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Friends First’s




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20/04/2017 13:47

Editor: Joseph O’Connor

Editorial Assistant: Susan McDermott (Chambers Ireland) Tiernan Cannon Art Director: Alan McArthur Editorial Contributors: Tiernan Cannon Orla Connolly Conor Forrest Olive Keogh Barry McCall Susan McDermott Front Cover Photography: Jason Clarke Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon

Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: +353 1 432 2200 Email: Web: On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: Web: All articles © Ashville Media Group 2017. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. Opinion and comments expressed herein are not necessarily those of Ashville Media or Chambers Ireland. ISSN 20093934



After receiving a major payout through the sale of his company Realex, Colm Lyon is starting from scratch with a new fintech venture


Business of Sport

A look at the growing industry of sports psychology and some of the Irish teams and players investing in the sector Words: Conor Forrest



We gauge the mood of the cinema sector, which is having to think creatively in order to attract audiences


The Hard Stem Sell

With women accounting for just one quarter of people in STEM careers in Ireland, how can we encourage greater diversity in these maledominated professions? Words: Joseph O’Connor


Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO, Digital Hub Development Agency

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Choose Life

We spoke with Friends First Chief Commercial Officer JP Hughes about connecting with customers and achieving team goals

Words: Tiernan Cannon


InBUSINESS | Q1 2017






For the latest in our mentors series, InBUSINESS speaks with Pat Falvey who holds forth on his mantra that life is not a rehearsal, it’s simply a performance.

at Falvey is taking stock of life. The Cork explorer, entrepreneur and motivational speaker (among other things) is about to turn 60 and is planning to step back from his usual fast-paced lifestyle to spend more time with his family, something he feels he neglected as a result of his tireless work over the years. When we speak, Falvey is busy preparing for his new one-man stage show, Pat Falvey – Everest, Antarctica and Beyond Endurance, which kicked off at Cork Opera House on March 30th and which will tour the country in November 2017. The man behind it is Aidan Dooley, director and actor of another one-man show, Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer, a hugely successful piece of theatre that has toured for over a decade. Falvey has also been working on a relatively new side of

his adventure travel business called the Forever Young Club, which is aimed at adrenaline-fuelled 50 to 90-year-olds who want more from than their travels than a package holiday in the sun. He will lead four expeditions to Kilimanjaro later this year and has trips to Nepal and Russia in the pipeline. It’s hardly in line with the life of your average retiree who takes up a spot of golf and gardening; nonetheless it feels like slowing down to Falvey, which is an indication of the pace at which he’s lived over the past 30 years.

RESILIENCE Falvey’s story is one of resilience and determination. He left school at 15 resolving to become successful in business. By 21 he had 200 people working for his construction company, only to lose it all by the time he was 29 down to what he

Jen Murphy

Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton

40 40

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017



Pat Falvey

Pat Falvey holds forth on his mantra that life is not a rehearsal, it’s simply a performance Words: Joseph O’Connor


19/04/2017 15:37



Q1 2017










Friends First’s @InBUSINESSIre


772009 393018




Go to for the online edition



A look at how business skills sometimes translate and sometimes don’t to the often complex political world

Images from photographer Beta Bajgartova’s new book A Woman’s Work and an extract from performance coach Enda McNulty’s Commit!

Crossing the Divide

Words: Conor Forrest



Small Business



Dundalk company Easydry has been making the sale of disposable towels to the world look easy since 2005

A profile-raising debut from Kia 122


Stylish wallets and luxury man bags




The incredible African melting pot of Zanzibar

One Man and His Mojo



Sheryl Sandberg takes Option B


9tH - IsRaEl

Israel is the highest ranked country in the Middle East and received an overall health score of 92.47, based on factors such as quality of care and access to doctors. The country lost points (4.33) due to health and lifestyle problems, including overeating, and health risks ranging from high blood pressure to malnutrition.

1sT - ItAlY

Looking to live long? Well, a move to Italy might be worth considering. Ranked the healthiest country on Earth in the Bloomberg Global Health Index, babies born here can expect to live to be in their 80s. Italy scores higher than other developed countries despite a rapidly aging population and facing major economic challenges.






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10 Movers & Shakers

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In Conversation

Niall Mimnagh on how his love of motorsport and commitment to sustainability led to the creation of innovative start-up Mimergy Words: Barry McCall


World Report

In the first of a new world report series focusing on global affairs, Joseph O’Connor travelled to Sri Lanka to see how a music project for children is helping to build peace and reconciliation between communities once divided by war Words: Joseph O’Connor

ABOUT THE BLOOMBERG GLOBAL HEALTH INDEX The Bloomberg Global Health Index grades 163 countries on variables such as life expectancy, causes of death and health risks ranging from obesity to the availability of clean water. The ranking is based on a weighted composite score made up of factors such as life expectancy and survivor ratio at landmark ages for a maximum of 100. The researchers then subtract points for negative factors including obesity and environmental risks.

Our Local Government InBUSINESS Supplement 06 continues to CIVIL EXCELLENCE look at the important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise Page








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We spoke with Mojocon founder Glen Mulcahy about the concept of mobile journalism and how businesses are getting on board Words: Joseph O’Connor




13 Opportunity Ireland 22nD - IrElAnD

Ireland, with a much younger population than that of Italy, ranked 22nd, just ahead of the UK but less healthy than poorer EU peers Greece and Portugal. It received a health risk penalty of 6.01 due to behavioural factors such as high blood pressure, prevalence of overweight and alcohol cosumption.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017


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14 Start-Up Central


Tourism booklet launched in Tralee, Chinese delegation visits Limerick and former Nenagh shopping centre set for revamp.

Page 2

128 The IB Index


Castlebar hotel to reopen, Croatian president on Galway visit and plans in place for Mayo Day.



CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0 HEX: 40B3DF

Donegal tourism on the rise, Monaghan nursing home to be expanded and Castle Saunderson Walking Trail launched.

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In Association with CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100 HEX: A8CB17

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Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council was among the successes at this year’s Council & Community Awards.


Investment to help scale up cycling in the Dublin city has been announced

61 Chambers Catch Up



Arklow library to be renovated, Meath spending programme revealed and jobs announcement for Swords.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017



In Association with

Leitrim Councillor meets with EU Brexit Negotiator


InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

20/04/2017 11:45

IT’S BACK WITH A NEW FRONT. The new look OCTAVIA from €199 per month.

The ŠKODA OCTAVIA, Ireland’s best selling car in its class, has been redesigned with style, comfort and connection in mind. Whether it’s the 1.0 TSI 115bhp petrol or the powerful 1.6 TDI 115bhp diesel you’ll experience driving precision. Plus clever on-board technology enables seamless connectivity between you and the car. Test drive the new look ŠKODA OCTAVIA today.

Typical Example: Octavia 1.2 TSI 86bhp OTRP €20,350. Deposit €6,278.16. 36 Monthly payments of €199 including fixed price service plan of €13.99 per month. Optional final payment €7,900. Total Hire Purchase Price €20,988.52. Total cost of credit €638.52. Minimum deposit 10%. This offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. ŠKODA Finance is a trading style of Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland, authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Available on cars ordered before 30th April 2017 & registered before 31st May 2017. Picture for illustrative purposes only. CO2 from 102-153G/KM. Combined fuel consumption from 3.9-6.6/100km. Data based on 2016 figures.

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20/04/2017 11:31

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AER LINGUS AND TOTAL PRODUCE CHIEFS HONOURED Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pictured in conversation at Twitter EMEA HQ in Dublin

O Stephen Kavanagh, CEO, Aer Lingus, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Dean, UCD College of Business and Rory Byrne, CEO, Total Produce

Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh and Total Produce CEO Rory Byrne were honoured at the UCD Business Alumni of the Year 2017 awards dinner at the InterContinental Hotel, Dublin on March 31st. Kavanagh and Byrne join a list of prominent business graduates of UCD’s Smurfit graduate and Quinn undergraduate schools who have previously been honoured. The UCD Quinn and Smurfit Alumni Awards, which have been running since 1991, recognise alumni who have demonstrated proven leadership skills and notable achievements in business, whether in Ireland or abroad.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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n a recent visit to Dublin, Twitter boss Jack Dorsey described the social media platform as one that “endures forever”. Speaking at Twitter’s Dublin office, Dorsey dismissed the company’s dissappointing financial results and admitted that it is now considering the introduction of a paid subscription service that could give users more analytics feedback on how their tweets are performing. He said: “I think looking at subscriptions is interesting. I think there’s some value there, especially for journalists and in providing more economic incentive. It’s just a germ of an idea, nothing serious yet. But we should always have an open mind to compliment our advertising business.”

BREEGE O’DONOGHUE former Director, Primark AIDAN BRADY former CEO, Citibank Europe SIOBHÁN TALBOT Group CEO, Glanbia plc CAROLINE CASEY CEO, Kanchi PATRICK KENNEDY former CEO, Paddy Power

BOULDER MEDIA TO EXPAND DUBLIN ANIMATION STUDIO Boulder Media, which was acquired in 2016 by Hasbro Inc., is adding several new animation positions to its operations in Dublin. To house the expanded team, Boulder Media will be relocating to a larger studio space in the summer. The studio, which currently employs a crew of 160, is recruiting for positions in conceptual design, 2D and 3D animation, as well as animated CG feature film. “We couldn’t be more thrilled about the opportunities we can offer our crew,” said Robert Cullen, Creative Director, Boulder Media. “We’re bringing to life some of the world’s most famous and popular brands here in Dublin. It’s unique and very special both for our studio and the local industry.”


19/04/2017 15:39


COOPER TOPS TWITTER INFLUENCE LIST Broadcaster Matt Cooper has replaced Des Cahill at the top of the #murraytweetindex, a ranking of Irish journalists’ influence on the social network compiled by public relations firm Murray. The presenter of Today FM’s The Last Word jumped from 22nd to the number one spot, while the RTÉ sports presenter Des Cahill dropped to 11th. Murray analysed over 700 accounts in November and December 2016, ranking the top 100 accounts based on popularity, engagement and level of activity.





#1@cooper_m MATT COOPER #2 @RealKevinPalmer KEVIN PALMER #3 @ghook GEORGE HOOK #4 @PatKennyNT PAT KENNY #5 @davidmcw DAVID MCWILLIAMS #6 @ElaineByrne ELAINE BYRNE #7 @gemmaod1 GEMMA O’DOHERTY #8 @UnaMullally UNA MULLALLY #9 @CathalMacCoille CATHAL MAC COILLE #10 @CaitrionaPerry CAITRIONA PERRY


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An image from Irish photographer Ivor Prickett, whose photographic series ‘Caught in the Crossfire’ was honoured at the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards.

BAM TO CONSTRUCT BOLANDS QUAY The Bolands Quay Development Group has announced that BAM Ireland has been selected as the preferred bidder for the construction of the Bolands Quay Development (formerly Boland’s Mill) in Dublin’s south docklands.




ollowing a two year pilot project, the Office of the Dublin Commissioner for Start-ups has been restructured. The move announced by Dublin City Council saw the office’s existing activities and operations transferred to both The Digital Hub and the DCU Ryan Academy from April 1st. Niamh Bushnell who vacated her role at the end of March said: “My appointment was originally for a twoyear period therefore I am now stepping down as planned after two and a half years. Through our programmes, our advocacy and public voice and through our international projects, our office has succeeded on many levels. But this is a mission that continues with the mantle now passing to The Digital Hub and DCU Ryan Academy and I wish them well in their endeavours.”

For more on the Digital Hub go to our Snapchat feature with Fiach Mac Conghail on page 35 InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

19/04/2017 15:39




PayPal has announced that it has donated over 55,000 to seven Irish charities. Five of the charities received funding through the PayPal Gives initiative, a fund that supports and recognises PayPal employees who participate in charitable giving, volunteering and fundraising activities. A further two charities received donations through the PayPal Financial Inclusion Charity Grant Programme. In the last 12 months, PayPal has donated 110,000 to Irish charities through PayPal Gives. For more on CSR activity in the Irish business community go to page 76.

Laura Morgan Walsh, Director of EMEA Risk and Financial Services Operations, PayPal (centre) together with PayPal teammates presents a cheque to Junior Achievement Ireland




Last year’s Electric Picnic music festival contributed 36 million to the Irish economy. An economic impact assessment commissioned by Festival Republic found that spending by festival-goers totalled 26m, while the company itself spent 10m on suppliers, contractors and payroll.

A new survey from Irish-based global migration specialists has revealed that almost half of Irish businesses (49 per cent) see the EU as being the most important market for business, followed by the UK at 23 per cent.

The eurozone jobless rate in February fell to its lowest level since May 2009 as a resurgent hiring spree took hold despite uncertainty over Brexit. Eurostat said the jobless rate in the 19-nation eurozone fell to 9.5 per cent, with sustained drops in Spain and Portugal also a factor.

ENTREPRENEURS SEE BUSINESS COSTS AS KEY CHALLENGE The increasing cost of doing business in Ireland, the war for talent, and a lack of supports are some of the biggest challenges being faced by Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs, according to a survey published by EY. The research was conducted amongst 160 entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland who are all previous finalists in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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IMPEDIMENTS TO GROWTH The main factors inhibiting the growth of EY Alumni businesses: Personal Tax Rate

Cost of Labour

Cost of Insurance

Availability of skilled labour



“People People are living increasingly busy lives and their focus is less on securing their financial future and more on short to medium term needs.” JP Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer, Friends First


19/04/2017 15:39




Which do you think poses the biggest threat to Ireland, and why – Trump or Brexit?

LEARN SOCIAL MEDIA LIKE A PRO Maryrose Lyons of Brightspark Consulting shares five things your business can do now to improve its social media.


COLM LYON Fire I would say Brexit – as an economy, we can’t afford it. It’s critical that we do everything we can to maintain the level of trade that exists between us and the UK.


2. 3.

Easydry Brexit poses the most immediate threat with currency fluctuations and the potential for a return of hard borders. Trump poses a longer term threat if he moves companies back to the US.

JP HUGHES Friends First Brexit will impact severely on those industries and companies that have relied on the UK market. It is still too early to predict how Trump’s policies will impact the international markets and our economy.

PAT FALVEY Entrepreneur We look at America and Britain as if that is the only part of the world. There are 7.5 billion people in the world and, as Irish, we have to be outwardly thinking and have the ability to self-lead.


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4. 5.

STOP RUNNING THE SAME STRATEGY YOU DID IN 2015! Because it won’t work anymore. Focus on less quantity, but higher quality. Use the tools to distribute out to a laser focused audience.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE EVERYWHERE Choose wisely. Be clever about it. Know where your target audience hangs out and engage with them there.

SOCIAL MEDIA REQUIRES BUDGET If you’re not promoting using ads, it’s actually costing you money to be doing social. Opportunity cost of your time is valuable. Why do it if it’s not being seen?

GET ON BOARD WITH VIDEO It doesn’t have to be super polished, and we’re not talking a 20-minute corporate video here! Have fun with it. Embrace the fact that we’re all new. Video is moving to mainstream in 2017. Don’t get left behind.

IF IT MOVES, LIVE STREAM IT! Live streaming video is so important that it deserves a separate point. Right now there’s a fabulous opportunity to get organic reach on Facebook just by using Facebook Live. Find out how here:

If you’d like to update your social media skills and position your business to succeed at social, you can Learn Social Media Like A Pro. This highly rated online course from Ireland’s leading social media expert, Maryrose Lyons, shows you how to do it using a proven process. Follow the steps and social media success can be yours! Visit

STRONG DEMAND FOR TOYOTA CARS IN 2017 Toyota has kicked off the first three months of 2017 as the market leader in new car sales. Ireland’s favourite family car brand sold 7,507 new passenger vehicles in the first quarter of 2017. Toyota experienced very strong demand for its new C segment SUV, the C-HR, with 70 per cent of customer orders for the hybrid powertrain. In addition, overall hybrid sales rose to 26 per cent of total Toyota sales in 2017, up from 12 per cent in the same period last year. The Society of the Irish Motor Industry’s report on registration numbers for passenger vehicles sold during the first three months of 2017 shows Toyota as the most popular car brand in Ireland with 9.9 per cent market share.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

19/04/2017 15:39

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M vers








NEW TITLE: Group Deputy CEO, Finance and Corporate Services EMPLOYER: Shannon Group PREVIOUS ROLE: Company Secretary, Shannon Group

NEW TITLE: General Manager EMPLOYER: FTA Ireland PREVIOUS ROLE: Business Services Manager, FTA Ireland

NEW TITLE: Director EMPLOYER: Esri Ireland OTHER ROLE: Country Manager, Esri Ireland

Tidal energy company OpenHydro has appointed Patrick Gougeon as its new Chief Executive Officer. Gougeon joined OpenHydro in January 2017, having previously held the position of CEO of Colibrys, a high-technology industrial company based in Switzerland. He is an engineer from the French École Centrale de Lille and holds an MBA from the HEC School of Management in Paris.

Shannon Group has appointed Mary Considine to the new role of Group Deputy CEO, Finance and Corporate Services. Considine brings considerable experience to the role having worked in these areas within the business over the past 25 years. The appointment is geared towards maximising Shannon Group’s potential through increasing revenues and improving the efficiency of its cost base.

Freight Transport Association (FTA) Ireland has announced the appointment of Aidan Flynn as its new general manager. Flynn, who was previously business services manager, took up the post earlier this year following the departure in September of Neil McDonnell. Before joining FTAI, Flynn held a number of senior leadership positions within the transport and logistics sector in Ireland.

Esri Ireland, the Geographic Information’s Systems (GIS) specialists, has appointed Paul Synnott to its board of directors. Synnott, in his current role as country manager, is responsible for leading Esri Ireland’s business strategy for development and growth on the island of Ireland. He brings more than 25 years’ geospatial industry experience to his new role.


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Dara Keogh is the CEO of GeoDirectory, which was jointly established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) to create and manage Ireland’s only complete database of commercial and residential buildings. GeoDirectory is the company behind the award-winning free app GeoFindIT and recently launched a new innovative service called AddressFix.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

19/04/2017 15:52






NEW TITLE: Director EMPLOYER: Lero PREVIOUS ROLE: Chief Scientist, Lero

NEW TITLE: Partner EMPLOYER: Ronan Daly Jermyn PREVIOUS ROLE: Employment and Equality Law Committee, Law Society of Ireland

Professor Brian Fitzgerald has been appointed director of Lero, the Irish software research centre which is headquartered at the University of Limerick (UL). He replaces Professor Mike Hinchey following an eight year term of office. Fitzgerald was formerly chief scientist at Lero and has been involved with the Science Foundation Ireland supported national research centre since its inception in 2005.

