sector by up to 25,000 by 2016. Many doubt the likelihood of achieving reductions on this scale voluntarily and point to efforts undertaken by the HSE which sought 5000 voluntary redundancies last year but only succeeded in attracting 2000 applications. Given the depth of the recession and the lack of alternative employment opportunities, it appears unlikely that 25,000 people will willing give up their jobs. Frankfurt is not likely to be swayed by protests that the agreed targets are too onerous and cannot be delivered. Any stalling will force their hand and they have long regarded Irish public sector pay rates as unsustainable. Hospital consultants in Germany earn a basic package of €95,000 compared to €230,000 in Ireland for their work in the public service alone while nurses in Germany earn up to 45% less than their Irish counterparts. An EU study assessing the first decade of the Euro zone illustrates the impact which benchmarking and high public sector pay rises have had on Ireland’s competitive position. Pay rates in Ireland rose by an average of over 9% per year while in Germany the average annual rate was less than 2%. The only other country to match the rate of pay increases enjoyed in Ireland was Greece, also the subject of a bailout and hardly a model of good governance. The key question is whether the Croke Park deal can deliver the necessary savings and whether it can do so in time to deter the IMF from intervening to scrap the deal. The results of the first formal review of progress under Croke Park are due shortly and the implementation body charged with monitoring the agreement has said it will have the results independently verified before they are released. IMPACT has said publicly that it expects the review to show that targets have been met. A brief sent by IMPACT to TD’s recently refuted widespread media reports that sufficient reforms was not taking place and said the agreement is delivering big savings and reforms across the public service, with more to come.
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Minister Phil Hogan
IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody said public servants understood that the state was in an extreme financial crisis and said the most important objective of the Croke Park deal was to save taxpayers’ money while ensuring that services were protected, and in some cases expanded, as spending and staff numbers fall. This was being delivered with public service numbers falling by 16,000 in the last two years, generating annual savings of €900 million. “This figure will rise substantially as further staff reductions continue this year and into the future. This is on top of the so-called pension levy and pay cuts, which continue to add annual savings of €1.8 billion,” said Cody. “Crucially, the Croke Park agreement includes arrangements for the reorganisation of services and staff redeployments, some on a very large scale, which are now occurring in different parts of the public service to ensure that staff reductions have a minimal impact on services,” he said. The union also outlined reforms already delivered through staff redeployment, extended hours and roster changes, shared services, and other changes.
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According to Cody redeployment of staff to cover posts vacated and unfilled following the staff reductions is now happening across the public service as a matter of course. A number of major redeployments have already taken place under the agreement, and new arrangements have been put in place in others to anticipate future redeployment needs. Examples include the reallocation of staff to cover essential posts vacated by the exit of 2,000 health workers through voluntary redundancy and early retirement at the end of 2010 and the secondment of over 1,000 Community Welfare Officers and support staff from the HSE to the Department of Social Protection. A further 500 civil servants have been transferred to the Department of Social Protection from other parts of the civil service to deal with increased demand In addition, a new redeployment scheme for surplus primary school teachers is in place so that vacancies can be filled and gaps avoided as teachers retire while redeployment arrangements have been agreed for all non-teaching staff in institutes of technology and universities so that staff can be moved to areas of greatest need. Arrangements have also been put in place for school teachers to work additional hours outside normal school hours so that training, staff meetings and parent-teacher meetings will facilitate working parents without impacting on teaching time. Earlier this month, Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government Phil Hogan confirmed that Local authorities have made savings of just under €162 million in the year up to the end of March 2011. Minister Hogan said €130 million of savings were made through restructuring, productivity and performance initiatives. Local authorities also saved €26 million through improved procurement, particularly in respect of energy, waste, chemicals and machinery. The minister said that the pay and non-pay savings mean that local government staff have delivered what was required of them in the first year of the Croke Park deal. He said staffing in the sector has fallen by 6,600 ‘whole time equivalents’ since mid-2008, including a reduction of 1,300 between March 2010 and March 2011. IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody said the announcement was further evidence to support the union’s view that Croke Park was delivering savings that will guarantee no compulsory redundancies or further pay cuts. “There was extensive media speculation that the IMF/EU/ECB ‘troika’ would target the Croke Park agreement and seek further pay cuts or compulsory redundancies during its recent review. We correctly predicted that this would not happen because Croke Park was delivering savings on foot of substantial reductions in staff numbers. The figures just released by the Government confirm that our analysis was correct,” he said. Minister Hogan acknowledged that maintaining local authority services while absorbing the work of staff who leave was a difficult challenge. “In order to achieve this objective, local authority management and staff have implemented the restructuring and productivity measures required to deal with the reduction in numbers, while at the same time being proactive in terms of procurement and reductions in overtime and allowances. It is a credit to all who work in local authorities around the country, and deliver front-line services to the public, that they have achieved these savings while maintaining service levels and avoiding any significant industrial unrest,” he said.
He also acknowledged that the savings figures did not tell the whole story as local authority income has also been falling significantly since 2008. “Local authorities have had to be early movers, in terms of increased efficiency and expenditure reduction, in order to balance their finances. This is evidenced by the fact that 5,300 staff left the system between mid 2008 and March 2010,” he said. Overall, the Government has confirmed that its targets for public service pay and staffing were met in the first quarter of 2011, with total public service employment falling by almost 2,000 between January and March. A statement from Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said the latest figures showed the exchequer pay bill on target for the first three months of the year. The total pay bill for 2011 is estimated at €15.7 billion. Mr Howlin said public service numbers had now fallen by 16,400 since 2008. “We are on track to achieve the end 2011 target of 302,000 public service posts,” he said. “As important as the absolute reduction is, it is also critical that the way in which Government does its business and delivers services to citizens is reformed, and this continues to be a key concern of Government,” he said. The Government’s review of public expenditure, which is now underway, is to include a full review of how services are delivered and the scope to achieve further reductions in public service numbers in the coming years, the minister said. “These are challenging targets and I believe the Croke Park agreement provides the framework to achieve these ambitious reductions as long as there are meaningful reforms and concrete savings,” he added.
Shared services and other rationalisations n A single central unit for processing medical card applications has been established with an on-line applications facility n The merger of the Local Government Management Services Board and Computer Services Board has happened on an administrative basis pending legislation n The Commission for Taxi Regulation has merged with the National Transport Authority n A number of civil service departments are transferring their payroll and pensions administration to the Departments of Finance or Justice and Law Reform n A national procurement structure for the health system has been agreed, which has and will facilitate further millions of Euros of savings in services and goods purchased n National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) staff have taken over the processing of a backlog of 1,700 Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) cases. NERA is also helping to clear a backlog of thousands of Rights Commissioner claims n Savings of €7.5 million on existing public service contracts above €100,000 in value were generated in 2010 by the newly established National Procurement Service, which also worked with departments to manage their procurement within reduced budgets n There has been co-operation with the downgrading of prison service posts at several grades to reduce costs.
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Tendering For Small Firms Efforts are underway to encourage greater participation by small firms in the public tendering process.
Traditionally many small companies have felt excluded from the Irish public sector market because it has been perceived as complex, time consuming and ultimately difficult to access. The public sector offers opportunities to SME’s in many sectors to grow their business in Ireland as well as internationally. Public procurement accounts for over 17% of GDP across the EU and the Irish Government spends in excess of €17 billion annually, with €10 billion spend on a wide array of goods and services and the remaining €7 billion spend on works. Outside Ireland, the opportunities are even more substantial. For example, the UK spends in the region of €200 billion annually on public procurement purchasing similar goods, services and works in Ireland. The EU has a collective budget of €975 billion for the years 2007 to 2013 – much of which is being spent no procurement projects through programmes including the European Regional Development fund and the European Social Fund which has a budget of 278 billion, the Cohesion Fund which has a budget of €70 billion and the EU External Aid Programme with a budget of €56 billion. Numerous studies have illustrated the difficulties faced by small firms in engaging with the public sector tendering process. Prior to the country’s economic collapse when budgets were plentiful, the procurement process favored larger companies with established track records and were happy to pay a premium for the services of larger organisations which were perceived to carry less risk. However, faced with entirely new fiscal realities, that sentiment is changing and with a greater emphasis on efficiencies and cost savings among public buyers, there are now greater
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opportunities for smaller firms to win public tenders. The Department of Finance of Ireland which has legislative responsibility for Public Procurement recently issued an administrative Circular to Government Departments and public bodies entitled “Facilitating SME Participation in Public Procurement”. This is intended to remove obstacles to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) participating successfully in Public Procurement competitions as bidders. In particular, the guidance seeks to inform public bodies how they should structure their competitions in order to facilitate increased participation by SMEs, whilst, at the same time, complying with the principles and rules of the existing EUbased legally binding Public Procurement regime. Two guidance documents have been issued with the Circular in support of the objective, namely “Guidance for Contracting Authorities: Facilitating Participation of SMEs in Public Procurement” and “Suitability Criteria For Contractors, Submission of Evidence and Procurement Thresholds”. Among the principal features of note in the correspondence is a prohibition on public bodies entering into arrangements that require SMEs to pay to enter the tendering process; in addition all contracts for supplies and general services – other than work contracts - with an estimated value of €25,000 or greater must be advertised on etenders, the Irish Government Procurement website. The previous threshold was €50,000 and the threshold
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Public sector procurement needs to be better trained on how to manage tenders from small indigenous suppliers.
for works contracts and related services remains at €50,000. Contracting authorities are also encouraged to advertise contracts for lower values to promote SME participation. The pre-qualification requirements have also been eased and an open procedure without the requirement for pre-qualification must be used for all advertised contracts with values up to €250,000 for works contracts and up to €125,000 for supplies and general service (non-works) contracts. This objective of this new arrangement is to ensure that all contracts within these thresholds would be open to all potential bidders without the necessity of providing pre-qualification documentation such as bank statements, audited financial statements and proof of insurance. This documentary evidence is in future only to be requested when a tenderer has been short listed or is close to being awarded a contract. The rationale is to reduce the bureaucracy and administrative burden on small businesses that are interested in tendering for contracts. In addition, the levels which contracting authorities set for suitability criteria, particularly in relation to tenderer’s turnover levels must be both justifiable and proportionate to the needs of the particular contract. These initiatives are intended to result in more contracts being advertised and more SMEs being able to compete in the light of the eligibility rules having been relaxed somewhat. The importance of facilitating smaller firms in tendering for public contracts is vital particularly when an established track record in relation public tenders in Ireland can assist companies in winning overseas contracts. The EU public sector market alone is estimated at €200 billion. Traditionally many small companies have felt excluded from the Irish public sector market because it has been perceived as complex, time consuming and ultimately difficult to access. However, it is not substantially different from securing private sector contracts and the principal approach and principals remain the same with the need to build and promote your business to the relevant public sector buyers. There is the perception among small business that the process is smothered in red tape but the fact remains that it is public money and it is essential that it is spent properly. A €1.4m EU contract to help small Irish indigenous suppliers win more business from the public sector, create jobs and boost competitiveness was recently awarded to DCU Business School and the Irish Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management
“The Irish public sector market is worth an estimated €9 billion currently but many small indigenous suppliers feel excluded from it because of the complexity and time consuming tendering process,” (IIPMM).The initiative is part of an international EU €3.7m programme which is shared with the University of Bangor, Wales. It comes under INTERREG, an Ireland Wales Territorial Cooperation Programme which aims to further develop Irish Welsh economic co-operation and employment. “The Irish public sector market is worth an estimated €9 billion currently but many small indigenous suppliers feel excluded from it because of the complexity and time consuming tendering process,” commented Dr Paul Davis, DCU Business School. “At the same time, public sector procurement needs to be better trained on how to manage tenders from small indigenous suppliers.” Dr Davis pointed out that 98% of companies in the services sector alone are small firms employing less than 50 people but account for over 400,000 jobs. 82% of all industrial enterprises in Ireland are small firms employing between 3 and 49 people.” With increasing constraints in public sector budgets it is more important than ever that tax payers get the best value possible for their expenditure. It is difficult to ensure this when in effect a large part of the Irish supplier market is excluded due to lack of tendering expertise on either the supplier or public procurement side,” said Des Crowther, IIPMM. He added that this is the first time that a programme of this kind has been awarded in the EU and is a recognition of the professionalism of Irish procurement training. The IIPMM was the first professional organisation worldwide out of 43 members to offer a degree course in procurement and supply management. While the public sector’s efforts to encourage greater participation from smaller companies in public tenders is to be welcomed the real test of the recent initiatives is whether we will see a notable increase in the number of small firm competing for public tenders over the coming months.
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Vacancies Overview The first annual report from the Expert Group on Furture Skills Needs has found that some job vacancies continue to arise despite the recession and third level qualifications coupled with work experience and foreign language skills are in demand by employers
The findings of this report highlight where vacancies currently exist in our economy and it offers hope to those individuals who continue to seek employment
Despite a challenging labour market and continuing high unemployment, the first annual Vacancy Overview Report from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) has found that some job vacancies continued to arise in 2010 – providing some positive news for job seekers in Ireland. While the number of newly advertised vacancies is significantly lower than at the peak in 2007, employment opportunities are available but demand is largely limited to experienced candidates. The study also found that jobseekers with third level qualifications coupled with work experience and foreign language skills were more likely to be in demand by employers. This underlines the need for jobseekers to engage in upskilling and for the education and training system to continually align with the skills needs of enterprise. The report provides a synopsis of the demand for labour in Ireland and highlights where employment opportunities exist and identifies specific skills gaps within the labour market. Although labour market demand has fallen across a number of sectors, some employment opportunities continue to exist for experienced personnel in:
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n Professional level jobs in information and communications technology (ICT), engineering (e.g. energy systems), health and finance; n Customer care related positions that span different sectors and levels of skill; n Technical support, mostly in ICT ranging up to associate professional level; n Sales across various sectors such as IT and telecommunications; and n Security guards, catering staff and carers. The report also includes the results of the October 2010 Recruitment Agency Survey which indicates that employers have vacancies that are proving difficult to fill with suitable candidates. These include roles for ICT professionals, financial experts, engineering experts and healthcare professionals. Welcoming the report the Minister of State for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon, TD, said “The first annual Vacancy Overview Report from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs is an important report, which I warmly welcome as it provides clear evidence that vacancies still exist in Ireland’s
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labour market. We know that despite the present difficult economic circumstances significant numbers of people are continuing to leave the Live Register because they have secured employment. The findings of this report highlight where vacancies currently exist in Minister of State for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon our economy and it offers hope to those individuals who continue to seek employment.” Minister Cannon emphasised the importance of upskilling and training for those who wish to take advantage of employment opportunities which exist. “Improving your skills levels by participating in education and training programmes is an important element in securing employment. I would therefore encourage those seeking employment to actively consider availing of the wide range of training and education programmes that are available.” Accoding to Una Halligan, Chairperson of the Expert Group
on Future Skills Needs the report serves as a useful and timely tool for jobseekers, career guidance counsellors and second and third level students in making the most appropriate education and training choices. “It also provides valuable insights for education and training providers which should assist them in aligning their programmes with labour market needs. This report adds a further dimension to the EGFSN’s ongoing monitoring of the labour market in Ireland with a view to getting people back to work.” The analysis of the vacancy data also points to the effects of globalisation on the Irish labour market and the importance of foreign languages as an integral part of the skills portfolio of candidates across a range of occupational groups. It also underlines the importance of incorporating work experience of a significant duration into the education and training process to improve employment prospects for new graduates and first time entrants to the labour market. By highlighting areas where employment opportunities exist, the analysis of the vacancy data can be used to align labour market activation measures, such as work placement programmes, with labour market needs, thereby adding relevant work experience to the skills portfolio of the unemployed to increase their employability. Produced by the FÁS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit on behalf of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, the report’s findings draw on a number of data sources held in the National Skills Database to provide an overview and analysis of the demand for labour as measured by trends in advertised job vacancies from three sources: FÁS Jobs Ireland, www.irishjobs.ie and the Irish Times.
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Going Global Ireland has overtaken Singapore to become the world’s second most globalised nation and is forecast to become number one in the world by the end of 2011
Ireland is currently the world’s second most globalised nation, and set to take pole position by the end of 2011, a position it will retain until at least 2014. A global report, drafted in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Ernst & Young confirms that Ireland is forecast to displace the current leader, Hong Kong by the end of this year. After a brief pause in 2009 and a modest rebound in 2010, the world’s largest 60 economies will continue to globalise steadily between now and 2014, driven by the continued global economic recovery, technology innovation and the rise of the emerging markets. The current top ten most globalised nations now include (1) Hong Kong, (2) Ireland, (3) Singapore, (4) Denmark, (5) Switzerland, (6) Belgium, (7) Sweden, (8) Netherlands, (9) Hungary, (10) Finland. In 60th position, the least globalised nation on the index is Iran, closely followed by Algeria and Venezuela. The index has five measurements to assess a country’s individual global ranking including: its openness to global trade, global capital movements, global exchange of technology and ideas, global labour movements and cultural integration. Each of the criteria’s weighting was validated by the 1,000 global business leaders surveyed.
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Exports key to current and future ranking The report finds that the increase in Ireland’s score between 2009 and 2010 was mainly the result of greater movement of goods and services as a proportion of GDP. Total trade (exports plus imports) was around 197% of Ireland’s GDP in 2010, compared with 166% of GDP for trade in 2009. Exports of chemicals have grown particularly strongly. In addition to improving its overall globalisation ranking, Ireland achieved number one positions in two of the five categories measured; international exchange of technology and ideas – largely attributed to greater numbers of internet subscribers, and international exchange of labour. It was noted however, that Ireland’s overall labour result fell in the last 12 months as a result of lower net migration (4.2 per 1,000 people in 2010 compared with 9.1 in 2009). Ireland’s overall globalisation is forecast to improve steadily between 2010 and 2014 with the country taking the top position as a result of further increased movement of goods and services, with an estimate of trade rising to the equivalent of over 230% of GDP in 2014. Cultural integration will also increase,
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with total tourism steadily rising from 3,400 per 1,000 of its population in 2010 to 3,600 in 2014. Speaking on the Irish results, Mike McKerr, Managing Partner, Ireland, with Ernst & Young comments, “Although domestic economic conditions remain extremely challenging, we must continue to recognise that Ireland retains core strengths which are key to recovery. Our nation’s globalisation ranking demonstrates how well positioned Ireland is to maximise opportunities within international economies.” He adds, “The enormous opportunities for Ireland in emerging markets, the ever increasing power of the technology sector and a gradual international recovery will ensure that globalisation continues to deepen in Ireland over the coming years. It is also interesting to see the role of tourism, a more traditional business sector, helping to further enhance our position.” However, he also voices concern in relation to the damage to Ireland’s reputation arising from the economic crisis. “The fact that Ireland has become a front page story for all the wrong reasons in recent times is cause for concern – particularly in terms of continuing to protect our reputation as an attractive location for foreign direct investment. With so much of Ireland’s economic recovery subject to us maintaining a strong global brand, anything which puts that brand at risk must be tackled quickly”.
Globalisation and economic growth The speed with which different parts of the world are recovering from the economic downturn, and the subsequent policy responses they are making, is undoubtedly placing some stress on globalisation but, as our index and survey suggest, those are temporary concerns and the long-term trend continues to be for closer integration. McKerr comments “It is incumbent on business and governments to continue to make the case for globalisation as a positive force for economic and social good and avoid any descent into protectionism.
What does it mean for business? The future challenge for business will be to strike the balance between these opposing forces of globalisation and national markets and achieve both scale and local relevance. McKerr explains, “Business opportunities are now distributed more evenly around the world than at any time in history. The convergence of market potential between the developed and emerging world means that the number of markets that multinationals must consider as “strategic” has increased. “But, at the same time, the nature of the opportunities in those markets can be fundamentally different. In the developed world, companies have well established business models and asset bases but face weak growth prospects. In the emerging
Business opportunities are now distributed more evenly around the world than at any time in history
economies, this situation is often reversed.” Companies must now operate in a “polycentric world” in which there are multiple but divergent spheres of influence in both developed and developing markets. It is not just opportunities that are located in these multiple centres. Competition, capabilities and resources can all now reside anywhere in the world and travel in new, sometimes unexpected directions.
Long-term winners? McKerr says that to be a long-term winner in this new globalised world, multinationals must essentially operate at multiple speeds in order to fit their strategies to both fastgrowth and slow-growth markets. “Success in the former requires rapid-fire decision-making and the capacity to experiment, to learn and scale at speed. For large multinationals, this may require a re-think of reporting lines in order to bypass bureaucracy and maximise agility. Developed markets, on the other hand, will require a different approach, which is more dependent on efficiency and incremental growth.” He concludes, “To succeed in a polycentric world requires companies to focus on four priorities: corporates will have to redefine global and local, develop a “polycentric” approach to innovation, rethink relationships with government and tax administrations and build leadership teams with strong global experience.”
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Public Sector News
Tax Competition Northern Ireland moves to compete with the Republic on corporate tax rates.
Foreign investment would increase by more than £300m per annum within 10 years of reducing the rate of tax to 12.5%
The Republic of Ireland’s low corporation tax will face competition from Northern Ireland following the publication of a paper by the British Treasury on measures to assist the growth of the private sector in the province and wean the region’s economy from it’s reliance on the public sector and funding from UK Treasury. In his Budget speech in March, the British chancellor George Osborne, indicated that the paper would consider the case for Northern Ireland adopting a lower corporation tax rate than elsewhere in the UK and would also examine mechanisms for devolving power to vary the corporation tax rate to the Province. While corporate tax rates across the UK are being reduced from 28% to 23% over the next three years the Chancellor said that in order to to deal with the unique issues posed by the Irish Republic’s business tax regime, it will consider the case for Northern Ireland having an even lower tax rate than the rest of the UK. The document entitled Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy was published on the 24th of March, the day after the Budget and stated that a lower corporation tax rate would be likely to have a positive effect on local private sector investment and inward investment. Increased investment typically results in increased growth and employment, and could contribute to the rebalancing of the Northern Ireland economy. The
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consultation paper does not make any recommendations but rather seeks to canvas views and submissions on the costs and potential benefits that a separate tax rate would involve for Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The document outlined the principal benefits of such a move – primarily the additional investment which would be attracted into the province by both existing firms and overseas companies. It forecasts that foreign investment would increase by more than £300m per annum within 10 years of reducing the rate of tax to 12.5%. The key advantage will be an increase in long term employment and a more vibrant private sector which will serve to stimulate the business environment in Northern Ireland. While the document does not put a figure on the number of new jobs which might be created, a report from the Northern Ireland Economic Reform Group estimated that a new 12.5% corporation tax had the potential to create 90,000 new jobs over a twenty year period. However, the potential risks for the Northern Ireland Executive are also acknowledged including the need to comply with the conditions of institutional, procedural and fiscal autonomy, under EU state aid rules. There are some concerns among politicians in Northern Ireland that any reduction would be paid for by a corresponding reduction in the annual block grant currently worth about £9 billion (€10.2 billion).
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“A report from the Northern Ireland Economic Reform Group estimated that a new 12.5% corporation tax had the potential to create 90,000 new jobs over a twenty British chancellor George Osborne The Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland (FS) has championed devolution of corporation tax powers and a reduction in the tax to allow the North to compete with the Republic in attracting inward investment and to support indigenous companies. “This capability is long overdue and will be an essential step in the process of rebuilding the local economy and helping it to grow again,” says Roger Pollen, head of external Affairs with the FSB. “There can be no question that the Northern Ireland economy is going through incredibly tough times as a range of factors have combined to leave it trailing the rest of the United Kingdom. These include the highest fuel and energy costs in the UK, growing unemployment figures, plummeting house prices and a sustained lack of growth in the private sector. This contrasts starkly with the upturn in England, Scotland and Wales. “The situation is being further compounded by the fact that we are the only part of the UK with an EU land border, so we are currently competing directly with one of the lowest rates of corporation tax in Europe. The ability for Northern Ireland to set its own corporation tax rate is long overdue and the FSB is calling for this to be addressed promptly as part of a wider package of measures designed to stimulate the local economy. Devolution of powers to determine and lower corporation tax would not, in itself, re-balance the economy and no serious commentator should suggest so. However, it is a key element within a package of related measures for which the FSB is calling.”
year period.” The FSB is also calling for the collection of Corporation Tax to be more flexible, for example by giving dispensation to pay it in installments to aid cash flow as another measure to underpin an enterprise economy. Almost 70% of businesses in Northern Ireland which were surveyed by business advisory firm Goldblatt McGuigan were in favour of the Executive creating a special corporation tax status for Northern Ireland and just under half of the respondents placed a cut in the rate among the top three priorities Northern Ireland’s first Minister, Peter Robinson who has targeted the creation of 20,000 new jobs by the new Northern Ireland Executive over the next four years is also a firm supporter of a lower corporate tax rate and has spoken of reducing it to as low as 10%. Welcoming the Treasury consultation on handing the Executive powers to vary the tax rate as a good news day for Northern Ireland, he said a lower tax corporation tax rate would encourage investment and make Northern Ireland less dependent on the rest of the UK. “It is not in the interests of Northern Ireland to be the beggars of the UK. Nor is it in the interests of Northern Ireland to be dependent on the Exchequer for further new growth within our own economy.” He said, Northern Ireland should become a contributor rather than relying on hand outs.” We have crossed the Rubicon to some extent. It is not a done deal but we are now talking about the detail rather than the principle and that is real progress.”
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Business choice Whether you’re looking to secure an opportunity, manage risk, find a new way forward, or resolve a dispute, choose ByrneWallace as your legal business partners. Why? As you would expect from one of Ireland’s leading business law firms, we’ll deliver the expertise and resources to meet your legal business needs. But that’s not enough: we look for ways of adding business insight as well as legal excellence. Understanding your business context and shaping our service to your specific requirements is what really makes the difference. It’s an award-winning approach to client service that suits leading, innovative and growing private and public enterprises in all key industry sectors.
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Low Tax Draw Research shows that Ireland’s low rate of corporation tax is the biggest draw for foreign investors while national financial instability and inefficient Government are the biggest drawbacks.
Liam Quirke, Matheson Ormsby Prentice Ireland’s low corporation tax rate is the most significant factor in attracting foreign direct investment into Ireland, according to research launched by Matheson Ormsby Prentice (MOP). The FDI Index, compiled by Amarách Research, surveyed 250 Irish-American business leaders in the US and investigated their perceptions of Ireland as a place to invest, their attitudes towards foreign direct investment and the factors affecting it. The most positive attributes identified as important by US corporations considering Ireland as a location for FDI were its competitive tax regime (29%), the fact that it is English-speaking (21%), ease of access from North America (18%), Government incentives (17%) and skilled workforce (17%). The negative attributes identified by US corporations considering Ireland as a location for FDI were national financial instability (20%), inefficient government (17%), instability in the Euro zone (15%) and remote location and restricted access (9%). The survey shows that 58% rated Ireland as a ‘good’ place to do business, while one third (32%) said they would be ‘likely’ to set up operations in Ireland and 37% of those surveyed said their attitude towards setting up operations in Ireland had become more positive over the last five years. Managing partner at Matheson Ormsby Prentice, Liam Quirke, said the findings of the survey overall are extremely positive. “FDI is the cornerstone upon which our economic recovery is dependent,” he said. “Ireland’s profile and reputation has taken a real battering in the midst of the global financial and economic crisis. Both domestically and internationally, many have focused on the negative but this does not tell the full story. FDI in Ireland has remained very active and the results of the inaugural MOP FDI Index confirm that despite the period of global recession over the past two years, Ireland’s offering to US multinational corporations remains one of the strongest in the world,” he added. Mr Quirke pointed out that Ireland continues to have access
to a highlyskilled workforce while our costcompetitiveness is continuing to improve. We have also built a critical mass of firms in a number of important industries such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, technology and French President Nicolas Sarkozy internet services (including most recently, cloud computing), which in turn makes Ireland attractive for further investment in these areas. He said all the negative publicity and attention should not detract from the very real achievements in the Irish economy over the last 20 years which has been driven primarily by our success in attracting FDI. “Ireland has continued to provide the best business environment in Europe for US corporations looking to access the EU Internal Market,” he said. “The growth and development of multinationals, with their strong focus on high-value goods and services exports, is fundamental to the Irish economy and is an essential component of Ireland’s economic recovery. Ireland’s future economic success will depend to a great extent on its ability to sustain an attractive habitat for FDI.” It is intended that the survey will be repeated later in 2011 in order to track the impact of foreign direct investment strategy and changes in opinion over time. The research programme has been designed from the outset so that benchmark findings contained in this report can be calibrated against future result.