Deirdre Malone has joined Ronan Daly Jermyn as Partner in the firm’s employment group. Malone has more than a decade of experience providing strategic legal advice to employers of all sizes in both contentious and noncontentious employment matters. She has particular expertise in the healthcare and education sectors, representing clients before the Workplace Relations Commission, Labour and High Court.


bstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal,” said Henry Ford. Of course, this may have been before the Ford Pinto fiasco of the 1970s where 53 people died as a result of the company’s goal of building a car under 2,000 pounds and $2,000 within a specific deadline. Since the time of Aristotle, goal-setting has been lauded as a principal catalyst for action and countless studies agree that setting goals helps to focus our attention and motivate us. What’s less talked about is our sometimes over-zealous implementation of goals without regard for what can happen when they are too narrow, too time restricted or too challenging; in short, we take unwise risk, cheat, learn less, see less and try less. Ford, Enron and Sears all focused their employees on maximising revenues by setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goals. These were goals that resulted in billion dollar lawsuits, reputational damage and even collapse, because employees cut corners to achieve them. Research shows that extrinsic goals such as sales targets, quarterly returns, and product launch dates help to narrow our focus, which is great, but the more complex a task, the more we need our eyes open to all eventualities. If eagle eye determination and focus is what you want, then SMART goals can be your best friend. But goal-setting can be a complicated business and one that requires consideration, caution and flexibility. Obstacles may be just what you need to guide your thinking and help you monitor your goals. If needed, just let them lead you toward a better path.

Susan Kealy is a certified coach and trainer and a registered psychologist specialising in organisational and career psychology. For more visit


Think before you act. Recognise the difference between what your gut says and the reality.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Listen to the advice of experts. You can’t know everything or be right all the time. Take advice and use it to grow and develop as a professional.


Have fun. If you enjoy what you are doing and who you are working with it’s easier to succeed.


19/04/2017 15:52

Aerogen saw a big opportunity in France. We helped them pick the right strategy. Aerogen is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of aerosol drug delivery systems. When they set their sights on France’s lucrative but highly regulated public healthcare system, they partnered with Enterprise Ireland to help develop their market-entry strategy. With no currency risk or trade barriers, ambitious Irish exporters are growing sales in the Eurozone. Enterprise Ireland’s experts on the ground are enabling this success with a range of market supports. To find out how we can help your business grow in Europe, visit


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19/04/2017 17:23 15/03/2017 10:52


COMPANY: Alter Domus SECTOR: Professional services LOCATION: Cork




COMPANY: Mobile Technologies Inc.

ANNOUNCEMENT: London-based ArtOfUs Ltd has announced plans to create 18 jobs in Dublin as the company develops a leading human operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

SECTOR: Technology LOCATION: Drogheda ANNOUNCEMENT: Mobile Technologies Inc. (MTI) is to hire 150 people in its newly established European contact centre headquarters in Drogheda over the course of the next three years.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Alter Domus, a provider of fund and corporate services, has announced that it has opened its second office in Ireland in Cork with the creation of 60 new jobs.

OpportunityIRELAND InBUSINESS highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities around the country.

COMPANY: EY SECTOR: Professional services

COMPANY: Wavepower Technologies Ltd SECTOR: Energy

LOCATION: Limerick ANNOUNCEMENT: The professional services firm has announced the opening of its new expanded office space in Limerick city and plans to create 100 new jobs in the next three years.


COMPANY: SECTOR: LOCATION: Lighthouse Animation Kilkenny Studios ANNOUNCEMENT: Canadian animation studio Mercury Filmworks has joined forces with Cartoon Saloon to establish a new animation studio, Lighthouse Studios, which will create over 140 jobs in the next three years.

Business Tourism Targets Fáilte Ireland has announced plans to win a157 million in business tourism for Ireland in 2017. To do so, businesses in the sector will be supported to convert a significant amount of conference business leads from a a330m pool of 550. As one of the highest yield sectors in tourism, business tourism is growing year on year and recent survey results have revised the value of each business tourism delegate upwards to a1,643 in 2016. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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ANNOUNCEMENT: British wave energy technology company Wavepower Technologies Ltd Is to establish R&D operations in Ringaskiddy, which will see the creation of up to 10 advanced engineering jobs.

Business tourists spend

€1,643 the value of each business tourist to the economy



times more than leisure tourists

Business Tourism in Numbers: Fáilte Ireland has recruited

the value of business tourism to the economy


over conference ambassadors to its ambassador programme


20/04/2017 11:35


Start-Up Central

NEWS,VIEWS AND PROFILES ON THE LATEST START-UPS IN IRELAND The percentage of entrepreneurs surveyed who say they have increased their headcount in the last 12 months. Figures taken from research conducted amongst 160 entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland who are all previous finalists in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme.

MOJO FOR START-UPS Mojocon, the international media conference focusing on mobile journalism (mojo), mobile content creation and new technology, is back for a third year, taking place in the Radisson Blu in Galway on May 4th to 6th. This year’s event has a strong focus on start-ups and how they can use mojo to tell their story, with an evening session taking place at #BoIstartlab with panel speakers including Mark Little, founder of Storyful. Mojocon is offering InBUSINESS readers a special discount code. Go to mojocon. and use the code ‘InBUSINESS20’ to get 20 per cent off the two or three day delegate tickets.

For more on Mojocon see our interview with founder Glen Mulcahy on page 46.


RÓISÍN CALLAGHAN Co-founder of Cogs & Marvel

How did you fund your business initially? Both Jane (my co-founder) and I had some cash saved that we used as the initial investment for the company. We were lucky that we didn’t need to get external funding, we were totally self sufficient. What’s the best advice you were given? Trust the people that work for you. Working on events is high pressure and you need to be able to make immediate calls on the spot. We hire great people and we trust them to do the right thing for the company and our clients. What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? That we can’t do everything. We started off working crazy hours and tried to do everything ourselves. We didn’t have the courage to hire people as we didn’t know if we would have the work to sustain them. How wrong we were – we know it’s not about Jane and Róisín anymore, it’s about Cogs and Marvel, the company.


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Your biggest make or break moment? It was our first big pitch. We were totally prepared, yet we were sick with worry because it all seemed to hinge on this one pitch. It was to run the Google EMEA sales conference in Seville in 2007. We won the pitch and we haven’t looked back since! Would you change anything in hindsight? If we could go back and do it all over again, we would have scaled up quicker and hired more staff to allow ourselves to take a more strategic view of the company. We’ve done that now by tripling our workforce in the past 18 months, hiring a CEO and opening an office in San Francisco. Company: Cogs & Marvel Location: Dublin and San Francisco Product: Creative events and brand experience agency Staff: 70 Website:

CLANCY WINS IBYE AWARD A 26-year-old physiotherapist from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown who developed an app that is transforming the lives of thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease has been named as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE). Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical, who was our featured entrepreneur in the last issue of InBUSINESS, wins a 45,000 investment fund through the Local Enterprise Offices after scooping the coveted title at the IBYE national final. The competition, which is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, attracted entries from over 1,800 18 to 35-year-olds, showcasing some of the country’s best and brightest business talent.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

19/04/2017 15:42



SUPPORT FOR FOOD START-UPS IN THE WORKS Niall Moloney, Founder of Pow Cow, Alison Cummins, Co-founder of the Wicked Food Company and Conor Coughlan, Founder of Black Twist (pictured above) are three of eight companies who have just completed Food Works, Ireland’s leading accelerator programme for food and drink start-ups. The programme, run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc is currently seeking to identify a number of high potential start-up food teams with a strong business idea to take part in Food Works 2017. To register for an introductory meeting visit

Bruce Bale, founder and CEO, Sportdec


K9 Connectables founders Lauren and James McIlvena with Sandy the Labrador

When Sandy the labrador ate his wedding album, industrial designer James McIlvenna set out to invent an interactive dog toy that could finally provide a solution to the problem of canine boredom. K9 Connectables is already proving a success with dog owners around the country and was showcased at the world-famous Crufts Dog Show back in March. McIlvenna, who holds a degree in industrial design and a master’s degree in medical device design, emigrated to China for two years during the downturn. After moving home to Howth, he and his wife Lauren got Labrador Sandy, who proved to be the inspiration for their start-up. K9 Connectables are available in a range of independent stores around Ireland and 13 Petmania outlets.

Founded by Bruce Bale, Sportdec is an Irish sports technology start-up on a mission to deliver the ultimate sports fan app experience. In response to sports fans being constantly bombarded with news, information and offers that often aren’t relevant to what they care about most, Sportdec has created a clean, simple user experience in two apps – Sportdec and Sportdec+ – that are personalised to a fan’s interests. In December 2016, Sportdec became the number one sports app in the app store in Ireland, as well as breaking into the top 30 in the UK. Sportdec has big plans for 2017. The company’s global launch in February saw the app available for the first time in the Google Play Store and it is currently seeking external funding of 3 million in order to further scale and grow the business. Find out more at

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When Colm Lyon cashed out successfully with a major payout through the sale of his company Realex to Global Payments, it wasn’t long before he was back in the saddle starting from scratch with his new fintech venture, Fire. Was it boredom, lunacy or sheer masochism? InBUSINESS caught up with Lyon to find out more.

IB: How risky a move did going out on your own appear to be back in 2000 when you left your IT job at Ulster Bank? CL: You don’t really think about it. You’re obviously excited by the possibilities but you know, people buy lottery tickets because they hope they’re going to win. At the time you’re always fixated on the possibilities, rather than the distress or the worry – well, that was me anyway. You don’t really get time to think about the risks or the downsides because you’re just enamoured and so enthralled, passionate and immersed in what it is you’re trying to do. You tend not to reflect too much, which is probably a good thing, because if you did you might not go ahead with it. 16

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IB: Would you say you always had a business head on your shoulders? CL: As a young guy, I was always really attracted to the idea of being in business – whatever business meant. I was always interested in commerce, business and transacting, I would have had a natural instinct for it. I saw myself as somebody who enjoyed the commercial experience, and the idea of making something that somebody wants to buy from you was highly attractive, rather than just working for somebody else. I also regarded myself as somebody who’d like to try to make an impact in terms of the things that people do everyday, and not to just be a very small part of a huge organisation.

IB: Tell us about the sale of Realex to Global Payments. Was it a long, drawn-out process? CL: These processes tend to be – while you’re contemplating it – long and drawn out. But then when you’ve made up your mind, it’s fairly quick. Like all these things, the time it takes to design the solution is longer than the time that it takes to execute and implement it. It felt like it took us a while to come to the conclusion that this was the right thing to do and then suddenly we were over the line. In the end it closed quite quickly, but there was a bit of procrastination for a few months. IB: Can you sum up what brings you back to business? CL: Fire was something that we conceived of some time ago and InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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“The one thing I would say to start-ups is that when you go through those incubation programmes, don’t lose your originality, don’t be cloned.”

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fintech firms to look at London and to make sure that they have a good London strategy. It’s not to ignore Ireland but you do have to recognise that it is small and that you’ve got this massive market on your doorstep that is well worth tapping into.

Eavann Murphy, CCO, eir Business and Christian Kinnear, MD, EMEA HubSpot presenting Colm Lyon with an award in recognition of his achievements in the fast-company space in 2016

FIRED UP Lyon says Fire was something he conceived back in 2009, but didn’t have the time to develop until leaving Realex after its sale to US giant Global Payments for 115 million. Fire allows business and personal customers to open payment accounts online, each with its own IBAN or account number, and make transfers to and from any bank in the UK or the eurozone. “How long does it take an SME in Ireland to open up a sterling bank account?” asks Lyon rhetorically. “With, it’s in real time. Once you have a euro account with us, you can add a sterling account, the sort code and account number pops up on the screen, you can give it to your customer and straight away your customer can pay in. Our API will call you and ping you over the data in real time to tell you that you’ve just been paid. It’s that level of transformation that we’re making in the accounts space that’s really really huge.


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there’s a lot of changes that are coming down the line in financial services. Those changes are driven by things like legislative changes and consumer habits. It’s a phenomenally exciting space, which is why I’m just so keen to be involved. We’ve had a super couple of months where we’re just shy of 1,000 businesses now using the service. The reaction to the product has been so strong, particularly from the SME market in the UK and Ireland. When you get that kind of traction at an early stage, you do get kind of smitten by the whole thing. It’s not like we’re sitting here twiddling our thumbs wondering what to do – we’ve got real business problems that are keeping me awake at night, and I get up in the morning and I’m excited. Ultimately, what it comes down to is having a vision for something and then actually seeing your pathway towards the execution of that vision. IB: What are your thoughts on the fintech space in Ireland at the moment? CL: Our primary engagement from a fintech policy perspective would be mostly in the UK. Over there you can see how they’ve got what I call ‘really superb alignment’ between the different institutions, which has helped them develop a very strong payment strategy for the UK economy. We find working in that context really exciting. Unfortunately, in Ireland, we don’t have that sense of urgency to bring people together. Ireland is small, which is the other issue that comes up from time to time. I’d be a big fan of encouraging

IB: Will Brexit have much impact on your business? CL: We found that Brexit was in some ways an accelerator for many of our Irish firms eager to have a sterling bank account or a sterling digital account, as we call them. Many of our UK customers are very happy having a euro account with us. So that was a positive because it maintains the ability for firms to be able to trade that way. For us as a regulated entity, we will have to address the issue of the passporting of our license – at the moment we’re regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and our license is being passported into the UK, so in the future we will have to assess whether the UK will continue to accept the passporting of European licenses. IB: What are your thoughts on the state of entrepreneurship in Ireland? CL: There’s certainly a lot more happening now than there ever was, and that’s a really healthy thing. There’s loads of different programmes, lots of innovation. It’s really disappointing that we haven’t really changed many of the policies you’d expect to support entrepreneurship – things like the share options and the manner in which start-ups have to compete for office space, so that has always been an issue. There’s a whole lot more that could be done but, at the end of the day, it’s up to businesses and people themselves and not the government to make things happen. IB: Any advice for budding entrepreneurs? CL: The one thing I would say to start-ups is that when you go through those incubation programmes, don’t lose your originality, don’t be cloned. Let’s not make all startups look the same, because they’re not. Go through those courses, by all means, but keep to your original characteristics and don’t make it too obvious that you’ve been through a programme. Probably the most important thing is to make sure that you have a vision and that it’s clear. If somebody has to keep asking you what your proposition is, then it’s not clear. Seek clarity in your vision and that will really help you as an entrepreneur to validate it and to bring other people along on your journey. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Accelerating research and innovation for a sustainable ocean economy

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One industry still dusting itself off from the recession is life, pensions and investment, but stalwart company Friends First is proving that there’s life in the sector yet. InBUSINESS spoke with Chief Commercial Officer JP Hughes about combating a knowledge gap and achieving team goals.


nvestments are like friendships – the ones that grow over time are the most rewarding. It’s the slogan used for a new Friends First advert, where we see two middle-aged men share a joke from one of their phones while sitting at the bar of an otherwise empty pub. It’s a well polished production and does a good job of engaging the viewer in a 30 second commercial for the kind of product that is by no means an easy sell. In recent years, however, Friends First has manged to make these products look exactly that. In 2016, it enjoyed the fastest sales growth rate of any life company in Ireland, beating


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a flat market by 26 per cent. That comes not too long after an economic crash which saw insurance products and savings for retirement suddenly drop down the pecking order on the general public’s list of priorities, and recent research shows that we’re a long way off reaching pre-recession levels when it comes to private pension coverage. According to JP Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer at Friends First, the main reason for this lies with the knowledge gap that exists among people who are setting out their pension goals, many harbouring unrealistic expectations as to what their contributions will deliver come their retirement. “People are living increasingly busy lives and

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Jason Clarke


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Jason Clarke

their focus is less on securing their financial future and more on short to medium term needs,” says Hughes, who is responsible for the development and delivery of the commercial strategy for the company. “This is where the role of the independent financial broker is key in assisting consumers in understanding the different life stages and requirements for different financial products. An adviser can go through a full financial fact find and put in place a robust plan to help achieve the agreed financial goals whether they are savings, retirement or protection related.” So the landscape for the industry has certainly changed. The public are now looking for more bang for their buck and it has resulted in a wider choice of investment products with lower interest rates and a higher standard of service. “When I took out CV: JP Hughes Chief Commercial Officer, Friends First my first life policy almost 20 years CURRENTLY FAVOURITE FAVOURITE QUOTE: ago, it was a time of “The harder you work, READING: FILM: high interest rates, the luckier you get” - Gary Player True Compass: Carlito’s Way demutualisation If I hadn’t gone into insurance A Memoir (1993) I’d most likely be... working in by Edward and mostly nona bank managing a division Kennedy disclosed, very of client facing teams. high upfront commissions,” reflects Hughes. “While the prevalence of the first be able to differentiate ourselves in, in addition to its ongoing two points masked the latter, from all other service providers,” development of its online offering. their demise has put commissions insists Hughes. “In an era where It helps that Friends First has a and value squarely into focus. banks no longer need nor want strong record in Ireland having It is against this backdrop that, to see or speak with consumers, helped customers look after as an industry, we have needed our collective offering of regular their life protection, pension and and continue to demonstrate and relevant communication investment needs for over 180 our relevance and value to our through the appropriate channels years. “We have been the leading collective end customers.” – be that meetings, calls, emails, provider of income protection for Friends First has managed to online reports and policy details, many years through our strong demonstrate this better than any webinars and so forth – will keep claims record, promotion and of its peers. The company’s growth us in the customers’ psyche as a strategy,” says Hughes. “Our broad is consistent across a number of valuable offering.” investment platform, including Friends First’s key product lines Aiming to enter and stay in their our market leading portfolio fund and it has been reflected in the psyche is at the core of Hughes’ range, allows us to present a very company’s increased market share job as chief commercial officer, a strong offering to financial brokers year on year across all product role the UCC graduate has held and their clients.” categories. “I firmly believe it is since 2012. It is an area, he says, So how does Hughes deliver in the areas of ongoing service that Friends First has already and this strategy and motivate his and communication that we will will continue to invest heavily team to achieve the company’s

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FRIENDS FIRST IN objectives? He says clarity is key and something that has formed part of his management style since being appointed to the senior position. “I try to ensure that our goals and plans are very clear at the beginning of the year and highlight how each member within each team will be contributing to exceed these goals,” he explains. “Setting that clear vision of goals, their context and rationale and why they are important, allows each individual to ‘own’ the delivery of their respective aspects of the goal. I have seen this approach deliver greater incidence of exceeding the target rather than dragging everyone kicking and screaming over the line. I also believe the collective standard should be aimed at exceeding targets, as achieving them is so limiting. It is important then to regularly celebrate success and, I must say, we have a team who are always willing and able to celebrate!” GLOBAL SHIFTS It seems you can’t talk to anyone in business these days without asking about Brexit, regardless of the industry in which they operate. While Hughes acknowledges that it will likely have a negative impact on those that rely heavily on the UK market for export, he does see opportunity for Ireland too. “Brexit opens up significant opportunities for Ireland to position itself as a major English speaking hub for companies that want to access the EU market,” he says. “We have already seen a number of financial services companies investigating this possibility and it will be interesting to see how this affects our industry in the coming months.” The other major global event of late that is making markets nervous and businesses take notice has of course been the election of Donald Trump as US President. While the media will undoubtedly be falling over themselves to release report cards on his 100 days in office, Hughes believes it is still too soon to have a clear indication of what InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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his economic policies mean for businesses here. “It is still too early to predict how his policies and his effectiveness of delivering on them will impact the international markets and indeed our economy,” he says. “What is certain is that uncertainty stunts decisions and by inference growth. The recent decision by Eli Lilly in Cork to defer a a200 million investment in its existing plant until clarity in the Trump policies on the pharma industry is developed is evidence of this corporate stalling. Hopefully this indecision is shortlived and inward investment in our economy reignites later in 2017.” Of course it’s mostly guesswork when it comes to such global affairs that are beyond our control, but those that are within Hughes’ remit hold much more certainty. Friends First, with its 300 staff, will continue to build on its upward trajectory following a successful 2016 and look to expand operations in the months ahead. It will also, according to Hughes, stick to what it does best and that’s innovate with product and service offerings and help its customers look after their life protection, pension and investment needs. “Over the past two years, Friends First has recruited upwards of 30 staff across all areas of the business and at all levels within the business to expand our already highly experienced and professional staff,” he says. “This expansion is set to continue in 2017 with over 15 roles currently planned and this number is being driven by business needs. “The final milestone of 2016 came when, following a number of years of financial and structural support from our shareholder Achmea, Friends First paid its first significant dividend of a10m across the water to a grateful and patient parent. This was the most tangible demonstration of our improved performance as a company since the financial crisis and has given Achmea more confidence to invest in our business in the years ahead.”