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Public Sector News
Standard Leave The Government is under pressure to standardise holiday entitlements across the Public Sector as part of the reform package agreed with the EU/IMF
One of the key issues relates to holiday entitlements and the Department of the Environment is currently working to standardise annual leave across all local authorities by the end of the year. The Local Government Management Services Board is representing local authorities in ongoing negotiations with the public sector unions and if a deal can be delivered, it should provide sufficient productivity increases and cost savings to satisfy the IMF. Local Authority representatives are arguing that the maximum holiday entitlement should be capped at 32 days per year. They also want to allocate a fixed amount of holidays across the board in order to avoid disputes in the event of employees being transferred to different jobs which may carry different holiday entitlements. Earlier this year the Department of Finance failed in its efforts to cut privilege days in the civil service when the arbitration board rejected its proposals to abolish up to two privilege days for civil servants. The Department said that the measure would have yielded savings of €4.6 million a year. The arbitration board found that management had “not demonstrated significant savings consistent with the transformation that is required” and that the savings would have created a sense of grievance disproportionate to any gains which might be achieved. Revelations that some senior staff in local authorities enjoy up to 42 days annual leave, substantially greater than holiday entitlements available in the private sector, has put further pressure on Government to accelerate the pace of reform under the Croke Park Agreement. At present, there are a wide variety of different annual leave
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entitlements in place in different local authorities and different rules also apply with respect to privilege days. Senior management in the civil service are entitled to 33 days annual leave while the minimum annual holiday entitlement for all workers is 20 days. The additional holidays available to local authority managers arose from agreements which were made at local level a number of years ago to compensate for days off which were traditionally given to staff for church holidays. Unions argue that the Croke Park reforms do not include a requirement for increased hours or reduced leave in the local authority sector. In a statement addressing proposals to standardise leave arrangements, Impact said “demands from management for reduced annual leave and a longer working week are not necessary to deliver the savings or productivity requirements under the Croke Park deal. It added that local authority services are being maintained despite the departure of over 6,000 staff since 2008. IMPACT national secretary Peter Nolan has said that IMPACT wants to see standardisation address indefensible levels of leave at the top while ensuring that the vast majority of staff hold onto their reasonable entitlements. “It should be on the basis of a floor and a ceiling so that ordinary workers don’t end up being crucified because their top managers and other senior staff have indefensible leave entitlements of over 40 days a year,” he said. Mr Nolan said it was “hugely ironic” that fingers were being pointed at local authority staff “who have delivered an 18% increase in productivity since 2008, as staff numbers fell but services continued to be delivered.” He also criticised local authority management for eroding cost-free ‘family-friendly’ arrangements like flexitime. “Frankly, I’m sick of being in negotiations where senior managers – virtually all of them men, and many with over 40 days’ leave entitlement - ask me why staff need flexitime.” Plans to standardise the working week in local authorities are also being pursued with more than half of local authority staff working 35 hours or less a week. Up to 15,000 local authority staff are on contracted working weeks that are four hours or more below the average hours worked in the private sector. Half of those staff work less than 7 hours a day. Establishing a uniform working week would facilitate a key provision of the Croke Park Agreement and simplify the process of transferring staff to new responsibilities to meet demand.
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Fabulous New Homes Kinane Developments is a family firm that has been developing in North County Dublin since 1969. A company synonymous with quality, pride and deliverance of service, Kinane has released 16 fantastic three-bed, semi-detached and four-bed detached homes in the ever popular Beverton residential estate in Donabate North County Dublin. With a new specification from Kinane Developments, these fantastic new builds are proving extremely popular with buyers. Deirdre McFerran, Principal of sole selling agents Property Assist, which has been actively involved in the selling and marketing of Beverton, commented that, “in today’s property market, buyers have choices at whatever price range they wish to purchase in; therefore sellers really need to have the right product.” “A quality home in a high amenity area, the right location supported by access to good public transport and premier road networks are proving discerning factors in making the right purchase choice. I feel strongly that Beverton ticks all the boxes and this is underpinned by a fantastic start to the sales of these beautiful homes at Beverton,” McFerran added. “Beverton is phenomenal in that on more than one occasion sales can be a result of a personal recommendation from other home owners that have purchased in previous phases” New homes at Beverton are highly energy efficient (B1 energy rating) and comply with the most up-to-date building regulations. They are of traditional block built construction, boast specially engineered solar panels , a varied range of kitchen units complete with integrated appliances, contemporary internal fittings and floor plans with a modern lifestyle in mind! In these uncertain times, it provides comfort to know that you are dealing with a highly reputable Company that has been building homes in North Dublin since 1969 – a Company that strives to innovate, respond and continually bring an improved quality product to its client base. .
A brand new three-bedroom, semi-detached showhouse open for viewing. It’s worth checking out what Kinane has to offer before making your new home decision. I guarantee you will like what you see! Kinane Developments is offering special discounts for loan approved Public Service Clients on presentation of this article. For more information on the Beverton development, contact selling agent Deirdre McFerran of Property Assist on 0877571776 0419824859 email@example.com Deirdre Mc Ferran 12th April 2011
It’s in the Mail From humble beginnings delivering newspapers almost three decades ago, Irish family owned firm CityPOST has quietly developed into Ireland’s largest independent postal services provider. Other than An Post, CityPOST is the only “last mile” operator licensed in Ireland to carry post and currently delivers to 950,000 homes every week. Covering most of the business districts and urban conurbations across the country, it offers business-to-business and business-to-consumer postal services for both domestic and international delivery. The company operates its own national network structure with an emphasis on high quality, secure distribution, offering business customers a 20% saving on delivery cost. CityPOST has developed over time, with the emphasis on quality of service and excellence. In 2006, for the government, CityPOST Printed, Polywrapped & addressed 2 million Lisbon Treaty Addressed Booklets in their own mailing house in record time. In recent years, CityPOST has been responsible for the delivery of Ireland’s national telephone directories on behalf of Eircom and Truvo. It also handles the national distribution of
the Rules of the Road for the RSA and delivers all direct mail to customers on behalf of Superquinn. The company employs approximately 120 full-time delivery personnel and up to 400 part-time personnel nationwide. In addition, it operates warehouses at 33 locations around the country, where deliveries are sorted, split and line hauled. CityPOST will only deliver volumes and areas that it can guarantee. The Group prides itself on years of experience providing a quality service that is underpinned by excellence and value.
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In this difficult climate we are all seeking ways to stretch our income to cover our monthly costs. We have all cut down on our grocery bills by shopping around, similarly with our utility bills. Each year at renewal most of us will investigate our household and motor insurance to see if we can get better value. But few people examine their spend on items such as life insurance and health insurance, we just take it as a given that it still the best and cheapest cover we can get. There is significant competition in the health insurance market at present. VHI, Quinn Healthcare and Aviva Health are going head to head with each other to attract new customers and are constantly introducing special offers. The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to wait for your renewal date to switch health insurer. You can change at any time during the year as often as you like without having to reserve waiting periods. Families can save up to €600 without compromising on cover by shopping around. The reason that people are reluctant to switch is that they are confused by the many products on offer by the insurers, some 200 different products. It is almost impossible to decide which product fits with your individual needs, do you want cover for hospital only or for day to day expenses such as GP’s, Dentists etc. Lyons Financial Services (LFS) have developed considerable expertise in this area and have helped thousands of customers
make significant savings on their health insurance without impacting on their level of cover. The service is free of charge. Similarly we offer a service to review your Life Insurance policies, have you the appropriate cover in place, do you really need all those extras that are making your premium more expensive. Did you take out your Mortgage Protection through your bank, if so you may be able to get better value elsewhere. Our team of Financial Advisors will review your current arrangements and establish if any saving can be made in this area. Don’t just take our word for it; this is what some of our clients have to say! “I have used LFS and found them to be very friendly, quick and efficient. As a result of contacting them with regard to switching my health insurance to another provider, I have saved over €1,500 without any reduction in cover.” John, Civil Servant, Dublin “I met with LFS and felt totally relaxed through the consultation. Their Representative was very thorough in investigating how I could get Life Cover for less money. I took his advice and saved myself a considerable amount. I was greatly impressed by his expertise and knowledge.” Aine, Civil Servant, Limerick For a free consultation, contact LFS on 1890304304
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The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) offers a range of personal savings products through An Post. A complete range of brochures and application forms are available on our website www.StateSavings.ie or at any post office. What is the NTMA? The NTMA is an acronym for the National Treasury Management Agency. It is a State Agency established under the National Treasury Management Agency Act 1990 to borrow money for Ireland and to manage the National Debt of Ireland. What is meant by State Savings™? State Savings™ is the brand name used by the National Treasury Management Agency to describe the range of savings products offered by the NTMA to personal savers. What is the relationship between NTMA State Savings™, An Post and the Prize Bond Company? An Post and the Prize Bond Company are agents of the NTMA for the operation of the State Savings schemes. However, they do not retain or manage any State Savings™ money. All State Savings™ money is under the management of the National Treasury Management Agency. Can you detail the range of NTMA State Savings™ products and the rates? The NTMA offers a range of fixed term deposit accounts with terms from overnight to 10 years. They also offer Prize Bonds which instead of paying interest, offer savers the opportunity to win around 7,500 cash prizes each week and a €1 MILLION prize each month.
Can you provide some details of the favourable tax treatment of NTMA State Savings™ products? (a) Prize Bonds - the cash prizes are tax free in Ireland (b) All lump sum payments made on maturity are free of tax in Ireland and this applies to Savings Bonds, Savings Certificates, Instalment Savings and the National Solidarity Bonds (c) DIRT (Deposit Interest Retention Tax which is 27% since Jan 2011) is applied to the annual interest on the • 4 year National Solidarity Bond • 10 year National Solidarity Bond • Ordinary Deposit Account (withdrawal permitted on demand) • Deposit Account Plus (withdrawal permitted with 30 days notice) Can you outline the principal rationale for introducing the National Solidarity Bond which was launched over one year ago (May 2010), how has it been performing and how does it differ from existing product offers? The rationale for this product was that the State wanted to make it easier for residents of Ireland to help fund the State’s capital investment programme, stimulate economic recovery and create employment. The National Solidarity Bond was unique as the State had never previously offered a 10 year savings product to personal savers. The uptake in the 10 year National Solidarity Bond has been very strong and this encouraged us four months ago (in February 2011) to launch a shorter 4 year product which appeals to those savers with a preference for a shorter time frame – perhaps for people nearing retirement age or saving for their children’s education. The total amount outstanding in the National Solidarity Bond is now almost half a billion euro in just 12 months. It has attracted over 22,000 new customers who on average have holdings of €25,000 each in the 4 year bond and €21,000 each in the 10 year bond. The minimum amount needed to purchase the National Solidarity Bond is €100 and the maximum is €250,000 for each individual or €500,000 in a joint holding from two individuals. There is also provision for periodic savings or instalment savings by monthly direct debit. Can you provide an overview detailing the unique selling points of the range of NTMA State Savings™ term products and outline why consumers should consider them as part of their savings strategy? Irrespective of the original term of any of your NTMA State Savings™ products*, at any time (subject to a 7 day notice period) you can, without penalty, request full or partial payment of your original amount (principal). This will be paid to you without penalty and *Prize Bonds cannot be encashed within 3 months of purchase
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A complete range of brochures and application forms are available on our website www.StateSavings.ie or at any post office
with any interest or bonus payments that are due. When you place your money in NTMA State Savings™ products you are placing your money directly with the Irish Government under the management of the NTMA. Can you provide an overview as to the incentives which are in place to encourage savers to leave their funds for the full term of the deposit? The rate of interest on the NTMA State Savings™ term products is structured so that the longer you leave your money with the Government the higher the interest rate return you will receive. I understand that personal savers purchased an additional €3.3 billion of NTMA State Savings™ products last year which appears to be very substantial. What do you think are the reasons for this large increase and what are your expectations for 2011? In 2008 the amount of new net purchases (after taking account of all encashments) of NTMA State Savings™ products was over €1.1 billion, in 2009 the net funding figure rose to over €1.7 billion and in 2010 it rose dramatically by 37% to over €3.3 billion. Given the global downturn individuals are understandably more uncertain about the future and this is being reflected in their spending habits. People are now saving almost three times more of their disposable income than they did in 2007. The current forecast suggest that, on average, individuals are saving more than €11 from every €100 available to them to spend. This strong savings ratio is reflected not only in the total of almost half a billion euro placed in the National Solidarity Bond by over 22,000 customers but also in the high levels of savings
of each individual customer – the average personal holding is €21,000 in the 10 year National Solidarity Bond and in the new 4 year National Solidarity Bond which we launched just four months ago, it is even higher at €25,000 per individual. Can you detail the degree of security attached to the NTMA State Savings products ? n When you place your money in NTMA State Savings™ you are placing your money directly with the Irish Government n The repayment of all NTMA State Savings™ money is a direct, unconditional obligation of the Government of Ireland n There is no upper limit on the amount of your money that is protected n There is no expiry or end date for this protection n Repayment of your money includes principal, interest and bonus payments if due, and cash prizes in respect of Prize Bonds
For more information on NTMA State Savings™ Web: Telephone: SMS Text: E-mail: Visit: Mail to:
www.StateSavings.ie 1850 30 50 60 0852 30 50 60 Service@StateSavings.ie Any Post Office State Savings, GPO, Dublin 1
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4970 PI health ins ad PSJ 03/11
o t s e i c i l o p I H V f o t s o C % 5 4 o t p u increase by mes Source: The Irish Ti
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*Figures based on annual savings made by switching 1 individual and 1 couple from VHI Plan B Option and 1 family (2 adults, 2 children) from VHI Parent and Kids Option Plan to Aviva Nurses & Teachers Choice. Savings based on price comparisons from the Health Insurance Authority effective from 01/03/11. Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A member of the Irish Life & Permanent Group. Irish Life & Permanent plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Telephone calls may be recorded for quality control and training purposes.
Health Insurance Cornmarket – A Healthier Way to Save you Money Following the recent budget the majority of households are looking at ways to save money and right now there could be substantial savings for you on private health insurance. In Ireland there are three main private health insurance providers - VHI, Quinn Healthcare and Aviva Health. All three providers offer a range of different health insurance plans, which one you choose completely depends on you or your family’s particular needs. Since the 1st January 2011, all three health insurance providers have at some point or another announced price increases. Surprisingly, VHI’s most popular Plan B Option has increased by 45%. Aviva Health also confirmed an increase in prices of 14% across their plans and Quinn Healthcare has announced a second price increase which took effect from 1st April 2011. These changes have left many people confused and unsure of their options.
Good News €€€ You don’t have to incur extra expense. It is very likely that there are cheaper plans with similar cover out there for you which could save you hundreds of Euro.
Example of Savings Public Sector employees who currently hold VHI Plan B Option can make substantial savings by switching heath insurance providers now: n Saving for an individual – up to €640* n Saving for a couple – up to €1,280* n Saving for a family (2 adults, 2 children) – up to €685*
Switching between the different providers is easy
There is a myth that it’s not easy to switch providers or that members have to wait for their renewal date. This is not the case - it’s actually hassle-free to switch between all the health insurance companies! There are no waiting periods unless: n You have never been insured under a health insurance contract. n You are currently subject to a waiting period with another health insurer. n Your membership under another contract ended more than 13 weeks before joining the new plan. n You upgrade your cover/benefits. The other belief held by many people is that if they switch to one of the newer providers that they will be left without cover if the provider leaves the market. The fact is if your insurer leaves the market for any reason, it is obliged to cover you for the time remaining on your policy and you will be able to switch to another insurer without penalty providing the conditions above are met.
How will I decide who to switch to? If you are thinking of switching health insurers, here are some key questions you should ask as recommended by the Health Insurance Authority: n What benefits would be of most value to me? – Because of your lifestyle or future plans some benefits may be of particular interest to you like overseas cover or additional maternity cover. n How much risk am I willing to accept? – Some private health insurance contracts involve an excess so you need to consider carefully whether you want to take on a lower premium with an excess or possibly a higher premium with no excess. Like all aspects of your personal finances your health insurance policy is worth reviewing. Cornmarket offer an independent health insurance comparison service, free of charge to all Public Sector employees. You’ll get the opportunity to discuss your health insurance needs and compare the various health insurance plans available from VHI, Quinn Healthcare and Aviva Health so that you can make sure that you’re getting the best deal out there right now in terms of price and benefits. This service can be reached on LoCall 1890 252 140 or email email@example.com. *Savings figures based on annual savings made by switching 1 individual and 1 couple from VHI Plan B Option and 1 family (2 adults, 2 children) from VHI Parent and Kids Option Plan to Aviva Nurses & Teachers Choice. Savings based on price comparisons from the Health Insurance Authority effective from 01/03/11.
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Turn every envelope into an opportunity Print as you frank in high resolution colour with Connect+™ Everyone knows that colour envelope printing increases response. But until now, many found it too expensive, too inflexible and too slow to deliver maximum value. The new Connect+™ solves all this. Now you can print in full, high resolution colour across the complete width of your envelopes. You can target messages to different audiences. And you can test different approaches quickly and easily. All at the same time that you frank your envelopes.
Learn more at www.pitneybowes.ie/connectplus or call us now on 01 460 8700 Every connection is a new opportunity™
Y BOW NE
pe o l e v n e ngs i l n i a a t m o r n This is you get you It’s how
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P O S T A S
Í O C T H A
Colour and Impact
Raise brand awareness and generate sales with every envelope The age of the full colour franking machine has arrived. Connect +™, the new generation of franking machines from Pitney Bowes, will transform your mail. With a Connect+™ franking machine you can print full colour, high resolution text and graphics on every item you send, at the same time as applying the postage. Think of the opportunities this opens up for your business. Turn transactional mail such as statements into impactful marketing messages. Promote other services to existing clients. Or respond to the latest events – such as the Budget – with a timely message. Before Connect+™ it has only been possible to use your franking machine to add a black and white or single colour message in the corner of the envelope. Now you can print greetings, information, marketing messages – even money off coupons – directly onto the envelope in 1200 dpi full colour across the entire width of the envelope. It’s the perfect opportunity to transform the wasted space on every envelope into prime marketing real estate.
Cost Saving and Creativity
Using this free advertising space not only enhances your brand, it actually increases the openability of your mailing and ensures that you achieve your objectives – without the delay and costs associated with buying pre-printed envelopes. And designing your envelope is easy. The intuitive MyGraphics™ Designer tool will guide you through three simple steps to create, upload and print customised messages, graphics, ads, coupons and more –all free of charge - within minutes.
Touch Screen Operation
Connect+™ is also the first franking machine to feature a fullcolour, touch-screen interface. Every function is easily accessible and the screen-based keyboard makes data entry and package tracking fast and simple.
The screen also serves as your web-connected portal to a range of software and services from Pitney Bowes. A series of apps designed specifically for the Connect+™ makes light work of everyday tasks. In addition to quick rate change updates or postal fund re-fills, you can also:
Contact a Pitney Bowes customer service representative or request a service visit n Order Pitney Bowes supplies n Transfer account usage information to a PC n Link directly to An Post n Find new data for your mailing campaigns n Track and send parcels via your machine and much more
What Can Connect+™ Do For You? Connect+™ offers benefits for everyone with an interest in your company’s mail: n Mailroom Managers: Increase productivity and add value to your function by offering extra services and reporting abilities. n Communication Managers: Harness the power of this great new marketing tool to generate extra leads and improve Return on Investment. n Finance Managers: Enjoy improved mail accounting, with the ability to budget, surcharge and track expenditure.
The integrated accounting function allows you to monitor expenditure by postal class, format and weight for each of your accounts. Use the optional budgeting module to turn your mailroom into a profit centre by adding surcharges to recover your operating costs.
And that’s not all
The new Connect+™ franking machines are faster and more efficient, with operating speeds of up to 300 letters per minute. You will also continue to benefit form Pitney Bowes weighing technology, , ensuring that the correct postage is applied to every item at speeds of up to 200 letters per minute.
A Machine to Suit your Business
The Connect+™ range comprises five models, ensuring there’s a solution that’s exactly right for your business.
Make Your Envelopes Work Harder
Information: Communicate a change or address, phone number or other company information Lead Generation: Promote new products and services it on every item of mail you send, even statements and invoices Sales Promotion: Send money off coupons or promotional codes to existing customers Self-Promotion: Tell customers when you’ve won an award or improved a service. Or simply thank your customers for their continuing loyalty.
n The first franking machine with a four-colour inkjet printer has already brought praise from the experts. The Connect+™ received a prestigious Editor’s Choice Award in the Autumn edition of Print IT, the printing technology supplement of Business Info magazine. n Print IT focuses on developments in printing technology and the Editor’s Choice Award is given to products that are judged to be particularly innovative, functional and well designed.
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Hygienic heat, energy efficient, safe & secure
An Eco Revolution in Room Heating!
ThermaSkirt® in Hospitals, Schools, Care homes and other public places
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Public sector service providers and other workplace operators owe a duty of care to their clients as well as a requirement to operate energy efﬁciently. In hospitals, ThermaSkirt® has been proven to reduce the risk of infection due to its wipe-clean surfaces, and absence of slots or grilles for communicable diseases to develop and spread. The NHS has started retroﬁtting ThermaSkirt® into hospital areas as replacements for convector radiators in their battle to combat the spread of C.Difﬁcile and MRSA. More than 30 hospital areas have been successfully ﬁtted with ThermaSkirt®. “Double Decker” systems have been developed for larger wards and spaces, whilst the standard 6” proﬁle has proven suitable for other environments around the hospital. Schools and colleges also need to reduce the risk of accidents and the clean lines and absence of sharp edges, exposed pipework and bulky valves creates a safer working environment for active students to study.The rapid response times of ThermaSkirt® ensure that comfortable, concentration-friendly temperatures can be closely controlled, despite the obvious huge potential variances in class occupancy, and the changing climate outside. Underﬂoor simply cannot react fast enough to compensate for our ﬁckle weather and class sizes that could vary between 5 and 35 students in a single morning. More than 20 schools and college areas have been retroﬁtted with ThermaSkirt®. Care and nursing homes need to maximise usable space, as well as provide a safe environment.ThermaSkirt® takes up no wall space and can be installed with surface temperature limiting controls to meet the requirements of LST radiators.Their wipe clean surfaces, and safe edges also help to maximise the client’s well being, as well as being practical and energy efﬁcient to maintain and operate. ThermaSkirt® has been successfully ﬁtted into 100’s of ofﬁces, restaurants, shops and public accessible spaces for all of the reasons outlined above.
soﬁle ry 4 Pr suit eve to n One situatio URBAN LT
150mm (6 in.)
20mm (0.8 in.)
150mm (6 in.)
20mm (0.8 in.)
c o l o u r s
Classic TS (Torus) has been developed to replicate the most popular proﬁle in both new build and refurbishment projects.
200mm (8 in.)
Regency OG (Ogee) proﬁle has been speciﬁcally designed for retro ﬁtting into larger and older properties.
20mm (0.8 in.)
Why not consider ThermaSkirt® for your next heating system? Va r i e t y
Urban LT (Lambs Tongue) is the most versatile proﬁle, ﬁnding applications in both new build and refurbishment applications.
a n d
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115mm (41/2 in.)
20mm (0.8 in.)
The Deco PR (pencil round) proﬁle is the most simplest proﬁle with a unique and highly efﬁcient ﬁxing method.
Contact us for more information:
firstname.lastname@example.org 0868472659 / 0876183870 www.discreteheat.ie 64
Efﬁ cient . . . Sector Magazine quiet . . . the Public
clean . . .
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the Public Sector Magazine
Managing change Public Sector Magazine speaks to Damien Kealy, Managing Partner of LHM Casey McGrath.
Partners & Managers of the Audit Assurance Department at LHM Casey McGrath.
Damien Kealy has packed a lot of experience into a 20-year career. Having joined Casey McGrath as a young trainee, he cut his teeth with the firm before entering the world of business. “I qualified with Casey McGrath and then got the urge to see what the other side of the accounting fence was like. I went into industry, and worked in manufacturing as a financial controller for two years,” he recalls. “The company I joined was on a very progressive path and we went, in the space of two years, through situations where we were acquired by a UK PLC, shortly followed by a management buy-out. So I got ten years worth of experience condensed into two! I still had a connection with the partners in Casey McGrath and, ultimately, decided that my preference was to move back into practice.” Since Kealy’s return, the firm of Casey McGrath joined with fellow accountancy practice LHM in 2004, and LHM Casey McGrath has become one of Ireland’s leading accountancy practices. The firm provides a range of services, from audit and assurance, compliance, taxation and consulting advice to a broad client base of companies, owner managed businesses, not for profit organisations, state bodies and individuals. Kealy himself, meanwhile, has specialised in providing assurance and advisory services to a range of bodies across the public sector.“ I have a mixed portfolio, and the majority of my clients are in the public sector. I’d work with agencies, State bodies and Government departments in both a compliance and
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an advisory role,” he explains. While extensive experience of issues in both the private and public sector is useful, Kealy and his colleagues set great store in developing a personal understanding of individual clients. “We try to be close to our clients – which doesn’t necessarily mean we play golf with them every Friday. It means that we’re close to their needs and requirements, and that we’re focused on meeting those needs and requirements. For us, deadlines and objectives aren’t targets to aim towards – they are there to be met. If we commit to a project with a completion date of the first of the month that means that, the project must be delivered on the first of the month and the objectives met. That’s something we constantly strive to achieve.” Kealy is keen to stress that the pressures and standards demanded from the public service are, if anything, in many ways more stringent than those demanded from the private sector. “There’s no difference in terms of the standard demanded. Both sectors demand value for money, quality service, and excellence in terms of the advice that they receive. From my perspective, I wouldn’t differentiate them and, certainly, in terms of the demands that are placed on us, I don’t see any difference. If anything, we probably internally attribute more risk to our public sector clients in that – if, for whatever reason, we did make an error in our work – there’s a public interest element. That adds another degree of risk and
“Both public and private sectors demand value for money, quality service, and excellence in terms of the advice that they receive.” complexity to our offering,” he explains. Moreover, Kealy notes that the pressure on managers in the public sector to achieve efficiencies without compromising on quality is profound. “It’s a difficult time for anybody working at any level in the public sector. They’re being subjected to as much pressure, if not more, than their counterparts in the private sector. Regardless of the perception that a job in the public sector is a job for life, as human beings, we all have the same insecurities and always fear the worst. People are fearful, be it of budget cuts, job losses, restructuring or consolidation of government bodies or agencies. Again, there’s a lot of play being made of the differences between the public sector and the private sector. I certainly don’t see it in terms of the demands that are placed on the individuals we deal with. The work pressures are the same – sometimes the timeframe might be different, or the nature of the work, but those underlying pressures remain the same.” Kealy is also extremely conscious of the drive to achieve greater savings, and of a renewed focus on value coming from public sector bodies. “They’re being encouraged to achieve savings, and it’s fair to say that there are greater efficiencies to be had in any organisation. We can certainly see that they’re focused on value for money and service delivery. In a lot of the public sector contracts being awarded now, cost as a criteria for evaluation is being ranked higher to drive such efficiencies,” he says, while sounding a note of caution too. “It’s a good thing in many ways, but there’s a caveat. Sometimes, the cheapest option is not the best option. And, even after going through a stringent evaluation process and making the best technical proposal for a project, you may find yourself in the loser’s seat
because your price was greater than the next best alternative, which may not be the best solution for the agency or body – or the taxpayer. That’s a danger in the current climate, and I think it exists in the private sector as well. There should be an encouragement to seek efficiencies, but it shouldn’t always be at the expense of the right solution.” The right solution for compliance and advisory services, particularly at a time of frequent policy changes arising from a new Government, depends on two key factors – an understanding of the client and the resources to keep ahead of changes in the profession. Kealy is confident in his firm’s innate grasp of the former, and is fortunate to have a team of experts to draw from for the latter. “Without the support structure that we have within our team of staff, and the diversity in terms of our partners, we’d struggle [to keep on top of the changes]. What we’ve tried to do is challenge each partner and senior member of staff to specialise in a particular area. That means my area might be, to use an example, VAT. That means I can devote any time that I have to maintaining my technical expertise in that area, but I might not have to focus on auditing standards quite as much, because one of my colleagues is on that,” he explains. “It’s less of a challenge, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge!” Even at a time of change for the industry, then, it appears that a firm can ride out challenges imposed from above by adopting smart internal practices. The example bodes well for public sector bodies, and it should come as no surprise LHM Casey McGrath are cautiously optimistic about the years ahead. “We’re finding the current climate challenging like our clients and colleagues. We certainly look forward with optimism, though it’s guarded optimism at the moment,” says Kealy.
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Print Perfect “Success breeds success”, so says American soccer player, Mia Hamm. Hamm believes that to succeed you must pull out all the stops to achieve a goal. Do this and you will be propelled towards the next success, therefore success really will breed success.
The discipline and dedication necessary for a top level athlete is unquestionable. If you were to apply the same formula to a business would success be assured? IIP Aluset is a group of companies who firmly believe in pulling out all the stops. Now incorporating Postit Direct this trinity of complimentary services leave nothing to chance when it comes to secure and efficient document management. The group is based in Dublin in a fifty thousand square foot building of which over five thousand square foot is dedicated to secure storage. With twenty -four hour security and easy access to the airport and the M50, IIP Aluset can cater for clients at home and abroad. A key employer in the area, the group employ over seventy staff with offices in Ireland, the UK and Poland. They enjoy an international reputation of excellence and are proud to have secured full APACS, IQ Net and ISO27001 accreditation. We talked to Paul Keegan, founder of IIP and asked him about the group and about the challenges for the print industry in current times. Paul Keegan benefits from a military background and this has served him well in his application of rigorous standards throughout all aspects of his business. IIP grew out of Paul’s desire to set up a print group with a difference that would utilise specialist skills in
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logistics and mail marketing gained while he was in the army. As a first step Paul established a direct marketing and door-to-door selling venture. Success soon followed paving the way for IIP and together with co founder John O’Loughlin the pair set out to deliver a product that surpassed anything available from other print companies of the time. O’Loughlin explains, “When we started out a lot of mailing companies wouldn’t have had experience of litho work so they were reacting to work that came in not knowing whether there would be problems with brochures or base stock until it arrived. At IIP we control the base stock and we know that the paper will run well and we can adjust sizes to make them more cost efficient. This was just the start. Now we not only provide the best all round package, we can go head to head with An Post when it comes to delivering. We are currently developing a postal presort software to presort mailings at data stage for the purpose of obtaining a lower cost postal rate for urban mail.“ The group was one of the first in Ireland to offer APACS clearing. Keegan explains the process and relevance of this. “You can’t lodge a cheque, a direct debit mandate or a bank draft through the UK banking system unless it has been produced by an APACS
approved printer. This means that you must print on special papers; you have to produce it in a certain way with certain security features; the micro encoding on that must be to a certain standard and all of that must be certified by the printer.” He continues, “Effectively, what happens is, if you produce one thousand cheques, APACS allows a certain amount of non-reading rate which is a very, very low tolerance. Therefore for every cheque that doesn’t automatically read when scanned in the customer is charged a fee for that cheque to manually handle it. When IIP produce a cheque it is guaranteed under APACS.” Keegan took the process one step further to provide an even tighter service, he explains, “We then decided to acquire the new European standard. (ISO 27001). And IIP were the first printing company in Ireland to achieve this high standard. He concludes, “What that does effectively is, anyone handling data and this is a key thing with the public service, that when you are handling a customer’s personal information, you need to be giving it to people who have very tight data standards.” The IIP Aluset Group is understandably proud of its work for many public sector clients. These include everything from Revenue forms, annual return forms, exam papers, NCT certificates and insurance documents for major insurance companies. The company print every social welfare cheque in the country, paymaster general cheques, revenue cheques, bank statements, birth certificates, marriage certificates and vehicle licence certificates to name but a few. Keegan and O’Loughlin expanded on their direct mail and marketing business developing it to form an entity in itself known
as Direct Mail Solutions. Between Irish International Print and Direct Mail Solutions business grew rapidly reaching a turnover of seven million within a relatively short period. This attracted the interest of external buyers and the company was almost sold, however Keegan and O’Loughlin looked at how they could grow on their own success and they decided on a route of acquisition. Post it Direct joined the family to complete the full circle of document handling services now on offer. “Today the group has the capacity to mail over sixty million envelopes a year,” Keegan explains, “Basically what we can do is print the marketing documents or the prospective brochures for people. We can personalise a letter from a database to go with the document; we can include a cheque, a licence document, an exam paper or whatever personalised information the clients wants. We order the envelopes, make sure that addresses comply with postal regulations, ensure that data is handled to ISO 27001 standard and ensure that data is destroyed afterwards.” IIP handle proofing, the graphic side of brochures, printing and distribution. Keegan concludes, “It’s a lean manufacturing facility that will handle everything from conception in the art room to delivery in the letterbox.” The same efficiency can be seen on the security side of this business. Director Robert Clarke explains how security printing differs from regular printing. “For a security product we first look at the perceived risk and this indicates the type of paper and security that must be attached to it. Typically this may be a voucher or ticket that people could look to forge. In normal printing you consider artwork, finish, paper weight and maybe paper brands but with
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security print you look at water marks or security features hidden in the paper. There is paper that has little treads only visible under UV lights; this is used for certificates such as death or marriage certificates. We have a paper with a copy void feature, UV feature and a watermark. Then the client may wish to add their own security features such as a coin reaction that has an area on the cert when if scratched an image will appear. Cheques must be printed on CBS1 security paper, the supply of which is strictly controlled and has certain features built in to attack by solvent based and aqua based agents. Aluset use security paper with inbuilt security features such as Holograms, coloured centered paper, aqua and chemical fugitive inks, visible and invisible fibers and heat reactive inks. This together with use of security design using the latest software gives us a high quality, highly secure product.” With so much on the go is it difficult to maintain standards? Keegan says yes but high standards are what this company is all about. “It is a very arduous process to get and keep the accreditation; they are independently audited twice a year by ISO 27001 and APAC’s.” Security is paramount to this business so there are thirty eight cctv cameras recording twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and the Dublin facility is in a secure industrial estate yet anonymous in that the building does not have the company name on it. Staff are all Garda vetted and they must all sign nondisclosure agreements so what they see at work stays there. Work is segregated which means that staff only have certain levels of security. A five thousand square foot concrete safe on a time lock and two separate locking mechanisms ensures that stock being worked on is completely tamper free. The level of precautions and quality control are staggering and beyond what most mortals would even consider possible. Does the ex-army background come in handy here? Keegan smiles; “Discipline and attention to detail certainly play their part. I suppose what we deliver is peace of mind and efficiency for our clients.” With such a complete package on offer what does Keegan see as the key issues affecting the printing industry today? The Irish printing industry was uncompetitive but in the last few years it’s got more and more competitive. Where we really see the value in what we deliver is in providing the complete solution. For a government department to get a sensitive job done, typically they will deal with four or five different people. There would be the printer, somebody handling data, someone else personalising it and another person posting it. It’s a logistical nightmare and there is much room for error. By contrast we handle everything so the client has one account, one point of contact and the peace of mind to know that we have sat down with them, taken the brief and managed the whole process to completion. What rationalisation programmes and cutbacks have been taken since the recession in IIP? Four distinct operations were merged into one premises. Optimum utilisation of staff means that if one section of the business is not too busy, staff are redeployed to another section of the business. This permits efficient operation and constant staff training is good for staff and good for business. These were simple measures that made all the difference to operating levels and costs. Staff work a double day shift with the ability to go on to a triple day, if required. Keegan
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explains the importance of this, ‘Some government departments have jobs that need a fast turnaround so utilising staff to full advantage means that we can react quickly to deliver a twenty four hour turnaround. We’ve got Litho printing with B1 presses which are the largest sheet-size. We’ve got web printing and digital printing all under the one roof, so no matter what the job or what the timescale we can do it.” Give an example of the overall range of services that IIP provide One of IIP’s biggest customers is a major bank and every document item that the bank uses in the branch, IIP produce. If a branch wants a letterhead done or insurance documents for a mortgage, IIP produce them. The group provide full marketing services, from designing a website to managing a database and email broadcasts. IIP can send SMS text messages to follow up, for example, a government departments might want to send out an email or SMS to inform clients that their tax returns should be in. Key strengths With the deregulation of An Post the new postal wing of the group, Postit Direct offers a Host to Post service including print production, direct mail fulfilment and guaranteed delivery, all under ISO 27001 data security management accreditation. This is all good for the customer and savings can be significant. Keegan explains: “We only make one margin out of a job. If you are dealing with five suppliers for one item everybody is trying to make a margin so you will pay more in time and in money. We are a group working together under one roof so we are efficient and highly competitive.” Keegan feels that it is so important to not only complete the job but to build on client confidence and help the client prepare for the next projects. He explains, “I would say to government departments, cleaning of data, sorting of the data, handling responses, dealing with returns, we do all that. We will take back the bags of post that come back either ‘gone aways’, undeliverable, do not mail, etc. We will build and update the data and hand it back so the next time a mail is carried out the database is cleaner so it can be done at less cost.” Such passion for his work and the clear vision for the company is admirable and a likely recipe for success. What does Keegan see for the future? “‘Our plan is to be the main and biggest print group offering the widest range of services. We want to save the client time and money and deliver the best one-stop shop offering to the highest possible standards.”
Secure Printing, and much more....
Security Printing • Cheques & Payment Solutions • Educational Certificates & Transcripts
• Ballot Papers and Voting Registration Cards • Gift Vouchers & Redemption Systems
• Identification Cards • Financial Certificates • Tax Stamps & Revenue Documents
• Governmental Documents, etc • Visitor Management Solutions
• Document Reworking • Copy Writing • Language Translation
• Brochures • Catalogues • Leaflets • Newsletters • Booklets • Labels • Posters, etc
• Data Collection & Validation • Data Processing & Sorting • Data Security
• Personalisation • Lower Cost Urban delivery service • Fulfilment • Kitting • E mail Marketing • SMS Marketing
Contact: Position: Mobile: E mail:
Paul Keegan Group Chairman 087 259 4123 email@example.com
John O’Loughlin Sales Director IIP 087 254 0619 firstname.lastname@example.org
We are proud to be fully APACS and ISO27001 accredited
Robert Clarke Sales Director Aluset 087 256 4052 email@example.com
Carolyn Keogh Group Business Development Director 086 771 9464 firstname.lastname@example.org
Toptech Building, IDA Business Park, Poppintree, Dublin 11 Main Line: 01 6520699 - Fax Line: 01 8646006
the Public Sector Magazine Introducing the Irish International Print Group
Introducing the Irish International Print Group
Care Standards A detailed report researched by Age Action Ireland which canvassed the views of older people on abuse found that they feel the general enforcement of regulations is lax. have developed a rigorous recruitment policy which ensures that each care candidate undergoes a thorough security vetting process. This includes a detailed interview by a suitably trained member of the senior management team, 3 reference checks (all references are checked as to their validity and one of these must be from the current or most recent employer) and a Garda Clearance. Each carer must have a minimum qualification of Fetac Level 5 (or equivalent) and must undergo inhouse training. Following commencement of care the care worker undergoes regular supervision, with regular announced and unannounced client quality visits from a senior Care Manager. Director of Care Alice Lucey points out that despite the fact that home care services cater for approximately 12.5% of over 65’s, there are no standards or regulations in the Irish market and few home care companies are even owned or operated by health professionals. “We believe that every person has the right to remain in their own home by accessing quality home care and home help support in Ireland. To ensure that this is the case independent inspections and care standards for professional home carers should be introduced to help protect against abuse and mistreatment.”
33% Don’t Need Nursing Home
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in Ireland inspect the 590 public and private nursing homes for which it is responsible. There are currently 51 inspectors of social services and all nursing homes must be registered once every three years and an inspection is required in advance. A detailed report researched by Age Action Ireland which canvassed the views of older people on abuse found they would like to see inspectors carry out more “spot checks” on nursing homes and that they feel general enforcement of regulations is lax. Alice Lucey, Director of Care at Be Independent Home Care feels passionately that these inspections should include care of the elderly at home. Alice who originally worked as a registered general nurse and then as a senior social care worker has responsibility for quality of care at Be Independent Home Care. Alice and a group of nurses set up this organisation following reports regarding the emergence of sub standard home care services. In the absence of regulations and guidelines Be Independent Home Care created their own strict quality management system and standard operating procedures. They
With over €1 billion being spent on the Fair Deal in Ireland and 33% of people not needing to be in an nursing home, the Government are spending €330 million on people that could be looked after at home at a fraction of the cost. At present 4.5% of the older population in Ireland live in longstay residential care. That is 40% higher than the EU average of 3.2%. Of there residents 33% are assessed as either a low or medium dependency which means they could easily be cared for in the community. This means that with an average weekly cost of an nursing home at €778, there are substantial savings to be made if a big percentage of these people can be kept at home. A further 1% of the population are in hospital, with evidence that for many of them their discharge is delayed because of the absence of Respite, Rehabilitation or adequate home-care funding. An acute hospital bed costs upwards of €7,000 per week. With predictions that the number of people aged 75 or over will double by 2021, it makes it even more important that the Government needs to shift valuable resources into more cost effective community and home care services.. The Home Care Association propose a fresh approach to supporting older people to remain in their own homes, where substantial savings could be achieved compared to the cost of nursing home and hospital care for many people who do not need to be in those residential facilities and who would be much happier to live a more independent life in their homes..
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Home Care Last October the HSE began a national procurement process for the provision of enhanced home-care services, which when completed, will result in a range of approved providers from the private sector providing home help services.
In a statement the HSE said demand for home care services has increased and there is a need to provide high quality and flexible services that meet the needs of clients. It said the approved providers would meet the required minimum standards, in relation to staff qualifications and training, recruitment and vetting of staff. In addition it said the tender would only affect home care package scheme clients and not general home help services. Home-care services provide elderly people with specialist support in their homes. This can include nursing, allied therapy services, day care, respite care and additional home help support. Approximately 75% of all home help services are provided directly by HSE staff who provide high quality services to people in their own homes. These home help services will not be affected by the current procurement process which is solely for home care package scheme clients. In addition to HSE directly provided services, home help services and home care packages are also provided through a range of willing organisations and private providers both of which are funded by the HSE. A HSE spokeswoman stressed that all organisations that became approved providers would need to meet minimum standards in staff qualification, training, recruitment and vetting
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of staff, and that the tender was strictly governed by the EU procurement process and in line with HSE procurement policies. Applicants that met the identified minimum requirements were invited to tender earlier this year. A comprehensive suite of tender documents was issued to each applicant with details of what was required of them. The closing date for this stage of the tender was Friday 29th April and the HSE is appraising each of the applications against specific criteria which have been agreed in advance. The required minimum standards for the Approved Providers was agreed following an extensive consultation by the HSE s Older Persons Service with a wide range of stakeholders including HSE staff and voluntary and private providers. The tenderers are being assessed on their capacity to deliver a high quality service through mandatory standards for the recruitment process, Garda vetting for staff, staff qualifications and training, staff supervision, monitoring and reviewing of services with appropriate feedback mechanisms for families and clients. The HSE is also standardising the delivery of Home Care Packages across the country which will ensure that whether a client receives a service from the HSE directly or from a funded organisation, they can be assured that the services and the staff
providing the service are of a high quality and that minimum standards are in place. When the tender is complete and agreements in place there will be 4 Approved Providers for Home Care Packages in each local HSE area. A standard framework and guidelines for the implementation of the Home Care Packages scheme are now used by all staff to support the implementation of the scheme uniformly across the HSE. This means that for the first time no matter where in the country you live you will receive the same needs assessment to determine what level of support is needed This year the HSE will spend €211m on home help services and €138m home concern packages. Almost 12 million home help hours will be provided to about 54000 clients in 2011. In addition Home Care Packages will benefit14600 clients in supporting people to continue living in their own home or to return home from hospital. Trade unions have protested at the fact the HSE is carrying out a tender for home care services and are concerned that some of their members could lose their jobs and they have also expressed doubts over the quality of service provided by the private sector. At present approximately 90% of care in Ireland is provided for directly by the HSE or by non-profit agencies funded by the HSE. However, there is little accountability in relation to the care provided by these agencies in return for the funding and in the majority of cases there are no contracts in place in relation to the hours of care that have to be delivered. This gives rise to a potential waste of resources at a time of severe budgetary constraints. Any private company supplying home help services to the HSE is required to provide verification as to the exact amount of care provided and they are remunerated on an hourly basis. In most cases, private providers are to the forefront of setting standards for home care in relation to recruitment and training policies and ensuring that the appropriate supervision and oversight is in place. According to Michael Harty of Home Care Plus in Booterstown unions and some not for profit organisations have been stoking up fears by using the scare phrase of “privatisation of home care. “They are starting from the premise that anything
done by private enterprise can’t be trusted and is of poor quality,” he said. “They are also assuming that the provision of care by the HSE and not for profits is above reproach. The issue here is not whether care is provided for directly by the state or by private companies, but that the provision of care at the moment is unregulated whoever it comes from. The tender is the first step in bringing in standards into the industry that everyone will have to meet whether they are private enterprise or state agencies.” He also points out that it is the private sector who has being shouting loudest for the introduction of regulation into the sector. “It is the better private companies who are leading the way with regards to best practice,” he said. “These companies have robust recruitment and training policies in place including Garda vetting, reference checking and induction training. They also have extensive supervision and complaints policies in place to ensure the protection of the vulnerable adults they are caring for. “Many private providers also have independent audit checks in place to evidence the quality of care that they are carrying out. The fact is that the HSE and voluntary organisations funded by them do not carry out extensive supervision of the care they are providing nor are they audited by outside bodies.” He also refutes charges that it will precipitate a charge to the bottom with regards to pricing and subsequently affect the quality of care. “Nothing could be further from the truth. The weighting given to price in this tender is significantly lower than the 50% most government tenders have nowadays in an effort to bring down costs,” he says. “The whole emphasis in the tender is on quality not price. There are extensive questions on recruitment, training, supervision and complaints policies that the successful providers will have to meet. This tender for the first time puts quality and accountability at the core of home care provision.” He points out that this tender will for the first time force the HSE and non profit providers to properly cost the provision of home care. “It will mean that the days of companies getting funds with no accountability on how those funds are being spent is coming to an end. It will mean that without compromising on the quality of care, the state will be getting value for money which means that more needy persons will be able to access the care they need.” Michael believes that the only negative aspect of this tender is that it is restricted to a limited part of the home care market and its positive effects will be therefore limited. The tender is only for new and enhanced home care packages which account for only about 5-10% of the €350m market. “The tender should have encompassed all the home care market including home help in order to ensure that quality standards become prevalent throughout the industry,” He says.
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Patient Focused Care Delivering home based respiratory therapies, equipment and services in Ireland since 2000, Air Products Ireland now cares for more than 6,000 patients countrywide. A leader in the field of home respiratory services, Air Products Ireland is committed to the delivery of safe and patient focused care.
Air Products Ireland provide therapies to patients with a range of respiratory conditions including, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and other chronic lung conditions with oxygen, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and non-invasive ventilation therapies. Focused on providing quality and innovative services to patients and healthcare providers, Air Products Ireland strive to enable patients to maintain their independence and mobility where possible - Portable Oxygen Concentrators and Home Fill Oxygen systems are just some of the devices that enable this. Air Products Ireland work closely with clinicians to ensure that patients are using the equipment that will be of the most benefit to them. Specialist paediatric ranges are also available for younger patients. Air Products Ireland has developed a number of key initiatives to support its patients including a live answer after hours service, patient forums, patient magazines and an online adherence management tool for clinicians, which it plans to launch later in 2011. Philip Hendrick, Air Products Ireland, Business Manager says, â€œOur homecare service engineers and nurse specialists perform hundreds of home visits each week throughout the country and have a vital role in ensuring patients know how to correctly and safely use their therapy to receive the maximum benefit. They have also proven key contacts for many patients, who when embarking upon such therapies are undergoing significant life changes. â€œWe would like to see greater adoption of technology in this sector and believe that we have tools that can assist with this. Our adherence management system for clinicians is a key step in this
direction and yields vital information that in turn can provide greater value-for-money to the health servicesâ€?. To further improve efficiencies, Air Products Ireland recently deployed six new service vehicles with customised storage systems in the Southern and Western regions of the country and the next batch of new vehicles will be introduced during the summer. The new vehicles will ensure that homecare service engineers have all the necessary equipment on board to meet individual patient needs when conducting house calls. Air Products Ireland is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner and the Irish Medicines Board and holds ISO 9001 certification to ensure all services are conducted to the highest industry standards with safety at the core at all times.
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Ready to do business Ireland’s conference sector will emerge from the downturn in an even stronger, leaner position by focusing on the added-value and unique selling points it can offer to meeting planners across the globe, as Lynne Nolan discovers
Price is always the major consideration for meeting planners, particularly those in a associations, and in turn conference facilities in Ireland have become increasingly competitive compared to the offerings abroad. But it is the raising of standards across the industry as a whole that has enabled the Irish business tourism sector to thrive on the international market. That’s according to Jean Evans, European Director – Association Relations for MCI Group, an independent, global association, communications and event management company. “When we build it, they come,” says Evans, who joined MCI Dublin in August 2008 from the Dublin Convention Bureau where she was Chief Executive for almost five years. “The conference market has become a staple of the economy,” according to Evans. “Although not a big percentage of overall GDP, the conference market is essential for bringing foreign cash into the economy and promoting the country to some of the biggest decision-makers in the world. Each conference delegate is worth €1500 based on a three-day conference attendance. This has a huge impact on the economy.” The conference market is probably one of the few sectors in Ireland that will grow and compete against the rest of the world
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consistently over the next 10 years, Evans claims. “We have unique selling points and due to our geography will always be seen as a gateway to Europe by those coming from North America. The note of caution is that we have to consistently invest in our infrastructure (improved broadband in particular) to keep pace. Everyone else is trying for the same thing; we just have to do it better,” she says. Dublin and Ireland is well known as a leisure destination, but not necessarily so from a conference perspective. To push Ireland as a conference destination overseas, “we need to shout our offering from the rooftops and as an industry have a consistent message that portrays our excellent infrastructure, access, proven track record and indeed our hunger for the business.” In terms of its pull factors, Evans says there been a dramatic raising of standards across Irish conference facilities over the past decade or so, reinventing the Dublin landscape with a new state-of-the-art convention centre, more world-class hotels and improved transport links that has made it the second most accessible city in Europe. “Ireland has become not only a prime tourist destination but also a top-class business destination for international travellers.
The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) is Ireland’s new world class purpose-built international conference and event venue. This combination of social activities and business facilities make Ireland an ideal host for any international meeting. Dublin, according to hotels.com, is ranked 4th cheapest in Europe for hotel accommodation – this is a big turn around for the books,” she says. To stand apart from competitors, it is imperative that conference facilities get the basics right. “As an example, free Wi-Fi should be obligatory in any conference facility; charging the delegates either directly or indirectly through the PCO is a great way of turning people away from your venue. Flexibility is also key from any planner’s point of view.” It is also vital to ensure content is delivered to delegates in new and innovative ways and to make their experience a valuable and lasting one. “The conference sector is like a sponge for ideas”, Evans says, identifying the latest trends including “conference apps for smart phones, content capturing for yearround delivery of information to delegates, and a huge variety of social social offerings when they stay in Ireland through our partnerships with the traditional tourism sector.” Advising on what makes a successful conference, she explains that delegates look for relevant information and to make contact with their peers within the industry.” Conferences are a forum for the exchange of ideas - how many times have you heard about someone being inspired by a chance meeting at a conference or a speaker that suddenly made everything clear to them?” “We are the facilitators of that exchange of ideas; it’s our job to ensure that all those ideas are heard. Other factors should also not be forgotten, for example destination appeal, ease of access, political stability, VAT rates, flexibility and negotiability of suppliers,” Evans adds. Gina Quin, Chief Executive Officer of Dublin Chamber of Commerce says the conferencing market in Ireland got a significant boost with the opening of the Convention Centre
Dublin (CCD) in September 2010. “Whilst the down turn has impacted on business travel globally, our world-class, purposebuilt international Convention Centre has hosted over 200 events and welcomed 13,000 international delegates since opening its doors. Indeed, Dublin Chamber of Commerce held one of the first major events there, our Annual Dinner on 7th October 2010.” This venue in the heart of the capital caters to the needs of all delegates, offering 22 purpose-built meeting rooms, a 2,000seat Auditorium with full theatrical stage and fly tower, 4,500 square metres of exhibition space, theatre capacity for 3,000 delegates, banqueting facilities for up to 2,000 guests, intimate boardrooms, large and small halls and meeting rooms, six spacious foyer areas, and two large cargo lifts including a truck container lift. “Significant upgrades have occurred and are proposed for, the Dublin Region’s transport network. Terminal Two opened recently at Dublin Airport, the Docklands area where the Convention Centre Dublin is located now has a Luas rail line running from Dublin Port connecting with the city’s two major train stations (Heuston and Connolly),” Quin explains. Improvements to the quality and efficiency of the bus service are currently being made that will also provide visitors with real time passenger information and an integrated ticket between bus and rail. And major rail projects - the LUAS BXD, Metro North and DART Underground – are currently in planning. All these upgrades to the public transport network in Dublin considerably enhance the delegate experience when they arrive for a conference, she says. “Furthermore, we continue to support the development and enhancement of Dublin’s air and sea port access to ensure the customer experience and service is world-class. We support
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Nerney: The CCD, because of its size, now opens up a market that was previously beyond our reach. the delivery of a second runway capable of serving long distance markets such as Asia and the Far East and additional car parking facilities for passengers at Dublin Airport, as these upgrades are central to the continued development of business tourism in the Dublin City Region and the wider economy as a whole,” Quin adds. The Convention Centre Dublin and other locations that service the convention market are conveniently located within walking distance of the city centre’s many hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. “We believe this selling point can be further strengthened, through the Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017, by improving the linkage between the “older” parts of the city surrounding O’Connell Street/ Grafton Street and the “new” parts of Dublin city centre around the Docklands area. Increasingly the docklands area continues to fortify its role as the new international welcome hub in Dublin for tourists, delegates and knowledge workers,” she comments. “So we are calling for intelligent planning that will help ensure that the full benefit is leveraged from the new infrastructure in the “new” part of the city centre - including office developments, the Convention Centre Dublin, the Luas, the O2, the Grand Canal Theatre and the Samuel Beckett Bridge. Basically all stakeholders must work collaboratively together to ensure that visitors feel secure and are able to enjoy leisure activities by linking restaurants, entertainment venues, retail outlets and family living in a clean, green and safe way.” Delegates attending conferences in Dublin have the opportunity to experience some of Dublin’s unique history and culture. For this reason, Dublin Chamber of Commerce continues to support tourism strategies (national and local) that reinforce Dublin’s reputation as a welcoming location where standards of service are personable and professional, and where the entire city’s cultural offerings are fully accessible to tourists,
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including those on a short weekend break. Quin comments that “we believe that Dublin Tourism should appoint a ‘Cultural Ambassador’ for the city, who’s remit includes the provision of a comprehensive listing of events and a proactive marketing of a series of thematic programmes in the city. This ‘Cultural Ambassador’ should maximise the current untapped opportunity in the city for cultural attractions to be given a theme and “packaged”. By packaging the tourism offering in the city, delegates to conferences will be able to have a richer and more valuable experience during their time in Dublin.” Dublin Chamber of Commerce supports the vision set out in Fáilte Ireland’s tourism product development strategy for continuous product innovation to improve communications with visitors, Quinn says. “In particular, we believe there are opportunities to enhance communications using technology such as PDAs and mobile phones to facilitate activities such as tourism itinerary planning and mapping. We encourage a cooperative approach between tourism bodies and private enterprises to implement the strategy and the capital infrastructure it may require.” Monica Nerney, Manager Northern Europe, Tourism Ireland explains that it has stepped up its efforts to grow Business Tourism from its key markets around the globe. “We have a busy programme of high profile events, promotions and sales blitzes under way; these are highlighting ease of access, the great facilities and good value rates available for meetings and conferences here and getting the island of Ireland known for excellence in business support. Corporate clients, Association Conferences, Corporate Meetings and Incentive Travel are the main focus,” she says. Last year, its programme capitalised on the excitement surrounding the opening of The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD). In September 2010, Tourism Ireland – together with its partners in Ireland – invited 120 influential international buyers to come and participate in a ‘Meet in Ireland’ event, which included a VIP invitation to The CCD gala opening reception. During their time here, the buyers participated in a workshop organised by Fáilte Ireland and in familiarisation trips around the island, which showcased the best of our conference facilities. Tourism Ireland, together with its industry partners, participates in a number of Business Tourism exhibitions in key markets, Nerney says, including International Confex in London, Venues & Events in September and EIBTM in Barcelona at the end of the year. Its Business Tourism website – meetinireland.com – brings attractive offers from industry partners to its business contacts overseas. According to Nerney, a key attraction for meeting planners is that delegates who come to Ireland can enjoy great experiences here on the sidelines of their conference or meeting, interacting with locals and savouring aspects of our unique culture and heritage. In a recent Weber Shandwick FutureBrand survey, Ireland was ranked in the top 10 destinations for ease of doing business; ease of travel – both to the country and around the country when delegates are here and the destination where delegates most want to extend their trip. Tourism Ireland’s main messages overseas are highlighting ease of access, the good value rates available for meetings and conferences here; our infrastructure, the great facilities and excellence in business support.
The Natural Choice When you are in search of a world-class venue in a location that is inspirational and enchanting, no place captivates delegates quite like KILLARNEY. When you need a world-class events team with the required knowledge and skill to implement a successful conference, look no further than the award winning in-house events team at the INEC Convention Centre. •
Providing you with 4500sq metres of Convention Space
Auditorium capacity for 250 - 2500 delegates
Classroom meeting space for 50 - 850 delegates
20 Breakout rooms
Banquet capacity up to 2500 guests
500 bedrooms on-site
2000 hotel rooms within a one mile radius
Next Generation Network Enabled (NGN)
In-house technical team
25,000 acres of National Park on your doorstep
Contact: Cara Fuller, Sales Manager | T: +353 (0)64 6671502 | E: sales@INECconventions.ie
The Perfect Host Cara Fuller, discusses her experience as Corporate Sales Manager, INEC, Killarney
Can you descibe your first event as corporate Sales Manager with INEC?
The first event I was in charge of was a 3000 delegate conference in 2003 - quite a baptism of fire, to say the least. It rebooked two years later though so needless to say I was delighted.
What’s your favourite memory in relation to your job?
I’ll always remember the fantastic feedback following the first Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation conference. We had worked tirelessly to ensure the event was nothing short of an absolute success and to have our efforts applauded was very rewarding.
And your proudest moment?
People always comment on our In-house Events Team and their “can do” attitude. Last year we scooped “Best In-house Events Team” at the Events Industry Awards for our hosting of the EMEA Google Sales conference.
Can you tell our readers anything they may not know about INEC and Killarney? There is far more to Killarney than just the INEC, this area has welcomed visitors for over 250 years and for centuries Killarney has been known as ‘Heaven’s Reflex – Where Angels fold their
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wings and rest.’ Killarney Town Council, the Kerry Convention Bureau and indeed the people of Killarney as a whole are always very welcoming and recognise the benefits of hosting conferences. And there is far more to the INEC than just the conference space. It is highly flexible and can be transformed from a 2000 seater tiered auditorium into a banquet hall for 2000 people in a matter of hours.
What Do You Do For Inspiration?
When I need inspiration I climb Torc Mountain, the views from the top are breathtaking. Killarney has 25,000 acres of National Park which are free for everyone to explore. I love getting out into the open to clear my head. Our location allows us to design fantastic social programmes which take in some of the most beautiful and inspiring scenery on offer anywhere in the world. We really are spoiled for choice in Killarney.
What Makes the INEC stand out?
We have 485 fair hotel guestrooms on site of various grades, to suit all budgets, this means delegates can stay onsite during their conference. These hotels include The Brehon, Ireland’s highest graded four star hotel and The Gleneagle, the home of Irish entertainment since 1957. When required, there are a further 2000 guestrooms within a one mile radius. Our unique position as a group of hotels and conference venue allows us to provide unrivalled value for money to our customers. We have an array of function rooms and breakout rooms available across the complex as well as two press rooms, ample space for registration and exhibition space which is sound proofed from the main auditorium. We also have a range of expertise
available to clients including our technical team, graphic design team, entertainment department, in-house catering team and our award winning Events Team. Other onsite facilities include the world renowned Angsana Spa at The Brehon, high-speed broadband, ample free parking, shuttle service, nightly entertainment, extensive leisure facilities including a 25 metre pool, nightly live entertainment, child friendly facilities and a children’s activity programme during the school holidays.
How important is the public sector to your business?