Friends First has been helping Irish customers look after their life protection, pension and investment needs for over 180 years. InBUSINESS takes a look at the numbers behind one of Ireland’s most established companies.











20/04/2017 11:27


MInd OVer

MAttEr CONOR FORREST looks at the growing industry of sports psychology in Ireland, and some of the Irish teams and players investing in the sector.

longside smoke detectors, personal computers and the Big Mac, sports psychology is an invention of North American origin, at least depending on who you ask. Pioneered in the US by men like Norman Triplett and Coleman R. Griffith and in Europe by Dr Carl Diem and Robert Werner Schulte, the interdisciplinary concept has grown in use across the world in the intervening decades using, in the words of the American Psychological Association, “psychological knowledge and skills to address optimal performance and wellbeing of athletes, developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and systemic issues 24

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associated with sports settings and organisations.” Despite the famous proclamation that psychoanalysis is of no use when attempting to understand or analyse an Irish person – often attributed to Sigmund Freud – sports psychology is very much on the rise on these shores, aided at least in part by the success of Irish athletes on the national and international stages. GAA stars like Henry Shefflin and Kevin McManamon have extolled its virtues as having played a part in their successes. Speaking before the Rugby World Cup in 2015, Ireland’s Luke Fitzgerald described sports psychology as one of the most important weapons in the

modern rugby player’s arsenal, while the iconic Paul O’Connell worked with sports psychologist Caroline Currid to improve his game for several years before his retirement last year. Olympian and sailor Annalise Murphy, meanwhile, was accompanied to the Rio Games in 2016 by sports psychologist Dr Kate Kirby, though one cannot say for sure whether that played a role in her silver medal win – natural ability is undoubtedly one of the most important factors. MENTAL PREPARATION Clearly there’s something to this particular branch of psychological study that is gaining ground, so much so that the University of InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Limerick includes a Master’s in Education and Health Sciences among its range of courses, focusing on sport, exercise and performance psychology, while Waterford Institute of Technology has offered its own Master’s in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology for the past 11 years. “Within the realm of competitive sport, the importance of being mentally prepared prior to any athletic competition – as well as the need to maintain your particular mindset during a competitive contest – really can’t be overstated,” explains Dr Ciara Losty, a lecturer in applied sport and exercise psychology at Waterford IT, predominantly on their master’s programme. An accredited sports psychology service provider with the Irish Institute of Sport, Dr Losty also works with athletes from a range of sports including modern pentathlon athletes, the Irish Wrestling Association, the Racing Academy and Centre of Education in the Curragh, and a number of senior inter-country GAA teams. Dr Losty has also been employed at an international level, having worked as Ireland’s holding camp sports psychologist at the London Games in 2012. This involved working across all sports with the athletes, coaches and team managers, and helped a range of athletes prepare – in terms of culture, time difference, being away from home for an extended period – for the Olympic Games in Rio last August. The work of a sports psychologist can be quite varied, ranging from enhancing performance through mental strategies and coping with the pressures of competition to maintaining physical therapy programmes during injury recovery and working with sports coaches to develop their leadership and communication skills. Dr Losty also notes that there can be a correlation between the issues tackled by sports psychologists and those in a business setting – particularly in relation to developing a high performance culture and helping teams to perform better. “[It’s InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Enda McNulty speaking at a conference in Croke Park

Dr Ciara Losty, lecturer in applied sport and exercise psychology at Waterford IT

about] enhancing performance in pressure situations, using mental strategies, visualisation, self talk or how to relax in pressure situations, whether that pressure situation is going for an interview, delivering a presentation or [playing in] a major national championship,” she says. “Managing your nerves and your anxiety can help a person perform and overcome their obstacles and achieve their full potential.” CRITICISM The sector is not without its critics. Outspoken pundit Joe Brolly has been quick to share his views on the matter – writing in a piece titled ‘Why I can’t lose with a career in the bullshit industry’ in the Irish Independent last November, he

noted that “the beauty of this new career is that motivational coaching and sports psychology and all the rest of it is unprovable. Success or failure cannot be measured, unlike the established professions. To further disguise it, its established language is gobbledegook.” Dr Losty suggests that at the heart of some of this criticism may be a misunderstanding as to what sports psychology actually involves, a conflation of the latter with motivational speaking or life coaching – they are not one and the same. “We live in a society today where pop psychology and motivational quotes are bantered and tweeted and marketed as sports psychology, but that’s not what actual sports psychology is,” she says. “It’s really one of the sports sciences that an athlete or any performer in any pressure situation can engage with. Performing under pressure, particularly in a high performance sport where the physical margins are so close, is trainable – so why wouldn’t you do it?”

ALL IN THE MIND One of the most well-known names within Irish sports psychology is Enda McNulty, a former All-Star footballer from Armagh whose father Joe was a psychology graduate from Queen’s University, Belfast. Following in his father’s footsteps, McNulty earned a degree in psychology from Queen’s and a Master’s in Sports Science from the University of Ulster. Now at the head of his own company, McNulty Performance, he has worked with some of the best and brightest in Irish sport, from Brian O’Driscoll and Annalise Murphy to David Gillick and Shane Lowry, as well as organisations such as Intel and Microsoft. “We have worked with neuroscientists who have shown us that it is feasible for our brains to significantly develop in a 12 or 24-month long period,” he told InBUSINESS last year. “Everybody has the capability [to change their behaviour], depending on their mindset, their passion, drive and environment, they can transform their potential and performance. I say that with no reservation.” For an extract of Enda’s new book Commit go to page 50.


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as been facing an ma industry h The cine ber of challenges in recent years, ing num increas ust think creatively if it is to continue to m and so udiences. TIERNAN CANNON gauges the a t c a r or to see where its future lies. att f the sect o d o o m


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imes have changed since Hollywood’s golden age. Technological advancements over the decades have led to an astonishingly wide spread of entertainment options for the public, meaning that the cinema industry now has more competition than ever for attracting audiences. Where once cinemas might only have had to compete with more traditional forms of recreation, such as live music or theatre, they now must lure audiences away from the tempting glow of television, home entertainment systems, gaming and online streaming services. Ireland has a strong movie-going culture, with the highest per capita admissions rate in cinemas in the EU, at 3.3 per annum. This is compared to the European average of 1.5, the UK average of 2.7 and second place France’s average of 3.1. Positive though these figures appear, a certain degree of creativity is now essential within the industry in order to keep the audiences coming. Andrew Lowe, co-founder and director of Element Pictures, which owns and runs the Lighthouse Cinema, in Dublin’s Smithfield, believes a solid amount of care and consideration must be put into the management of a cinema in this day and age if it is to succeed. An understanding of one’s audience and their interests is crucial, and the quality of the cinema itself must meet their expectations. “People come to appreciate the Lighthouse as a venue which has arguably the best sound and the best projection in Dublin – with very comfortable seats,” says Lowe. “They associate it with passion and fun.” Lowe’s company Element Pictures, which he co-founded with business partner Ed Guiney in 2001, is at the heart of Irish film and cinema culture. It has produced and coproduced a whole range of successful features since its inception, most notably perhaps, Oscar-winning film Room. The company has established a distribution arm and has been running the Lighthouse since 2012. The Lighthouse operates four screens and contains a café and subterranean bar within the premises. It has a unique programming style – with a particular focus on Irish and independent showings – which allows it to stick out from the crowd, without ever totally isolating itself from drawing in larger numbers. “We would have some very arthouse films that are extremely niche and InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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are only of interest to certain core audiences,” explains Lowe. “But then we’ll also play more mainstream films that have quite a wide reach.” The management at the Lighthouse are very deliberate in the way the cinema is run, achieving the rare feat of balancing arthouse and mainstream appeal. It puts a lot of energy into ensuring the best possible audience experience. It also holds a number of events with big organisations such as the Irish Times, as well as hosting exhibitions – an area cinemas have had to diversify into in recent times. Lowe explains that the Lighthouse has a number of seasons throughout the year, which, he claims, are less about directly bringing in revenue – though indeed they can be useful at quieter periods in the year – but rather are about adding to customer experience. “It’s really about building the brand and serving our audience,” he says. “We want people to treat the Lighthouse as a second home and feel part of the community there, and that’s really the function of seasons.” REVENUE STREAMS Generating revenue from the business of a cinema can be something of a troublesome task. Sales from the box office can prove insubstantial as, depending on the strength of a given film, up to 65 per cent of the ticket sales might go back back to the film’s distributor, leaving the cinema with very little to take away. “We actually make very little money from the box office,” states Daniel Barrett, Director and Film Booker of Eclipse Cinemas. “Our bread and butter is the shop for us – that’s why we have to charge higher prices for things in the shop.” There are three branches of Barrett’s Eclipse cinemas, located in Bundoran, Downpatrick and in LiffordStrabane. These are by no means urban metropolises, and so audience numbers are a constant concern for the cinemas’ director. Furthermore, as with most Irish businesspeople of the current time, Barrett is weary of the potential consequences of Brexit for his cinemas, particularly in relation to the LiffordStrabane branch. Located as it is in Donegal, just a kilometre from the border with Tyrone – and as such,


Element Pictures has recently taken over the management of an arthouse cinema in development in Galway city. Element will oversee the remainder of the project and plans to open and manage the cinema later this year. As a film production and distribution company, co-founder and director Andrew Lowe feels that the running of a cinema is a direction which was inevitable for the company to take. “It’s sort of a natural extension of our core business,” he points out. “We would certainly have an appetite for more – depending on how Galway goes – but we obviously need to nail that down and make that a success before we think about future expansion.”


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the United Kingdom – the LiffordStrabane branch lies in something of a precarious position. “LiffordStrabane has the big threat of the border closing up because of Brexit,” he says. “Around 60 per cent of our customers come from Northern Ireland, and a physical border would be a disaster for us.” With business so heavily reliant on the sales of confectionery, and with one of his branches preparing to battle with Brexit, you would be forgiven to assume Barrett possesses a faintly pessimistic view of the future of his industry. To the contrary, however, he is confident that his cinema business can overcome the obstacles that lie before it, down to the fact that it is such an active and engaging experience for an audience. “Watching a film at home doesn’t compare to watching a film in the cinema,” says Barrett. “It’s a social occasion as well as simply watching a movie.” This is something that Barrett believes audiences recognise – even amongst the younger generations that have grown up with the notion of instant access to film content through piracy and streaming services. He says that audience numbers across his three Eclipse cinemas have risen in recent times – something he attributes to the wider range of age brackets being caught up by the appeal of cinema. “There’s a bigger audience for us now,” he says. “Twenty years ago, it would have just been younger people generally that would have went to watch films. But now they’ve grown up and they’re middle aged and they’re bringing their children. The younger people are still coming. The audience range grew.” ENGAGED AUDIENCES The suggestion that younger generations – who might not necessarily have grown up with the notion of cinema’s natural appeal over home entertainment – are still being taken in by the allure of the silver screen is recognised by 28

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Eclipse Cinema

Lighthouse Cinema

Andrew Lowe, co-founder and director of Element Pictures

figures gathered by Kantar Media, which specialises in providing intelligence on media consumption, performance and value. According to a recent report from Kantar, 89 per cent of Irish 15 to 24 year olds are cinema goers, with 43 per cent attending at least once a month. This age bracket is responsible for 56 per cent of Irish admissions, an encouraging trend for the industry, as it is these younger generations that will control the sector’s fate. The idea that cinema admissions in Ireland are still in a healthy position – even in contrast to the increasing popularity of streaming services – is good news for advertisers, as Eoin Wrixon, CEO of Wide Eye Media, a company offering multi-platform cinema advertising solutions, points out. “The cinema is one of the few remaining environments where advertisers can engage with audiences who are focused and not distracted by second screens, and cinema advertising remains as popular as ever,” he says. With internet browser extensions such as ad block and the ability to pause and fast forward live television, advertisers have an increasingly tough time to engage with their audiences. However, as

Wrixon points out, cinema audiences are particularly responsive. “When the audience comes to the cinema, it does so to switch off everything else and watch what’s on the big screen,” he says. “They arrive in a state of anticipation, in a state of happiness, ready to be entertained. Furthermore, cinema shows ads on the biggest screens with the best sound, so ads will never look or sound as good as they do in the cinema.” The cinema offers audiences a heightened entertainment experience which can not truly be replicated within the home. It is a naturally attractive industry for consumers – and therefore advertisers – but it must continue to evolve and diversify in order to keep the numbers passing through. As Andrew Lowe of Element Pictures says: “Customer habits are changing. There was a time when the place you went to see dramas was on a cinema screen. Now people can stay at home and watch boxsets and there’s such a superb range of drama available now on your TV. It is a challenge for us, so I definitely wouldn’t be complacent about it. You need to focus on the customer experience and make sure that it’s the best it can be.” InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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19/04/2017 17:24


The Hard Sell


t’s common knowledge – both within the industry and outside it – that science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) professions are in need of a more diverse makeup. While there is an ever-growing cohort of inspirational women igniting girls’ interest in STEM careers, more needs to be done to even the playing field. But what are the real obstacles holding the industry back from having a more diverse workforce? What can the sector do to encourage more girls to consider a career in STEM? And what real value do these industries stand to gain by embracing diversity?


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With women accounting for just one quarter of people in STEM careers in Ireland, InBUSINESS explores the challenge of encouraging greater gender diversity in these male-dominated professions.

BARRIERS One of the key obstacles to attracting young girls into these fields is the stereotypes they associate with them. New research from Accenture, surveying more than 8,500 young people, parents and teachers, reveals that young people in Ireland and the UK are most likely to associate a career in science, technology and engineering with ‘doing research’ (52 per cent), ‘working in a laboratory’ (47 per cent) and ‘wearing a white coat’ (33 per cent). Significantly, the study finds that girls are more likely to make these stereotypical associations than boys. Additionally,

the perception that STEM subjects are seen as being more for boys still exists among students and parents. Commenting on the results, Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at Accenture, said: “Our research reinforces how preconceived notions of what a STEM career entails may be derailing the interest of young people, especially girls. Educators, parents and business and technology leaders must find creative ways to spark and sustain a passion for STEM for girls from youth to young adulthood.” Despite there being a clear shortage of women engaging in STEM (in Ireland only one quarter InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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of people working in science, technology, engineering and maths are female), there are a number of organisations working to highlight the issue and to ignite change. Chambers Ireland, for example, has put forward a submission to Government as part of the proposed National Women’s Strategy 20172020 focused on two key areas – promoting equality for women in the workplace and promoting and supporting women in business. Included in this is a proposal to develop ‘educating the educator’ programmes for teachers in STEM fields to encourage and support female students in considering STEM-based careers. Then there are the more community-based initiatives such as the Coderdojo movement, a global network of free, volunteerled, programming clubs for young people. According to the network, approximately 30 per cent of attendees at Dojos are girls, although this figure varies from club to club. While it may seem like a low figure, it is higher than the industry average. A desire to engage girls in STEM was the motivation behind the award-winning I Wish initiative. Set up in 2014 by three Cork businesswomen, it aims to combine the power of industry, academia and the public sector in order to inspire and encourage young women to think about a STEM career. This year the event reached more than 4,000 transition year girls comprising a conference and exhibition where students got to meet and engage directly with women working in a variety of STEM roles in companies such as Dell EMC, Arup, PepsiCo and many more. ROLE MODELS So clearly knowledge is key, however more needs to be done to enable young girls to visualise what a career in engineering might look like beyond traditional stereotypes. And what better way to achieve InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Anne O’Dea speaking at Inspirefest

this than to highlight role models working in the field? “There’s an image problem,” Ruth Buckley, co-founder of I Wish, previously told The Irish Times. “If you’re a young girl, what’s sexy about STEM? What we are trying to do is bring girls into the arena where they can meet young women that they can relate to and ask them about their jobs. For some of them, maybe this is the first time they’ve ever seen a female specialising in physics or who works in chemistry.” Given that evidence shows that females are more influenced by role models than males, this is clearly a strategy worth pursuing. One media organisation doing just that is technology news site siliconrepublic. com through its Women Invent campaign, a platform for showcasing remarkable women in science, technology, engineering and maths. The site profiles the likes of Dr Nora Khaldi of medtech start-up Nuritas, Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh of Sugru, Sinéad Kenny, co-founder of DiaNia Technologies, and many other female pioneers in STEM.

Girls participating in the 2017 I Wish event at City Hall, Cork

The driving force behind the Women Invent initiative is Anne O’Dea, who co-founded back in 2001. Lately, she has turned much of her focus to organising the annual conference, Inspirefest – a unique event on technology, science, design and the arts – which aims to foster diversity and inclusion. Speaking to us in 2016, O’Dea described her motivation for getting the event off the ground: “Over the past few years we’ve been running leadership events and we are always focused on getting a good gender balance. Most of the events we went to were ‘male and pale’; white, middle-class men mainly. Whether it was the guys in suits or the guys in hoodies, it just felt incredibly male-dominated. And we were aware of fantastic women in the industry, but we weren’t seeing them represented.” 31

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STEM AT SCHOOL Addressing the way STEM subjects are taught in school is another way to engage more girls in STEM careers. Accenture’s survey found that over one-third of young people overall (36 per cent) are put off studying STEM because they are unclear about what careers these subjects support. There’s a lot more to STEM than ‘white coats’, and so young girls need to understand the relevance of STEM subjects in their lives rather than just in a lab. They need to be made aware of the many great opportunities that a career in any of these fields can offer; whether that’s using a travelfriendly engineering qualification to pursue a career abroad or making use of the rising spend on research and innovation among Ireland’s core sectors. These opportunities are something that Denise Mulholland, a support engineer at SAP, identified at school. “What attracted me to the field of engineering were the many different career options that it provides,” she explains. “In college I initially studied mechanical engineering during which time I was introduced to the principles of programming, which led me to

switch to computer programming. I later completed a degree in technology management, which focused on business skills for people with a background in technology and engineering. After completing my degree I wanted to work in a company where I could combine my background in technology and engineering. I started in Intel as a manufacturing technician and later moved into a role as an automation engineer.” Beginning her engineering career almost 14 years ago, Mulholland says she found working in a male-dominated environment challenging initially, but that overall she benefited greatly from the experience. “I have learned to be more direct in terms of how I communicate,” she notes. She believes that in recent years there has been a concerted effort at a corporate level to address the issue of a shortage of women in the engineering profession. “There has been a very major shift in the last couple of years, which has taken place at a company level,” she says. “Intel, for example, led an initiative to attract and retain women in the workplace. Working in a multinational I heard the word ‘diversity’ regularly over the years.


of girls ages 11-14 describe maths as fun and enjoyable

of teachers admit to having made subconscious gender stereotypes in relation to STEM

51% 47%

of parents believe students lack understanding about STEM career options

of young people associate a career in STEM with working in a laboratory

*taken from Accenture’s survey of more than 8,500 young people, parents and teachers in the UK and Ireland


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This was represented in different ways, but unless gender is equally represented to reflect the population demographic, I don’t feel that a company can truly be diverse.” Mulholland now volunteers with primary school students through the Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) programme, an initiative which helps young people to develop the skills they need to succeed in a changing world. “There are many great initiatives already in place at a primary school level which introduce young girls to the principles of STEM skills,” she says. “We just need to continue to develop them and make it clear to young girls that science, technology and engineering are viable career options.” Diversity is more than just gender, of course. It means embracing people from all backgrounds – regardless of their ethnicity, religion, colour or age – but as Mulholland points out, we must start by having a level playing field when it comes to men and women working within the industry. Companies that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce have much to gain. It drives creativity and innovation, core elements of STEM fields and, as Mulholland says, “the way that women and men communicate differently can lend itself greatly when collaborating on different projects.” The business case for managing gender balance in the workplace and the competitive advantage it creates has been well established. Whether it’s for the good of business or for greater society, women’s voices are essential to the problem-solving and innovation that is at the heart of STEM. It is crucial that they are heard in equal measure. For more on Chambers Ireland’s submission to Government as part of the proposed National Women’s Strategy 2017-2020 go to page 68. To see a selection of images of women in creative, unusual and predominantly male professions by photographer Beta Bajgartova go to page 48. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project Facilitating growth at Ireland’s No.1 Port

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CHAT Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO, Digital Hub Development Agency

Six months into his new role as head of the Digital Hub, Fiach Mac Conghail chatted to InBUSINESS about working in Dublin’s Liberties area, parallels between the arts and start-up community, and taking over duties from Dublin’s Startup Commissioner.

In all my working life I was cycling through Dublin 8 and I’ve seen the area grow and change. It’s an opportunity for me to have

a positive impact on the place now, which is great.

Because we’re the largest cluster of digital technology companies in Ireland, I see diversity as being one of our strengths. I only have to walk through the campus to hear, say for instance, French spoken. A part of the challenge I have in running the Digital Hub is for us to remain a part of the overall digital and technology community, so we’re building on Niamh Bushnell’s legacy.

With all the conversations within the What I’m really enjoying is the diversity of ideas. The community going on; the networking and type of companies we have is an advantage to the the energy around achieving your city, never mind just the hub. goal, achieving your dream – they’re definitely the kind of things that I It’s a complete change in one can relate to. The collected health sector is an area that way but then in another – we’d like to support more. Our campus is a in terms of the energy and ten minute walk from James’ hospital, with I’ve three big goals. One is to what’s going on – the new national children’s hospital being look at changing the urban built there. landscape in Thomas St through redeveloping our properties. Secondly, is to really strengthen There’s generosity amongst startand diversify our digital and up companies, and a great sense of technology community here. The community, where they’re feeding off each other. They’re sharing each third is to continue to increase our engagement with the local community. other’s homework.

it’s kind of familiar territory as well.

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Successfully transitioning from business to politics can be a tricky process. In light of Donald Trump’s first few months in office, CONOR FORREST explores how skills and attributes sometimes translate and sometimes don’t to the often complex political world.


he world’s political systems are shifting increasingly towards populism, as people across the globe voice their anger at the establishment and its perceived injustices. This demand for change has paved the way for a new type of leader, and the obvious example is US President Donald J. Trump. The controversial businessman and television personality captured the imagination (and votes) of millions of disenfranchised Americans fed up with Washington and the political elite. Since taking office, 36

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Trump has emerged as a hugely divisive president, managing to drive wedges between the White House and Mexico, environmental activists and a large proportion of the national press. Many of Trump’s supporters laud his business acumen – perhaps one of the main reasons why he won the Electoral College and the presidency. Here is a man, they argue, who has the knowledge and experience to shake things up and broker a good deal for the US. After all, he’s worth a cool $3.5 billion – clearly he knows what he’s doing. There is some debate as to whether Trump is really a good example of the average businessperson (or a good one)

– many have referenced the fact that he took over a family business and isn’t really known within the business world for his leadership or management qualities, moreso his abilities as a salesperson. “Lost contracts, bankruptcies, defaults, deceptions and indifference to investors – Trump’s business career is a long list of such troubles, according to regulatory, corporate and court records, as well as sworn testimony and government investigative reports. Call it the art of the bad deal, one created by the arrogance and recklessness of a businessman whose main talent is self-promotion,” American journalist Kurt Eichenwald wrote in the Independent last year. ‘Fake InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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news!’ the sitting US president would likely proclaim. Trump appeared to be constructed from Teflon throughout the strenuous presidential campaign last year, surviving scandal after scandal that would likely have felled any other candidate. Critics noted his garbled use of language, his fluidity with the truth and his politically incorrect tendencies, but there’s no denying that he was highly talented at self-promotion. However, it seems that the actual day-to-day job of governing a nation isn’t what Trump expected – two successive travel bans have been impeded by federal judges, while the much-lauded attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act has failed at the first hurdle, leading to quite a few unbecoming outbursts on Twitter. Some people have suggested that much of Trump’s frustration arises from the fact that, as the head of the Trump Organisation, he became accustomed to barking orders and seeing them carried out to the letter. In his new role as US President, Trump may be the country’s leader, but a great deal more checks and balances exist within this scenario, alongside a cohort of politicians and civil servants who aren’t necessarily on the same page. LEAP OF FAITH Trump’s early difficulties in transitioning from his past world to the political (though many ties remain) raise an interesting question. Is there a role for businesspeople or entrepreneurs in politics or public service, and can they prove successful? “What is politics but a representation of our entire society? If we want politics to be representative of Irish society, well then of course there are roles for teachers, lawyers, doctors and all the professions that we often see gravitate towards the political world. I wouldn’t say ‘is there a place?’ – I would say it is essential that there is a place for businesspeople and entrepreneurs in Irish politics InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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because they reflect a big chunk of Irish society,” explains Dr Simon Boucher, CEO at the Irish Management Institute (IMI). “The things they’re good at are things that I think we all recognise the world of politics and society is crying out for – implementing change, bringing creativity, having a can-do attitude, focusing on efficiencies.” However, making the successful jump between business and politics depends very much on the person making that leap. What skills were they born with, or have cultivated? Are they used to building consensus, or ruling with an iron fist? Some may excel on the campaign trail, with winning smiles and hairraising speeches. However, the skills required to get elected don’t always correlate with those required to successfully govern, and vice versa. As they say, you campaign in poetry and govern in prose. “Often in the public sector, political arena, stakeholder issues tend to be more complex; it’s much simpler if it’s a private business with an owner who has a clear view on what they want to achieve,” says Michael Carey, former chair of Bord Bia and founder and managing director of Eastcoast Bakehouse, a new Drogheda-based biscuit business. “In the public arena, there is a more complex situation, and I think in some cases bureaucracy and procedure is highly necessary, and appropriate in a political environment. The concept of breaking the rules or asking for forgiveness rather than permission is probably a good thing in the culture of an entrepreneurial business. But it wouldn’t be so good in a banking regulator’s office!” IRISH MAKING THE SWITCH There are a number of examples of businesspeople who have thrived in political office across the globe, such as Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and the founder, CEO and owner of Bloomberg LP; Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who made

his fortune in the confectionery business; or Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s former prime minister and telecommunications billionaire who enjoyed the support of the country’s poorer citizens but faced allegations of corruption and was ousted by a military coup in 2006. The Irish political field has also played host to public representatives from a variety of backgrounds, including business. Michael Carey gives the example of the late TD Peter Matthews, a former Fine Gael and later independent TD, who studied commerce at University College Dublin (UCD), trained as a chartered accountant and worked for organisations such as Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) and ICC Bank. Simon Boucher highlights Albert Reynolds, the short-lived Taoiseach who laid much of the groundwork for the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, and whose skills as a negotiator and dealmaker stood him in good stead in the role of Taoiseach. Feargal Quinn is another figure that may spring to mind – having built the Superquinn empire, Quinn was first elected as a senator for the National University of Ireland constituency, re-elected in 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2011. For businessman Sean Gallagher, the potential move to politics was driven by a desire to see change in opportunities for education and enterprise. Gallagher, who founded the award-winning home technology firm Smarthomes with business partner Derek Roddy in 2002, made his first foray into politics as an advisor to the then Minister for Health Rory O’Hanlon, as a result of his work with young people from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds, among other initiatives. In 2011 he was one of seven candidates in the presidential election, running as an independent. Though Gallagher’s popularity grew as the campaign progressed, he ultimately finished in second place behind Michael D. Higgins, garnering 35.5 per cent of the final count (628,114 votes). 37

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Businessman and former presidential candidate Sean Gallagher

Michael Carey, founder and managing director, Eastcoast Bakehouse


The participation in politics of those from the world of business doesn’t necessarily mean seeking public office. Michael Carey highlights the potential for businesspeople to make a public contribution through state boards and agencies, bringing the best of both worlds together in a space where change can happen, something he himself experienced with Bord Bia. “I have seen a lot of businesspeople who contribute hugely to state boards...I think in the currant arrangements, state boards probably provide the best opportunity for business to contribute,” he says.


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“In many ways, most of my life has [focused] around helping people, to either get a job or Dr Simon Boucher, CEO, develop skills. Irish Management Institute Education and enterprise have been the two things that I’ve been passionate about,” he tells me. “At the time of the election, Ireland had gotten itself into a state of paralysis driven by fear, and that fear percolated down into individuals, into businesses, and into communities. The entrepreneur in me wanted to change the conversation away from the negative about what wasn’t working, to the positive about what strengths we had as a country and what we could do to put those strengths to work. For me, that whole conversation [was] about saying ‘If we want full employment, we want opportunities for our young people, we need to create more companies and more businesses, and we need to make entrepreneurship something people want to get involved in and aspire to’.” Though his career in politics never materialised, Gallagher offers some advice for

budding politicians, echoing Michael Carey’s sentiments on the often glacial pace of change in politics. In 2010, following the economic crash that saw hundreds of thousands of construction jobs lost and hundreds of sub-contractors go under, Gallagher launched a lobbying campaign in a bid to change construction law to protect sub-contractors. That mantle was taken up by Feargal Quinn and enjoyed cross-party support across successive governments, and yet only came into force in July 2016. Patience, therefore, is key. “The pace at which change happens in politics is slow and frustrating for entrepreneurs, whereas we’re much more responsive and reactive, because if it took you that length of time to do something in the private sector, you would be long out of business,” Gallagher explains. Those who make the move from business to politics can often bring a refreshing perspective, or new ways of doing things that can revitalise a town, city or country. Success, however, is by no means guaranteed – fail to realise that the skills or methods used in the boardroom won’t necessarily translate to the Government chamber and you could be in for a bumpy ride. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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For the latest in our mentors series, InBUSINESS speaks with Pat Falvey who holds forth on his mantra that life is not a rehearsal, it’s simply a performance.


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at Falvey is taking stock of life. The Cork explorer, entrepreneur and motivational speaker (among other things) is about to turn 60 and is planning to step back from his usual, fast-paced lifestyle to spend more time with his family; something he feels he neglected as a result of his tireless work over the years. When we speak, Falvey is busy preparing for his new one-man stage show, Pat Falvey – Everest, Antarctica and Beyond Endurance, which kicked off at Cork Opera House on March 30th and which will tour the country in November 2017. The man behind it is Aidan Dooley, director and actor of another one-man show, Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer, a hugely successful piece of theatre that has toured for over a decade. Falvey has also been working on a relatively new side of

his adventure travel business called the Forever Young Club, which is aimed at adrenaline-fuelled 50 to 90-year-olds who want more from their travels than a package holiday in the sun. He will lead four expeditions to Kilimanjaro later this year and has trips to Nepal and Russia in the pipeline. It’s hardly in line with the life of your average retiree who takes up a spot of golf and gardening; nonetheless it feels like slowing down to Falvey, which is an indication of the pace at which he’s lived over the past 30 years.

RESILIENCE Falvey’s story is one of resilience and determination. He left school at 15 resolving to become successful in business. By 21 he had 200 people working for his construction company, only to lose it all by the time he was 29 down to what he

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Jen Murphy


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describes as having “taken my eye off the ball”. It was not long after the collapse of his business that Falvey went through a dark period culminating in a failed suicide attempt. The turning point in his life came when a friend introduced him to hillwalking. Instantly he was hooked, and it was during a hike in the Macgillicuddy’s Reeks where he had his “eureka” moment, declaring that he would one day climb Mount Everest. What might have sounded like a ludicrous goal at the time would pave the way for a 30-year career as a mountaineer and polar explorer leading more than 100 expeditions to some of the remotest places on earth. He would become the first person in the world to complete the Seven Summits challenge twice, including Mount Everest from the north and south sides. He would also lead the team that saw Cork’s Clare O’Leary become the first Irish woman to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain. These days Falvey runs his walking and adventure company near the Gap of Dunloe in Co Kerry, somewhere he can easily access the Macgillicuddy’s mountain range, a place where he finds solace. “If I’m having a bad day, I go out in a storm or in the wind or rain and I walk. Sometimes I walk for an hour, sometimes I walk for six hours. It has a way of therapeutically releasing endorphins,” Falvey explains before catapulting into his philosophy on life. “After I tried to take my own life, when everything went wrong, I went to the Himalayas to find myself, and I ended up speaking with Buddhist monks. What I learned is that life isn’t a rehearsal, it’s a performance, so I came back and instead of finding myself, I lost myself. I came back a whole new Pat Falvey, and that’s where I’m at now.” YOUR NEXT GOAL Just as Falvey once declared his goal of climbing Mount Everest, he believes that it’s important for everyone to have a personal goal, no 42

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PAT FALVEY ON… THE GREATEST PLACE HE’S BEEN One of the most intriguing places was when I was looking for the female warrior tribe in West Papa New Guinea back in 1996, where I spent time with the Stone Age Tribe who were still cannibalistic at the time. HIS FORTHCOMING BOOK THE ACCIDENTAL REBEL The Accidental Rebel is based on how I accidentally fell into a lot of things. I probably pissed an awful lot of people off, not meaning to do so, made a huge amount of sacrifices, including separating from my wife 19 years ago while the banks were trying to take our family home. MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKING One of my big ambitions is to be one of the top speakers in the world in the next five years. I’ve spent 30 years in a tent for seven months a year under the thin skin of man-made material in storms and everything else, and now I hope to share that experience.