We have over fifty years experience working with Public Sector and one of the reasons the INEC was developed, was in order to enable us to accommodate large scale Public Sector conferences. As a result, the highly flexible INEC can now cater for up to 750 delegates in classroom style or up to 2,500 delegates in tiered theatre style. To date, among many others, we have welcomed the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, the Irish Primary Principals’ Network, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, The Prison Officers’ Association and the Communications Workers Union and we recently hosted the ICTU delegate conference. Public Sector members also make up a large share of our leisure business with many choosing to holiday at one of our hotels. This business has also expanded in recent months as a result of our inclusion in the Fair Hotels initiative – Union Hotel Deals for Union Members. Contact: If you would like more information on the INEC or would like to discuss bringing an event to Killarney simply contact Cara. Email: cara@ inecconventions.ie or Tel +353 (0) 64 6671502
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Tourism Drive Tourism Ireland Steps Marketing Drive to Capitalise on high profile visits
A series of high profile visits to Ireland which it is hoped with provide a substantial boost to tourism on the island started in April with the visit of Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancée, Ms Charlene Wittstock Prince. This was followed by Queen Elizabeth’s historic state visit and a morale-boosting stop-over days later by US President Barack Obama. After three years of recession in which tourism revenue and visitor numbers have dropped by around a third, global headlines were finally presenting a positive message of Ireland and a welcome break from the relentless tide of bad economic news culminating in the IMF/EU bailout late last year. Even before the visits of Prince Albert, Queen Elizabeth and President Obama the tourism industry had received an unexpected boost, with news of a 9% surge in visitor numbers in the first three months of the year. It was the first time in two and a half years that there has been an increase in the number of tourists coming here. An extra 92,800 tourists visited Ireland between January and March, bringing the total to more than 1.5 million. There was a particularly strong 11.9% jump in visitors from North America, along with a 7% increase from Britain, our most important tourist market. Tourism representatives welcomed the visitor figures, which were well ahead of expectations.” After a number of difficult years for tourism, I believe the industry is now poised for a
return to growth,” said Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons. “Between the government stimulus package and the historic visits of the queen and President Obama, Ireland has been given a unique marketing advantage. The United States is a tremendously important market for us, second only to Britain in terms of delivering visitor numbers. Our focus is on maximising the potential of this unique occasion and on promoting Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination.” The government is counting on a recovery in the tourism industry and has delivered a modest package of measures aimed at reviving the labor-intensive sector. The package which includes a temporary reduction in the sales tax on restaurants and hotels, an easing of visa restrictions and the scrapping of a travel tax was agreed with the IMF and the European Union on the basis that it would not derail efforts to cut the budget deficit. The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation predicts that these measures together with the increased publicity and a restoration of some of the competitiveness lost during the boom when hotel prices soared will return the industry to revenue and visitor growth of between 4 and 6 percent this year. Chief Executive of the ITIC, Eamonn McKeon says that 10% growth in 2012 and a 6 percent rise per annum after that could see the industry match its 2007 peak where it welcomed
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7.7 million tourists to the country. A recovery in tourism will be instrumental in reducing Ireland’s 14.6 percent unemployment rate, the second highest in the euro zone after Spain. Recent years have been challenging for Tourism Ireland. After a 2007 peak, which saw nine million overseas visitors arrive here, it’s been a story of gradual decline. In 2010, 6.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €3 billion. The British visitor total was 3.5 million, down from a peak of nearly five million. Tourism Ireland is hoping that the visits in May of Queen Elizabeth II and Barack Obama will reverse this trend and has stepped up its marketing drive to take advantage of the huge positive publicity generated in the US and Britain. Genealogy has been selected as a key theme of the marketing push in the United States and a media news release was issued to 2,000 broadcast and online media, with video footage embedded featuring an interview with genealogist Fiona Fitzsimmon who has researched President Obama’s ancestral heritage in Moneygall. In addition, interviews with other Ireland-based genealogists and historians have been made available to US radio stations. A ‘hero spot’ is featured on discoverireland.com in the US highlighting the presidential itinerary together with strong tourism messages of genealogy and US presidential ancestral links to Ireland, as well as heritage and literary Dublin. North America is the second-largest market for tourists to Ireland after the UK. In the past, one million Americans came here each year and last year there were 935,000 visits to Ireland from the US and Canada although the last quarter of 2010 saw a strong rebound, with the number of visits from North America up by 13.9%. The marketing strategy used by Tourism Ireland in the US differs from the approach taken in Britain to capitalise on the visit of Queen Elizabeth II, where the focus was on cultural, literary,
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The State Visit by Prince Albert II of Monaco took place 50 years after the Prince’s late father and mother, Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace, visited Ireland in June 1961 on what was the first official visit by any Head of State to Ireland since the foundation of the State. The programme for the Prince’s visit reflect the long-standing ties between Ireland and Monaco and underline the potential for future co-operation in business, environment, research, education, tourism and culture. At a state dinner President Mary McAleese highlighted the importance of the modern-day links between Monaco and Ireland as two small, maritime countries with connections to each other that have never been stronger and similarities that are worth building on. The President said both counties had vested interest in protecting the environment, especially the marine environment and in sustainable development, themes which were evident throughout Prince Albert’s visit. Prince Albert visited his ancestral home in Newport, Co Mayo and also took a scheduled Aer Arann flight from Dublin to Galway to visit the Marine Institute headquarters.
equestrian, gastronomic and sporting themes. The royal schedule took in many of Ireland’s premiere tourist attractions including Guinness Storehouse (Dublin’s most popular tourist attraction), the National Stud in Kildare (perfect for the horsey set), the Rock of Cashel (for splendour and history) and Cork’s Old English Market (an opportunity to showcase Ireland’s food culture). There are broadly three strands to the British Marketing drive including a literary strand which is focussed on Dublin and highlights the capital’s status as Unesco City of Literature and the Queen’s visit to the Book of Kells. Other elements of the advertising campaign promote the Rock of Cashel as symbolic of Ireland’s heritage offering, while, in Cork, the food section is being heavily promoted with images of the Queen’s visit to the city’s English Market. According to Failte Ireland, attracting British visitors will be central to tourism performance in 2011 as it represents 45% of our overseas visitors and while our performance there was poor last year there are still opportunities, particularly around London and the Southeast, where economic prospects in Britain are much stronger. Research also shows a strong attachment, goodwill and a keen interest in Ireland amongst potential British visitors of all ages that could be tapped into further along with other favourable factors that could make Ireland a more attractive and accessible option for potential British visitors including a more competitive cost base in Ireland, the cut in the air tax, the rise in VAT in the UK and the growing strength of sterling. Equally positive is the fact that the lower prices of the last two years are starting to influence overseas perceptions of Ireland with Fáilte Ireland research finding significantly improved value for money ratings in 2010. This is a trend which is expected to continue this year.
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RDS DUBLIN JULY 8-12 SHOWS AT 10AM, 12PM , 2PM , & 4PM
It’s Dino-Awesome! Public Sector Journal caught up with Scott Wright the Australian adventurer bringing erth’s Dinosaur Petting Show to Ireland this Summer. What is the secret of the fascination of dinosaurs, especially for the young, (and not so young)? American Scientist magazine once wrote on the subject: “They are half real and half not-real. In the mind of a child, they are half dangerous and half safe, half scary monster and half special pal. They are powerfully strong but cannot reach us.” Until now! The eye-popping visual feast that is erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo in association with HB Hazelbrook Farm is an extraordinary performance that takes kids and adults on an interactive, prehistoric journey through an incredible cast of Dinosaurs that inhabited our world millions of years ago. erth will unleash the beasts at Dublin’s RDS on July 8th and the Zoo will also be taking up residence in Killarney and Castlebar where kids of all ages can get up close and personal with the creatures that roamed our planet millions of years ago. Children get to sit right around the stage when these amazingly life-like creatures come out to play during this fun-filled show. erth’s menagerie of ancient beasts is brought to life via various forms of human powered puppetry from the heart-meltingly cute baby Dryosaurs to the awe-inspiring Giant Allosaur. And for erth artistic director Scott Wright (he’s the one holding the jaws of the T-Rex open) it’s a very exiting time! The Journal asked him what the Dinosaur Petting Zoo is all about. “erth is a visual and physical theatre company based in Sydney. We have been around for 20 years and tour shows around Australia and overseas. “The Dinosaur Petting Zoo is a very cool show that is presented as a live animal display, like Steve Irwin would have done at Australia Zoo, but instead of crocodile and snakes we have dinosaurs. “During the show we let kids come up and pat and feed them … and if they behave badly we feed them to the dinosaurs (joking). erth works closely with some of the biggest natural history museums throughout the world, making life size dinosaur puppets, and decided that it would be fun to take a bigger version of the concept on the road. “It’s a very funny show but educational at the same time. We always get people coming up to us at the end of the show telling us how much they enjoyed the show, and how they didn’t know what to expect but were really pleased that they came. This show appeals to anybody between the ages of 5 and 500.” “There’s no real storyline to the Dinosaur Petting Zoo. It really is a live animal presentation. Of course, each dinosaur comes with a back story about where it came from, what it eats, etc. but of course audiences have their favourites” “The baby dinosaurs and the big scary carnivores are some of the most popular characters,” adds Scott who can’t wait to present the show in Ireland – the first time it has been performed in Europe. “One truly amazing thing about their popularity is that we
have many dinosaurs that have appeared on various youtube clips. We totalled the amount of hits recently and discovered that our dinosaurs have amassed over 5 million hits collectively. “One dino in particular has 3 million to herself!” One thing Scott and his erth-ly crew are looking forward to is a great Irish welcome when they hit Dublin, Killarney and Castlebar in July with appearances at the Galway Arts Festival too! “ One of the endearing things about touring the show is performing the work in more and more new locations. The audiences are so warm and appreciative. “The show really does appeal to so many people, it’s always great to do the show for new audiences. The response and enthusiasm is wonderful, and you feel like the show evolves with every thank you and round of applause. “We’re really looking forward to Ireland and what hopefully will be the first of many visits here - I know the T-Rex is getting very excited. I just hope we remember to feed him before each performance!” Don’t miss erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo at the RDS July 8-12, INEC Killarney, July 16/17 and Royal Theatre Castlebar July 23/24
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A Performer’s Passion Public Sector Magazine discovers what moves Arcana founder Johnny Donnelly.
Transitioning from a performer to producer – and Managing Director of a successful events company – can be challenging, says Arcana’s Johnny Donnelly. Fortunately for the former Saw Doctors drummer, the change has been a gradual one. “I was in The Saw Doctors for 12 years and, during that time, I was percussion director for Macnas and its sister company Mac Teo. Through being involved in The Saw Doctors and doing that, I got involved in different events, like the MTV Awards in Paris, or flying to some Dallas party for a billionaire,” he recalls. Donnelly, who bought the entertainment-focused Mac Teo four years ago to form Arcana, had a clear idea of what this new company would achieve. “My vision for that was event management, production and running events as opposed to the entertainment part,” he says, adding that the company’s reputation for providing entertainment at events has also helped win business. “We get so much work because we understand both elements, and we’re able to do both elements on different scales – our clients know they can get one company to tick all those boxes. A lot of event management companies who’d be our competitors might get events that we didn’t, and then come back to Arcana for the entertainment. We’re double-pronged in that sense, and quite lucky to have that different side to us.”
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Donnelly himself still pines to perform occasionally. “The performance thing is my passion – music is in my blood, and it’s something I do without thinking about it, because it’s just there. The business side of the company goes through a whole different process, from a tender or going to interviews with clients. Dealing with clients throughout the process in a business sense is always odd because that’s new for me,” he admits. “When you’re the Managing Director of a company, you think about the business process you go through to the ‘full stop’ of the event, and the business sense is ongoing. You’re constantly thinking about budgets, dealing with other stuff that’s going to happen the following week, and keeping everyone – from your staff to clients – happy. It’s the bit that I find most tiring. You could be in the middle of one of the biggest events you’ve ever done, while also being in the middle of putting together a tender for another event that you want for the company to survive the next six months. I think the phrase often used is that a Managing Director isn’t there to run the day to day of the business: he’s there to worry about the future of the business. It’s a whole different way of thinking.” Still, he reveals, having a performer’s mindset – and a keen attention to detail – has helped Arcana’s team to deliver top-class events. “We’re not from a business background initially, so we tend to have something that many other people don’t. We do think
“We always think about how the person sitting in the seat may feel – or may not feel – during the event.” outside the box, and think about an event in a way that some companies might not. We always think about how the person sitting in the seat may feel – or may not feel – during the event,” explains Donnelly. “We’d look at the visual aspect of it, and all the senses affected during an event, whether it’s audio or whatnot. We’re quite anal in how we approach things, and we’d work back from everything. The analogy we use is that we’re a big wheel, and there are about 900 cogs involved in that. Whether it’s a cleaner collecting rubbish or the MC of the main event, that wheel will not turn without all those cogs. That’s how we’d approach an event.: The mix of creativity and conscientiousness has helped the Galway-based company grow quickly. Quite apart from winning plaudits – the company was a winner at the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award 2009 for Best Start-Up Business in Connaught, and also picked up The David Manley Emerging Arts Entrepreneur Of The Year award – Arcana has been involved ins exciting events across the public and private sectors. Donnelly and his team presided over the National Lottery Skyfest at Limerick in 2010, for one, and the Volvo Ocean Race for 2009. “The Volvo Ocean race during 2009 in Galway was huge for us. We were involved in producing all the entertainment and all kinds of things for that event, opening ceremonies and everything,” recalls Donnelly, adding that the company has kept up its involvement with the prestigious competition. “We’re just embarking now around the world on the Volvo Ocean Race, managing many of their events in house.” And of course, there are more events in the pipeline for the fast-rising company. “There are several ones I can’t disclose – we’ve signed the contracts but don’t have permission yet to say we’ve won it – but there’s an event with worldwide exposure happening in Ireland next summer. We’re also involved in London 2012 – I’ve been invited to be Percussion Director for one of the events, which will involve 500 drummers from around the world. Now, I’m having
conversations with people in China and Brazil or whatnot, so it’s very exciting… We’re getting larger event management roles now that we wouldn’t have gotten in the past. Even some of our clients find it new. We’ve some clients who know exactly what we do entertainment wise, but don’t know that we actually produce events.” Of course, with larger events come larger stakes, and greater potential for trouble. Donnelly, though, is confident that his team’s detail-focused philosophy will see them through – after all, it’s worked to date. “We’re very innate in our approach – sometimes we get a sense with a client where we know an event is going to be hellish, for whatever reason. You can normally pick up whether or not a client is on the right road, or if what they’re proposing won’t work. You can sense that quite easily and, in a few cases, we’ve made a call that an event is a bit too risky, for whatever reason. There were one or two sporting events where there might have been a pitch invasion while performers were on the pitch – those things have happened once or twice, but it’s completely out of our control, because we’re not in charge of security or a few thousand people deciding to jump the walls. There’ve been a few instances where that happened, and we’ve been on the pitch with performers and pyrotechnics due to go off. But we’d always have a failsafe in place where we’d spot the worst case scenario a mile off. So, the pyrotechnics wouldn’t be connected until the last second, and we’d always have a minder on the pitch. We’ve always had things like that, because you can’t take a risk on anybody’s life. We’ve had a few of those situations where things wouldn’t be under our control, but we’d be aware of what the worst case scenario is for an event, and that’s where the attention to detail comes in.” That nose-to-the-ground, instinctive approach, then, seems to help Donnelly and the Arcana crew in situations that would be sticky for most businesspeople. A performer’s background may make the job of a Managing Director challenging, but it has its uses.
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STILL FLYING HIGH We wish to congratulate Aer Lingus on 75 years of success and for their vital contribution to life on this island. Long may it continue.
Proud partners of Aer Lingus, providing Dynamic Currency Conversion and online gift voucher services. www.fexcoms.com
Time Flies Aer Lingus celebrates its 75th anniversary
This photos shows the service on board an early transatlantic flight. Aer Lingus services between Ireland and the USA first commenced in April 1958.
Aer Lingus is an award-winning airline operating 44 aircraft on more than 100 routes from Ireland to the UK, Europe and North America. Aer Lingus was founded by the Irish Government in April 1936 and four years later it moved into the newly completed Dublin Airport. This year the airline celebrates its 75th anniversary, with the first flight operating between Baldonnel and Bristol on May 27, 1936, with five passengers on board a six-seater De Havilland 84 Dragon. In its inaugural year Aer Lingus operated three routes, carrying 892 passengers and employed a total of 12 staff. In 2010, its 75th year of service, the airline carried 9.4 million passengers, flying to over 100 routes - to 75 destinations in 22 countries and providing employment to almost 4,000 staff. To mark its 75th anniversary Aer Lingus recently unveiled a new retro painted aircraft in the former 1960s ‘Irish International’ livery. The newest addition to the fleet, an Airbus A320- EI-DVM, MSN 4634 series, named ‘St Coleman’, was painted especially for the anniversary celebrations and unveiled at a ceremony at the iconic, Old Central Terminal Building Dublin airport - designed by the late
Desmond FitzGerald. As part of the celebrations Aer Lingus cabin crew modelled vintage uniforms from each decade between 1945 and the current day. Speaking at the event, Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller said, “2011 is a very special year for Aer Lingus as it marks the airline’s 75th anniversary. Since the early days of 1936, Aer Lingus has grown to become a flag carrier with a worldwide reputation for our friendly staff, our high quality of service, value for money and innovation. Throughout the 75 years we have carried out our mission of connecting Ireland with the world, transporting millions of customers annually. We look forward to continuing to fly the shamrock for the next 75 years.” As part of the anniversary celebrations, the sister aircraft of the Iolar has undergone a restoration project, meaning it is once again airworthy and will partake at celebratory events throughout the year. The following report illustrates the Milestone events which have at Aer Lingus throughout the decades 1936-2010:
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The Super Constellation aircraft at the Old Central Terminal Building, Dublin Airport.
1940 1946 1954
Aer Lingus took delivery of its first aircraft, registered EI-ABI, on 26 May 1936 and named it “Iolar” (Eagle). This was Aer Lingus’ first and only aircraft and it was based at Baldonnel Aerodrome, the Irish Army Air Corps base outside Dublin. At 0900 hours, May 27, 1936, the aircraft took off from Baldonnel on Aer Lingus’ first flight from Baldonnel to Bristol. Within a few weeks, summer service began to the Isle of Man. In September the network was extended to London (Croydon Airport) using a newly-acquired De Havilland DH86. Aer Lingus acquired a de Havilland D.H.89A Dragon Rapide in February 1938 to replace EI-ABI, which was sold to the British airline Channel Air Ferries and it was restored to the British registry as G-ACPY on February 19, 1938. First Douglas DC-3 delivered in April. Paris added to the network, becoming the first Continental European city to be served by Aer Lingus. First Viscount 700s delivered in March. Aer Lingus was the third airline to introduce the Viscount, the world’s first turboprop airliner. Major expansion of Continental European network, mostly using new rights via Manchester. The DC-3 (was also widely known by its RAF name, the Dakota) were replaced by new Fokker F27 Friendship twin turboprops
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1960 1965 1966 1966 1969 1971 1974
Aerlinte Eireann, originally formed in the 1940s, reestablishes and on the 28 April the first service leaves Dublin and Shannon for New York The shamrock replaces the Irish flag on the tail of Aerlinte Eireann aircrafts and a year later is extended to the European fleet Aer Lingus enters the jet age, with Boeing 720s covering the routes from Dublin and Shannon to New York and Boston BAC One-Eleven jets introduced on Continental European network. Montreal and Chicago added to the transatlantic network in April. Aer Lingus replaces Fokker F27 for Vickers Viscount 800s in 1966 Boeing 737-200 introduced into service. The aircraft became the mainstay of our short-haul fleet for many years. First Aer Lingus Boeing 747 is delivered Aer Lingus unveils its revamped livery featuring two new green colours and a blue. A new white shamrock appears on the fin, provoking outrage among purists! Pope John Paul II flies from Rome to Dublin and later from Shannon to Boston on an Aer Lingus plane that has been specially chartered for him Cahill Plan introduces flexible practices to address trading challenges Airbus A330 introduced into service on transatlantic routes.
The Super Constellation, aka “Super Connie”
1995 On the 2nd of October the last Aer Lingus Boeing 747 flight takes place after 25 years of service. By that time, over eight million people had travelled across the Atlantic in Aer Lingus ‘Jumbo Jets’ 1995 Introduction of BAe146 into fleet in April to replace turboprops on UK routes. 1996 New corporate identity introduced in February. 1996 Chicago service reintroduced after being suspended previously. 1997 Newark service inaugurated in May. 1998 Daily Cork-Amsterdam and Cork-Paris services started in June using BAe146s. 1998 Introduction of Airbus A321 into service in May, used initially on busy Dublin-Heathrow route. 1998 TEAM Aer Lingus sold in December. 1999 Launch of Los Angeles service in May using newlydelivered long-range Airbus A330-200 2000 Introduction of first Airbus A320 into service in June on busier Continental routes 2001 Implementation of survival plan following 9/11 – introduction of low fares model to compete with low cost carriers 2005 Last Boeing 737-500s withdrawn from service in October, making Aer Lingus an all-Airbus airline. 2005 Two new long haul Airbus A330 aircraft are ordered due for delivery in 2007 2006 Aer Lingus celebrates its 70th Anniversary. 2006 Aer Lingus is floated on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges; continuation of low fares business model. Aer Lingus launches its first long haul destination outside of North America, Dubai 2007 Open Skies agreement provides Aer Lingus with tremendous opportunities to grow its long haul network and within an hour of the announcement Aer Lingus announces three new routes to the U.S. Commencing with Washington D.C in August, followed by San Francisco and Orlando in October. Aer Lingus takes delivery of two new A330 aircraft and places an order for a further 12 Airbus new long haul aircraft, 6 A330 Enhanced and 6 A350 XWB aircraft. Aer Lingus carries in excess of 1 million Transatlantic passengers. 2008 Aer Lingus announces an industry first, pioneering
Aer Lingus bought its first De Havilland 86 aircraft, named “Eire” in September 1936 and it was used to expand the company’s network to London’s Croyden Airport.
The Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair was first used by Aer Lingus for car-ferry services to Britain in 1963. partnership with U.S airline, JetBlue Airways connecting Aer Lingus passengers with over 40 domestic destinations. Aer Lingus signs a codeshare agreement with United Airlines providing Aer Lingus passengers with access to over 200 U.S destinations on the UA network. 2008 Aer Lingus celebration 50 years of Transatlantic flying on 28 April 2008. Aer Lingus embarks on a long haul aircraft product upgrade on
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The Flagship Gold Circle Lounge at T2 Dublin Airport…
its current fleet, which is expected to be rolled out from the end of 2008 2010: Aer Lingus celebrates 70 years of flights at Dublin airport. On the 19 January, 1940, Dublin Airport was officially opened when an Aer Lingus Lockheed 14 aircraft departed Dublin for Liverpool at 09.00 am, the aircraft having been positioned over from Baldonnel Aerodrome the previous evening For further details visit www.aerlingus.com
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Aer Lingus has officially opened its new Gold Circle Lounge at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2. The new lounge offers Aer Lingus Gold Circle members and Business Class customers a haven of tranquillity from the busy surroundings of the airport terminal. A large open lobby space leads to spacious seating areas, with full height windows spanning the entire length of the lounge, and exterior views overlooking the runway, and on a clear day these views extend to the Dublin Mountains. The lounge has been designed to reflect the unique aspects of the Irish landscape. In fact, all of the materials used are all native to Ireland, including limestone and oak timber. One striking design element is the floor to ceiling water feature, set against a wall of Kilkenny limestone, which adds to the peaceful atmosphere of the lounge. The lounge is equipped with workstations for laptops, printing facilities and complimentary Wifi. Television and flight information screens are located discreetly throughout the lounge. A ‘bistro’ style self-serve bar features a range of hot and cold food options along side a designated dining area. A special “quiet zone” is located on the mezzanine level, where customers can relax and unwind, beneath a glass ceiling which allows for plenty of natural light. There are spacious shower rooms for customers to freshen up between flights. The new lounge is located in close proximity to the departure gates in Terminal 2. Non Gold Circle members/Business Class customers, may also access the lounge for a fee of €25.
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel Celebrates 40 Years 1971-2011 Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Killiney, Co. Dublin, is proud to be celebrating 40 years in business this year and is planning a range of celebrations to mark the occasion. The hotel, which was opened by hotelier Paddy Fitzpatrick and his wife Eithne in 1971, is now run by his daughter Eithne Fitzpatrick Scott- Lennon. Since it first opened its doors Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel has welcomed many well-known guests including Musicians James Last, Bono, Bob Geldof and Chris de Burgh and Actors Peter Ustinov, Pierce Brosnan, Donald Sutherland, Larry Hagman and Joanna Lumley, to name but a few. Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel has been the base hotel for the Irish Rugby Team for the past five years and has also held many memorable events including the IRFU Grand Slam Celebrations, The Baby Max Ball, the CRC Luncheon and numerous high profile weddings. The Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel team is also hosting a range of celebratory events throughout 2011, some of which include:n Afternoon Tea on the Lawn – Charity garden party on the grounds, in aid of local charities – June 2011 n Special food & beverage offers throughout 2011, including 40th anniversary cocktails in the Dungeon Bar & Library Bar n A cookbook, by Chef Sean Dempsey – 40 timeless recipes n The launch of a blog for guests to post memories of the Castle Speaking about the 40th anniversary, Eithne Fitzpatrick ScottLennon, Owner & Managing Director, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, said; “We are delighted to be celebrating 40 years in business here at Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel. The hotel is proud to hold an excellent guest service record and it is a wonderful testament to Nicky Logue, our Director & General Manager, Sean Dempsey, our Executive Chef and the team that the hotel is still going from strength to strength, as it is they who make Fitzpatrick’s Castle. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our guests for their support over the years and we look forward to welcoming them back during the celebrations this year.” Located in Killiney, Co. Dublin, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel enjoys stunning views over Dublin Bay. The hotel has 113 luxurious
Doesn’t Time Fly? Aer Lingus – Its History Mike Cronin It is 75 years since Aer Lingus, Ireland’s national airline, took to the sky. This specially commissioned history not only charts the history of the airline but also focusses on those who have worked for it and have flown with it. It draws heavily on the company’s extensive archive of photographs, posters and advertisements, as well as the emphemera and memories of its staff. A social hisotry of an airline, it chronicles the innovative ways in which Aer Lingus has met a plethora of challenges since 1936, and how it has always been able to adapt and transform itself. It highlights the signficant contribution the airline has made to the development of Irish aviation and to Irish society in general. Included are chapters on cabin crews and pilots, passengers, routes and planes (both the machines themselves and what was
bedrooms and suites, 2 award winning restaurants and a 20m swimming pool, within its fully equipped fitness centre. The Castle also has extensive banqueting facilities for up to 400 people and conferencing facilities for up to 600 delegates. The Hotel is one of the first Hotels in Ireland to achieve the Q-mark rating and also holds an Excellence Award from Failte Ireland and the European Foundation Quality Management (EFQM) as well as a Gold Medal Award from Hotel and Catering Review for the Dungeon Grill.
availabel onboard flights) as well as a chapter on how Aer Lingus is selling Ireland abroad. This is an indispensable book for anyone who has ever been connected with Aer Lingus, has boarded one of its planes, or is fascinated about how this modern and revolutionary technology transported Irishness, as symbolised by the tail-fin shamrock, across the seas. The book is available for sale on board all Aer Lingus flights and in all good bookshops and onlinefrom www.collinspress.ie
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Bonus Code: PUBLIC
Fitzpatrick Castle Dublin Luxury Castle Hotel ‘Celebrating 40 years of Tradition & Style’ ■ Located in Killiney overlooking Dublin Bay ■ 113 Luxurious Bedrooms & Suites ■ 2 Award Winning Restaurants ■ 2 Conference & Banqueting Suites ■ 9 Meeting Rooms ■ Full leisure centre including 20m Swimming Pool
Fitzpatrick Group of Hotels Dublin * New York
27th May 2011: Taoiseach Enda Kenny is escorted by Aer Lingus ground crew members Erika Kelly and Georgina Cooley before flying on board the Iolar aircraft.
Mueller Slams Passenger Charges
27th May 2011: Taoiseach Enda Kenny is escorted by Aer Lingus ground crew members Erika Kelly and Georgina Cooley before flying on board the Iolar aircraft. The 20 minute flight departed Dublin Airport and tracked along the north Dublin coast, reaching about 2,000 feet before turning back for Dublin Airport. The flight was piloted by Captain Paul van Lonkhuyzen. On May 27th 1936 Aer Lingus launched its first ever flight between Baldonnel and Bristol, with five passengers, on a six-seater De Havilland 84 Dragon named Iolar, - meaning ‘eagle’ in Irish. The sister aircraft of the Iolar recently underwent a complete restoration, in order to make the aircraft airworthy once again in time to mark the airline’s 75th anniversary on May 27th 2011.
The Chief Executive of Aer Lingus, Christoph Mueller is pressing for a reduction in what he describes as “insane” passenger charges at Dublin Airport. Speaking at the airlines AGM in May, Mr Mueller said the high airport charges approved by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) in 2009 was harming tourism at a time when it was never more important to attract greater visitor numbers to these shores. The Commission approved an application by Dublin Airport Authority to raise its per-passenger charge at the airport to a maximum of €10.44, a steep increase from the €7.39 charge which applied in 2009. The DAA wanted the hike in fees to pay for its €1.2 billion capital expenditure programme which included the construction of terminal two. Aer Lingus is set to pay up to €35 million more in airport charges this year than in 2010 and Mr Mueller said this money could have been used to pay a dividend to shareholders.
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Custom Built Furniture
Kelco Designs Kelco Designs is a firm of outstanding reputation and excellence when it comes to beautiful bespoke furniture. Whether it is free standing or fitted, bespoke custom made furniture done well fits it niche like a glove and completes the space, respecting the character of the interior architecture.