matter what their age. “A lot of people don’t have any goals,” he suggests. “I get calls all the time from people saying I’m 40, 50 years of age, I’m too old. I’ve known people setting up businesses in their 70s, even 80s. First and foremost, from the time we’re born, we’re dying. If we take it that this planet has been 4.5 billion years in the making, we realise that we are but a second. The important thing to remember is that it’s never too late to change.” Developing this mindset is something Falvey explores in his latest book, You Have the Power, which focuses on the value of creating milestones in your life. “If you think you’ve created your Everest, well come off the stage because it’s only a milestone – you still have a long life ahead of you,” he explains. “Therefore InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Pat Falvey, explorer, entrepreneur and motivational speaker

you need to create a new one. For me, when I topped Everest, I had already [set the goal of] the seven summits. When I did the seven summits, I was going to the Poles. When I got into my fifties, I decided to establish my goals in three different elements. One is my personal goals, the other is my business goals, and the third is my family goals. My greatest goal now across them all, which is going to be harder than climbing Everest, walking to the South Pole or crossing Greenland, is that I want to be the best grandfather and the best family man that I can be.” It’s a challenge that the father of two grown men clearly relishes. “Challenge is like food – if you don’t eat food, you stagnate and you die,” says Falvey. “Everyone needs a challenge. The challenge InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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could be as simple as saying ‘I’m going to be a great father’, ‘I’m going to play better golf ’. It’s always about having something up next, right up until the day that you go to your grave. If you’re sick, your next goal should be that you’re going to try to get better. And your legacy should relate to wherever you are in your life right now. If a person asks themselves what their legacy is and they don’t know, well I’m afraid it must have been a bit of a sad life.” LEAVING A LEGACY With that comes a good opportunity to ask Falvey what he would like his own legacy to be. “That I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do, I’ve led a good life, and that people always saw me as the apprentice, always as the master and always as the mentor,”

he replies. “In my fifties, I went into filmmaking, I went into speaking. So I’m an apprentice. Now I’m doing a new one-man play, so I’m an apprentice to Aidan Dooley. But then the next time I’ll become the master, and then what I’ll do is I’ll help others to achieve their goals and dreams and I’ll become the mentor. My life has always been in this three stated tier.” As Falvey approaches a milestone birthday and gets on stage across the country to share his life story thus far, what part is he most proud of? “That I’m a good father, a good son and a good grandfather,” he says. “That’s what I’m most proud of. From the exploration side of things, it has to be standing on the top of the world, Mount Everest, being at the North Pole and being at the South Pole, being at a place where all the meridians of time go through. “There was one year where I did 3,000km of skiing. I skied across Greenland – the first Irish team across Greenland east to west. I skied about 400 miles in Norway and six weeks later I went down and I walked in the South Pole with my team. I had a chance in my lifetime to be in the highest, the coldest, the loneliest, the most remote, dangerous places on planet Earth, and have had successive failure in all the areas I’ve operated in. I’ve been learning from my failures, and I’m having a great time doing it, and I don’t intend to stop.” 43

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High and

Easydry, the Dundalk company led by founder Anne Butterly, has been selling disposable towels around the world since 2005. She spoke to InBUSINESS about the firm’s green credentials and its plans for the future. IB: Could you give us some background on where the idea for Easydry came from and how you got the business off the ground? AB: Many years ago, I was sharing a house with six college friends who all regularly coloured their hair. Seeing all of the stained cotton towels afterwards made me wonder if there was a better product. After researching it, I realised that there wasn’t a good alternative so I was inspired to create a hygienic, disposable option for protecting clothes and drying hair after a tint had been washed out. It needed to be a towel that was eco-friendly, highly absorbent and easily affordable. Research showed me that cotton towels can harbour germs


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even after washing with detergent. Traditional fabric construction actually aids transmission of infection whereas nonwoven, synthetic materials were a much more effective barrier against the spread of bacteria such as E.coli. I was convinced that with the incredible advances in the textile industry, I could produce a highly absorbent towel to draw moisture away from the skin. IB: We don’t usually associate disposable products with being eco-friendly. Tell us about your green credentials. AB: Easydry is a newgeneration textile that guarantees complete hygiene and environmental sustainability. The towels are made from pure, medical-grade wood fibres in a process that uses only

recycled water and solar energy. Our raw materials are sustainably farmed on land where crop cultivation or human habitation is not possible. The trees from which we source our fibres require no irrigation, so no water goes to waste. We can trace our fibres from raw materials to finished product and are proud to have achieved

FSC Chain of Custody certification. Easydry is the only disposable towel with a full life-measured carbon footprint, and each towel’s

lifetime environmental impact is less than that caused by laundering just one cotton towel, once. After use, Easydry InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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towels are 100 per cent compostable within just 12 weeks. Laundering just one cotton towel once can waste on average of five litres of water. We have created a number of animations including one entitled ‘A Tale of Two Towels’, which compares a salon using cotton towels wit a salon using Easydry towels. We prove that using Easydry in a salon can save time, space, money and energy. You can view these animations at

index.php/testimonials/ animations. We have also won a number of awards around the globe including several green awards here in Ireland. IB: Who are your typical clients? AB: We appeal to forwardthinking, innovative businesses around the globe. We entered the hair salon market as they use an incredible number of towels per day. Since then we have converted thousands of

Anne Butterly, CEO, Easydry

salons around the globe from cotton towels to Easydry disposable towels. Easydry is currently sold in more InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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than 20 countries including the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia. Since the successful launch into the hair salon industry, we have expanded into the barber sector, the beauty sector, hospitality and healthcare. Anywhere a cotton towel is currently being used, Easydry can be used instead. IB: How important is the British market for you and do you expect to be impacted by Brexit? AB: The UK was one of the first countries to embrace the Easydry product range and they have been incredibly open to our innovative product. The effect of Brexit remains to be seen but we are ready for anything! IB: What trends are you currently seeing within the sector? Are there many other companies out there developing similar products? AB: When I founded Easydry I knew our products had to perform better than cotton towels and they had to be ecofriendly. This trend for eco-friendly products continues to grow globally and we have seen it around the globe and, in particular, in Australia and Canada. When you win awards for innovation you do start to see copycat products appear on the market. Fortunately, none of the other companies have invented their product so they do not have the same environmental credentials and the same love of innovation! Since launching our original Easydry towel we have

gone on to launch products with different sizes, textures and colours. We have also created shoulder capes, bed rolls and body wrap. We listen carefully to our market and give them the eco-friendly, luxurious product that they need. IB: What are the biggest challenges you face as a small business? AB: As a small business with global ambitions, it is hard to find the hours in the day to achieve all of the things that we want. The key is to plan and recruit people that share your vision and your ambition. IB: What more could the Government be doing to help businesses like yours? AB: It would be great to have business mentors available to work with SMEs that really need their skillsets but cannot afford the salary packages that they would expect coming from a large multinational. IB: Where do you see the business going in the next five years? Would you ever consider selling? AB: We have plans to double our business over the next five years and achieve increased market penetration in our current markets. Every company should have the aspiration to build a business that someone wants to buy. Companies should always ask themselves ‘where do we add value?’, ‘who would want to buy our company and why?’ If you build a business with this mindset, it will be a good business, whether you intend to sell or not.


19/04/2017 16:44



Ahead of the third Mojocon event taking place in Galway, InBUSINESS spoke with founder and head of innovation at RTÉ Glen Mulcahy about the concept of mobile journalism, where it’s all headed and how businesses are getting on board.


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aking risks is part and parcel of being successful in business. It’s a statement that rings true for Glen Mulcahy, founder of Mojocon, the international media conference dedicated to mobile journalism (mojo), filmmaking, mobile content creation and storytelling. The event, which takes place between May 4th and 6th, is now in its third year, but the idea for it was born some six years ago. At that time, Mulcahy was overseas training journalists how to shoot on professional broadcast cameras and to edit the footage on their laptops. One day, to pass the time while his journalism students were busy filming, Mulcahy decided to shoot a story on his iPhone 4 and edit it on iMovie to see what the quality was like. “I sent the stuff back to RTÉ and didn’t tell them how I had actually shot it,” he recalls. “It got past quality control for news and I thought, no way! I was sure that they’d pull it up for all sorts of technical reasons.” Mulcahy knew he was on to something. When he returned home he contacted a video journalist friend of his, Seán Mac an tSíthigh who worked for Nuacht at RTÉ, to fill him in. “I showed him the footage and the gear I had used, and said, ‘go and shoot a story but don’t let anyone know that you’re doing it and let’s just see what happens’.”

Mac an tSithigh did just that. He shot a whole report on his phone, edited it on an iPad, sent it to Nuacht and it was broadcast that evening on the seven o’clock news. After it went out, Mac an tSithigh called the office and informed them that they had just aired their very first iPhone-shot story. “All hell broke loose,” remembers Mulcahy. “There are a lot of stakeholders so there was uproar from unions because it hadn’t been cleared. The bottom line is that it started a discussion internally in RTÉ about how mobile might become part of how we create content.” That conversation saw Mulcahy pitch to the powers that be at RTÉ six months later, outlining where he saw mobile journalism fitting into what the broadcaster was doing. It resulted in Mulcahy establishing a small project whereby he put together ‘mojo grab bags’ containing all the accessories you need to add to an iPhone to turn it into a serious production tool. It got picked up by a number of media organisations in the UK and suddenly they, along with other news and broadcast organisations in Europe, were asking Mulcahy to train their staff on how to shoot and edit a story, and broadcast it to a quality where the audience would not recognise the difference of whether it was shot on a phone or on a a70,000 broadcast camera. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

19/04/2017 16:45


Mojocon founder Glen Mulcahy

The concept of mojo gained significant traction over the next 12 months much to the dislike of many broadcast engineers who favoured traditional technology when it came to broadcasting. “To put it in context, at this stage there was several hundred journalists around Europe who were experimenting with it,” notes Mulcahy on the rise of mojo. “It was the newspapers and radio stations who have no baggage that were starting to forge ahead. I said it to RTÉ; this is a community that is growing, you can see that mobile devices are getting better year on year. We need to create an environment where all the people that are doing it well can get together and talk about how they overcame the obstacles so that other people can understand the opportunities.” After about a year of pitching the idea, RTÉ finally agreed to put an event in place, and Mojocon was born. This year’s conference takes place in Galway, the first one outside the capital, and will attract journalists as well as media executives and members of the public with an interest in mobile and social. A session on how mojo can be used for native advertising will interest PR professionals, ad agencies and businesses alike. As well as having a list of international speakers on various aspects of mojo, the conference will act as a networking opportunity where the top talent and the best projects from the past 12 months are celebrated and shared. One of those talents is Philip Bromwell, an RTÉ reporter who has shot a number of news reports on his mobile phone and who Mulcahy describes as “the in-house pioneer of storytelling” and someone who has pushed the boundaries. Then there’s Eleanor Mannion, a former trainee of Mulcahy’s, who recently produced a one-hour documentary for broadcast that was shot entirely on an iPhone 6S. Among this year’s speakers is Texas-based Mike Castellucci, who makes InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Glen Mulcahy being interviewed at last year’s event

half-hour television shows shot on mobile. “His style and his storytelling are unique,” says Mulcahy. Mojocon will run over three days, taking up residence in Galway’s Radisson Blu Hotel. For the first time, fringe events will take place in the evenings where some of the speakers will be on hand to share different aspects of how mobile journalism has shaped or effectively created opportunities. One of those events is specifically aimed at the startup community in Galway and will take place at #BOIstartlab – Bank of Ireland’s space for tech start-ups. Among those speaking about where mobile could potentially fit into a small company ecosystem will be Storyful founder Mark Little. Finally, why the event’s move out west? According to Mulcahy, there were three main reasons behind the relocation. One is that RTÉ, as national broadcaster, has obligations to the regions outside Dublin. Another incentive was the fact that Galway had recently secured the Capital of Culture for 2020. The third came down to Galway’s size. “The only piece of negative feedback from delegates in the past was that because we hosted the event in Dublin, in the evenings there wasn’t much consolidated networking,” says Mulcahy. “Galway is a much more intimate town and it’s inevitable that Mojocon attendees will network by default and that’s of huge benefit for all of us.”

MOJO: WHAT’S IN IT FOR BUSINESS? Mulcahy says there is huge potential for businesses of all sizes to leverage mojo. For startups, he suggests that mojo is perfect for putting together a promotional video ahead of a crowdfunding campaign, but the big guys are investing in the area too. “I have personally done training for companies like Oracle and Symantec,” says Mulcahy. “Their motivation for mobile is not so they can do it on a shoestring, they realise there is an essential ubiquity to mobile phones and every one of their staff is going to have one in their pocket. For the right story or event, having five or six different perspectives makes sense. It gives you new and more dynamic content.”


19/04/2017 16:45



A new coffee-table book by photographer Beta Bajgartova presents a series of portraits of strong women in creative, unusual and predominantly male professions. Here, a selection of the 53 images featured in the book show Bajgartova’s talent for capturing a woman’s story in one frame.

JEN KELLY is an industrial abseiler – an aerial construction worker. She began her career in industrial abseiling in Melbourne, Australia. Jen now lives in Dublin and is a founder of the Women in Trades Network Ireland (WITNI) for Irish women who are either already working in skilled manual trades, or who are interested in learning skills with tools.

TERESA HUDSON is a firefighter paramedic with the Dublin Fire Brigade. Her greatest achievment to date is completing the firefighter paramedic training. Her job can be gruelling, both physically and emotionally, but nothing beats the feeling of knowing she has helped to bring a life into the world or saved one from leaving it.


InBUSINESS | Q1 2017


ROSEMARY SMITH is a phenomenally successful rally driver. Her highlights include the rallies of Monte Carlo, the Circuit of Ireland, the Safari, London-Mexico, and the epic 17,000km London-Sydney. Rosemary’s biggest success was winning the Dutch ‘Tulip’ Rally in 1965. She is the only woman ever to win this race.

POLLY DONNELLAN became a welder because it was a challenge. In Ireland in the 1980s, welding was not a job for women. In 1981 Polly became the first woman in Ireland to pass the standard pipe-welding exam. She started by constructing galvanised five bar gates and eventually got into the artistic side of metal work, with her first piece being highly commended in the RDS craft competition.

GUNVOR ANHOJ is a blacksmith and for the past 20 years has run a forge in Ireland with her Irish husband. They both studied blacksmithing at art college in the UK. Gunvor focuses largely on artistic metal sculpting. In 2016 she was commissioned to create trophies which were presented to some of the people behind the Northern Irish peace process.

BETA BAJGARTOVA ON A WOMAN’S WORK “Creating this collection made me mindful of ongoing gender stereotypes in our society and the need to prevent them, by educating our children. Every time I came home from a shoot, I shared each new experience with my family. Every woman I included in this collection could potentially become a role model for my two daughters. As this project grew, so too did their awareness that life doesn’t have to be pink or blue.”

LISA LEVINS BURGESS is a navigator in the RNLI Lifeboat Service in Clogherhead. She joined the crew 21 years ago. Lisa’s husband Steve passed away in 2015. Because of his illness, they had planned to try IVF, and it proved successful first time. Lisa has a beautiful baby boy now and saving people’s lives is her biggest passion.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017





All-Ireland winning footballer and successful performance coach Enda McNulty understands the lengths one must take to achieve success. His new book Commit! is full of tips and anecdotes aimed at unlocking its readers’ hidden potential. The following extract is taken from a chapter entitled ‘building a growth mindset’.


easons not to do something are easy to find. Back when I was trying to make it as a sports psychologist, I ran a gruelling seven-hour training and mental toughness session with an inter-county camogie team. As I was leaving, someone pushed a soggy envelope into my hand. Inside was a voucher worth a30. Now, if I’d adopted a fixed mindset, I would have asked myself what the hell I was doing with my life. Seven hours’ intense work for a30? With a growth mindset, your view of the world changes. You ask, what is this leading to? So, in this case, I asked myself: What was the value of that session to my communication skills? Was I becoming a better coach with sessions like these? If I could add value to these people’s lives, might it lead to something more? Ultimately, my first corporate gig – with Ulster Bank – came out of pro bono work I’d been doing with the Longford Town soccer team. I set up my current business in 2005. By 2007, the country had begun to slide into the worst recession any of us had ever seen. 50

Everyone was saying to me, ‘Enda, it’s time to start thinking about doing something else. Any business you go to will tell you that there’s no budget for the kind of work you do.’ I disagreed. I thought that this was an even bigger opportunity – because companies were going to need the work we did more than ever, if they were going to weather the coming economic storm. There was nothing revolutionary in my thinking. Any number of companies have got going during downturns. Thomas Edison, the man who invented the light bulb, founded General Electric in 1892. A year later the USA was plunged into a major recession, in which 500 banks closed and 15,000 businesses failed. Revlon Cosmetics was founded in 1932, in the middle of the Great Depression. Microsoft set

up in the depths of a recession in 1975. Apple started a year later, and introduced the iPod just after the bubble had burst in 2001. A growth mindset transforms the world from one of fixed outcomes and predetermined fates into one bristling with possibility. I’m not saying that you should plunge into something recklessly. Nor am I saying you should delude yourself into continuing to do something that’s just not working. I am saying look at the situation from all angles. Don’t resign yourself to the accepted wisdom. Keep your eyes fresh and your mind alive to the possibilities. This is an extract taken from Commit! Make Your Mind and Body Stronger and Unlock Your Full Potential, reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House.

MESSAGE TO MOTIVATE Need some more motivation? Check out these three titles for some extra drive.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff... by Richard Carlson

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017


IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT Kathryn Doyle on 01 432 2226 or email


TheSunday Business Post

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OF FORTUNE Niall Mimnagh’s love of motorsport and commitment to sustainability led to the creation of innovative start-up Mimergy, writes BARRY McCALL.

or most of us the idea of starting a business in an area which we love is the stuff of dreams. Even those fortunate enough to be successful entrepreneurs rarely find their business and personal passions combining. Indeed, the stories of teetotal whiskey makers are legion while the world’s leading aircraft maker was founded by passionate boat-builders. Niall Mimnagh is therefore doubly fortunate. He acquired a deep awareness of and appreciation for the need for environmental sustainability from his father while developing a love of motorsport all on his own. These two characteristics have been fused to form Mimergy, his start-up company which is developing novel technology to manufacture renewable fuels and green chemicals from waste rubber. Despite still being very much in the early stages of the development, the firm has already attracted international attention, with Mimnagh earning a place on the inaugural Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe List, which includes what the business publication describes as “the top young leaders, inventors 52

Niall Mimnagh, founder, Mimergy

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017


and brash entrepreneurs” in Europe. “I was pleasantly surprised to be included,” he confesses. “I am thrilled to be a member of such a prestigious list.” A graduate of both Sligo Institute of Technology and DIT, Mimnagh is a qualified mechanical automation and maintenance fitter and an automation and instrumentation engineering technician, with eight years of experience working in the oil and gas industry. “My technical expertise lies in the area of automated industrial system design and maintenance,” he says. “I was brought up in a business environment in the engineering industry, I have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and have gained extensive business knowledge through past ventures.” These past ventures included a tyre company and a software firm. “In the past, I have worked to develop innovative technologies in the oil industry in partnership with Ireland’s leading supplier of oil burners,” he points out. “I have also previously owned a tyre retail company and have developed software solutions for the tyre retail and wholesale industry. These experiences have afforded me the opportunity to build a wide network of strong business relationships, particularly within the European tyre industry.” Mimergy has its origins, at least in part, in Mimnagh’s upbringing. “I was lucky enough to grow up in an environment where I got to spend my spare time working with my father who was constantly engineering innovative solutions to help mitigate environmental problems. I was aware from a young age of the importance of resource efficiency and carbon footprint reduction. “At Mimergy, we are currently researching and developing a new, environmentally friendly InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

technology which converts waste rubber – from waste tyres in particular – into highvalue chemicals and fuels,” he continues. “Mimergy’s technology breaks down the organic compounds found in rubber, creating a variety of recovered products including solvents, oils and carbon black. Our continuous pyrolysis system is designed to be profitable using relatively low volumes of waste rubber feedstock.” The lightbulb moment, if there was one, arose through his interest in motorsport. “The development of Mimergy’s technology began when, through a love of motorsport, I realised the extent of the global waste tyre problem,” he explains. He found that over one billion waste tyres are generated globally every year, with Ireland exporting over 50 per cent of its excess tyres to be incinerated abroad annually. “I immediately set about researching and developing a technology which could recover precious resources from this robust waste. I then went on to build a variety of small bench scale and larger machines in order to prove out the concept. The technology has since evolved to the current commercial scale model which is capable of continuously processing 250 kilograms of feedstock material per hour.” While the technology has been in development for a number of years, Mimergy wasn’t officially established until January 2015. The company is currently participating in Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential StartUp START Programme which offers new ventures the opportunity to raise an equity investment of e250,000 on a matched funding basis. Although still at a pre-commercial stage Mimnagh says the business is going well. “As our proprietary technology is still in the R&D stage, we are currently seeking funding in order to commercialise it,” he says. “The plan is to secure the investment required to commercialise our technology with a view to licensing it on a global scale.” Looking back on his own success in launching Mimergy and being named on the prestigious Forbes listing, he has a few words of advice for other young entrepreneurs starting out. “My advice to any entrepreneur would be to use your network. Get talking to the current market players and build relationships in your chosen industry from the start. If you don’t have a reliable network, get started on building one.”


A glance at some of the other Irish names featured in the latest Forbes’ 30 under 30 Europe list of leading innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders. ISEULT WARD, co-founder of FoodCloud, a not-forprofit social enterprise that helps businesses redistribute surplus food to charities. The hugely successful Limerickborn brothers JOHN and PATRICK COLLISON who co-founded the fast-growing online payments firm Stripe back in 2009. Activist and lobbyist SAM BLANCKENSEE is the development officer with Transgender Equality Network Ireland. COLIN KEOGH, a research engineer based at University College Dublin who is involved in research in the energy and 3D printing field. Chef MARK MORIARTY, owner of the Culinary Counter, who was crowned the 2015 San Pellegrino UK & Ireland Young chef of the Year and the San Pellegrino World Young Chef of the Year.





ashmi and Amantha take a short break from music class to share their thoughts on playing in an orchestra with children of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. It’s a hot Saturday morning in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, and over 50 primary school students from three local schools are gathered together to take part in an orchestral session delivered by the Music Project. “I enjoy the mixing of cultures and languages,” says Rashmi of the events that take place four or five times a year where Tamil and Sinhalese schoolchildren come together to form an orchestra. “It’s a great experience and it makes me think that our future is good,” adds Amantha. “We can learn about Tamil culture and make good friends too.” Tamil and Sinhalese communities engaging in this way was unheard of only ten years ago due to a long and bloody conflict arising out of ethnic tensions between the majority


Sinhalese and the Tamil minority, a conflict which, after more than 25 years, came to an end in 2009. The goal of bringing these divided communities together through music was not the initial aim of the Music Project, but like so many pilot projects, once it was up and running it determined its own direction, something that founder Shalini Wickramasuriya can testify to. In 2010 the education consultant set out to establish a music programme aimed at empowering disadvantaged children in the north of the country, a Tamil region deeply impacted by the civil war. The idea was loosely based on the principles of a successful state-run initiative in Venezuela called El Sistema, which counteracts poor children’s exposure to violence with the influence of classical music. The inspiration for the Music Project came when, during the resettlement period in the years that followed the war, Wickramasuriya was working with people who had been displaced and who were InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

Joseph O’Connor


Children of the Music Project orchestra in Kurunegala

Orchestral session in Kurunegala

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017



living in camps. “We worked on a lot of initiatives that helped with infrastructure but there were vast areas at the core of society that were not being addressed,” she recalls when we meet in a downtown Colombo café. “That was the children’s psycho-social wellbeing, the trauma of what they had seen and been through. You could see that they weren’t connecting or engaging, they were just functioning very mechanically. That was down to what they had witnessed; coming back to their homes to find them destroyed, having lost loved ones and friends. Life was extremely fractured for them and they needed something that was holistic and therapeutic.” Due to initial delays in getting the programme off the ground in the Mullaitivu region, Wickramasuriya decided to introduce the project at schools in Kurunegala, a majoritySinhalese district in the North Western province. It was still a time of great tension in Sri Lanka and the government was wary of large groups mobilising in the north for fear they might be supporting a resurgence of the Tamil Tigers rebel group. It wasn’t until 2012 that the programme was


up and running in both Tamil and Sinhalese regions, and that’s when the opportunity to bring the two communities together through music was identified. Today, the Music Project works with over 400 students at six schools – three in Kurunegala and three in Thunukkai – teaching primary schoolchildren to play orchestral instruments through the English language in free after-school classes. Significantly, the Music Project brings the two communities of children together four or five times a year where both groups, most of whom are divided by language as well as ethnicity and religion, interact and perform in front of an audience. The project also runs residential programmes enabling the children to mix with each other over a period of four or five days, making the interaction much more meaningful.


Students from Mallavi Central College




WARTIME ACCOUNTABILITY In terms of the peace and reconciliation process at a political level, the government has taken few constructive actions to address wartime accountability since the conflict ended eight years ago. A regime change in January 2015 did bring some hope for progress as the incoming coalition government promised a new constitution that would help reconcile the past as well as address the root causes of the conflict. However, to date, few substantial inroads have been made apart from some symbolic returns of occupied Tamil lands, as well as the release of a number of political prisoners. For this reason, projects at grassroots level will prove critical to future peace in Sri Lanka. “The work of initiatives like the Music Project is very important in bringing different communities together to communicate but to also understand each other,” explains Colombo-based human rights lawyer Bhavani Fonseka. “Things have happened that people can’t really talk about – but music actually helps in that process. It’s important to recognise the parallel processes at play and the way political and grassroots InBUSINESS | Q1 2017



M. Anithrajini


S. Thanusan

Joseph O’Connor



work can complement each other.” Fonseka believes that in order for different communities to empathise with each other, work needs to start with ordinary people. “You can’t expect the parliament to do that,” she insists. “If you don’t start from the most ground level you’re not going to be able to pass a policy and think it’s InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

going to actually work. I’m not saying one is more important or easier but for the constitution you have experts sitting around and tinkering, drafting, all of that. What the Music Project is doing is really the day-today work, which is the hard part.” Music provides an ideal platform for making that hard part happen. The Music Project works on the premise that music unifies people and challenges stereotypes, a belief shared by Professor John Brewer of Queen’s University in Belfast. He carried out research on the subject in 2016, examining a similar pilot project developed by Belfastbased Centre for Democracy and Peacebuilding. “I’ve often said that peace processes are too important to be left to politicians,” says Brewer. “There is a huge role to be played by the performing arts – drama, poetry, art, music – because these are the important parts of popular culture, the activities that ordinary people engage in, that we can use to build a better future.” TANGIBLE IMPACT In Colombo, Saluka Kotagama, programme director with the Music Project, describes the kind of tangible impact resulting from interactions between the two communities, something, she stresses, that you can’t 57


Joseph O’Connor

Orchestral session in Kurunegala

N. Kalaipiriyan

quantify with stats and figures. “Even though there is a language barrier and sometimes they don’t understand each other – not everyone will speak Tamil or Sinhalese – somehow they have a way of communicating,” she says. “If they are tuning their instruments they will offer to tune their friend’s instrument too and sometimes those little things are done without actually saying a sentence but simply through a gesture or a smile.” This bond being formed between communities is not limited to the children. Their parents are busy forging relationships that will undoubtedly contribute to a more cohesive society in the future. Kotagama describes how during one residential workshop the parents went missing. “We were wondering where they had gone,” she explains. “Suddenly they all walked into the premises. This happened in Mullavi where one of the Mullavi mothers had invited all the Kurunegala mothers for 58

lunch. We were like, ‘really?’ From that day onward, for every single residential workshop that takes place the parents from the town will invite the parents of the visiting students over for a meal. It’s those little things that let us know that times are changing.” The Music Project plans to grow and respond to these changes, and despite the limited funds received through a small number of trustees, Wickramasuriya has big ambitions. Along with extending the programme across more schools in the coming years, she hopes to work with the Muslim community, a group that in many ways has been marginalised the most in Sri Lanka. She also hopes to recruit females from both communities, and Tamils of both sexes, as, to date, the teachers working with the project have all been Sinhalese men, due to a shortage of Tamils and Sinhalese women who specialise in western music. Either way, the Music Project has come a long way since the children worked together for the first time in August 2012, and helping to build bridges between communities once divided by war has clearly been an awarding experience for Wickramasuriya. “To see the children playing together in an orchestra is very fulfilling,” she reflects. “To imagine that children of a war-torn area could come to the southern parts of the country and play alongside their colleagues and peers is very fulfilling and we also see the children eating together, playing cricket together. In the past in my head I could identify who was from the north and who was from the south. Now I look at them all and I can’t tell. Instead, I think, ‘you’re in the strings’, ‘you’re on trumpet’, so the identity has changed in my head and I hope it has for them too.” Joseph O’Connor travelled to Sri Lanka with support from the Simon Cumbers Media Fund

Darren Ferguson, founder, Beyond Skin


While there are many differences between Sri Lanka’s troubled past and that of Northern Ireland’s, there are some parallels at play too. Someone who has witnessed those similarities is Darren Ferguson, founder of Beyond Skin, a Belfast-based NGO that itself uses music and the arts to assist in the development of cultural relations in Northern Ireland. His organisation has collaborated with the Music Project since 2013 on Parallel Versing, a global exchange project that enables children from Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka to co-produce music. “When I came back from Sri Lanka the first time, I thought that this is a parallel universe here,” says Ferguson. “Sri Lanka is stunning. It is a paradise but so are we. If you look at the north coast around Ireland, it is one of the most stunning parts of the world. We have a very beautiful canvas here but, like Sri Lanka, on that canvas there is divisional conflict.” However, according to Ferguson, the similarities end when it comes to how both countries address their troubled past. “Northern Ireland is very much about dealing with its past, which you need to do, but we’re probably too focused on it,” he says. “In Sri Lanka, from my point of view, it is very much about covering up the past. Both attitudes need to meet in the middle. You can’t forget the past, it’s what defines us and it’s important to deal with that hurt, but you have to look ahead as well. With this project we are asking how can we find this balance in the middle through music.”

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017



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CATCH UP DAIRYGOLD WINS CORK COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD THE WINNERS OF THE CORK COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2017 were revealed at the Cork Chamber Annual Dinner on February 3rd. The event is one of the most prominent business events in the country and attracts a large breadth of companies, including some of leading business and political figures. The coveted Cork Company of the Year 2017 title was awarded to Dairygold, a company that has sustainably grown its business, increasing employment and developing its people, while adapting to an evolving and volatile business environment.

Cork Company of the Year Award winner Jim Woulfe, CEO, Dairygold (centre) with Sinéad O’Keeffe, Enable Ireland winner of Cork Non-Profit of the Year; Conor Healy, Chief Executive Cork Chamber; Barrie O’Connell, President Cork Chamber; David Heffernan, Irish International Trading Corporation winner of Cork SME Company of the Year; Pat O’Connor, OrthoXel winner of Cork Emerging Company of the Year; and Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland, award sponsors

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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CORK’S IFS SOLUTION HIGHLIGHTED IN US Ireland is recognised as a global international financial services hub, and Cork offers a highquality solution within the overall national IFS 2020 strategy. That was the message being delivered at a series of industry briefings in Boston and New York for one week back in March through the partnership of Connecting Cork with Irish Funds Industry Association (Irish Funds). Connecting Cork’s 2017 strategy builds on the international activities of 2016 with a particular focus on IFS given the scale of the opportunity for Ireland. Connecting Cork is a Cork Chamber-led initiative, which involves targeted international engagement with business organisations and individuals, highlighting the factors that make Cork a top-class location for business and investment.


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CHAMBER COMMENT “The announcement of the new scheme comes at a good time, as accessing the finance needed to expand and plan for growth is more important than ever for Irish SMEs as they face the challenges of planning for Brexit.” Chambers Ireland CEO Ian Talbot welcoming the announcement of the new Credit Guarantee Scheme 2017 by Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen.


Dublin Chamber President Brendan Foster and Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber, pictured unveiling the Chamber’s new corporate brand and logo outside the Chamber building on Clare Street, Dublin.


Yvonne Jones, President, County Carlow Chamber

APPOINTMENT On March 14th, County Carlow Chamber elected its newest president, Yvonne Jones from MSD Ireland. Jones took over the reins from Bank of Ireland branch manager Derek Shannon who had held the position for two years. She has taken over the presidency in a year that represents an important milestone for County Carlow Chamber as it celebrates its 70th anniversary.


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Currency, competitiveness and customs are just some of the concerns of businesses along the frontline, according to a new report. The Frontline Project is a collection of testimonies collected from businesses along the southern border. It was compiled by the Brexit Border Blog on behalf of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and Chambers Ireland. Over the months of January and February, 35 interviews were conducted with business leaders from a wide range of sectors along with those involved in local chambers of commerce and local enterprise offices. The main challenges to business highlighted by those interviewed were currency volatility, loss of competitiveness, potential introduction of customs and tariffs, access to markets post-Brexit, cross-border freedom of movement, uncertainty and a general lack of clear and reliable information.

NEW CHAMBER LAUNCHED The launch of the new County Kildare Chamber took place in Áras Chill Dara, Kildare County Council, on March 2nd. The joining of the two affiliated Chambers, North Kildare Chamber and Newbridge Chamber, was announced to businesses in Kildare at a launch evening hosted by Kildare County Council. The new organisation becomes Ireland’s largest regional Chamber of Commerce with a membership of 400 businesses that in turn employ 42,000 people in the county.

For more from on the new Chamber, see our Chamber CEO Q&A with Allan Shine on page 64.

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Limerick Chamber Board of Directors

LIMERICK CHAMBER’S FOCUS ON DELIVERING EXPERTISE-led events in the future was highlighted at the Chamber’s recent AGM, which took place on Thursday February 23rd. CEO James Ring also highlighted the key policy priorities for 2017, which are the M20, O’Connell St., Northern Distributor Road, N69, skill needs, and broadband and housing requirements. He also shared information on a new strategic partnership with Retail Excellence Ireland aimed at boosting business for retailers in the city. In addition to updating members on Limerick Chamber’s annual activity, three new directors were elected to the board, namely Liam Brown, LIT, Donnacha Hurley, Absolute Hotel and James Ryan of Centra with David Jeffreys being reappointed as a director. Matthew Thomas, Shannon Group CEO, was co-opted to the board of the Chamber in line with the organisational by laws. Ring was also delighted to announce Ken Johnson, Managing Partner at PwC Midwest, as president for 2017.

CARLOW ALL LOVED UP In 2016, County Carlow Chamber launched the Love Carlow initiative, aimed at re-igniting pride and passion for the county town and harnessing its strengths to ensure that the entire county is recognised as a fantastic place to live, work, shop and socialise. To date, the response to the initiative from both the general public and the business community has been extremely positive and a lot has been achieved in a relatively short space of time. This year there are plans to take the initiative even further; the brand was already adopted as the theme of the St Patrick’s Day parade and numerous projects are scheduled throughout the year to further promote the initiative.

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CASTLEBAR BACK IN BUSINESS, ACCORDING TO NEW REPORT Under the stewardship of President Wilson Bird, Castlebar Chamber based in Mayo’s county town has had a proactive year to date. The Chamber recently undertook a study of retail business in Castlebar with Keith Harford of James Burke and Associates and presented its findings to a large business contingent at Castlebar’s Credit Union buildings. The findings showed Castlebar to be in a much healthier and ready state for growth and business development, contrary to the general perception in the town. The findings acted as a catalyst for a restaurant initiative in Castlebar, called Restaurant Week, which ran from March 3rd to March 12th.

CHAMBER COMMENT “While we continue to regret the UK decision to leave the European Union and recent statements by the UK Government in relation to leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, it is important that the process to enable negotiations to begin has been initiated.” Chambers Ireland CEO Ian Talbot responding to the UK’s decision to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.


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One County, Now heading up the newly established County Kildare Chamber, Allan Shine spoke with InBUSINESS about the burning issues facing businesses in the county and how it’s never good to look back with regret. Q: You have been head of your local Chamber for almost six years now. How is Chamber life?

A: Chamber life is great. Business sentiment is increasing month-onmonth. In Kildare we continue to welcome new business into the county, while existing businesses grow and expand. The Chamber itself is growing too, now offering more services and support to its members. It is driving the economic agenda in Kildare as we support, protect, maintain and enhance business in the county. Q: Could you tell us about the merger between North Kildare Chamber and Newbridge Chamber?

A: The main reason for the merger was a real need to have one business organisation that would represent business in the county – ‘One County, One Chamber’. While there was a real need for this in Kildare,


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I understand that it might not work in every county. We are very lucky to have the continued support of all the key agencies that backed this new entity from the outset.

Allan Shine, CEO, County Kildare Chamber

Q: What are the burning issues currently facing businesses in Kildare?

A: This year the main issues facing business are the shortage of skilled workers in several sectors and the severe lack of adequate broadband available. Broadband infrastructure in several parts of Kildare is hampering business activity. We have a strong working relationship with Kildare County Council and together action the challenging issues that do arise. Q: What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given?

A: My Dad always taught me never to look back in regret but to move on

to the next thing. A setback is never a bad experience, just another one of life’s lessons.

Q: Any up-and-coming Kildare-based companies to watch out for?

A: We are very lucky in Kildare to have a wide and varied mix of businesses located here. It’s difficult to choose one business over another but I hugely admire our companies within the tourism sector. Kildare Village has been a resounding success and this year we are seeing further development at our three racecourses; Naas, Punchestown and the Curragh. The K Club continues to expand and I

believe its continued success is vital in attracting further business tourism to the county. Recent Chamber Business Award winners such as Voice Engineer Ireland, Crystal Air PCM Ltd and Rye River Brewery are definitely companies to watch out for.