At Kelco, choice is key. They offer their customer solutions, facilitated by a â€˜design through partnershipâ€™ approach to ensure you get the piece of furniture that truly meets your needs and style. Bespoke alcove and entertainments cabinets housing hardware are professionally designed to efficiently organise screens, multiple audio/digital components and large media collections in one space, within one room. Unsightly wiring is
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cleverly concealed, and the room has a pleasing focal point. Their attention to detail and sheer craftsmanship is second to none and is one of the main reasons for their outstanding success to date and envied clientele. They carry an extensive selection of wood and paint finishes, both contemporary and traditional styles and their custom made furniture provides solutions for your storage requirements and handsome pieces that add value to your space. A full collection is
Custom Built Furniture
available to view on their website. With todays bedroom becoming the new sanctuary, Kelco understand the importance of creating a flexible, functional retreat. A well designed wardrobe ensures an uncluttered relaxing haven and various examples of free-standing and fitted wardrobes can be seen on the â€˜bedroomsâ€™ page on their website. As lifestyle changes are depicting how we work in and use our homes today, home offices are becoming a new necessity. Kelco Designs exquisite home offices and studies are tailored to create a work space with the optimum level of comfort, style and functionality. A detailed selection of home offices and suites can be found on their website. If unsightly radiators dominate your space, Kelco Design make a range of elegant fitted radiators which provide a
stylish piece of furniture to any room be it living or hall whilst improving the dispersal of heat into a room. A range of traditional and contemporary styles of radiator cabinets can be viewed in their product portfolio. In addition to their unparalleled reputation for exceptional craftsmanship and finish, Kelco Designs offer a complete service from surveying and design through to installation, be it a specific requirement or a rough concept. Their experienced designers are dedicated to finding the right bespoke solution for you so all you have to do is choose. For further information contact Kelco Designs, Unit 17, Churchtown Business Park, Beaumont Avenue, Dublin 14. www.kelcodesigns.ie To arrange a free consultation please call Tel 01 296 5500
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20.08.2011 – 28.08.2011
EVENT REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! Connect with your local community Learn new skills Take part in NATIONAL HERITAGE WEEK by organising or attending an event. For full info go to www.heritageweek.ie With thousands of free family friendly events taking place there’s something for all ages and interests in every county of Ireland • • • • • • •
Food fairs Classical music Storytelling Wildlife walks Treasure trails Historic gardens Craft workshops
• • • • • •
Seminars and lectures Traditional music & dance sessions Photography and art exhibitions Tours of historical buildings Archaeological digs Historical re-enactments
EVENTS ARE DIVERSE, CREATIVE, ENTERTAINING, EDUCATIONAL & FUN To find out more about National Heritage Week and for details about our National Photography and Storytelling Competitions see: Visit www.heritageweek.ie Callsave 1850
200 878 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
National Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council with support from Fáilte Ireland and is part of European Heritage Days, the Public Sector Magazine which is celebrated in over 40 countries across Europe.
Serving the State The OPW’s mission is to deliver services in property, design, heritage, drainage & flood relief and general procurement. It is an operational arm of Government, reporting to a Minister for State and comes under the aegis of the Department of Finance.
This year marks the 180th anniversary of the Office of Public Works making it one of the oldest State bodies in Ireland. Before the OPW was established in 1831, there was no Government Department or agency directly responsible for organised public development and public projects were undertaken through a combination of state grants, local municipal contribution and private investment. The Public works (Ireland) Act of 1832 finally created a Board of Works for the country which amalgamated the responsibilities of a number of existing Boards, including the Directors of Inland Navigation, Commissioners of Irish Fisheries, Loans Commissioners, the Barracks Board and various local commissions. In its early years, the OPW focused on the administration of loans and grants for the construction of piers and harbors to assist the fishing industry as well as on new road schemes and maintenance projects. As its capabilities and administrative expertise grew and developed, it assumed responsibility for overseeing some of the country’s most significant development projects including the Shannon Navigation system and the Famine relief works from 1845 to 1852 - which was one of the biggest relief operations in the World at the time. It also oversaw the reclamation of vast tracts of land for agricultural use under the great drainage schemes of the 19th Century. One of the longest traditions of the OPW relates to the care and maintenance of our built heritage. The Irish Church Act of 1869 saw the beginning of its involvement in maintaining National monuments and later the Ancient Monuments Protection Act extended its remit to include protection, maintenance, the appointment of inspectors and the provision of necessary approved expenditure. Later, its area
of responsibility was developed to include other parts of our heritage such as cairns, stone circles, earth works and ancient and medieval buildings such as Newgrange, Tara and the Grianan of Aileach. Throughout the 19th century, OPW staff supervised the design and construction of major public buildings including the Four Courts, the Customs House, Dublin Castle, the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham and a new convict depot on the North Circular Road (now Mountjoy Prison) together with a number of other prisons in Smithfield, Kilmainham and Richmond. It was also involved in the construction and maintenance of other notable public buildings including the Royal College of St. Patrick, Maynooth, the Queens Colleges in Belfast, Cork and Galway, the National Gallery of Art, the National Library and Museums of Science and Art. The OPW was also involved in the reconstruction of the GPO and the restoration of surrounding buildings which were damaged extensively in the 1916 rising. The demands on the OPW intensified after 1921 with the need to provide accommodation for the Oireachtas and offices for new Government Departments as well as facilities for the army and the Gardai. Leinster House was acquired for the sum of £68,000 in 1924 and extensive repairs had to be undertaken at the Custom House and the Four Courts which were the principal buildings housing Government officials and staff. In the mid 1930s the priority was the establishment of the State’s first two civil airports at Shannon and Dublin while the emergency years from 1939 to 1945 saw a demand for additional military accommodation. A fuel control and transportation system was also established to respond to the deterioration
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Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham
of fuel imports and a massive fuel depot was established in Phoenix Park to which all forms of national fuel were transported. In addition a number of prominent buildings such as Iveagh House which was donated to the State in 1939 was adapted for use by the Department of External Affairs and the headquarters of the Department of Industry and Commerce at Kildare Street was completed in 1942. Following the end of the war there was major progress achieved in relation to the construction of national schools, Garda stations and telephone exchanges while priority was also given to providing stronger representation overseas with the establishment of embassies in London and Paris in 1952. Additional premises were acquired in Lisbon and the Hague as well as a permanent resident for the Irish representative in the United Nations in New York and the Chancellery in Washington. Meanwhile in 1950, permanent memorials to Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and Kevin O’Higgins were erected on the lawn of Leinster House. A central engineering workshop was established in Inchicore in 1951 to provide a comprehensive machine repair and replacement service and store essential supplies and equipment. A number of major drainage catchment schemes were also completed in Offaly, Louth, Kerry, Galway, Tipperary and Wexford and there was a further programme of land reclamation and numerous marine works and coastal protection projects at many of the country’s harbors and piers. The 1960s was a period of change and modernisation which was reflected in larger and more modern schools with significantly improved facilities as well as newly equipped and up-to-date garda stations and post offices while a new Central Sorting Office was developed in Sherrif Street. There were also new telephone exchanges created and an extension added to the National Gallery while restoration works were carried out at the National Library and Dublin Castle. The fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 rising in 1966 was marked with a new memorial at Arbour Hill and the Rotunda Gardens at Parnell Square were adapted to create the Garden of Remembrance. On Easter
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Monday 1966, the then President Eamon De Valera unveiled a memorial to Thomas Davis at College Green. As well as ongoing work on new schools, drainage schemes, garda stations and other public buildings, the 1970s and 80s were notable for a series of major architectural restoration projects including Dublin Castle, the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the Custom House and the Curvilinear range in the National Botanic Gardens, which won the Europa Nostra award for restoration and conservation. The OPW also assumed responsibility for the Canals and wildlife services but following controversy over proposals for visitor interpretive centres , particularly in the Burren and Luggal in Wicklow, a number of functions including heritage services were moved from the OPW to a new Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. These responsibilities were restored to the OPW in 2004. Until the onset of the recession, the OPW has been busy in the new millennium and has completed many landmark projects in the last decade including the national Gallery extension in Clare Street and the Leinster House 2000 project which provided additional facilities for the Houses of the Oireachtas. Other notable projects included the completion of new state-of-the-art laboratories in County Kildare, new divisional headquarters for the Gardai in Buncrana, the National Conference Centre and the extension to the National Concert Hall. It was also charged with overseeing the ambitious Government decentralisation programme, part of which saw the OPW Headquarters relocated from Dublin to Trim and the development of a number of regional offices in Claremorris, County Mayo and Kanturk, County Cork. The OPW moved into its new headquarters last Summer. The building covers over 8,000 square metres and stands four storey’s tall in its unique circular shape, with a full height atrium through the core and a civic plaza to the front creating the focal point in the planned new Trim Town Centre. It caters for over 300 staff and many visitors. The building has an energy rating of A3, a very high rating by commercial building standards. For a prestige office block, the OPW headquarters
National Art Gallery
has been designed and constructed to be best-in-class when it comes to energy performance compared to buildings of similar type. The entire building has been designed to be naturally ventilated and the structure has been used as much as practicable to provide passive cooling in order to pre-cool the
Clamping Down on Suppliers Suppliers of services to the State are facing a major clampdown on the fees which they charge. The fees charged by barristers, public relations consultants, auditors, IT firms, auditors and other suppliers are being scrutinised by the Minister for the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes who is planning to meet with twenty of the country’s largest suppliers of services to the state to tell them the prices they are charging for goods and services is unsustainable in the current climate. Procurement under the remit of the OPW current costs 16 billion and accounts for half of the country’s total tax take. According to Minister Hayes there has been a lack of effort in addressing these costs despite the fact that most suppliers to the State have negotiated with their own suppliers in an effort to drive down costs. However, one problem facing the state is the fact that long-term contracts have been signed for many services. However, the Minister says that suppliers will be told that unless they reduce costs, they will end up dealing with the IMF and their ability to secure future contracts will also be affected. The minister has said that he will lead the negotiations personally rather than leaving it to civil servants.
building before occupancy during the summer months. Special solar controlling glass and shading systems reduce the solar gains as much as possible. High efficiency lighting with daylight linking and occupancy control has been installed throughout. The entire lighting installation is controlled by an advanced lighting management system and testing has shown that the building’s performance against a modern comparable national office type is 50% superior in terms of energy conservation. A key feature of the OPW is the range of expertise required and it employs Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Valuers, Mechanical & Electrical Engineers, Civil Engineers, and includes a range of specialist skills related to the construction industry. The organisation also comprises a large direct labour force involved not only in the many engineering works but also in highly skilled crafts such as stone carving, castings, ironwork and decorative plasterwork. Its architectural services division consists of a full architectural practice providing a complete design service for public sector building projects, a conservation management and advisory service, and a building maintenance service. Through the office of the Principal Architect it is the Government Adviser on Architecture. Areas of expertise include Conservation, Urban Design, Exhibition and Interior Design and Landscaping. It has a reputation for quality and professionalism, and has won many awards for the high standards of its work, and has maintained accreditation to the Quality Standard ISO 9002. Awards won in recent years include the European Union Cultural and Heritage Award (Europa Nostra Medal) 2006 for the Palm House Complex, Botanic Gardens; Opus Architecture and Construction Award and the All Ireland Landscape ‘Best Public Project’ award for the Marine Institute, Co. Galway; Europa Nostra Heritage Award 2001 & the RIAI Irish Architecture Award 2001 for Leinster House 2000; Dedalo Minosse International Prize 2007 (Commendation) for 7-9 Merrion Row - The Billets; Opus Architecture and Construction Awards for the Galway City Museum and the Irish Architectural Archive; and the RIAI Triennial Gold Medal for the Ceide Fields Visitor Centre. The recession has resulted in a significant decline in demand for new developments and the OPW is now focusing on the State’s substantial existing portfolio of properties. The main priority for the foreseeable future will be ensuring compliance with various directives and legislative enactments such as providing full universal access to all public buildings by 2022 and meeting the EU targets for 30% reduction in carbon for buildings by 2020. Attention will also be directed at planned maintenance and conservation planning for the many historic properties in State ownership. It will also continue to operate The National Procurement Service (NPS) which acts as a centre of excellence providing advice on and implementing procurement policy in line with best practice and Government initiatives, including improved access to public procurement opportunities for SMEs. As the use of the restricted tendering procedure is often cited as a barrier to SME participation procedures have now been established to ensure that all public procurement construction contracts for services under €125,000 shall be procured through open public tender. Additional measures to improve the balance of commissions between the large and smaller practices are under consideration.
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Faulkner Interiors 108
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The work of David Faulkner, one of Ireland’s leading soft furnishing and interior design specialists is featured in some of Ireland’s most prominent heritage buildings and in the offices and headquarters of some of our most prestigious businesses. Like the majority of people who rise to the top of their profession, David is driven by dedication and passion for his craft. Faulkner Interiors is a family business and he has been steeped in the world of interior design and soft furnishing from an early age. The company was started in 1950 by his parents, George and Rosemary. George decided to leave secure employment in Roches Stores to pursue his passion for design. They opened a small workshop manufacturing curtains which they initially supplied to his former employer. The company was not as specialised in the early years and manufactured a broad spectrum of different styles. According to David: “My father had a passion for his work and a real desire which drove him to take a risk and venture out on his own despite the very difficult economic climate. He was a complete perfectionist and I have inherited many of those traits.” The quality and skilled craftsmanship, which has been the hallmark of Faulkner Interiors from the outset quickly became evident and attracted the attention of leading retail outlets such as Brown Thomas and Switzers. As the company grew and developed, David began working regularly with his father and his interest in interior design and particularly fabrics and soft furnishings began to take shape. “I worked with my father constantly through my childhood, during the holidays, on weekend breaks and after school, so I became immersed in the business,” he says. “By the time I left school I had acquired skills, from George and Rosemary and their staff, that had become second nature to me and in fact I had far more abilities than I recognised at the time.” In his early twenties, David gave serious thought to training as a tailor but the lure of the family business proved too strong and he was also beginning to conceive of new possibilities and different avenues in which he could channel the business. “By that time I had developed my expertise in curtain design to a very high level and started to employ a new team of staff, I began to see new possibilities for the business and I was excited by the challenges and opportunities for interesting and diverse projects.” In 1980 David took over at the helm of the company and began to implement his vision and expand the scope and range of services within the company while adhering strictly to the principals of quality, expert craftsmanship and superior fabrics which had been instilled by his parents. The company began branching into complementary disciplines which utilised its existing talents and skills set and launched a more elaborate and comprehensive window dressing service in addition to upholstery, fabric walling and conservatory canopies. A comprehensive interior design consultancy service was also launched encompassing everything from initial consultation to a full project management service. David also focused on establishing strong relations with the country’s leading architects and designers within the OPW and also in private practice. “This has given me the chance to expand my knowledge of classical window treatments and furnishings, but has led to a perception that I only engage in
Left: Farmleigh detail of curtain in Lord Iveagh’s Room
Drape detail period style designs and grand historical buildings which is not the case,” he says. “I am equally comfortable working in contemporary homes.” However, Faulkner Interiors has not been immune to the impact of the recession and the collapse of the property market. During the boom, the practice worked extensively on fitting out show houses in prestigious housing and apartment developments such as Hollybrook on Brighton Rd and Charlesland in Greystones. It was also busy in the commercial property and hotels sector and completed fit-outs on offices and apartments for the Premier Group and hotels such as Stephen’s Hall and Adare Manor. In addition Faulkner Interiors has worked on numerous prestigious projects for public sector bodies such as the OPW. Included are: Kilkenny Castle, the Dail Chamber, Muckross House - Killarney, and The Pearce Museum in Rathfarnham. The
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Antique gilded tie-back detail ballroom in Rathfarnham Castle; the Throne Room in Dublin Castle, The State rooms in Aras an Uachtarain and of course Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park The Farmleigh House project was done under the most intense pressure but there was such energy and enthusiasm for it that it now stands as a legacy to the skills and craftwork of the entire Faulkner Interiors team. Their contribution was recorded in the documentary on Farmleigh House which was screened on RTE. This programme focused on the restoration of this former Guinness Family home and its conversion into the Government Guest House. While David has acquired a very impressive portfolio over the past 35 years and acknowledging the element of exclusivity attached to the Faulkner brand David is quick to point out that his services are not exclusively for the A1 income client. In the current economic climate where budgets are set at considerably lower levels than heretofore he is adamant that this does not mean compromise on design - rather it presents greater challenges and even more ingenuity is required. Since 1978 Faulkner Interiors have been engaged on an interesting and varied range of OPW projects, from Aras an Uachtarain to Portlaoise prison. This is a perfect illustration of the broad spectrum of work that the firm is capable of providing. For Portlaoise prison it was simple blackout curtains for the army dormitories on a very tight budget. For Áras an Úachtarain it was the design and tailoring of the drapes in the State Rooms, of which David is immensely proud. David is particularly enthusiastic about conservation and restoration projects undertaken by the OPW which he says provide the opportunity to utilise the full range of skills he has
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acquired over the years. “This is demanding and challenging work but extremely rewarding, it is a privilege to be able to use the skills I have acquired on a public platform, to recreate historical designs and help preserve our most treasured buildings which are an integral part of our cultural heritage and which help to maintain the link between past and present.” Currently he is working on the Drawing and Dining Room curtains for Derrynane House (home to Daniel O’Connell) in Catherdaniel. It was during the 1980’s when he was working on the Queen’s suite and Billiard room in Muckross House he first became aware of Derrynane. Currently he is working on the Drawing and Dining Room curtains for Derrynane House (historic home of Daniel O’Connell) in Caherdaniel. It was during the 1980’s when he was working on the Queen’s suite and Billiard room in Muckross House he first became aware of Derrynane. Having known about the possibility of working on this house at least 25 years ago; David finds it particularly satisfying to have won the tender for this project in these straightened economic times and to be given the opportunity to fulfill a long held dream. “I love using historic fabrics and for Derrynane these were exhaustively researched by Barbara Kenny, senior architect, OPW. These fabrics are still woven on narrow width looms dating from the 19th Century located in small mills where the passion, knowledge and skills are still retained by dedicated staff. It is a particular pleasure to work with fabrics with such tangible roots in history and to know that you are making a valuable contribution to the improvement of our Heritage Buildings. Faulkner Interiors was also involved in the refurbishment of the older part of the building in Adare Manor where they were commissioned to design drapes in a Neo Tudor style for the vast windows in the stunning Dining room. “This was a wonderful project and it’s not often that you get the opportunity to relive history and design drapes from a bygone age, in a hotel, so it was an exciting project and one which presented considerable challenges in terms of design and scale.” Other notable projects in which he was involved include the retrofitting of the offices of the Belfast Harbor Commissioners beautiful Victorian building. As well as - No 29 Fitzwilliam (ESB Museum) Dublin and Newman House (UCD Stephens Green) David’s expertise is evident in each of these projects but he brings the same level of dedication and commitment to smaller residential projects which he undertakes. In recent years people have become significantly more cost conscious. “Advice is not a tangible commodity and the skill and time involved in providing consultation is often overlooked. The right advice from an expert can save a lot of money in terms of reducing errors and ensuring that the desired end-result is achieved.” David points out that he has the expertise and experience of people who are at the very top of their field at his disposal. “My senses and skills and those of my staff are extremely well tuned and we can make very rapid decisions which will steer the project in the right direction. I love to elevate tastes and to see my clients take delight in their new surroundings. It’s the tailoring, the craft and the expertise which makes the difference” The OPW policy of maintaining and restoring our public buildings is essential to our national image and development and Faulkner Interiors is very well positioned to supply professional design, insight and knowledge as the project demands.
❧ Since 1950 ❧ ❧ DESIGN ❧ BESPOKE SOFT FURNISHINGS ❧ DRAPERIES ❧ UPHOLSTERY ❧ WALLING SPECIALIST FABRICS ❧ CLASSICAL & CONTEMPORARY E:email@example.com Phone : 01-4569549 Fax : 01-4569534
www.gcfaulkner.ie Greenhills Road Dublin 12 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.gcfaulkner.ie
Archeology & Conservation
sites for growth The Irish Archeological Consultancy (IAC Ltd.) has ramped up its presence across the country by opening new offices and investing in both cutting-edge equipment and its staff, as Lynne Nolan discovers.
Established in 1998 by Rob Lynch, IAC Ltd has grown from humble beginnings to become the country’s largest archeological practice. Starting out with two members of staff, the company now boasts four offices across Ireland, 30 full-time employees and a field staff of up to 350 archaeologists. Throughout its 13 years in business, the firm has invested in its staff and technology in order to grow the company, expand its services and to become more efficient in the services that it provides. And despite tough economic times and the major downturn in the volume of work available, IAC Ltd has maintained this investment in its workforce, according to managing director Rob Lynch. IAC recently expanded its industrial archaeology and conservation services, with the addition of Rob Goodbody, a historic buildings expert, to its team. Goodbody brings 20 years’ experience as a Local Authority Planner. “We have also expanded our survey and GIS capabilities through recent investment in cutting edge equipment and the acquisition of Kieron Goucher, a surveyor and GIS professional with 18 years’ experience in commercial archaeology,” Lynch adds. To expand its presence through the country, the company recently opened new offices in both Dundalk and Belfast. “We are also pursuing new opportunities in the UK and mainland
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Europe,” he says. In terms of its offering, IAC provides a full range of heritage services, including the production of archaeological, architectural and cultural heritage reports for constraint studies, route selection reports, EIA, LAPs and SEA. “We also undertake Historic Landscape Characterisations, building surveys (written and measured) as well as conservation assessments and heritage management plans. In addition to our reporting work we also undertake all aspects of archaeological fieldwork such as test-trenching, monitoring, geophysical surveys and full excavation,” Lynch explains. “In recent years, we have fulfilled the role of Project Archaeologist on a number of Local Authority projects. This role involves the production of works specifications, writing contact documents and Bill of Quantities for archaeological tenders. We would then be involved in the tender evaluation process followed by the supervision and oversight of the archaeological contractor working on the ground through to the reporting stage,” he says. The Project Archaeologist role is really important when Local Authorities are undertaking works in areas of high archaeological sensitivity and where they feel that they need someone with detailed experience of dealing with complex archaeological works, Lynch says. They advise them on best practice to quantify
Archeology & Conservation
and manage risks of the works and to ensure that they are getting value for money from the tenders and contractors. “We would see this role as becoming increasingly important and relevant as many Local Authorities are designing and managing projects in-house. For example, while no major road projects are planned there are large number of small local projects that are going to tender, many of these have archaeological issues that need to be managed and resolved,” he says. These projects will need an individual archaeological assessment and works specification and tender drawn up and “we would hope that IAC Ltd. could provide this service to our colleagues in the Local Authorities”. The company also offers cultural heritage training services for Local Authority staff, whose work may take them into contact with our heritage. This involves raising awareness of the nature of the archaeological heritage, how it can be impacted upon both positively and negatively by development works, and the legal protections afforded to the archaeological heritage. The purpose of these training programmes is to ensure that staff are adequately equipped to identify and manage such issues as they arise in the course of their work. Lynch believes that throughout its 13 years in business, the public sector and state bodies have been massively important to the company, accounting for the vast majority of its business. The scale and variety of the public sector projects has allowed the company to grow its business, invest in new technologies and equipment, and ultimately to improve and expand its service offering. “We have worked at some level with every local authority in the country on projects ranging from water, sewage schemes and major road projects to housing developments and amenity areas,” he comments, adding that the list of projects undertaken would be far too expansive to detail. Standout projects would include its major contribution to the development of the inter-urban road network, including projects such as the M3 Clonee-Kells, N6 Kilbeggan to Athlone, M4 Kinnegad-Enfield-Kilcock, N9-N10 Knocktopher to Powerstown, M1 Dundalk Western Bypass and the M1 Drogheda Bypass. “These projects alone would account for over 300 archaeological excavations. Pipeline projects through major historic towns would also stand out, for example sewage schemes in Dundalk and Castledermot, in addition to the Clonmel and Mallow Flood Relief schemes. “As the largest archaeological practice in the country, we offer a really wide and comprehensive range of services to our clients,” he says. “Fortunately, the company has “not been too badly affected by the downturn and this has allowed us maintain the size of our company to retain our key, experienced staff.” The major issue within the profession on the whole, however, at the moment, – as it is with any professional within the development sector, – has been the sudden downturn in public and private development projects in Ireland, Lynch believes. “This [downturn] has led to a fall-off of approximately 60% within our sector at the moment, which has been extremely challenging for all of us. The major downside to this has been the reduction in the numbers of archaeologists within the country from a high of approx 1,700 to a current figure of c. 350, as people have emigrated or sought employment in different industries,” he comments. “This has led to the loss of a significant amount of expertise
within our profession. Also the challenging outlook for the sector is not encouraging new people to enter the profession,” he adds. The company offers many unique features and problemsolving abilities, however, allowing it to survive the downturn and stand apart from other companies in the market. “Our size and scale is something few other companies can rival. It allows us react quickly to problems that our clients may have and it also means that we can comfortably deal with a project of any size and/or multiple projects at any one time. I think clients get great comfort from this level of reliability,” Lynch comments. People place great value on receiving good advice, great service and value for money, he says, and “our sound financial standing and continued investment in the company means that we are growing and improving all the time.” Despite the difficult economic and tendering climate at the moment, IAC has achieved consistent success in procuring public sector contracts throughout the country. Current projects include the N22 Tralee Bypass, the M6 Motorway service Area, M9M10 Motorway service Area, N5 Ballaghadreen Bypass, Lough Mourne Reservoir Project in Donegal and the N71 Chetwynd Viaduct for Cork County Council. In addition to these major projects, “they are also undertaking numerous smaller-scale projects for pipeline and amenity projects Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Wicklow County Council and West Meath County Council.” “As with any organisation, it is all about the staff and I can honestly say we have the best team of professionals in the country, a fact that I am extremely proud of,” Lynch says. “The experience we have gained through all the major projects that we have undertaken over the last 13 years has been crucial to our development. It means that we have very senior professionals within the company with huge levels of experience in all aspects of archaeological consultancy and contracting and our clients benefit directly from this experience,” he enthuses. “We have worked at some level with every local authority in the country on projects ranging from water, sewage schemes and major road projects to housing developments and amenity areas.“
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Accessing room for growth From industrial door-installation to electrical services under one roof, Access Solutions’ managing director Barry Kavanagh discusses plans for its new premises, growing the team and its ever-expanding portfolio of services.
After following his father — who ran his own business providing engineering and fabrication services — into the field of engineering, electrician Barry Kavanagh successfully founded the award-winning company Access Solutions Ltd in 2008. Although “it hasn’t always been easy” due to the downturn in Ireland in recent years, “thanks to the work of a committed team, we are growing and furthering our interests in different areas of the electrical and mechanical sector.” With a team made up of electricians, an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer and a fitter welder offering a wealth of wide-ranging expertise, Access Solutions offers services including gate and door automation, industrial door installation, fire detection and suppression, emergency doors and hardware, CCTV and access control, and electrical services. Access Solutions Ltd. offers a wide range of access control products, which provide entry and exit control and also traceability for personnel movement within a building. This personnel movement can then be used for time and attendance, payroll and security records, cutting out the need for standalone systems. These are products such as keypads, proximity readers and swipe cards, biometric readers and number plate recognition. Also available is a vast range of intercom systems for every application, from a single user right up to the thousands of users that may be required in a large residential development or commercial office building. To further enhance an intercom
installation, a camera can be added to provide that extra degree of security to the end user. When used in conjunction with electric barriers, gates & doors, industrial doors or rising bollards our access control systems can be expanded to cover all areas of a site. “We pride ourselves on quality of service, honesty, and excellent workmanship. Whether it’s an upgrade of an existing system, an overhaul of an out-dated technology or a fledgling project in the planning stages, our qualified technicians can work in a team or in a standalone environment,” he says. Recently awarded the distribution of NICE automation products in Ireland, the company now boasts a sales department dedicated to developing trade sales of the equipment and furthering NICE automations’ already impressive reputation in the Irish market. “In May of this year we moved to our new, purposebuilt premises, which will provide us with a bigger office space but more importantly sufficient workshop and storage area to accommodate our expanding portfolio of services,” Kavanagh reveals. He intends to “add two more service engineers over the next two years as I believe that steady growth is the key to sustainability. We will be hoping to recruit candidates who have different skill sets than our existing employees; candidates that can add to our young team of dynamic professionals,” he says.
Easy Access Barry Kavanagh saw a gap for his specialist skills and filled it with ease
Access Solutions was founded in 2008 by Barry Kavanagh. Barry had come from a mechanical background with a formal electrical qualification and he identified a gap in the market for an electro-mechanical engineering company to provide both electrical and mechanical expertise. Barry explains, “Whether it’s an upgrade of an existing system, an overhaul of an out-dated technology or a fledgling project in the planning stages, our qualified technicians can help with every stage of the processes. This will save the client time, reduces workload and ultimately save on cost.” He continues, “We believe that every successful job occurs directly as a result of a strong partnership between all parties. We work with architects, specifiers, surveyors, engineers and project managers to recommend and install efficient workable solutions. “ From automated household gates to sophisticated security systems, ASL have it well covered. A specialist team with over twenty-five years experience in electrical, fabrication and mechanical engineering ensure a strong team of gate automation technicians, security consultants, CCTV technicians and metal gate fabricators. The company can handle everything from new installations, after sales service, parts and repair to almost any automated gate system, access control system, CCTV system or traffic barrier. Barry is very proud of the service he delivers. “Our site surveys are done by an engineer who can give you a practical assessment of your plans. The engineer will offer you the best configuration of options to match your lifestyle”. He continues: “Our Express service even amazes our competitors. A complete gate system can be fitted and fully operational within twenty-one days of ordering without compromising quality. This is achieved by clever design, manufacture and assembly of the gate and its operators within a modern automated factory. As a result we can
deliver a high quality product at a lower price to traditional field assembly. After the initial ground work, the assembled gates are normally fitted within two hours so there is minimum disruption for our customers and the client can rest assured that systems are fully tested before they leave the factory. “ This is a young, dynamic, professional, company who despite their relative infancy have secured contracts with Glanmore Engineering, The Health & Safety Executive, S.M. Morris Civil Engineering and Douglas Newman Good. Barry concludes: “We pride ourselves on quality of service, honesty, and excellent workmanship.” Access Solutions is an authorised stockiest of Nice Automation equipment. Nice Automation have been market leaders in the global automation industry for the past 25 years. Access Solutions Ltd, Ballinahinch, Ashford, Co. Wicklow Tel. 1850 211 705 Mob. 087 124 8885
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Stewart, 43 Lower Salthill, Galway F贸n: 091-524455 R-phost: email@example.com Facs: 091-524943 www.stewart.ie
Summer Works Minister Ruairi Quinn announces €41.2m scheme to get summer building works under way in 453 schools
453 primary and post primary schools across the country have been successful in their applications for funding under the Summer Works Scheme this year which will be funded to the tune of €41.2 million. These funds will allow the schools in question to carry out small and medium scale building works this summer and will provide for major improvements in primary and post primary schools around the country,” according to the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, TD. “The works in question cover projects in school buildings such as gas, electrical and mechanical works and will be carried out in these schools over the summer months, when the pupils are on holidays, so the disruption to schooling will be kept to a minimum,” the Minister said. “The Government has committed in its Programme for Government to advancing with shovel-ready projects as quickly as possible and this investment in our schools will create much-needed jobs in the construction sector. “The capacity of schools to take responsibility for delivering small and medium-scale projects is a key component of the Summer Works Scheme and I am confident that school authorities will be able to achieve best value for money on prices for jobs, given the competitive construction
market at present and I call on schools to ensure that they maximise the benefit to their schools of the works sanctioned,” said the Minister. All major school building projects involve the prequalification of suitably qualified contractors prior to issuing an invitation to tender. This is a standard requirement under national construction project procurement procedures. The criteria for suitability assessment, which are taken from the Department of Finance Capital Management Works Framework, include company turnover, insurances, capacity to obtain a bond, personnel for the project, previous experience, and Health and Safety competence. When tenders have been evaluated, the design team must submit a tender report to the Department of Education which includes a cost analysis of the recommended tender. Before a contract is put in place, the recommended bidder must also satisfy the standard requirements of securing a Bond, providing evidence of suitable insurances, tax clearance, compliance with legal obligations in regard to sick pay and pensions, producing a detailed programme of work and resources, including cash-flow, and confirmation that a Project Supervisor Construction Stage has been appointed and a project specific health and safety plan has been prepared.