Q: What are the key objectives of the newly formed Chamber in 2017?

A: Our key focus is to promote Kildare as the location of choice for existing and potential businesses. We will continue to provide a wide range of events for our members – seminars, briefings, training courses, network mornings and business lunches.

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Framework FOR Through effective planning that allows for differentiation and strategic development, we can set Ireland on the right path to 2040.


s many readers will be aware already, the National Planning Framework (NPF) is being drafted this year by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. The NPF will be a spatial strategy that will set out a national development and placemaking plan to the year 2040 for the whole country and as such is a hugely important piece of national policy. Given that this framework will feed into major decisions and planning in all areas of national and regional development over the next 20 years, it is vital that we get it right. Through effective planning that allows for differentiation and strategic development, we can set Ireland on the right path to 2040. Key to creating a successful strategy will be having a vision for what Ireland should look like in two decades and then laying an effective roadmap to get us there. Chambers Ireland would like to see the Framework enhance the connectedness of Ireland’s people and places. Through strategically planned investment in infrastructure such as transport and broadband, we can see Ireland’s towns, villages and cities benefit from greater connectedness to one another. Economic development and spatial planning must not be seen as a zerosum game with one area or region gaining at the expense of another. Investment in greater connectivity should see more areas benefit from strong drivers of growth in a region.

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Enhanced connectedness can ensure that places are not left behind; while all towns and villages in Ireland will not grow at the same pace, enhanced connectivity to the drivers of growth in a region can benefit the wider area. Learning from the mistakes of the past and acknowledging that growth in the future must be effectively planned must be components of the NPF. For example, in supporting Ireland’s city regions to grow, it is important that we can learn from the issues now facing Dublin as a result of experiencing periods of significant, but unplanned, growth.

Chambers Ireland would like to see the NPF feed into existing strategies as well as new strategies on all aspects of national policy, ensuring joined-up thinking in national development plans.

Coordination will also be vital in ensuring that Ireland can reach its potential under the NPF. Chambers Ireland would like to see the NPF feed into existing strategies as well as new strategies on all aspects of national policy, ensuring joined-up thinking in national development plans. Chambers Ireland sits on the Advisory Group of the National Planning Framework and as such has been engaging with the department on the NPF for the past year. We were pleased to see some of our recommendations included in the department’s Issues Paper on the NPF and will continue to liaise with the department as the framework plans progress. The next step for interested parties will be to submit comments and feedback on the draft NPF, which is scheduled to be published by the department in quarter two of this year. We encourage as many people as possible to engage with this vitally important plan for Ireland’s future up to 2040.


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Over 20 towns and cities in Ireland have been awarded Purple Flag status, the prestigious accreditation given to areas that meet or surpass standards of excellence in managing their evening and night-time economies (ENTE).


aunched in Ireland in 2012, Purple Flag is an international accreditation programme for town and city centres on how they manage their ENTE. It is the gold standard for night-time destinations and, like the blue flag for beaches, places that meet the requirements fly the flag with pride. Since the programme was launched by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) in October 2009, over 70 town and city centres have been awarded Purple Flags. Early this year, the programme reached a milestone with 22 towns and cities across the island of Ireland gaining accreditation. Dublin’s Creative Quarter and Dame District was one of the first to be awarded Purple Flag status, resulting in a significant increase in footfall and a decrease in vacancies. Now, a second area on Dublin’s northside called

‘Dublin One’, which stretches from O’Connell Street to Capel Street, has stepped forward and achieved the ENTE accreditation. Other Purple Flag locations include Cork, Galway, Sligo and Waterford. However, the flag is not limited to cities – this year, the smallest Purple Flag town in Ireland, Carrick-onShannon, hosted the Irish Purple Flag towns meeting for 2017 which was followed by the Purple Flag National Awards ceremony for Round 17. New Irish awardees in early 2017 are Dublin One, Limerick, Maynooth and Wexford who received their accreditations on February 8th and now join the existing flag holders. Representatives from County Kildare Chamber, Limerick Chamber and Wexford Chamber were closely involved with the campaigns to apply for Purple Flag status in their local areas and welcomed the accreditation.

PURPLE FLAG IN NUMBERS new purple flag locations in Ireland


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locations in the UK and Ireland where the purple flag is flying

key criteria that locations must meet

per cent reduction in crime in many purple flag locations

On achieving the Purple Flag, Limerick received a special commendation for its connected and future-proof city centre with a comprehensive and sensitively managed suicide watch programme. County Kildare Chamber were delighted with the achievement of Purple Flag status for Maynooth. Jennifer Forster of the Chamber, who led the accreditation process, said: “This award showcases Maynooth as a town that excels in its ENTE. The awarding panel were delighted to see a bustling town with a wide variety of restaurants and bars coupled with high-end hotels and evening activities to suit all ages.” Maynooth is the first town in Kildare and the only Purple Flag town in Ireland with a university included in the zone. Forster sees the benefits Purple Flag status has given to help promote Maynooth locally, nationally and internationally as a must visit town. Jennifer feels strongly that “this accreditation offers successful towns and cities a way to recognise, promote and further develop the ENTE, making the areas more attractive and vibrant for both locals and visitors”. The mayor of Maynooth Municipal District, Cllr Brendan Weld, launched the Purple Flag award for the town. Cllr Weld, along with Director of Services for Kildare County Council, Niall Morrissey; President of the Chamber Vivian Cummins; Ted Robinson, General Manager of

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Representatives from Purple Flag accredited towns

The Glenroyal Hotel; and Chamber CEO Allan Shine, welcomed the award and highlighted the collaborative work of Kildare County Council, County Kildare Chamber and local community groups in achieving the standard. Allan Shine, CEO of County Kildare Chamber, places significant value on the achievement of the award and the importance of town centre management. He said: “If our towns and cities are to survive and thrive in the 21st century they must meet the expectations of both visitors and residents. To achieve that goal, our town centres must be professionally managed and promoted. Maynooth deserves this award and credit must go to the business community there who have worked tirelessly. Collaboration between all the key stakeholders was crucial and I must acknowledge and thank Maynooth University and, in particular, Kildare County Council for their support.” Wexford Chamber was also delighted to see Wexford town join the very select group of Irish towns that have been awarded Purple Flag status. On achievement of the award, Wexford was praised for its excellent events in the town, particularly on its quays, and for its committed volunteers. Madeleine Quirke, CEO of Wexford Chamber, said: “This achievement is the result

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of 12 months of collaborative work by Wexford Chamber, Wexford County Council, the Gardaí and other key partners throughout the town. The award shows Wexford has been judged as surpassing standards of excellence in managing the ENTE, and it demonstrates in an independent and public manner that the town offers an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.” Quirke recognises the importance of the Purple Flag to the promotion of attracting tourism to the area. “Visitors to Wexford can see that our town centre has been given an official seal of approval by expert assessors, giving a great boost to our ongoing efforts to sell Wexford as a destination and bring in visitors to spend their money with local businesses,” she says. For existing Purple Flag towns, an annual renewal is required to retain the flag status, therefore continued innovative work is a must. The towns that retain their Purple Flag are those that continually strive to improve their evening and night time experiences. Waterford city centre was awarded Purple Flag status in 2015. Nick Donnelly, Chief Executive of Waterford Chamber, describes Waterford Purple Flag zone as “vibrant, safe and well managed, and it is supported by businesses and key stakeholders who are committed to standards of excellence around our ENTE.” Waterford Chamber is

The Purple Flag being raised in Maynooth

very satisfied with the progress and range of initiatives delivered since securing Purple Flag accreditation. Recognising the need for ongoing innovation, Donnelly says: “As a committee, we recognise that further improvements can be achieved in the short to medium term.” Killarney was granted Purple Flag status in 2014. Paul O’Neill, President of Killarney Chamber of Commerce, describes how the Purple Flag Working Group is actively promoting the ethos of the initiative within the local community. In 2016, they successfully focused on educating the business community on the merits of the Purple Flag. “In the early part of 2017 we are now turning our focus to the younger residents, specifically teenagers,” says O’Neill. “The transition year students from the local secondary schools are creating a survey with the aim of creating an environment for the youth of Killarney at night time. The objective of the project will be to educate the young people as well as inform the municipality of Killarney and the Purple Flag Working Group as to the demands of the young people.” New applicants from North and South are welcome to join the ongoing Purple Flag Academy Programme. For more information on Purple Flag accreditation visit


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Emma Kerins, International Affairs Executive, outlines the key areas of Chambers Ireland’s policy submission as part of the proposed National Women’s Strategy.


he proposed National Women’s Strategy 2017-2020 provides us with an opportunity to address gaps that may be impacting Ireland’s economic performance. Ireland is competing against the top performing countries in the OECD for investment and for access to markets. If we are to position ourselves as a knowledge economy with a highly skilled workforce, our human capital must be developed to its fullest. Therefore, ensuring that Ireland is a more equal society, where men and women are supported to reach their full potential as citizens, employees, leaders and entrepreneurs, should be a crucial part of future policy planning. As part of the consultation process with the Department of Justice, the Chambers Ireland submission focused on two key areas – promoting equality for women in the workplace and supporting women in business.

WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE – PROMOTING EQUALITY The difficulty with women’s default role as care-givers is that it often results in a gender pay gap, gender pension


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gap, interrupted career trajectories (which is one of the reasons a pay gap and pension gap exists to begin with) and absence from positions associated with decision-making. While these consequences (pay, pension and leadership inequality) are often examined separately, all of these gaps extend from the same root cause, being that women, for the most part, assume the care-giving roles in society, particularly when it comes to raising families. The fact that women are continuing to opt-out or take considerable time out from the workplace to cover care-giving responsibilities will inevitably continue to contribute to poorer earnings over the course of their lifetime, a lesser pension and reduced likelihood of reaching senior levels of management or being appointed to boards of directors.

What we recommend: • Investment in Childcare Government has recently committed to increasing investment in childcare and published the heads of legislation for the Single Affordable Childcare Scheme, committing to means-tested subsidies based on parental income for children up to 15 years. This is a welcome first step towards increasing investment in childcare services making it more affordable for parents. We recommend that Government continues to invest in childcare services in the long-term.

• Pension Reform One of the biggest risks to the future prosperity of our citizens is a lack of adequate pension provision amongst private sector workers. We recommend the introduction of a number of reforms to encourage more workers to enrol in private sector pensions. For example, regulations governing pensions must be made flexible to allow workers to gradually transition into full retirement allowing part-time work or job sharing. Incentives should be implemented to encourage enrolment in private sector pensions. We also call on the Government to review how funding for public sector pensions is delivered. • Parenting Equality In September 2016, Government introduced two weeks paid paternity leave for fathers. Indications given in the Programme for Government suggest that Government plans to expand this entitlement over the coming five years. If gaps in pay and pensions are to be eradicated in the long-term, a cultural shift will be required in how care-giving responsibilities are met in society. If women continue to bear the brunt of these obligations, the gender gap in socioeconomic equality will continue to exist. We call on Government to work with employers groups to examine how increasing

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parental leave provisions can be introduced and managed with minimal burden to employers.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS – PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP The objective of growing the number of female entrepreneurs in the economy has gained significant traction in recent years, where it has been acknowledged that the promotion of women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship can be a driver of innovation, growth and jobs. Yet, it is also recognised that far fewer women than men run their own businesses, often due to barriers that women face in starting and growing businesses. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation published a report in 2015 identifying a number of barriers. Namely, that business ‘culture’ continues to be male dominated and there continues to be a lack of female entrepreneurial role models; discrimination of the self-employed, particularly when it comes to tax and access to maternity benefit; access to finance; insufficient support for entrepreneurial networks and mentoring aimed at women; the lack of a regional dimension to entrepreneurial supports; and finally the much smaller numbers of females working in the tech sector by virtue of a much more limited uptake of STEM

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(science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at both second and third level education.

What we recommend: • Access to Finance We recommend expanding funds like the Competitive Start Fund that targets female entrepreneurs to include a broader range of business models and sectors, which would have a positive impact on female entrepreneurs who are struggling to access finance and investment. • Reduce Regulatory Anomalies for Female Entrepreneurs We recommend that the National Women’s Strategy commits to reviewing measures that discriminate between PAYE workers and the self-employed. The fact that a female entrepreneur must have 52 weeks contributions in a relevant tax year compared with 39 weeks for an employee (33 per cent more) and must give 12 weeks’ notice of their intention to commence maternity leave compared with six weeks for an employee (100 per cent more notice) is a direct barrier for women considering becoming a entrepreneur. • Promoting Entrepreneurial Skills Developing ‘educating the educator’ programmes for teachers in STEM fields to encourage and support

female students in business creation would be a helpful first step to supporting more women to be active in STEM related professions. Furthermore, we recommend that Government introduces additional supports to increase provision of management training to help female-led companies in scaling their business, especially for midlevel managers. • Encourage Female Entrepreneurs to Trade Internationally The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor noted that more than half of female entrepreneurs are focused entirely on the home market and have no markets overseas, while just one-third of male entrepreneurs are similarly focused. As part of the National Women’s Strategy 2017-2020, we recommend that state agencies provide training to female entrepreneurs on international trade. We also recommend that Government commits to increasing female participation in Irish trade missions to help female entrepreneurs to access new markets.


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Making Sense of Emma Kerins, International Affairs Executive at Chambers Ireland, explains how the Brexit process will unfold over the coming months and some of the concerns facing Irish businesses.


n March 29th, the United Kingdom triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, thereby formally declaring its intention to leave the European Union, the first member state to do so. Once this process begins, the remaining EU member states and the UK will begin two years of negotiations on the terms of the UK’s exit.

WHAT WILL THIS PROCESS LOOK LIKE? Once the UK formally notifies the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU, the European Council will then adopt broad guidelines for the framework of the withdrawal. This is likely to happen in early April, when the heads of state for the 27 member states are


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scheduled to meet. They will then issue these high-level guidelines to the European Commission on how the negotiations should proceed. Following this, the Commission will frame the guidelines as detailed negotiating directives and these will then be given to the chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the Brexit Taskforce to conduct the formal negotiations with the UK. These negotiations will continue at least until late 2018, where it is hoped that the terms of an exit deal will be agreed. This must then be approved by the European Council and the

All sides have declared their commitment not to return to ‘borders of the past’, but given early indications that the UK intends to leave the Customs Union, it may be difficult to preserve the current arrangement.

European Parliament. If a deal is not in place, the EU will decide on whether or not to extend the negotiation period. It is also possible for both sides to

agree a transitional deal, to be put in place after the initial two year period runs out. Should agreement on a transitional arrangement not be reached, the UK will leave the EU and will be bound by WTO rules, including tariffs. The UK has already expressed its desire for both the exit deal and the transitional deal to be negotiated in parallel. However, the view of the EU is that the negotiations on the terms of the exit must be completed first. Only then will the terms of a transitional deal be discussed. The main subjects for discussion during the Brexit negotiations are likely to include the EU budget and any ‘settlement bill’ owed by the UK to the EU; the rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice-versa; whether a transitional deal will be possible following the two year period; and lastly, and of most consequence to Ireland, how the border between the UK and the EU will be managed. From an Irish perspective, this will focus on what the border with Northern Ireland will look like. All sides have declared their commitment not to return to ‘borders of the past’, but given early indications that the UK intends to leave the Customs Union, it may be difficult to preserve the current arrangement.

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CONCERNS OF IRISH BUSINESS Throughout our network, uncertainty is prevalent. What precisely does Brexit mean for the Irish economy and what is going to happen next? In particular, what will it mean for the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and how will it change in the future? Our network of chambers and their members have expressed concerns regarding the impact of tariffs should a transitional deal not be in place. While some WTO tariffs are small, tariffs for agrifood products can be very high. For example, tariffs for beef can be over 50 per cent. Consequences for tourism, cross-border freedom of movement and currency fluctuations also weigh heavily on the minds of all businesses, but particularly those operating in border counties. Furthermore, even without the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union, the business community has been vocal over the past several years regarding the need for Ireland to remain competitive if our economy is to continue to grow. This objective is now even more important given the prospect of our closest neighbour leaving the European Union. While there has always been healthy competition

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within and between EU member states, this was predominately on a level playing field, as all had to operate within a common regulatory

Even without the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union, the business community has been vocal over the past several years regarding the need for Ireland to remain competitive if our economy is to continue to grow.

and legal framework. It’s possible this will no longer be the case in the event of Brexit. Potential divergence may have consequences not only on our attractiveness

as a location for foreign direct investment, but it could also impact the extent to which Irish companies can compete with UK companies across international markets. Uncertainty and frustration over the lack of clear information on what Brexit will mean for doing business and for our borders is consistently raised by our chambers. One thing is certain, however – business wants to prepare and needs to be supported in doing so. Chambers Ireland will continue to make the case over the coming months that the business community must be supported in its efforts to prepare for and overcome the consequences of the UK’s exit from the European Union. Chambers Ireland urges the Irish Government to prioritise maintaining our competitiveness with the UK, rapidly invest in our infrastructure and support our SME exporters.


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No Dispute on MERITS


InBUSINESS spoke with Gavin Woods, a Partner in Arthur Cox Solicitors and President of Arbitration Ireland, to get some background on the practice of arbitration and the potential it holds for Ireland. IB: Why should feuding parties seek arbitration to resolve their dispute? GW: The advantage of arbitration is that it is a private way of resolving disputes. The parties involved have an advantage in that they have some level of control of the process so they can make it quicker and more efficient, depending on the procedures put in place. The parties can agree upon the identity of the arbitrator who decides their dispute, and the process is confidential to the parties. You’ll be bound by the outcome, but you’re not resolving your dispute in public. An international arbitration award is also enforceable around the world in a way that a domestic judgement isn’t necessarily, which is appealing for many parties.

court, there is very much a set process that the parties must follow. In an arbitration, while it is very

used in disputes between international companies. Arbitration is an effective way of resolving disputes, particularly if you are conducting business in a country where you’re unfamiliar with the legal system. You Gavin Woods, President may prefer of Arbitration Ireland to have your

We’re not saying we’re trying to threaten London’s position in any significant way, but Ireland can act as a complementary jurisdiction, which could be a significant benefit for the wider economy.”

often similar to a court process, the parties are at liberty to agree – with the agreement of the arbitrator – to conduct the process differently. So there’s a flexibility to arbitration that wouldn’t exist in standard litigation.

a court case?

IB: Where would you likely see arbitration taking place?