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The Book of Kells ‘Turning Darkness into Light’
Exhibition & Library Shop open seven days a week Admission Times Monday to Saturday 09.30 to 17.00 Sunday (October to April) 12.00 to 16.30 Sunday (May to September) 09.30 to 16.30 Tel: 896 2320 | Fax: 896 2690 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bookofkells.ie
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This year, almost €383 million will be invested in school building infrastructure under the school building and modernisation programme. All of this investment will result in much-needed additional school places being provided, which will meet the needs of our growing school-going population, arising from the increase in birth rates in recent years, w addressing the needs of many existing schools.
2011 school building work programme. 102 projects will begin the process of appointing design teams (architect, engineer and quantity surveyor) in 2011. The design teams will then begin work on designing major projects for the schools in question. 42 schools are currently being advanced to secure planning permission, with a view to tendering as soon as planning has been secured. 41 schools - each major building projects - will go to tender in 2011. 48 further major projects, currently at tender stage, are scheduled to award contracts in 2011 and will start on site as soon as possible thereafter. 51 major school building projects which are currently on-site and work will continue on these during the year. 123 other schools on which design teams are presently deployed are being progressed through the system. These major projects are in addition to the ongoing work on small to medium scale works in schools around the country provided for under the Summer Works Scheme.
New Post-Primary Schools Many new primary schools have been established in recent years and in addition to the new post-primary schools already announced for Gorey, Doughiska (Galway), Lucan (Clonburris) and Kingscourt, the Department of Education has also provided details of the new areas where new post-primary schools will be required between 2012 and 2016. These are: n Ashbourne n Dublin – West Blanchardstown n Dublin – Mulhuddart n Drogheda n Claregalway n Maynooth n Naas n Navan n North County Dublin / South County Louth Planning is already under way for accommodation solutions for schools in these areas. In some cases, permanent sites are already available and secured while for the remainder the Department is actively engaged in securing sites as a matter of urgency. A minimum of 13 new post-primary schools are planned over the next five years. Most of these schools will not need to open until at least 2014. However, in some areas, where existing schools cannot cater for increasing numbers, it may be necessary to open a small number of other new schools in 2012 or 2013. This is in addition to the plans to open the new school in Gorey in September 2011.”
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A Proud History In a long and distinguised history, Galway based construction company James Stewart Ltd. (JSL), has accumlated a vast portfolio of prominent public and private sector projects and has continued to remain profitable, despite the severity of the downturn.
The origins of the Stewart Group, one of the country’s leading building contractors date back to 1902 when James Stewart began trading in Lower Salthill, Galway. The firm quickly grew into a general building business with in-house capabilities such as joinery works, mechanical engineering works and an architectural stonework division. At that time materials were transported by horse and cart, and the company required additional support infrastructure such as an in-house blacksmith to shoe horses, make cart wheels and sharpen Tradesmen’s tools. Initially the business focussed on the construction of houses, churches, schools and industrial buildings and in 1938 it was incorporated as James Stewart Ltd. (JSL). Still based at the original location in Lower Salthill the business continues to thrive as a main contracting firm and the Stewart family still own and manage the business, with the grandson of the founder Sean Stewart serving as Chairman and ably assisted by a strong management team which includes his son Paul, daughter Rachael and Managing Director, Steven McGee. From its Galway base Stewart serves the entire 26 counties and in 109 years of trading, it has undertaken all forms and types of construction project, including New Build, Refurbishment, Heritage Work and Civil Engineering. The company has a capacity to construct based on a Traditional, Design & Build (D&B), Design, Build & Finance (DBF) and Design, Build, Finance & Operate (DBFO) basis and has a balanced spread between Public and Private Clients. An integral trait of the business fostered over recent years is the development of repeat business from “Blue Chip” clients. In recent years, Stewart has become synonymous with the production of Sustainable Buildings, and in particular the
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delivery of Ireland’s first BREEAM Excellent Building procured on a D&B basis, using public funds. The public sector has always been an integral part of the Stewart business model, and will continue to be so, according to Managing Director Steven McGee. “These projects afford the company the opportunity to deliver meaningful improvements to communities around Ireland and come with the added incentive of an intelligent client, security of project funding and the involvement of teams of design professionals, which ensure robust project delivery. Procurement rules are set out from the outset and are maintained which gives all tenderers an equal opportunity,” he says. Key public projects currently under construction include the Tipperary Decentralisation Offices, for the OPW, which will be occupied by the Department of Justice and Civic Offices for the Tipperary Town Council. A Flagship Sports Project is also being undertaken for the University of Limerick, providing 4 floodlit, synthetic sports pitches, with an associated pavilion building occupying sports facilities, bar, restaurant and function rooms. Stewart has recently completed the Decentralisation Offices in Roscommon, currently occupied by the PRAI. This project has been accredited Breeam Excellent, which demonstrates its extremely high sustainability credentials. It was delivered on a Design and Build basis. Stewart has a particularly impressive track record in relation to projects undertaken in the education sector and is currently building Caragh NS outside Naas, Rushbrooke NS in Cobh, Tralee CBS and Nenagh VEC Schools, along with a private School in Monstown, Dublin and various other private projects in Donegal, Cork, Offaly, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Dublin and
Kildare. Previous Schools constructed include Killina School in Offaly, Moate School in Westmeath, Mountrath Community School in Laois, Athy College in Kildare and Portlaoise College, which was the first secondary school in Ireland constructed to Airtight Standards. Third level projects include major projects for NUIG, GMIT, Sligo IT and UL, and they have recently tendered for projects in Carlow IT, NUI Maynooth and UCD. Stewart takes particular pride in the prestigious portfolio of education projects which it has undertaken and believes that an ongoing commitment to providing high quality education facilities is vital to the nations recovery. “We consider the Education sector to be of massive importance to Stewarts, as it provides a regularity of workload, unlike any other client,” he says. “ “It’s projects are specialised and warrant attention to detail and excellent delivery team cooperation. Educational projects require a degree of specialisation to successfully deliver projects utilising robust, value for money methods.” While Stewart has not been immune to the heavy toll which the recession has taken on the construction industry it has focussed on maximising efficiencies and reining in costs and has remained profitable through the downturn. “Similar to all other contractors in the industry, Stewarts have seen a reduction in turnover, but we have remained true to our policy of refusing to engage in below cost tendering,” says Steven. “This has meant that we have had to reduce overheads and become a leaner company, which augers well for our future prospects. We have remained profitable throughout the recession and we are currently in a period of managed growth. We have always adopted a cautious approach when undertaking contracts for private clients and this has insulated us from the worst of the problems facing the industry.” According to Steven, a viable and sustainable construction sector is vital to economic recovery and he argues that the Government needs to take steps to ensure a minimum level of construction activity in order to stimulate the economy, create jobs and restore confidence to the industry. “It is our belief that the industry faces many challenges and needs to exit the recession as a leaner and more sustainable industry,” he says. “The downsizing is underway, but at huge expense in terms of
financial and personal pain. The Government simply have to put a bottom under the industry and increase public spending on viable public projects to ensure that the Industry contributes at least 15% of GDP. This level of activity is sustainable and well above current levels. Overall, the Government need to tidy up the banking crisis and ensure there is an environment for safe banking activity, because without private spending and investment, the industry cannot recover.” He is particularly concerned at the sharp decline in the volume of public capital projects and while he acknowledges the need to restrain Government spending, he argues that current levels fall short of the minimum requirement and are likely to prove counter productive. “The dilution of the PCP is a devastating development for the construction industry and confirms that Government policy is unlikely to try and put a floor under the industry, despite the industry being an immediate provider of local jobs and thus wealth circulation,” he says. “The PCP is vital to our industry and should be reviewed immediately to ensure jobs are created in a balanced manner, providing public infrastructure in areas of immediate need. If there is a supply of projects coming on-stream, the building industry can cuts its cloth accordingly and maintain employment and trade at sustainable levels. A reduction in the PCP is inevitable as needs have clearly shifted, but the reduction currently in train is simply exacerbating the recessionary effect.” The long and proud history of the company and its ongoing success is based on a very simple philosophy, which is to treat all project stakeholders fairly. “From clients, design team professionals, subcontractors, suppliers, staff and site operatives, we endeavour to treat all in an honourable and respectful manner,” says Steven. “We endeavour always to deliver projects to meet client expectation in terms of high quality, budget and program management. In return we expect to be treated fairly also, and to generate a modest profit for all stakeholders. Following delivery of a building project, we remain in constant touch with the occupiers to ensure that the building performs to the required standards, so that the end user has confidence in Stewarts and would be happy to use our company in the future.”
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Call to keep fees pledge The Union of Student in Ireland (USI) has urged Minister for Education & Skills Ruairí Quinn to honour his pre-election pledge not to reintroduce third level fees. In the run up to the general election, Minister Quinn signed a USI pledge on behalf of the Labour Party stating, “If elected, I will oppose and campaign against any new form of third level fees, including student loans, graduate taxes and any further increase in the Student Contribution”. USI is calling on Minister Quinn, who recently refused to rule out an increase in college fees, to honour the commitment he made to thousands of students and families across the country. “Young people turned out in unprecedented numbers to vote in the recent general election. Many of these young people were influenced in their decision by the Labour Party’s commitment, championed
cost of school books by Ruairi Quinn, not to reintroduce third level fees in any form.” USI Deputy President, John Logue, said. “Any deviation from this stance by the government would equate to a gross misleading of young people and their families by the Labour Party. This government assured us upon taking office that the era of cheap political point scoring was over. However, it appears little has changed since the Fine Gael/ Labour Party coalition has taken over. “We are living in a time when a job can go wherever there is an internet connection. Dublin and Cork are competing with New Delhi and Kolkata and we require a highly skilled workforce in order to maintain our edge in the marketplace. The government must therefore encourage people to participate in higher education rather than close the door on them.”
retired teachers get subbing jobs More than 1,200 retired teachers have been employed as substitutes in a six month period despite the fact that many recent teaching graduates are being forced to emigrate in search of work. According to figures from the Department of Education substitute work was given to 961 pensioners at some of the country’s 3,300 primary schools from September to February. While it is up to one-third less than the number used for subbing in the previous school year, it has nonetheless prevented more recent graduates from gaining valuable work experience. Payments vary but a qualified primary teacher can be paid €195 a day for substitute work, with casual substitution at second level paying €46.85 an hour. Around 1,600 people qualified as second-level teachers last year, and a recent survey by the Association of
Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) showed that hundreds who graduate this year will emigrate or change careers because of poor work prospects and other factors. Higher Education Authority figures show that more than two-thirds of the 1,400 people who received primary teaching qualifications from statefunded colleges in 2008 were relying on substitution and part-time work the following spring, with the numbers getting permanent jobs falling rapidly due to cutbacks.
Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn plans to meet with book publishers and representatives of parents to discuss the high cost of school books and has also expressed his concern at the frequent rate of revisions to school books made by publishers. Speaking in the Dail, the Minister said he sympathises with parents who are experiencing difficulty in paying for school books. “The harsh economic reality in Ireland means money is tight for many parents,” he said. “I will see what role my Department can play in ensuring that revisions of books are kept to a minimum.” The commitment from Minister Quinn comes on foot of concerns being raised by organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul, as well as teacher organisations and parents. However, the Minister added that apart from prescribed texts at second-level, decisions on textbooks are usually taken at school level. Therefore, it may be necessary to encourage individual schools to take a more cost-conscious approach to the selection of books in their classes. As another method of alleviating the financial hardship some parents face every school year, the Minister continued, “I will continue to encourage schools to establish book rental schemes as the most effective means of lowering the cost of books for all students. Many schools are already using the funding for books provided by my Department to operate successful rental schemes.” Total funding of €15 million euros is available to primary and secondary schools for this year to fund book support. Priority is given to DEIS schools in order to assist those most in need.
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Keeping memories alive Glasnevin Museum has already won a raft of awards in its first year of operation and it now intends to become the mustsee attraction for Ireland’s diaspora, with its outlook for 2011-2016 focused strongly on attracting international visitors.
Despite being open for just over a year, there is a long-term view for Glasnevin Museum. According to Alison Crinion, Group Commercial & Marketing Manager for Glasnevin Trust, “this venture is in place to secure the sustainability of Ireland’s Necropolis for years to come.” While “2010 was focused on the local and national markets, 2011-2016 will incorporate international visitor markets. Glasnevin Museum wants to become the attraction of choice for Ireland’s diaspora,” Crinion says. Designed by A&D Wejchert & Partners Architects, Glasnevin Museum is a new two-storey over (part) basement, interactive visitor attraction, with the exhibitions on view showing the social, historical, political and artistic development of modern Ireland through the lives of the generations buried in Ireland’s Necropolis. The museum is located at Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery, the largest in Ireland. First opened in 1832 to establish a place where people of all religions could bury their dead with dignity, the cemetery has grown to become a national monument and a vital part of the Irish Heritage story. Since its inception in April 2010, Glasnevin Museum has clinched the Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement, from the Themed Entertainment Association, Burbank California and was named at Best Digital Design at the Digital Media Awards and Best Historical and Educational Attraction by the Public Sector Journal. In addition, it was highly commended by both the Institute of Designers in Ireland in its Best Exhibition Design category and the OPUS Design Awards for Architectural Design.
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The first floor comprises a reception area and ticket desk welcoming visitors and facilitating ticket sales for the museum and tours, cemetery information services and the 70-seat Tower Cafe operated by With Taste Catering, in addition to the adjacent retail area offering a historical bookshop, Irish craft and design gifts and educational children’s toys. The City of the Dead is located below ground, in the basement of the Museum. Visitors descend through layers of earth into the Well of Memory, passing selected inscriptions from the cemetery. Stone drains were built in the 1800s to curtail the spread of cholera. One of these was unearthed during construction and has been retained as a water feature. Next, visitors pass screens displaying the names of every single person interred in the cemetery. Personal mementos embedded in the Reflections wall evoke the lives of ordinary men, women and children. A cross-section highlights aspects of the story of Glasnevin Cemetery, from the first burial, to gravedigging, body-snatching and the spread of diseases. Touch screens are built into the tops of gravestones where visitors can explore these subjects in more detail. Glasnevin has kept meticulous records of every single burial. A facsimile of an archive register allows visitors to turn the pages of one of these unique records. Pull-out books present a variety of interesting and historical facts about cemeteries and traditions surrounding death. An interactive wall allows visitors to investigate the multicultural customs and beliefs of the people buried in Glasnevin. Visitors can sit under replica Yew trees and
listen to some of the colourful anecdotes of grave diggers as they reminisce about their years working in the cemetery. In terms of how Glasnevin Museum and its attractions have performed in year one, Crinion says the tours were more popular during the summer of 2010, while indoor pursuits performed better in the winter months (without the snow, of course). “The highest performing ticket we currently sell is the combined Museum & Tour Ticket priced at €10,” she reveals. Crinion explains how the idea for the museum came about: “Glasnevin Trust Committee were concerned that Glasnevin Cemetery had fallen into such disrepair that sections would need to be closed to the general public for safety reasons. As Glasnevin Cemetery is viewed by many as Ireland’s Necropolis this it was felt would be a terrible shame and disservice to the people of Dublin. “Glasnevin Trust Committee made a case to the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to secure funding to restore Glasnevin Cemetery. This has been put in place over a ten year period, due to finish in time for the 2016 Commemorations in Glasnevin,” she adds. As a way to safeguard the future of Glasnevin Cemetery, the committee also decided to build a museum funded with their own monies and assisted by a long term bank loan. The museum opened right in the worst of the downturn – ash clouds and severe weather affected the museum as it did all other attractions in Ireland, Crinion admits. “Some targets were not met, however Glasnevin Trust Committee has a long-term view for Glasnevin Museum. I agree with them, the figures for Quarter 1 of 2011 are very promising and I hear from Tourism Ireland that the US visitors are on the rise,” she says. “We are supported by Irish Schools and have expanded our programming to offer something for both Primary and Second level students,” she adds. Glasnevin Museum has accelerated a new phase for Glasnevin Trust with a number of new activities, Genealogy Services, Exhibitions, Cemetery Tours, Glasnevin Trust Shop and The Tower Café. On the first floor, the Milestone Gallery’s inaugural exhibition is on Daniel O’Connell, highlighting his role in the development of Ireland as a modern country, and his influence as a global figure in the fight for human rights, Crinion explains. The Gallery also houses Milestone Lives, a 10M long, interactive time-line recording the lives of almost 200 noteworthy people buried in Glasnevin. The Milestone Timeline Exhibition offers touch screens providing information and images on the lives of 200 figures, not just the famous but also those specific to a time and era, who are buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. “There is room within this to
add more information over the coming years. This area also acts as a flexible Lecture Theatre for 60 people,” she says. “In the Genealogy Area, five Apple MAC Computers offer a trial search of our cemetery records. These go back to the 1800’s. All you need to begin is a name and a date,” Crinion explains. The final space, the Prospect Gallery, offers an elevated panorama of the cemetery, and encourages the visitor to explore the tranquil landscape, Crinion says. “There are panels which place certain monuments in one’s eye line and remind us of the rich flora and fauna of the cemetery. The Prospect Gallery also plays host to travelling and temporary exhibitions. Over the past 10 months, these have included the Institute of Designers in Ireland’s graduate show, Their Story, the Irish in World War One, and Sculptor Jason Ellis’ New Works. The First Floor also contains the O’Connell Board Room, still in use for Glasnevin Trust’s weekly Committee Meetings and available for private hire. “The Museum brings visitors on a journey from darkness to light, combining modern and traditional techniques to immerse them in the lives of the dead. The first floor also offers a breathtaking view of Glasnevin Cemetery,” Crinion enthuses. There are Cemetery Tours open to the public daily at Glasnevin, between March and October from 11.30am & 2.30pm, and from October – March at 2.30pm only. During the Summer Months, additional tours are on offer for the public at peak times, with details available on the website or on the Facebook page. “Glasnevin Museum offers 10% discount to groups of over 10 people. We are very popular with Schools and Tour operators alike. There is an expanding menu of Tours that can be taken; Military Glasnevin, Civil War at Glasnevin, Women of Glasnevin , Literary Glasnevin, etc.,” she says. The main draws of Glasnevin Trust to visitors have been the exhibitions, genealogy services, tours, the café and Glasnevin Trust Shop, she says. Although “all market segments are important to us, we target the Public Sector through our Education & Private Hire marketing, and of course advertising in the Public Sector Magazine,” she comments. Glasnevin Trust is a not for profit organisation, charity number 5849. Every purchase goes towards the sustainability of all Glasnevin Trust Cemeteries. Looking at future plans for Glasnevin Museum, Crinion says its main aims are to “grow the visitor numbers, respond to the needs of our visitor and become part of the fabric of Irish Tourism.” For further details or to make a booking, contact: email@example.com
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HEWLETT-PACKARD CELEBRATING 40 YEARS IN IRELAND
Innovating and Investing in the future
Promoting Innovation Irish firms have a strong record in relation to research and innovation and continuing to encourage and incentivise innovation will be a critical to economic recovery.
While Irish firms continue to outperform most of its European counterparts in terms of innovation, a new report shows that there are opportunities to stimulate export-led growth in small firms by encouraging innovation activity in the sector as a priority so that indigenous companies can grow and successfully exploit overseas markets. An analysis of Ireland’s Innovation Performance, published by Forfás shows that just 38.9 per cent of small firms with between ten and 49 employees engage in either product or process innovation compared to 75.8 per cent of companies with 250+ employees. Similarly, 24.8 per cent of small firms engage in marketing innovation compared to 35.3 per cent in medium firms and 36.9 per cent in large firms. A considerable difference is particularly notable when it comes to organisational innovation where 28.4 per cent of small firms engage in this form of innovation, compared to 43.7 per cent of medium sized firms and 65.9 per cent of large firms. There are a number of factors that contribute to these different levels of innovation activity. Larger firms are more likely to have an allocated budget for product and service development, as well as having a greater number of operations and processes into which innovation, particularly process innovation, could be applied. Smaller firms are often lacking the resources - financial,
physical and human - to engage in innovation. They also engage more in process innovation than product innovation, and to a greater extent than their counterparts in larger firms. This could reflect the fact that process innovations such as logistics or support activities are often on a smaller timescale, and often less capital and labour intensive, than many forms of product innovations. Presenting the findings of the report at the CSO’s 3rd Business Statistics Seminar in Dublin Castle Jonathan Healy, Senior Policy Analyst, Forfás said: “Now more than ever, Ireland’s small businesses need a supportive and competitive business environment so that they can thrive and grow. Developing innovation policy that will support small indigenous firms to begin and, in many cases, continue to innovate is imperative. Our analysis indicates that there is further potential for policies to encourage non-technological modes of innovation such as marketing and organisational innovation, which could be more effective and more affordable for small firms, essentially achieving more value for less investment.” The report also analyses innovation activity in various sectors across the Irish economy. From a sectoral perspective, firms are more likely to engage in innovation if they are exposed to international competition. For example, the manufacturing sector has seen a
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SART WAY TO
For the past 11 years, DNM Technology has been successfully providing both our public and private sector clients with broad infrastructure advice and services coupled with ‘best of breed’ technology products from the major software and hardware vendors.
Winners of the Best Private Cloud Project at VMworld 2010, DNM Technology were described “as being ahead of the curve.”
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Reducing IT operational costs Green and carbon initiatives ICT strategy Risk minimisation Compliance management Implementation experience Business Intelligence License cost savings Disaster recovery solutions
“South Tipperary County Council selected DMN Technology to implement server virtualisation and a storage solution based on their expertise in the various technologies and in the planning and execution of the project. The success of delivering value for money and infrastructure efficiencies is attributed to the DNM customer service support and technical expertise.”
Ms. Marion O'Neill, Head of Information Systems, South Tipperary County Council.
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Staying the Course
reduction in total numbers employed over the past decade, but maintains high levels of product and process innovation. 33.9 per cent of manufacturing firms, the highest percentage across all sectors analysed, are engaged in improving their methods of production. In contrast, the wholesale and retail sector, which is a domesticallytrading sector, records levels of product and process innovation consistently below the economy-wide average, with only 19.6 per cent and 28.3 per cent of firms in these sectors engaged in product and process innovation respectively. In terms of organisational innovation, a considerably higher than average proportion of firms in more highly-skilled service sectors such as information and communication, financial and insurance services, and professional, scientific and technical activities, are active in this innovation mode. The proportion of firms engaged in marketing innovations are fairly evenly spread across all the major sectors, with the exception of the information and communications sector, where a higher concentration of 43.7 per cent of firms are engaged in some form of marketing innovation. It is intended that the findings arising from the Forfás analysis will provide an important input to the overall assessment of the return of State investment in science, technology and innovation. It will also support the targeting of innovation policy into the future.
The Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation have also published a statement highlighting the main areas which need to be addressed to ensure Ireland continues to support research and innovation as key priorities for economic and employment stability and growth. The statement, “Staying the Course”, gives the Council’s views on what can be done now to support the research community and the R&Dbased enterprise sector. In the statement, the Council suggests a number of practical actions which can, in its view, maximise the return on investment in science, technology and innovation including: n Further measures to co-ordinate research and to link academic and industrial research should be investigated n Full consideration must be given to our infrastructure needs and how they can best be maintained n Measures to embed employability in all emerging graduates should be accelerated Measures outside of the direct research system to enable research excellence by facilitating mobility of Irish researchers and mobility of top class research into Ireland and other collaborative opportunities are essential as a means to sustain our economy through science and technology. For example, measures to improve the transfer of pension and social welfare entitlements are required. The provision of networking and communication mechanisms which enable industry to be informed about and consider engaging with the research and funding systems are very important. The Council believes that the issue of the recognition of engineering as a discipline in its own right should be pursued. Excellent and creative engineers should be valued for what they deliver to society. The major reform now underway through Project Maths should be progressed quickly and supported with the necessary investment. The elements of the Teaching Council Acts relating to continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers should be acted upon now and a requirement should be introduced that engagement in continuing professional development is a pre-requisite for maintaining professional registration.
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HP Celebrates 40 Years HP celebrates its 40th anniversary in Ireland this year and the company is continuing to go from strength to strength in the Irish market. Martin Murphy talks about new technologies, new jobs and being 40.
Martin, what does the 40th anniversary mean to HP and to the Irish market? Our 40th anniversary is a significant milestone and is testament to the strength of our operation in Ireland. Technology is an evolving and competitive environment to operate in and HP has responded to those challenges to develop in Ireland into the company we are today. Our operations in Leixlip and Galway have transformed and developed into centres of excellence at the forefront of operations for the European market. We are extremely proud of what has been created in Ireland. We have a very strong manufacturing base which has evolved into next generation research development, a Financial Services base, R&D facility and customer facility, all part of the HP engine which play a vital contribution to the companyâ€™s daily global operations. Ireland continues to be a strategic location of choice for HP as we add more jobs annually. In the last 18 months alone, we have announced 1000 new roles across our operations here. We have built our commitment and capabilities in the cloud and are at the forefront of emerging technologies for consumers and for business, providing them with the best and most efficient
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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, May 25th, at Liffey Park Technology Campus addressing HP staff to celebrate 40 years of HP in Ireland. technologies in this market. We have our customers at the forefront of what we do and with that mindset and approach to our operations here, our strengths built up over 40 years will keep growing and growing.
Enda Kenny, an Taoiseach recently paid a visit to your Leixlip campus, what was his reaction to your operations in Leixlip? We were privileged to have our Taoiseach visit the campus in May to see what we have developed here and to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Our campus is constantly evolving and developing. Most recently, we opened a data centre and disaster recovery site which will provide outsourced service to some of Irelandâ€™s largest companies. The Taoiseach also met with many of our staff and celebrated their achievements in terms of research and development. He expressed pride in the 40 years which HP has been in existence in Ireland, and complimented us on our range of young people and the flexibility and adaptability of our workforce within the Centres of Excellence.
Michael Connolly, is HPâ€™s Public Sector Business lead and has worked with Public Sector bodies for over ten years. Mike can be contacted on 0872568998
Martin, you have recently been appointed to a new role to assist the Government on the rollout of the National Internship Programme. Are you looking forward to the challenge? The National Internship Programme is a fundamental part of the Governmentâ€™s jobs creation initiative, and this is an opportunity to both instigate real change and make a difference to peopleâ€™s lives. I believe that private sector companies can play a pivotal role in equipping individuals with new and enterprising skills that will give them the necessary experience to enter or return to the workforce. I am honoured to have been asked to bring my experience to this role, and believe that with the support of large and small business throughout Ireland, that we can exceed the objectives that we have set for the programme.
Can we talk about the cloud and the role HP is playing at the forefront of this technology?
The emergence of the cloud is one of the most exciting developments in technology in recent years and HP is at the forefront of this technology. Our R&D team in Galway are some of the best and brightest globally and we are constantly enhancing and adding to this capability. The Galway team has already been responsible for using new database technology and cloud and mobile services to help eradicate counterfeit drugs in Africa and also assisting in the prevention of the transmission of HIV from HIV-positive pregnant mothers in Africa to their children. HP is committed to the cloud and is concentrating delivery of scale, reliability and security in its current hardware, software and service offerings. Much of this work is taking place in Galway and our plan is to build HP in Galway into the global centre for cloud and other services.
Can you outline the type of work HP is doing in the public sector? HP has a wealth of experience across the public sector, whether in education, health or transport.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with HP Ireland MD Martin Murphy For example, HP has been at the forefront of C2K in the North, which has resulted in the development of technology in the classroom. Now in 2011, every child in school has access to email with every teacher approximately 26,000 having a laptop and some 66,000 desktops are available to school children. Over 4 million school related emails, every month are sent by school children and teachers. C2K is an example of success in action in an area of the public sector. HP can provide government departments with demonstrable efficiencies. Mike Connolly has recently been appointed to lead our capabilities in the public sector and to provide our customers in this area with new and exciting technologies to maximise efficiencies and deliver greater cost saving measures. With the constant call to drive ever greater efficiencies in all areas, an understanding of public sector and the challenges it faces is required. While private sector companies have realised significant savings by deploying shared services type models, outsourcing and centralising operations, it is over simplistic to suggest that these types of models are an ideal fit for all public sector organisations. We work with our public sector clients to understand their challenges and objectives and then match the correct solution to fit their requirements. HP can provide end to end solutions embracing, mobile, desktop, networking, storage, servers and printing, in addition to application development and deployment, so we are ideally placed to meet all of the IT requirements of our public sector customers. We engage with our public sector clients by helping them to consolidate, converge and virtualise their infrastructure while increasing their computing capabilities and reducing their server footprint. HP has designed and implemented solutions which offer a fully integrated communications and collaboration infrastructure. This can directly improve the return from technology and workforce investments through increased efficiency and productivity. On top of that, we offer a wide range of services for our public sector clients including; printing, networking, storage, mobile and personal computing, enterprise business and software.
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Embracing the Future Richard Nunan, Operations Director of DNM Technology, explains how to harness the power of technology.
To do more with less is a goal that every manager in the public or private sector is aiming towards. However, unless real efficiencies can be made, trying to maintain high standards with a shrinking pot of resources is an impossible task. Still, those real efficiencies can be made by harnessing the power of technology in an intelligent way. Richard Nunan is the Operations Director of DNM Technology, a firm specialising in Business Intelligence, Cloud Integration services and Enterprise infrastructure solutions. Over ten years in business, he explains, this company has amassed great expertise in understanding how a public or private organisation works, and how technology can help it work better. “At this stage, we’d understand all the elements of the IT stack, and have evolved into enterprise architects, who provide trusted advise to our customers adding real business value. “We basically evolved from an infrastructure and database services company into a Technology Consulting and Solutions company with a large growth in the areas of cloud computing and Business Intelligence.. Also we have, through various projects, developed a lot of knowledge across the public sector, whether it’s working with Dublin City Council or Dublin Fire Brigade,” he says. “We’ve become experts at partnering with subject matter experts in an organisation to understand business processes. Once we understand those processes, which we’re getting quite good at, we can then map the required solution to a technology, rather than letting the technology drive the solution. Our Domain knowledge
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combined with our objective view to technology along with our successful project delivery enables DNM Technology to provide a real value proposition. Nunan and his colleagues have also been able to observe firsthand how Information Technology has evolved over ten years, from a non-essential add-on to an organisation into a key part of its everyday processes. “It’s a lot more strategic now. Ten years ago, a lot of technology that would have been implemented with us was new. You had a database but you didn’t really know what to do with it and, over the years, you had multiple pieces of infrastructure and multiple systems that all needed to be managed. But they were all being managed by a person in the I.T. department, and so you had bigger I.T. Departments growing along. Over the years, we’d have seen that you’d have a lot more contracts – for every system, you had a man, and a support contract for every layer in the system,” he says, adding that some bodies have started to introduce efficiencies into their I.T. approach. “Now, you can see a far more consolidated approach: there are a lot less vendors in there than previously, and the in-house skills have come a long way along with technology. That’s good to see,” notes Nunan. “I.T. has become so developed that it’s closer to a commodity, like electricity, because of its development over the past five years. There is a stronger emphasis in delivering IT as a service, moving toward a consumption model similar to other operational consumables. I.T. is becoming viewed more and more as a cost centre requiring IT departments to become
The best way to integrate new systems in is to know what you want to get out of it. That involves looking at your business processes across the different departments within your organisation and aligning your financial, operational and strategic goals. more efficient by stream lining their service around Infrastructure and Application management..” More recently, Nunan has observed some particular solutions making a real impact. “The big thing that we’ve seen over the last four or five years is the move away from single servers towards storage and toward consolidation. We’ve certainly developed into the storage area, and virtualisation, which wouldn’t have been there previously. We’ve seen a lot more consolidation in I.T., a larger emphasis on storage, and I don’t think you had much disaster recovery before 2006,” he says. “The technology market has come on an awful lot since 2007. With so many products available in the market, there are alot more decisions to be made when choosing a technology. Consolidation and the importance of operational efficiencies have seen phenomenal growth in the virtualisation of servers, the virtualisation of desktops and the application virtualisation.” With that focus, explains Nunan, comes a willingness to explore the opportunities for efficiencies that technological breakthroughs present. Forward-thinking companies and public sector bodies have become “more approachable”, he says, and keen to find out what technology can do for them. “They’re looking at it as being a genuine help to their business. There’s a different focus – looking at it to achieve process efficiencies, consolidation efficiencies, and to ensure that they have a higher level of business continuity and disaster recovery.” Disaster recovery and data protection is of particular interest to public sector bodies, Nunan reveals. “We’ve come a long way if you look at grant management systems or obviously online revenue systems. Data protection when people are submitting things is absolutely key,” he insists. “It goes from one end, making sure there’s no data loss in submission of transactions online, the whole way down to data retention, and the importance of hanging on to data for seven or eight years. The public sector has grown into understanding data and the importance of data loss. Many
departments would have started the process of archiving data, backing it onto disk rather than on to tape, and most departments would have a disaster recovery site to replicate their critical data on a standby server, or they’d be backing up their data on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.” Technology can also be used to revitalise established processes and to find out where an organisation could be operating more efficiently. Nunan advises that a clear-headed approach is most likely to result in real efficiency gains. “The best way to integrate new systems in is to know what you want to get out of it. That involves looking at your business processes across your various departments. Once you’ve done this, then you can start looking at technology solutions,” says Nunan. “What bodies in the public sector are trying to do with business intelligence is track the efficiency of these established processes. In order to do that correctly, what we encourage our customers to do is step back, to form an objective view of their current processes and what they want to achieve value in. That’s a process of getting around the table with the key stakeholders. But it’s important to have an objective view with the managers and the executive, getting around the table and getting an objective assessment. Looking at your suppliers, your inputs, your processes and defining the outputs you require. Obviously, this process is before you input technology.” Assisting companies to evaluate their processes and see where efficiencies can be made is a major growth area for DNM Technology, which can bring years of experience, a broad product knowledge and a deep understanding of the public sector to bear and improve the operations of diverse organisations. “We do think that bodies should step back, given the amount of technology out there. They have their business processes, and it’s now a case of ‘how do we track these business processes so that they’re more efficient?’ The answer is to map in technology.” With world-leading technology to draw on, and the expertise to use it efficiently DNM is the ideal company for helping organisations to do just that.
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Experience Centre Investment of €1.2 million to create up to 20 new jobs
Pictured at the announcement of PFH Technology Group’s €1.2 million launch of the Technology Experience Centre from left to right are Paul Hourican Chief Executive of PFH and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD. PFH Technology Group has announced the €1.2 million launch of the Technology Experience Centre, Ireland’s first dedicated cloud, virtualisation and enterprise systems management centre of excellence. The establishment of the Experience centre, which was launched by Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, will result in the creation of up to 20 jobs over the next three years. The Technology Experience Centre, which is based in Sandyford, Co Dublin, is designed to enable large Corporate, Government, Health and Education organisations to experience and to trial a complete portfolio of next generation technologies from the world’s leading providers. These new technologies have the ability to drive massive cost savings in these businesses and organisations by giving them more control over their data resources. It is the first centre of its kind in Ireland which assembles these new technologies and solutions in a way that allows executives to see, touch and use them directly themselves.
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PFH is Ireland’s largest independent Information and Communication Technology (ICT) group and leading provider of Private Cloud and Enterprise Communications Infrastructure, Managed Services, Professional Services and Outsourced Services. PFH Chief Executive Paul Hourican has been shortlisted for the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Commenting, PFH Chief Executive Paul Hourican, said: “Cloud Computing is more than just the latest buzzword – it is a real and proven way of significantly reducing your cost base by managing your technology needs in a more effective manner. The Experience centre provides experiential learning for the current generation of business leaders to see for themselves the practical benefits and applications of a range of new technologies which can help transform how their organisations are run and help them plan their journey into the Cloud. “Over the last number of years, cost competitiveness has become
one of the single most important survival tools for Irish businesses and public organisations. This facility enables leading executives to come and experience for themselves real world scenarios applicable to their businesses and the attendant cost and efficiency benefits that flow from a unified approach to technology.” Launching the Technology Experience Centre, Minister Richard Bruton, TD, commented: “Last week I announced the establishment by Government of a €5 million applied research centre in cloud computing to ensure that Ireland can become a world leader in this sector, which according to Microsoft could create 8,500 jobs and be worth €9.5bn per annum to the Irish economy by 2014. Today I am delighted to launch this cutting edge technology experience centre which represents another step towards ensuring that we realise that ambition.” The Experience Centre includes leading and proven technologies such as: n Private Cloud Technologies including Utility Storage Platform supporting highly virtualised enterprise environments n Siemens Openscape, the only truly enterprise ready server based telephony and enterprise communications platform n Collaboration technologies from Siemens, Microsoft and Polycom to reduce costs n Server & desktop virtualisation from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix
n Enterprise core networking from HP and Enterasys providing security n Systems automation and management from HP, Microsoft and VMware n Custodian™ managed services & remote infrastructure solutions from PFH. PFH Technology Group, which is headquartered in Dublin with offices in Cork, Belfast and Galway, serves blue chip customers across pharmaceutical, banking, manufacturing, government, education and health sectors.
Major growth in i.t. outsourcing including cloud computing across all sectors is pushing demand for Information Technology. The recession curbed spending for a while and forced organisations to improve the efficiency of their data centres and technology operations but that performance improvement only goes so far.” The Peppard study predicts continuing mergers and acquisitions in the primary outsourcing market. The study also suggests that traditional mega outsourcing deals of the past will be fewer as outsourcing friendly sectors such as financial services and manufacturing face up to radical industry challenges. IT outsourcing is set for major growth according to a new report by Professor Joe Peppard of Cranfield School of Management, which was commissioned by Irish owned, I.T. Alliance. The report suggests that there is a pent up demand in the market place for technology which will cause the global tier one outsourcing firms themselves to increasingly look to trusted outsourcing partners. Commenting on what will drive future growth in IT, Prof Joe Peppard said: “Computer hardware, software and telecommunications are building blocks of the modern ‘smart’ economy, as basic as iron ore and coal were to the industrial era and represent about half of all business spending on equipment.” He said that during the downturn organisations axed headcount and turned to IT outsourcing which allowed them to fill in the gaps without having to commit to long term fixed costs. As the global economy recovers organisations will need to further increase IT outsourcing in order to be able to respond quickly to market demands. His report states: “The steady march of digital technology
Homework €472m was lost to the Irish economy last year because of an inability to work from home according to a survey commissioned by Damovo on office and remote working communications in Ireland. The survey was conducted by independent research firm, Empathy Research. With some obvious factors causing people to be unable to get to their office over the last year - such as snow and ice disruption and school closures - the survey reveals that 1.88 million working days were lost to the Irish economy. 35 – 44 year olds (55%) were most likely to have missed time from work, with those aged over 45 years (40%) least likely to have missed work for reasons beyond their control. Almost two thirds (65%) of office workers have limited or no access to their office computing and communications tools from outside the office, i.e. restricted access to company network, work email, work voicemail, etc.
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Oil Prices Threaten Growth Continuing increases in oil prices has the potential to hinder recovery prospects in the Eurozone, particularly in the peripheral and weaker economies such as Ireland. Political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East have been the principal factor behind the increase in oil prices to levels last seen in 2008 and if the turmoil in Libya spreads to other major oil-producers, particularly Saudi Arabia, then prices are likely to soar even further. As a small, open economy, Ireland is particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs which exert strong inflationary pressure on everything from travel to home heating and food prices. Research released recently from the Ernst & Young Eurozone Economic Forecast (EEF) shows that the significant rise in oil prices over the last few months will add to recently rising inflation concerns in the Eurozone. It will also dampen an already fragile recovery in peripheral and weaker counties including Ireland and could widen further the divergence in economic conditions across the area. However, the report cautions the ECB against responding to oil-price driven inflation by tightening monetary policy as that would further endanger the Eurozone recovery via higher borrowing cost and, consequently, reduced investment and consumption. Marie Diron, senior economic advisor to the Ernst & Young Eurozone Forecast believes that a short term resolution to the crisis in North Africa is unlikely. “Tensions in North Africa have intensified the rise in oil prices observed since the beginning of the year and with uncertainty over the political and social situation in the region likely to remain for some time, risk premia on oil markets will probably stay high for some time. The sharp increases in oil prices is adding to the list of headwinds hitting the Eurozone economy and higher oil prices dampen Eurozone growth by lowering real incomes and profits,” she said. Using the European Central Bank New Area Wide Model, the research finds that if oil prices were to remain at around $100 per barrel (pb) during 2011 and 2012, Eurozone inflation would rise by around ½% in each year. If oil prices were to rise to and stay at $120 per barrel, the impact on inflation would become large, at close to 1.5% in 2011 and 1%pt in 2012, thereby pushing Eurozone inflation to around 3%. Given the current weak labour markets, employees would be unlikely to recoup this in higher wage increases and would
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therefore face losses in purchasing power, which would result in lower consumption. Moreover, by cutting growth in the Eurozone’s trade partners, higher oil prices would also have a negative impact on the region’s export performance. Overall, with oil prices at $100 per barrel, GDP growth would be reduced by 0.1% in 2011 and by 0.2% in 2012. Thus the level of economic activity would be €26 billion lower than Ernst & Young’s December forecast in 2012. Should oil prices rise to $120 per barrel, 2012 GDP would be lowered by €60 billion or around 0.8% of GDP. This would mean significant delays in what was already seen as a slow recovery. Higher oil prices also have the potential to further widen Eurozone divergence as it will impact more severely on peripheral countries. “Higher oil prices would likely affect more significantly the weaker Eurozone economies including
Head of the ECB Jean Claude Trichet
Ireland and thereby widen further the economic divergence that has opened up during the crisis,” says Diron. “ Indeed, in the peripheral countries, companies whose profits are already in the doldrums would be less able to absorb the rise in production costs and would need to make larger cuts in production than in the core Eurozone countries. In addition, households in the periphery already face drastic cuts in disposable incomes related to fiscal consolidation. Their ability to lower savings rates in response to higher oil prices and thereby buffer the impact on consumer spending is more limited than in the core Eurozone.” In terms of the impact of higher oil prices on Irish growth rates, the research forecasts that Ireland’s GDP would fall by nearly 3% this year and rise by only around 0.5% in 2012 in the event of oil priced at $120/barrel. With oil prices at $150 a barrel Irish GDP would continue to falling by 0.6% in 2012. Rising oil prices will impact the Irish economy in several ways, according to Diron. “The first and immediate impact is higher transport and heating costs. Energy accounts for nearly 10% of households’ expenditure in Ireland. So a rise in energy prices quickly raises monthly outgoings. Since transport and heating cannot easily be cut back, this means a smaller amount left to spend on other goods and services. Similarly, higher oil prices add to companies’ production costs and forces them to either cut back on other spending or to cut production. Higher production costs are also passed on through the production chain and, typically after one to two years, result in higher prices of all kinds of goods and services that further dent households’ budgets. “Moreover, by cutting growth in the eurozone’s trade partners, higher oil prices would also have a negative impact on Ireland’s export performance.” Earlier this year, The European Central Bank demonstrated
its determination to maintain a firm brake on any emerging inflationary pressures and raised its main lending rate by a quarter of a point to 1.25 per cent in a move that added about €40 on to the monthly repayments of a person with a €300,000 tracker mortgage. The move marked the first time in more than two years that tracker mortgage holders felt the pinch of rising interest rates and it is expected to be the first of at least three rate increases over the next 12 months. The research acknowledges that the ECB could decide that higher energy prices for a protracted period raise inflation risks to unacceptable levels and raise interest rates. However, it said that the ECB should avoid prematurely tightening monetary policy as it would compound the negative impact of higher oil prices on economic activity. In the current environment, the rise in inflation is highly unlikely to lead to higher wage claims and the ECB could find itself in a similar situation as in 2008 when it had to reverse a rate increase in the space of a few months. The reports also depicts a worst case scenario in the event of tensions in the Middle East escalating and oil prices moving to $150 a barrel. If this transpired the eurozone would be on the brink of recession and the number of unemployed would remain above 16.5 million. As a result fiscal consolidation would be significantly hampered and the risk of renewed turmoil on sovereign debt markets would increase. A default by at least one peripheral country would be seen as increasingly likely and the banking sector would come under even further pressure with the possibility that new Government bailouts would be required. “ The chances are that tensions would spread rapidly between eurozone countries given the size of cross-border exposure of banks and in such a scenario, the eurozone would likely go back to recession,” Diron said. “With little room for manoeuvre on the fiscal and monetary policy sides to buffer the negative economic impact, the outlook for the region would turn very bleak for several years to come.”
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Ensuring a sustainable energy future through continued investment Supporting Irelandâ€™s continuing economic development Delivering a value for money service and promoting energy efficiency to all our customers Reducing our Carbon Emissions by 30% by 2012; 50% by 2020 and becoming Net-Zero by 2035
Winds of Change Ireland has the potential – and technology – to make a real contribution to Europe’s energy future.
It may not attract the same attention as the Euro crisis, but another crunch is looming over policy-makers in the European Union: energy supply. Observers know that relying on fossil fuels, often imported from countries with a less-than-stable political system, is no longer realistic. The recent Fukushima disaster, moreover, has made ‘nuclear’ once again a dirty word. So, once more, attention is turning to renewable, and a green agenda that seemingly stalled in the face of economic crisis several years ago. Ireland, therefore, is once again coming under the spotlight, as proponents of renewable power have long waxed lyrical about the huge electricity-generating potential of the country’s west coast. “Certainly in terms of renewable energy, we can make a contribution to the overall portfolio. We would have wind particularly – more so in the west of Ireland,” says Aidan Corcoran, Manager of Capital Projects at EirGrid. “The main renewables we’re talking about in Ireland at the moment would be onshore wind, but there’s potential for offshore wind development and, maybe in the next couple of years, to develop marine renewables as well. We have a small amount of hydro, but our main basket of renewables in Ireland would be towards wind.”
Peter Harte, Chief Technology Officer for Element Power Ireland and a board member of the Irish Wind Energy Association, agrees. “In principle, the renewable energy resources are large. The recently-published Offshore Renewable Energy Plan, highlighted tens of gigawatts of wind and tidal around our coast. The technology isn’t there for wave and tidal yet, and it’s probably very expensive for offshore wind, so that’s probably a 15-year goal. But the resource is certainly there.” Crucially, Harte adds, the technology needed to harness onshore wind energy linking it to Europe and therefore overcoming the traditional drawback of intermittent supply already exists. “One of the key difficulties with wind is that it is intermittent, and one of the best solutions to that is to link up large clusters of wind farms that are geographically welldispersed, at least a couple of hundred kilometres apart. So if you could link up wind farms in Norway, Denmark, Germany, the UK, Ireland and Spain, all in one supergrid, you’re pretty much assured that the wind will be blowing somewhere at some point. The low pressures that sweep in from the Atlantic will pass first across Ireland, and then across the UK, then Germany and Denmark. That interconnectedness goes a long
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One of the key difficulties with wind is that it is intermittent, and one of the best solutions to that is to link up large clusters of wind farms that are geographically welldispersed.” – Peter Harte way to solving intermittency, and reducing the cost of integrating wind into Europe’s electricity network,” he says. “In Ireland, the technology is actually very mature. It would require a number of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables to pick up either offshore wind in the Irish sea, or link up the Irish network with the English network with the HVDC interconnector. There’s at least five of those in existence in the European network... you just have to run HVDC into the UK network and possibly France.” Moreover, even as both Ireland and the rest of Europe grapples with an economic crisis, investment has continued to turn Ireland into a major energy-producing nation. Private operators such as Airtricity have invested over €800m to date in onshore wind farms, with plans in place to invest another €120m for the financial year of 2010/2011. Those operators are being linked into Ireland’s domestic grid through Eirgrid’s ‘Gate’ system. “It’s a system developed between the regulator, the industry and Eirgrid. It looks at tranches of wind that can be connected – when people applied, they closed the Gate. Then, what they did was give connection offers to people within the Gate, and that went ahead,” explains Corcoran. “The majority of Gate 1 is connected to the system, about 40% of Gate 2 is connected, with the rest in progress, and offers have gone out to Gate 3 connections. They’ll be the connections over the next couple of years that, hopefully, will bring our wind portfolio up to about 4,500 to 5,000 megawatts.” Even with the right system to connect suppliers to Ireland’s grid, and the technology to link that grid with the rest of Europe, the potential challenges for both objectives are substantial. “Any potential generator would have to get the finance and planning to build their facility. That’s one challenge, though it’s not our challenge,” says Corcoran. “The second challenge is for us to connect them to the system, building the necessary infrastructure, and also to reinforce the existing infrastructure to enable us to get the electricity from where it’s generated to the load centres. Our Grid 25 Strategy is built around this space: to maximise use of our existing infrastructure. There’s an upgrade of the existing network, but also a requirement to build: something of the order of 1,000 kilometres of new transmission network needs to be built in the next ten to 15 years to ensure we can get the power from where it’s generated to the load centres,” he adds. “A lot of the issues in terms of building transmittion are
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permitting issues, and issues of public acceptability. Those are problems in Ireland and in Europe, but nevertheless there is still a lot of infrastructure being built. In the last ten years, there were roughly 10,000 kilometres of high voltage transmission line built. So, those problems are being overcome in a lot of cases,” argues Corcoran. The message of problems with permitting and public being overcome is being echoed on a pan-European basis too, by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity. The organisation’s president, Daniel Dobbeni, opened its February conference, Towards Electricity Infrastructure for a Carbon Neutral Europe, with frank words about the need for support from policy-makers and the public if a more sustainable energy future is to be realised. “We need shared goals for joining our national markets together to turn the vision of a truly pan-European electricity market into a reality. We need acceptance for our infrastructure from the public, the political decision-makers and the media,” he told the conference. “The Commission, regulators, policy-makers, market participants and customers are all part of the solution.” Fortunately, it appears that Europe’s policymakers are only too eager to contribute to a more integrated, sustainable energy market – and to help bear the substantial cost of building a twenty-first century network. “A lot of this really is down to Europe’s Energy Directorate and Common Market Directors. They’re very interested in bringing Europe’s energy market together to make a real common market. The greater integration there is, the easier it is to pay for interconnection like this, because it begins to be all the one market and the charges can pay for the infrastructure – the country borders matter less. The other thing that can be said on the cost is that the EU is very happy to fund market integration projects,” says Harte, noting that the European Commission has made a substantial contribution to aninterconnector due to come into service next year. “Laying HVDC cables across the Irish sea isn’t that challenging – it’s not cheap, but it’s technically possible,” he adds. With the political will to invest in a fit-for-purpose network, private operators keen to set up in an efficient system, and a public realisation that linking Europe’s electricity market is essential to a secure supply, a more sustainable network for the continent – with Ireland making a major contribution – is more than just an aspiration. It’s within our grasp.
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Electricity Transformation ESB & Irelands Electricity Networks Transformation – Ireland playing a leading role in electricity transmission and distribution network innovation
Teresa Hansen, Editor-In-Chief of Electric Light & Power & DistribuTECH Conference Chair, presenting Teresa Fallon, Smart Networks Manager with the award for SmartGrid Demo Project 2011 in the Renewables Integration Category by the influential US engineering publication PowerGrid International. Ireland is presented with a unique opportunity to be a leader in the development of the electricity system of the future. Transformational changes in the energy sector are required to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels, the price volatility of which is impacting on electricity prices, while adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, across the world, electricity generation, its delivery to customers and the way customers use it, is going through a transformation. In Ireland, the abundance of renewable resources, the strength of the electricity network, the co-operation of all electricity participants, industry, academia and indeed our ever adaptable consumer, enable us to be at the heart of this change. Through the level of wind generation, already connected and being managed, comprehensive preparations for Smart Metering and the progressive electric cars programme along with international and national research collaboration, Ireland is already a leader. There are fundamental changes to our rapidly evolving electricity system. ESB networks have connected over 1400MW of wind farm capacity, giving Ireland one of the highest levels of wind energy penetration in Europe. The scale of wind generation is to escalate with an additional over 5000MW being
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connected for Ireland to deliver on its climate change targets. This level of dispersed and intermittent generation drives fundamental change on how the system is developed and operated, so that secure, high quality electricity can be supplied to the people and businesses of Ireland while minimising cost. Ireland is ready for this change. With the investment of over €6 bn in the electricity network over the last 10 years, Ireland has one of the smartest and strongest electricity systems in the world, a foundation for future expansion. “Ireland has one of the most modern networks in the world today. Now we are taking the next step in developing them further in a sustainable, smart, economical and efficient manner to facilitate integration of renewables and participation of customers required to deliver the targets of 40% renewables by 2020,” says Jerry O’Sullivan, Managing Director, ESB Networks, Ireland is in a unique position which creates both challenges and opportunities – unlike other European countries, Ireland has no synchronous interconnection with neighbouring electricity networks, presenting huge challenges to balance the system with large intermittent generation sources such as wind. In Ireland, we have to rely on innovation in the way we operate and design networks. However, as an island we are uniquely
positioned to develop new strategies and optimize them on our networks – design new solutions, implement them in Ireland and ultimately create new expertise and experience which can be exported. Ireland is at the heart of international research, working with other world leading partners, sharing experience and learning. This kind of collaboration ensures that ESB Networks and Ireland stay at the leading edge of network development. ESB Networks, along with EDF in France, was the first non-US utility accepted to host projects in the US Electrical Power Research Institute’s world leading Smart Grid Demonstration Programme. The Sustainable Electricity Systems Cluster research project coordinated by the Energy Research Centre (ERC) in UCD, involving ESB Networks, EirGrid, industry and academics and supported by Science Foundation Ireland funding is specifically addressing the electricity system operational challenges of the future, attracting world focus. Ireland’s leadership of Smart Networks is recognised at the highest international level – ESB Networks innovative wind connection and operations work was awarded the 2011 Project of the Year Award in the Renewables Integration category at the DistribuTECH conference. This recognised the work of ESB Networks as being “innovative, comprehensive, deeply relevant and absolutely vital” . A survey by IBM of grid companies worldwide acknowledged ESB Networks as having the 3rd most advanced Smart Grid Programme. ESB’s approach to facilitating the introduction of electric cars through its ESB ecars Project is acknowledged to be one of the most progressive in the world through. “We are developing the expertise and experience which is being recognized worldwide, ensuring that clean, renewable energy can be facilitated to achieve Irish climate change targets and support economic development,” says Jerry O’Sullivan. The Smart Meter Programme, conducted by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), is the most comprehensive Smart Meter customer behavior trial in the world, attracting global interest. This large scale, highly statistically valid trial involving over 6,000 customers nationwide showed the huge benefits available to customers – with Smart Metering customers saw an average drop of 2.5% in their total electricity consumption and a reduction in their peak power of 8.8-11.3%! As part of this programme ESB Networks carried out technology trials to assess how Smart Metering could be rolled out to all 2.2 million electricity customers in the future, in a coordinated, efficient and
Overview of ESB SmartGrid Demo Project cost effective way. In Ireland we are creating the network of the future, ensuring that money is not blindly thrown at technology but developing real operational solutions which make sense for Ireland, ensure the sustainability of the system and create electricity supply networks to best support the growth and development of the Irish economy. Fostering innovation in the electricity networks not only develops solutions for Ireland’s energy sector, it supports Irish innovation and Irish jobs. The benefits of this have most recently been seen through General Electric’s acquisition of Irish power line monitoring company FMC-Tech, which has been working closely with ESB Networks in designing network technology. In the progressive approach to the development of the electricity networks of the future, by the entire electricity sector, Ireland is playing a crucial role in the strategic development of how electricity is distributed in Europe.
Derrybrien Wind Farm. the Public Sector Journal
Securing Ireland’s energy supply The Government plans to introduce a new energy policy within the next year to reassess the country’s needs and ensure security of supply, according to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte. “Given the dramatic change to the economic backdrop, both in Ireland and internationally, now is a good time to reassess our energy policy directions,” the Minister said at the opening of the 2011 Energy Ireland annual conference at Croke Park. “It is my intention that a new energy policy framework will be published early in 2012. The new 2012-2030 framework will take account of developments over the past few years since publication of the 2007 White Paper,” Mr Rabbitte told delegates. He said the new policy will also be informed by an indepth review of Ireland’s energy policy to be carried out by the International Energy Agency in late September. The minister added that, despite the economic situation, security of supply, competitiveness and sustainability will continue to be the pillars of energy policy. “We are heavily dependent on a single source of gas supply and our electrical interconnection is still limited. We are also heavily reliant on gas for the generation of electricity — a reliance that is set to remain for some time as gas is the fuel of choice while we build our renewable capacity. The delivery of key energy infrastructure is critical. The East-West electricity interconnector between Ireland and the UK will improve security of supply, as well as increasing competition and assisting in achieving our ambitious renewable targets. The project will be completed by the end of next year.” The minister said a Bill to provide a regulatory framework for the commercial development of gas storage facilities would be published over the coming months. Mr Rabbitte also stressed the importance of getting the Corrib gas field reserves ashore, particularly in view of Germany’s decision to shut all its nuclear power stations by 2022, following the Fukushima crisis in Japan. He said the Corrib field had the capacity to service over 60% of our natural gas requirement but that protests had gone beyond the realm of safety.
Energy Sector Grows Up to 82% of international energy sector companies are struggling to find suitable talent for vacant positions in Ireland. The survey by global recruitment firm SpenglerFox and its Irish partner Grafton Group found that 74% of companies have achieved growth over the last two years despite the recruitment difficulties. In addition, just 12% have been forced to downsize, despite the severe global recession. The energy sector is continuing to expand with 83% of companies expecting to hire more staff – although the majority of these are experiencing difficulties in recuiting suitable employees.
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Energy Rating Figures released recently from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) reveal that Building Energy Ratings (BER) have now been issued to over 200,000 Irish homes. A total of 201,854 homes have been rated by BER assessors across the country, marking an increase of 100,000 since February 2010. A BER is an indication of the energy performance of a home, displaying an energy label on a scale of A1-G. An A1-rated home is the most energy efficient and will tend to have the lowest energy bills. A BER certificate is issued in conjunction with an advisory report which identifies how householders can improve the energy performance of their homes. Recent research, carried out by SEAI, shows that awareness levels of the BER Scheme has increased significantly over the last two years with almost six out of ten people expressing an awareness of the term BER in relation to homes and buildings. However while the research shows that there has been a rise in awareness amongst those looking to sell their homes (70% compared to 54% in 2009), those in the rental market remain the least aware at 42%. Commenting on the latest BER figures, Professor J. Owen Lewis, Chief Executive of SEAI, said: “The latest research figures on awareness levels, combined with the actual number of homes that have had BERs completed, indicate an increasing awareness of and compliance with the legislation. Despite the decline in property transactions, there has been a significant demand for BER ratings over the last two years. However those renting properties are still not aware of their entitlements to receive a BER. We urge those considering renting a property to demand a BER certificate, so they are fully informed of the energy performance of a dwelling before finalising any rent agreement.” In order to obtain a BER, a homeowner must have an assessment carried out by a certified BER assessor who is trained under the National Framework of Qualifications and registered with SEAI. There are currently 2,100 SEAI registered BER assessors across the country. A full list and further details are available at www.seai.ie/ber
Lane Closure Warning
Lane Closure Warning
Emergency Warning Trailer
SeeMe – Warning System
Emergency Warning Trailer
SeeMe – Warning System
Visit us at www.synoptix-ts.ie now Synoptix Traffic Solutions | Unit 10D | M4 Interchange Business Park | Celbridge | Co Kildare Contact: Niall O’Byrne 00 353 86 823 4744 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us at www.synoptix-ts.ie now Synoptix Traffic Solutions | Unit 10D | M4 Interchange Business Park | Celbridge | Co Kildare Niall Sector O’Byrne 00 353 86 823 4744 / 01 5540543 or mail email@example.com 146Contact: the Public Magazine
On the Road The national roads network has been transformed in recent years but the severe constraints in the public finances will see a more modest programme of road works in the yeaers ahead.
The previous government agreed with the EU and the IMF that no major road schemes will commence next year or in 2013
Last year saw a significant programme of works undertaken by the National Roads Authority with the successful completion of the inter-urban motorways, the upgrade of the M50 and the M3 together with the completion of many other important schemes. The Motorway Inter-Urban network now comprises 738 kilometres of dual carriageway connecting Dublin with the major cities of Belfast (from the border), Cork, Limerick Galway and Waterford. Following the M50 upgrades, the junctions are now freeflow and the carriageways have been expanded from two to four lanes to facilitate the continuing growth in traffic volumes which saw an increase of approximately 10% recorded against 2009 levels. On average, over 100,000 vehicles use the tolled section of the motorway daily which equates to almost three million transactions per month. Construction of the M3 was also completed and this new road links Meath and the north east to Dublin, and includes significant link roads. Over 100km of new dual and single carriageway were constructed and a number of significant projects brought to completion including the M17 Gort to Crusheen, the N21 Castleisland Bypass, the N59 Derrylea realignment, the N10 Kilkenny Link Road and the N78 Athy
Link Road. In addition Service areas opened at three locations on the motorway network . Given the severe strain on the public financese there will be significantly reduced budgets available for public works and services going forward, including the maintenance of the National Road Network. Staff numbers in the Authority and the National Road Regional Design Offices are also being reduced, and the emphasis will be on maximising the use of all available resources. Last year a detailed assessment of the entire national secondary road network and a detailed technical assessment of traffic management alternatives for the busier sections of the network was undertaken which will provide a sound basis for future decision making. The previous government agreed with the EU and the IMF that no major road schemes will commence next year or in 2013 and that commitment is referenced in the four year plan agreed with the EU troika. While there have been substantail improvement to the countryâ€™s principal road network in recent years, the national secondary roads network has not received the same levels of attention and the need for improvements in this area has been highlighted by the Economic and Social
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Research Institute. The Authority is conscious of the need to address deficiencies on national secondary roads and this year it will continue a pilot programme of improvements on sections of national secondary low volume routes, with a view to wider application in the future. The pilot programme is taking place on specific sections of the N59 in Galway and Mayo, the N56 in Donegal and the N72 in Kerry. In addition, throughout the year, the NRA will undertake approximately 150 small safety schemes and commence construction of approximately 50 minor improvement schemes and carry out over 200 pavement and bridge rehabilitation schemes. Other priorities for the NRA in the year ahead include the awarding of contracts for key projects including the N3 Belturbet Bypass, the N4 Downs Grade Separation, the N5 Longford Bypass, N7 Newlands Cross, N11 Arklow to Rathnew (PPP) and Gorey Service area, M17/18 Gort to Tuam (PPP), the N22/N69 Tralee Bypass, the N25 Cork Southern Ring Road Junctions and the N52 Carrickbridge to Dalystown. The NRA has been granted a budget of €130m for land acquisition in 2011 and while this budget is half that of the previous year, the NRA has given assurances that adequate funding is in place for the major schemes underway, including the Clough-Enniscorthy, Tralee bypass, Ballagaderreen bypass, Longford bypass and the New Ross bypass. This year it will commence the compensation process in respect of land acquisition on the following schemes: N4 The Downs Grade Separation, N52 Carrickbridge to Dalystown, Service Areas Tranche 2 A number of road schemes are also due to be submitted tto An Bord Pleanála for approval including the N14/N15 Link to Strabane (A5), N56 Dungloe to Glenties, N59 Westport to Mulranny, N59 Oughterard to Clifden, N59 Moycullen Bypass and the N86 Tralee to An Daingean
Low traffic costs State E500,000 a month The Government is paying almost E500,000 a month to the private operators of the M3 motorway and the N18 Limerick Tunnel because traffic volumes have fallen short of guarantees given by the State, according to the National Roads Authority (NRA). The payments, which amount to an annualised E5.9 million are due because traffic volumes on both routes have fallen below agreed thresholds. This figure is more than four times the authority’s revenue share from all its other public-private partnership toll motorways. Just two such roads constructed over the past decade at a cost of E8 billion are returning a payment to the State – the M1 and the M4. However, the combined revenue here was just E1.47 million last year. According the NRA, traffic volumes have also failed to trigger a profit for the State on tolls between Dublin and the cities of Waterford, Cork, Limerick and on one of the two tolls on the Dublin to Galway route. Dublin’s M50 is no longer a public-private partnership and is wholly owned by the State. While traffic volumes on the M50 are rising significantly, the NRA is using this revenue to pay off E600 million to the WestLink bridge’s former owners, National Toll Roads, and for the E1 billion M50 widening scheme.
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Road safety first “Creating safer roads” for the public and people working on motorways is at the heart of Synoptix Traffic Solutions’ operations. The Public Sector Journal discovers the company’s plans to expand into England and Wales are well underway.
“The products we sell are quite unique to the Irish and UK market, although there are similar products on the European market. All Synoptix Traffic products are CE and EU approved and conform to the highest standards required by the Highways Agency in the UK. The Highway Agency testing sets the benchmark for all traffic products operating on public roads throughout Europe, and are the most stringent in the world. When you are dealing with the safety of the public, you cannot compromise on quality” comments Niall O’Byrne, sales director at Synoptix Traffic Solutions. With the products manufactured and assembled in Germany, from the smallest to the largest components, Horizont have been producing traffic products for over 50 years. The quality of their products is paramount and this is what makes Horizont products the best. All products are CE approved and must pass very stringent German and European standards also.” O’Byrne has 10 years experience in the Traffic Safety Industry under his belt, having previously worked as Business Manager for Rennicks Sign Manufacturing, starting with only four VMS and leaving Rennicks with a fleet of over 100 VMS on hire throughout the country. He moved on to new challenges and set up the Traffic Division of MacRental (part of the CAT Group), bringing the first Horizont products, including Radio Traffic Lights, into Ireland. These traffic lights had 100% occupancy level, giving a ROI within eight months and proved to be a huge success for the company. Always with the ambition to set up his own Traffic Products
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company, O’Byrne in partnership with Synoptix Ltd, created the new division Synoptix Traffic Solutions in September 2008. Their central aim and motto since its inception is ‘Creating Safer Roads’ for the public and for the people working on our motorways, like the emergency services and work crews. In 2008, the company secured the sole distributorship for Horizont Klemfix products in Ireland and has now expanded this to include the UK. As previously stated Horizont has been producing high end road traffic products for over 50 years and has a range of products for every situation, with an emphasis on quality and products that demonstrate reliability and longevity. “We have supplied safety equipment to the Garda Siochana ( Traffic Corps vehicles) with our products, including our PolVis (roof mounted VMS), which can be seen daily operating on the M50 motorway in Dublin. We have also supplied numerous Emergency Response trailers and PolVis units to the Fire Brigade Services including Cork, Tipperary, Kildare, Kilkenny, Galway and Carlow. Our products have been in use throughout the country with great success,” O’Byrne says. Perfectly positioned to bring the next generation of traffic solutions to the customer, Synoptix Traffic Solutions is at the forefront in providing the latest solutions for the Irish market, supplying everything from Advance Warning trailers and the latest Radio Traffic Lights to small, reflective delineators. “We have just deployed a new product called Guide Curb. This is a unique Traffic System solution and new to Ireland. Guide Curb is NRA-approved and is in use with Cork City
Council at the Jack Lynch Tunnel. We hope that this product will become the way forward and replace existing endless and dangerous lines of traffic cones ( in certain situations) which give no advance information to oncoming traffic and pose a direct danger to the travelling motorists when struck, during temporary/semi permanent road works. Guide Curb is ideal, and can work where other products have failed to provide the correct solution, especially in contra flow situations. Guide Curb, unlike road studs or fixed delineators, is weighted to the surface and not bolted. It is designed for quick deployment and retrieval. Road surface has no residuals of glue or remarking to be done. It is widely used on motorways and in work zones throughout Europe for over 20 years and is due to be deployed in Scotland later this year to solve a road issue where other products have been tried without success. Since deployment in Cork we have already been dealing with enquiries,” he adds. “Complementing our vast array of products from Horizont Klemfix, Synoptix also offers the SeeMe warning system from Sweden, a standalone real time warning system directed at school children, which also hold vast appeal in other areas. This system has been tested and is now in full operation in Scotland.” Traffic accidents are the main cause of death among school children in Europe. Children are most vulnerable when getting on and off school buses alongside high speed roads. Oncoming motorists’ ability to see the children in time is key to increased awareness and the ability to lower reaction times and adapt speed. SeeMe Bus Stop activates strong flashing lights whenever pedestrians are present. The automatic activation is achieved by a small automatic radio transmitter carried by the pedestrian. Tests carried out by the Swedish National Road Administration proved that SeeMe, when active, reduces the speed of oncoming vehicles by on average 13 km/h. The SeeMe Bus Stop package consists of a standalone, solar powered warning unit that can easily be mounted above the bus stop sign or any standard sign post within minutes. Additional activation units are available separately, as well as other activation means such as IR (Infrared) and pushbuttons. Being solar-powered and completely self-sufficient. SeeMe can also cut operation costs, compared to standard school warning signs, with no external power supply being required and no erection of designated sign posts, cutting out installations costs. Keeping it simple and low maintenance enables the product to be easily transferred from location to location.
Developed Garda PolVis (VMS) in the EU for European road conditions, CE-certified and fulfilling relevant European standards and regulations regarding safety and warning lights, the warning unit is easy for one person to mount and installation takes less than 10 minutes. The company has some new products in the pipeline, he reveals, one being the Jetpatcher. “We have just been appointed the sole distributor for Jetpatcher (New Zealand) in Ireland. Each Jetpatcher™, which is a velocity patcher, uses a simple four stage process. The trouble area is cleaned and prepared, sealed, filled, cured and ready for traffic in one smooth operation. Permanent repairs are made with bitumen emulsion, lasting as long as repairs using hot rolled asphalt. Most repairs are completed within 15 minutes, and are ready to be driven over very shortly afterwards. These units are available for sale or can be contracted in with our own full work crews to carry out repair operations, eliminating the need to tie up council personnel.” According to O’Byrne, Synoptix brings “new products to the public sector to enable them to create a safer environment, enabling the travelling public to go to and from the daily business in safety. Ireland is playing catch-up on Europe in relation to creating safer roads, but we are getting there. If our products help to save one life, then we have achieved what we have set out to accomplish.” “We at Synoptix are here to serve the traffic product demands for the future in Ireland. We are constantly updating our product range and we are confident that with Synoptix Traffic Solutions in the market, the roads will be safer to use both for the public as well as the maintenance crews who work on them,” O’Byrne adds.
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Driving Client Satisfaction The Harrris Group is the dominant player in Ireland’s commercial vehicle market
The Hino, Iveco and Isuzu commercial vehicle brands which are imported and distributed in Ireland by the Harris Group account for over 50% of the Irish HGV sales market. Located on the Naas Road, known as Ireland’s motor city and situated only minutes from Dublin city centre, the premises of the Harris Group is an impressive 160,000 sq. m. facility which caters for assembly, vehicle and parts distribution, administration and retail sales and is currently the only motor assembly operation in the country. A family company Harris Motors was formed by Joseph Harris in 1942 and employs 70 people in Dublin. Hino Trucks, the leading Japanese and international commercial vehicle brand was virtually unknown in Ireland when Pino Harris began importing and assembling them over forty years ago. After building Hino into a dominant position in the Irish market he set his sights on the UK where he achieved a similar degree of success with Hino. In subsequent years Harris was awarded franchises for Isuzu commercial vehicles and the Ford-Fiat produced Iveco brand and again demonstrated an uncanny ability to create market awareness and develop brand loyalty. A highly personalised customer focus is a hallmark of the Harris Group and the company prizes customer care, quality workmanship and a dedicated after sales service. As a result it has excelled at cultivating and winning the confidence of its customers. “We strive to provide an excellent service to all our customers and we pride ourselves on delivering customer satisfaction, supplying the complete tailored package and listening to customers requirements, in order to provide them with cost effective solutions,” says Mark Barrett, group tender manager, Harris Group. Harris has a network of forty dealerships throughout Ireland and a further twenty dealerships in the UK. The public sector has long been a key market for the Harris Group and its vehicles are the popular choice amongst the country’s
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state and semi-state bodies, local authorities and logistics and construction sectors. The group maintains a specialised department catering exclusively for the public sector and continues to assist public sector clients through research and development of products and providing tailormade and costeffective solutions. Throughout its long track record of service to the public sector, the Harris Group has assembled purpose built vehicles for the Gardai, the fire services, the OPW, Air Rianta and local authorities, among others. “We have always looked after public service providers and maintained strong relations with state bodies and agencies and we focus considerable resources into this area,” says Mark. “We are engaging with the Gardai, the fire service and environmental services and other agencies and looking at new designs which meet their specific requirements and help to optimise performance. We consult regularly and go out into the field with operators to determine their precise requirements and see how we can facilitate their needs more thoroughly. By undertaking rigorous and detailed research and observing the vehicles in use, we are in a better position to provide purpose built vehicles which are ideally suited to the task for which they are required.” The equipment and vehicles they provide to the emergency services include 4X4 jeeps, water tankers, emergency response units and traffic management units. They are closely involved with the Gardai and have tailored the Isuzu D Max to provide a superior vehicle for the traffic police which employ an electric sign on top of their vehicles to alert traffic to lane closures, accidents and check points, etc. On previous models this was bolted onto the roof rack which resulted in wind drag and reduced performance but on the modified Isuzu, the sign sits into a specially designed pod which was constructed specifically for this purpose. Gardai also complained of a lack of space to transport all the items required by the Traffic police and this
problem was rectified by incorporating greater load space. “We provide innovative solutions for customers needs,” says Mark. “For example if desired, equipment such as spray bars can be included on our trucks so that if there is an accident on the road such as an oil spillage it can be cleaned quickly and they can have a rear data display screen, which registers to traffic that there has been an accident. Roads can therefore be opened as quickly as possible.” The Harris Group also provide modified trucks and equipment to the fire services and has provided Clare Fire Services with tailormade vehicles which feature enhanced features such as floodlights on the mast and improved front monitors. Mark points out that their good relationship with Clare Fire Services is as a result of excellent cooperation. “From tender to build stage, along with the body builder, we have worked closely with them, for whatever modifications are needed. Clare Fire Services are experts in their field and know what they are talking about,” he says. They undertake similar modifications with construction equipment such as tippers and mixers which they provide to local authorities. Providing complete fully kitted vehicles saves on downtime and greatly reduces the volume of callbacks as well as ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction and repeat businses. “By choosing the Harris Group our clients are benefitting from an Irish assembled vehicle and an assembly line which allows J Harris assemblers to set up the chassis to suit the body builder. This saves a lot of money and downtime. We also have 98% of parts available off the shelf and we hold the largest bay of spare parts in the country,” he says. It is this attention to detail and the wide range of innovative products which has ensured the Harris Group its unrivalled reputation and the trust, loyalty and confidence of its clients. In addition, the high level of customer care and after sales service and the exhaustive range of spare parts and accessories available at the group’s premises has ensured that the Harris Group continues to reign supreme in the Irish commercial vehicles market. For more information on the range of solutions that Harris Motors can provide to state and semi-state bodies, emergency services and local authorities, contact Mark Barrett on 087 997 8051 or email mark.barret@ harrisgroup.ie
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In the Event of a Railway Bridge Strike Call:
SAVE THIS NUMBER INTO YOUR MOBILE PHONE NOW! Alert the signaller of the strike immediately Give the Location of the bridge using the unique Bridge number which is attached to the bridge (Examples Below)
P-2008-5 Structural Section
Save Lives, Report Bridge Strikes Immediately to Iarnród Éireann Don’t assume someone has made the call already!
Reviewing the Taxi Industry Following Prime Time’s revelations of widespread malpractice in the taxi industry, a new review has been established to clean up the industry.
Mr. Alan Kelly T.D., Minister for Public and Commuter Transport is to establish a new review group to clean-up the Irish Taxi sector. The high-profile review group is to be chaired by Public and Commuter Transport Minister Alan Kelly, with former Garda commissioner Pat Byrne acting as vice-chairman and will consist of Garda, consumer interests, drivers, transport and other sectoral representatives and will explore all aspects of taxi regulation in Ireland. One of the principal ojectives will examine measures to to refuse criminals from obtaining a licence — and even take back licences from criminals who already have one. “The review will allow the clean-up of unacceptable practices in the sector, many of which were highlighted in RTE’s recent Prime Time Investigates programme on the sector,” said Minister Kelly “We have to eliminate fraud and illegal activity so that the majority of taxi drivers who do their jobs properly are not competing with rogue elements in the sector. We also have to make sure the public feel safe using taxis. This imitative has the full support of the Government and is a priority for completion,” added the Minister. The group will come back with specific recommendations on licensing, enforcement, vehicle standards, supply issues in rural and urban areas and safe driver working hours.
It is expected to take a three to four month period for the recommendations to be published. The review follows a commitment in the programme for Government to update the regulation of taxis to ensure that taxi drivers are recognised as a key component of the public transport system and to provide for a forum for discussion between the regulatory authorities and taxi providers. The three “top line” issues in the review, which has 12 areas in the terms of reference, are: n The licensing process, particularly concerns around the operation of multiple licences. n Enforcement, with a “considerable” increase envisaged in the involvement of gardaí. n Vehicle standards, to ensure they are fit for purpose. Mr Kelly said the review would be “posing a number of legal questions” to the Attorney General (AG), the Government’s legal advisor. These include examining if taxi numbers could be legally reduced and whether people with certain criminal convictions could be lawfully barred from the industry. “These issues involve very difficult legal questions. The Department will be preparing a legal submission for the AG’s office as part of this review and we will take the appropriate actions from there,” stated Minister Kelly.
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The 145 upgrade makes short work of the commute
Route 145 offers a frequent and direct service to the above locations 7 days a week.
With a bus every 5 minutes during peak times and a faster average journey time of 60 minutes from Kilmacanogue to St. Stephen’s Green, the improved Route 145 is better connected. It runs between Kilmacanogue and Heuston Rail Station via Bray, Shankill, Stillorgan, Donnybrook, Leeson Street, Kildare Street and North/South Quays. So get on board and get in quicker. Visit
Bray Town Centre
For more information and timetables www.dublinbus.ie UCD Belfield
Bustxt text ‘BUS’ & your route number (e.g BUS145) to 53503 for information on where and when your bus departs*
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Email email@example.com *Tariff: 30 cent including VAT (network operator charges may apply). Service provider: Centium, Woodlands, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin.
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‘Shovel-Ready’ A C75 million boost for transport projects to create at least 1,000 new jobs has been announced as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative. start or complete 25 sustainable transport projects, and to sustain employment in the process. They include road improvements, pedestrian crossings, cycle routes, footpaths, and pedestrianisation projects. Minister Varadkar said the funding will sustain employment, improve road safety and bring real benefits to communities. “It will allow local authorities to start work on new sustainable transport projects, and bring others to completion. Each of these projects will improve the quality of life in their area, and improve safety in and around our roads. “This funding will also help to sustain jobs in these difficult times, and in some cases will actually create new ones. The projects will also improve the quality of life by encouraging more people to walk, cycle or use public transport.”
Minister of State for Transport: Alan Kelly This new funding will create at least 1,000 entirely new jobs in a range of projects, and will repair the damage inflicted on 650km of our roads in two very severe winters. Minister of State for Transport Alan Kelly said: “I can confirm that some €15 million will go straight into labourintensive traffic management and smarter travel projects. This will create safer road junctions, better footpaths and improved bus networks and support new cycle schemes. The job creation process will start immediately and will bring in the region of 150 jobs specifically in the smarter travel field. This is about the Government lending a hand to the local economy. It is not a full solution, but represents a small starting step towards recovery. It will generate a little more confidence in the Irish high street and demonstrate where this Government’s priorities lie.”
Transport Initiatives n €75 million re-allocated for transport projects: n €60 million to maintain and repair regional and local roads across Ireland damaged in last two severe winters; n €15 million for traffic management & improvements to rail stations, pedestrian crossings, footpaths, bus networks, and cycle ways. 25 sustainable transport projects will receive €5 million under the Jobs Initiative. The €5 million will be used to
The allocations include: n €500,000 to improve pedestrian access to rural schools in Co. Kildare n €500,000 to improve pedestrian crossings at nine locations in Dublin City n 300,000 for cycle lanes in Sandyford Estate, Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown n €50,000 to improve bus and pedestrian access in Rathcoole, South Dublin n €277,000 to improve pedestrian facilities in seven and towns and villages in Co. Meath; n €150,000 to improve pedestrian facilities in Rathdrum, Co, Wicklow.
New Technology for AA Ireland AA Ireland has invested €8 million in a leading-edge software system to help the organisation serve in excess of half a million Irish customers. Known as “TIA” the new system will provide the AA with a state of the art CRM platform which will streamline administration and back office functions and allow the AA to deliver a better, faster and more comprehensive service for its Motor Insurance, Home Insurance and Motoring customers. “This is a major investment from an Irish business and a declaration of our confidence in the future.” says CEO Brendan Nevin. “We are planning for significant growth across our Business and this investment will help us deliver that growth smoothly. While it is in itself a large project it is in fact only one part of a range of planned investments.” The AA announced the creation of 45 new jobs in its Dublin headquarters last January and now directly employs 480 people. While continuing its investments in its Motoring services the AA is also adding to its large base of Motor Insurance, Home Insurance and Travel Insurance customers.
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Airport Funding In a reversal of a decision made by the previous Governmentbadditional funding of €5.9 million is being provided to regional airports this year. However, from next year, no further funding will be provided to Galway or Sligo Airports.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has announced additional funding for regional airports for this year, and said financial support will continue to be available until the end of the year. However from next year, the Government will only be in a position to support the four regional airports at Donegal, Knock Ireland West, Kerry and Waterford and will not be able to provide operational or capital funding to Galway or Sligo airports. The €5.9 million in additional funding to regional airports for 2011 comes on top of the €13.4 million already allocated to regional airports for this year by the last government. Minister Varadkar has urged Galway and Sligo airports to use the opportunity provided by the additional funding to engage with various parties, including business interests, investors and local authorities, in order to secure their ongoing viability in some form. Minister Varadkar explained: “When I took office, I discovered that the last Government had left us with just €600,000 for operational funding at all six regional airports. This was in spite of a disingenuous election pledge from Fianna Fáil to fund all of the airports for the whole of 2011, without allocating the necessary funding. “The Government has now reversed that decision and is providing funding for all six regional airports, for operational
purposes, for the whole of 2011. All the regional airports must use this period to prepare realistic business plans for the future, as funding cannot be maintained at current levels. “The right thing to do is support the most viable airports, where there is also a clear geographical need for their services. Otherwise there won’t be enough funding to support any of the airports in a meaningful way. As a result, the Government has decided that operational and capital funding will only be provided to four of the six regional airports from next year: Donegal, Knock Ireland West, Kerry and Waterford.” The management of Galway Airport has appealed to the government to reverse its decision and says the withdrawal of state funding believes could force the airport to close for good with the potential loss of 180 jobs. According to the airport’s managing director Joe Walsh six months to find a replacement source of finance is not realistic and there is a real risk of the airport closing down next year. However, speaking after announcing the decision Minister Varadkar said the Government would not reverse the decision and added that out of all the regional airports currently receiving State support, Galway and Sligo airports were least deserving of further funding. In the case of Sligo he pointed out that “there are no scheduled flights from July 1st and any public money granted to the airport would be tantamount to subsidising a small number of corporate jets. “In relation to Galway, the Minister said it is not a jet-capable airport which is the case with both Knock and Shannon which are both just over an hour away. “Of course people who want to make business connections to places such as Heathrow, New York and Paris can do so through Shannon, which does not require any taxpayer support,” he added. Mr Varadkar said that the cut to his department’s budget for 2012 meant that it would be difficult to fund public transport services or to pay for repairs to the roads and therefore tough decisions had to be taken. “I have to prioritise and my priority is maintaining the roads and basic transport services to those who need them the most,” he said.
The Right Choice The Transport Minister has signalled the multi-billion euro Metro North and DART underground projects for Dublin are under threat. Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil that only one of three major infrastructure projects will go ahead with the other two being longfingered or abandoned. The projects are Metro North, DART Underground or the Luas Interconnector. The Minister has suggested that only the Luas project is affordable to the taxpayer and the other two would have to be Public Private Partnerships and that even they may not be feasible.
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Dublin Port Company Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has announced his intention to amalgamate Dundalk Port Company with Dublin Port Company. Minister Varadkar said: ‘It is with great regret that I have come to the conclusion that the financial difficulties faced by Dundalk Port mean that it no longer has a future as an independent company. “In order to ensure the orderly management of the company’s affairs, I have decided that the best course of action is to transfer responsibility for the port to Dublin Port Company. “I would be hopeful that port activities will continue at Dundalk following the transfer. Once the current difficulties are overcome, it may be the case that Dundalk Port can return to local control, in cooperation with the local authority and private sector operators.” Dundalk Port has a long history as an independent seaport. However, the current economic recession has been very difficult for the company. From a high of 221 ships in 2006, only 64 ships entered the port in 2010, and the figures for 2011 show no signs of improvement. Earlier this year the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport appointed a firm of accountants to carry out an independent
business review of Dundalk Port Company. The review examined all the possible options for dealing with the current situation. It concluded that a corporate recovery plan is not viable, given the financial circumstances in which the company has found itself and the difficult business environment now facing it. Upon transfer Dublin Port Company will assume responsibility for managing the port. The Minister has asked both companies to cooperate fully with the transfer process.
Costs threaten Road Deaths halved Road safety representatives and Gardaí have cautioned against any complacency when it comes to road safety after New figures show that over the last ten years, the number of people killed on Ireland’s roads has halved. It comes as a new global drive, the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, is launched to help bring down the number of road deaths worldwide. It is estimated that more than 1.3 million lives are lost every year across the world as a result of road accidents.
Scrappage boosts car sales by 12% The number of cars sold in the first five months of the year was up 11.8% on last year, according to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry. Figures from the Society show that 66, 108 cars were sold in the first five months of the year. In May, 9,471 cars were sold, up 10% on a year ago. SIMI’s director general, Alan Nolan, said: “Scrappage has helped to stimulate business over the past 18 months and is due to finish at the end of June. “There is no proposal for any extension, so these really are the last few weeks. These statistics suggest we are fairly well on target for 2011 to achieve the predicted level of around 88,000 new car sales.”
the Public Sector Magazine
Costs threaten haulage Soaring fuel costs and the expense of implementing EU regulations is threatening the road haulage industry and could have repercussions for the Ireland’s food sector. . The Irish Road Haulage Association have been calling for a fuel surcharge to offset rising fuel costs, and food processors across Europe say that new pollution charges for heavy goods vehicles could result in an escalation of food costs. . Last October EU transport ministers agreed to make haulage firms pay for the air and noise pollution caused on the roads by their lorries and they recently agreed to allow member states charge extra road tolls and even introduce measures to reduce lorry traffic during rush hours— Italy and Spain voted against and Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal abstained. Meanwhile, the Irish Road Haulage Association has estimated the 2c per litre budget increase in the price of diesel increased the annual cost of keeping a truck on the road by as much as €3,000.
Costs £1,460.00 per year to run.
Costs £39.78 per year to run.
Based on 100 people visiting a washroom twice a day, a paper towel dispenser will get through 146,000 towels a year.
For the same use, the Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer costs just £39.78 to run. It works in only 10 seconds and its HEPA filter cleans the air before it reaches hands.
That’s a cost of £1,460.00.
It’s fast, hygienic and a fraction of the cost of paper towels.
Usage based on 2 towels per dry (data from Dyson internal research – Sept 2008). 1600W machine shown. Calculations include standby power. Cost based on 1 pence per paper towel (data from Dyson internal research – Jan 2010) and £0.1194 per kWh (data from Eurostat 2009 Semester 2 – published March 2010). Paper towel dispenser and Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer purchase costs are excluded from comparison. 10 second dry time based on NSF protocol P335.