GW: When you are before a

GW: It’s most commonly

IB: How does it differ from


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disputes resolved through arbitration, because that way you’re taking it out of the court system of the country you’re dealing in.

IB: Can you tell us about the Arbitration Act 2010 and how it has impacted arbitration in Ireland? GW: The Arbitration Act 2010 brought Ireland in line with the best international practice for arbitration.

It set in place a structure for arbitrations to be conducted in this country, whereby there would be the least interference by the courts in the arbitral process. It is only in very limited circumstances that parties to an arbitration can challenge the process before the Irish courts, and if they decide to do so, it also sets in place a process whereby any challenge takes place quickly before a designated arbitration judge. There is also no appeal from a decision of the arbitration judge.

IB: What has arisen as a result of the Act? GW: We set in place that structure, and from that arose a desire to promote Ireland as an attractive place for parties to conduct arbitration and to promote the awareness of arbitration amongst legal practitioners. A number of people saw an opportunity for Ireland to be seen as an ideal location for what’s called the Seat for international arbitration – that this would be a good jurisdiction for people and corporations to conduct their disputes. Arising out

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of this common goal, an association has evolved of various interested parties.

IB: What are Arbitration Ireland’s objectives for the year? GW: One of the

objectives of the organisation is to promote tell us about Ireland as Arbitration Ireland? a place for arbitration, GW: but also Arbitration to grow Ireland our network. is unique There are a because it’s lot of Irish the only Ian Talbot, Secretary General of ICC Ireland lawyers who association addressing Arbitration are working that brings Ireland’s Dublin in law firms together a International Arbitration – particularly number of Day, November 2016 in the interested UK and parties in the States, but also including solicitors, across Europe – who are barristers, the Bar involved in the practice of Council of Ireland, the international arbitration. Law Society of Ireland, There are also plenty of Chambers Ireland, ICC other lawyers working in Ireland, Engineers Ireland, various jurisdictions who the Irish branch of the are well disposed towards Chartered Institute of Ireland. We’re looking to Arbitrators, in order engage with them and to promote awareness grow our network in of Ireland as a Seat for various cities. Over the last international arbitration. number of years, we’ve It’s bringing attention to held events in Washington, the legal community New York, Paris and and corporations that Berlin, but now we’re Ireland is an ideal venue trying to develop more of if you are involved with a presence in places such an arbitration.

IB: Can you

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as London, New York, and Paris – these would be key cities for us. We also want to build on the success of our annual conference, Dublin International Arbitration Day, which this year takes place on November 10th 2017 and attracts a great mix of international and domestic lawyers.

IB: How do you think Brexit will effect arbitration in Ireland? GW: Ireland will be the only English speaking common law jurisdiction within the EU once the UK leaves. That’s an important consideration, because at the moment London is very much seen as one of the international centres for litigation and arbitration. People choose English law, and they choose the High Court in London for their litigation or for international arbitration, and there’s a huge volume of cases that take place in that jurisdiction. But after Brexit, there may be some doubt amongst corporations as to whether the UK and London is the ideal location to be resolving those disputes, and that’s an opportunity for

Ireland. We’re not saying we’re trying to threaten London’s position in any significant way, but Ireland can act as a complementary jurisdiction which could be a significant benefit for the wider economy.

IB: What lies ahead for Arbitration Ireland? GW: We’re reaching a point where a lot of lawyers and barristers and solicitors are looking at how to develop new markets for our services, particularly on an international sphere. I think that Arbitration Ireland is one of the first organisations that saw this as an opportunity to internationalise. We are looking at how we can develop opportunities for Irish lawyers at the international level, and the fact that we – barristers and solicitors – are doing this together to try to benefit our professions is what makes us a unique association. ICC Ireland and Chambers Ireland are members of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) who provide international arbitration services including the International Court of Arbitration and International Centre for ADR.


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Full Swing

Waterford Crystal continues to produce some of the finest trophies in the industry for some of the top sporting events in the world.

individual trophy design beautifully captures the national emblem associated with each of the countries within the Home Nations Series. They are a wonderful addition to the blue ribbon trophies that we have created for the world’s leading sporting events.”


hen Liang Wenbo raised the Home Nations Snooker Trophy in Manchester back in October 2016, like so many other famous snooker trophies, the eye-catching prize he held aloft was produced by Waterford Crystal in Ireland. The list of famous trophies produced by Waterford Crystal for the sports industry is simply staggering. “Our 2017 programme has seen us create four new trophies for the Home Nations series comprising the English, Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh Open tournaments,” says David McCoy, Sales & Marketing Director at the House of Waterford Crystal. “A perpetual trophy was commissioned for each tournament, where each trophy was named after a snooker legend hailing from that particular country. We’ve worked with WPBSA on the World Masters Trophy and German Masters Trophy.” The first unique piece, the Steve Davis Trophy, was presented to Liang Wenbo, the winner of the Coral English Open on October 16th 2016. The handmade trophy, designed by Waterford Crystal designer Billy Briggs, features the Tudor Rose on its front representing the national


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The Steve Davis Trophy produced by Waterford Crystal

Each individual trophy design beautifully captures the national emblem associated with each of the countries within the Home Nations Series. symbol of England as well as the logo of the WPBSA. “The team at Waterford Crystal is delighted to have been chosen to design and manufacture the Home Nations Snooker tournament trophies,” says McCoy. “Each

Why not visit the factory located in the centre of Waterford city, which welcomes over 180,000 visitors a year, and take the opportunity to witness the manufacture of these and many other Waterford Crystal products. The factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that enthrals visitors of all ages, both national and international. The guided factory tour – which takes approximately one hour – allows visitors to understand each stage of production. They witness how Waterford Crystal pieces are crafted from initial design right up to the final engraving of the piece. Every year the House of Waterford Crystal melts more than 750 tonnes of crystal, using traditional and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. On completion of the tour, visitors can experience over 12,000 sq ft of crystal heaven in the largest retail and brand showcase of Waterford Crystal in the world. For further details on the tours available all year round visit or call 051 317000.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Forging Partnerships in


This year’s CSR Awards will once again showcase the best practice corporate social responsibility projects across a range of categories with an overall Award for Outstanding Achievement in CSR.


hambers Ireland launched the Corporate Social Responsibility Awards 2017 in the Guinness Storehouse on March 9th. These awards offer the business community a chance to promote and highlight the best practice work in corporate social responsibility being carried out in companies of all sizes across Ireland. The launch event was hosted by Newstalk’s Dil Wickremasinghe and had a notable line-up of speakers, including a panel discussion on the working relationships between businesses and charities.

THE GLOBAL GOALS Speaking at the launch, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, spoke about the importance of socially responsible business practices. “Given the current direction of global political and economic discourse it is more important than ever for Ireland to showcase strong commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. “The business community has a vital role to play in the realisation of the global goals and through focusing on sustainability and social


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responsibility, the Irish business community can differentiate itself from international competitors.” Chambers Ireland hosts the CSR Awards in partnership with Business in the Community (BITC) Ireland each year. Tina Roche, CEO of BITC, said: “The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals requires a new partnership model between stakeholders such as business, academia, civil society and government. The goals call for business to apply creativity and innovation in solving the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges. Companies in Ireland need to showcase the impacts they are already having in these areas so we encourage companies of all sizes and all sectors to enter the awards and communicate their positive impact.” The awards are kindly sponsored by BAM Ireland and run in association with the Department of Housing, Community and Local Government. Theo Cullinane, BAM Ireland Chief Executive, said: “Once again we are delighted to sponsor the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. CSR is at the

heart of how we at BAM do business and we have always looked to be the leader in sustainable construction. I would encourage businesses – old and new entrants – to showcase the best of Ireland’s CSR accomplishments and get the recognition they deserve at these awards.”

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CSR The CSR Awards showcase the best practice CSR projects across 14 categories with an overall Award for Outstanding Achievement in CSR. ESB was the worthy winner of this title in 2016 owing to its commitment to CSR practices across the company. Pat Naughton, Executive Director Group People and Sustainability at ESB, described winning the award in 2016 as “an honour to have our CSR contribution recognised by our peers”. Speaking at the awards launch, Naughton said: “ESB has always, since our foundation 90 years ago, had a strong sense of corporate responsibility. Before the language of CSR was ever spoken, as a company, we had been supporting communities and programmes that enhance our economic and social fabric.”

CHARITY PARTNERSHIPS Partnerships between businesses and charities are an increasingly

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Panelists at the CSR Awards launch

Tadhg Lucey, CSR Director, BAM Ireland; Dil Wickremasinghe, Newstalk and MC, CSR Awards launch; Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland Chambers Ireland; Theo Cullinane, Chief Executive, BAM Ireland

popular element of CSR within Ireland. To help launch the 2017 Awards, Chambers Ireland hosted a panel discussion on relationships between corporates and their NGO partners. Participants on the panel included representatives from Boots Ireland and their partner, the Irish Cancer Society, Three Ireland and An Cosán, Virtual Community College and representatives of the newly announced partnership between Diageo Ireland and Alone.

THREE IRELAND AND AN COSÁN VIRTUAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE Three Ireland launched its partnership with An Cosán Virtual Community College (VCC) in May 2015. An Cosán VCC is a start-up education initiative which aims to eliminate poverty and social inequality to disadvantaged communities through online education. Through the partnership Three works closely with VCC in the areas of corporate donation, employee skills-based volunteering and e-mentoring. Three’s partnership with An Cosán VCC won the award for Excellence in Community – Partnership with a Charity at the 2016 CSR Awards. During the panel discussion, Jill Johnston, CSR Manager at Three Ireland, shared the one piece of advice

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she would give to others considering entering into a charity partnership for the first time: ensure that there is the right cultural fit between your organisation and your charity partner and that your strategic community objectives are aligned.

BOOTS AND IRISH CANCER SOCIETY Boots Ireland’s partnership with the Irish Cancer Society is a key cornerstone of the company’s CSR programme. The partnership has greatly evolved since it started back in June 2012 in order to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society Night Nursing service. Boots collaborated with the Irish Cancer Society to devise a training programme to support its pharmacists’ understanding of health issues and concerns associated with cancer, launching the Boots Irish Cancer Society Information Pharmacist. Bernadette Lavery, Managing Director of Boots Ireland, said: “Our partnership with the Irish Cancer Society is incredibly important to us as we know how cancer can affect the lives of so many across every community in Ireland. I am incredibly thankful to all our stores and our customers, who over the past four years have been the driving force to achieve this monumental goal of a1 million funds raised. I also want to

Pat Naughton, Executive Director, Group People and Sustainability at ESB

thank all the Irish Cancer Society’s night nurses for their work, which is so highly valued by cancer patients and their families, making a real difference to people’s lives.”

DIAGEO IRELAND AND ALONE Diageo Ireland recently announced a new partnership with Alone which will contribute to supporting the Alone befriending network. Liam Reid, Corporate Relations Director at Diageo Ireland, said: “We were delighted to be asked by the Licensed Vinters Association to join in a fundraising initiative to mark 200 years of the Dublin pub, and particularly so when Alone agreed to come on board. For Diageo, community was an important factor in forming the partnership. “Community is at the heart of the Dublin pub, and Alone is all about building stronger communities by helping older people remain in the home,” said Reid. “It’s a brilliant collaboration to be involved in, and we are especially proud that our beer to celebrate 200 years of the Dublin pub, Dublin Amber Ale, is at the heart of it.” Applications for the CSR Awards 2017 are now open at The closing date for nominations is Thursday April 27th 2017.


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Building a BRIGHTER FUTURE CSR remains at the core of what ESB does, as the company seeks to build a brighter future for both itself and the nation.


ast year, ESB won the overall award for Outstanding Achievement in CSR at the 2016 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. It was given the top honours for having CSR practices embedded at its core and for its ongoing dedication to community engagement and responsible business practices. ESB’s position as Ireland’s foremost energy company makes it a vital cog in building a brighter, more sustainable future. CSR is at the heart of the company’s business vision, and ESB invests significantly in its people and communities to help it reach its full potential.

IT’S HOW IT DOES BUSINESS We have all seen how over the past number of years public expectations of businesses have increased. The public has become increasingly aware of the importance of the social and environmental impact of business. Companies are now expected to contribute to society in a much more meaningful and positive way. Business norms have changed – the importance of CSR has hugely increased and has now become a priority for business leaders globally. For ESB, CSR is so much more than writing a cheque. It’s how a company does business. CSR encompasses how ESB treats its staff, ensuring that its workplace is a diverse, inclusive and respectful place where people can be themselves and perform to their best abilities, as well as having opportunities to make a real difference in their communities.

The ESB team collecting their award for Outstanding Achievement in CSR at the 2016 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards


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INVESTING IN A BRIGHTER FUTURE With such a strong legacy of corporate social responsibility, ESB has honed a unique way of delivering CSR. One of the crucial informants to its CSR practices is that it never works in a vacuum. National policy and structured ways of adding value to existing, high-quality services are something it considers before embarking on any new CSR programme. “We look at national problems, and at how we can support robust solutions,” says Anne Cooney, Group CSR Coordinator. “One of the key areas of work in the past decade has been around suicide prevention and support. To reflect this, ESB has given over a5 million towards suicide prevention services over the past ten years. Suicide is clearly a big social issue at a national level, and we identified the need to support robust, resilient services and capacity building in this sector.” Earlier this year, ESB pledged its support to Aware and its Life Skills for Schools initiative – a practical six-week programme which teaches young people invaluable skills often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. ESB staff themselves decide on priority areas in their corporate responsibility activities, and how to support positive mental health in young people is particularly close to their hearts. ESB is committed to playing a key role in contributing to the broader improvement of society – something it believes is a responsibility of all companies throughout the country, and indeed across the world. More recently, ESB has extended its focus to include education as a core area for funding support. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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“It’s a very good fit for us,” says Cooney. “From our perspective, as a leading Irish employer, it makes sense for us to support our young people in developing the skills to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace. We, in common with many other Irish companies, need access to staff with strong science, technology, maths and literacy skills and all of these are grounded in getting our young people off to the best educational start possible. “ESB is also conscious that our staff and our company have been the beneficiaries of historically high standards of educational delivery. We have a duty to acknowledge and repay that investment made in us and we are pleased to be the national partner with An Cosán Virtual Community College. There are many barriers for people across Ireland in accessing further and higher education. This innovative new programme has the power to break down these barriers and offers a unique opportunity for anyone wishing to develop their skills and achieve their full potential.”

Dominc Layden, Aware Chief Executive and Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, with students from St Paul’s College Raheny and St Mary’s Holy Faith Killester announcing ESB’s support of the national rollout of Aware’s Life Skills for Schools programme

LOW CARBON FUTURE As a utility company, ESB is acutely aware that it must manage its impact on the environment, communities, stakeholders, customers, suppliers and partners. ESB believes it has a responsibility

ESB Chief Executive Pat O’Doherty, Minister Denis Naughten and An Cosán Virtual Community College’s Liz Waters help launch ESB’s three year partnership with An Cosán Virtual Community

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as a corporate citizen to support Ireland in addressing the challenges of climate change, while ensuring an energy supply for Ireland that is clean, reliable and affordable. To this end, ESB aims to lead the charge in addressing the challenge of a low carbon future, investing and innovating in new technologies and business models to increase efficiency and drive forward the decarbonisation of the electricity system. It is developing wind farms and constructing a biomass plant in the UK, and has also invested heavily in the Irish electricity network to create a smart grid capable of supporting increasing levels of intermittent renewable generation and enabling the connected customer to take more control over their energy use. “As ESB looks to the future, I am in no doubt CSR will continue to evolve and develop,” asserts Cooney. “The term ‘CSR’ may not even be in use, with many other terms such as ‘sustainable business’ or ‘responsible business’ being used by companies and organisations today. The term is really unimportant; what matters is the meaning, the movement and the action behind it.”


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A Breath of Fresh

eir for CSR Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is part of the fabric of eir, and the company’s commitment to responsible business practices continues at pace in 2017.


aving been certified to the Business Working Responsibly Mark in 2016 for its commitment to CSR and responsible business practices throughout last year, eir continues to build on this momentum in 2017. In January, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar joined Richard Moat, CEO at eir and Carolan Lennon, Managing Director at open eir, to officially launch the eir Fund – Connecting Communities. The fund is a key initiative within eir’s CSR strategy, enabling the company to make a positive impact by providing much needed support

to local charity and community causes across Ireland. It is open for applications from all eir employees and any registered Irish charity, NGO or organisation with charitable status. As a direct result of the fund, a160,000 will be evenly split across the four provinces and invested at community level each year up to 2019. “The best companies should be about more than making profit and increasing shareholder value, they should also have a mission to contribute to the betterment of communities that buy their services and products, and to develop human capital by supporting the skills and personal development of their staff,” said Minister Varadkar, speaking at the launch of the fund. “The eir Fund helps employees to make a positive impact in their community, and helps the company to support more local causes throughout Ireland. I welcome the fact that the eir Fund is open for applications.” In March, the open eir Silver Surfer

Carolan Lennon, Managing Director at open eir with Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar launching the eir Fund


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Awards took place, celebrating older people who have embraced technology and those who support them. Ninetytwo-year-old Doreen Thew was this year’s overall winner, after receiving a record number of nominations from staff and residents in the TLC Nursing Home in Maynooth where she lives, as well as from family and friends across Britain and Ireland. Carolan Lennon, Managing Director of open eir, said: “With our own fibre rollout programme, we are on a mission to connect communities all across Ireland. When you see the inspiring work that Doreen and all the open eir Silver Surfers are doing online – whether it’s running a business, discovering a new hobby or staying in touch with family and friends – it really demonstrates the power of being online and the positive difference online access can make to everyday life”. eir has a long history of community support in Ireland. It has worked with Special Olympics Ireland for 32 years – the longest partnership of its kind in the country. Over the past year it has worked with 22 not-forprofit organisations across a range of social issues, including homelessness, employment and educational supports in disadvantaged areas. “We are committed to a CSR strategy which is aligned with our business objectives ensuring that we are acting as a responsible and sustainable business. We have a presence in every community in Ireland and we want to support those communities in any way we can. The eir Fund allows us to do that in a meaningful and tangible way,” says Michelle Toner, Head of CSR at eir. Applications for the eir Fund can be made through InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Linking the Port to the People Charlie Murphy, Communications Manager at Dublin Port Company, discusses the company’s commitment to CSR practices and the impact it has on the local community.


orporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) is at the heart of the work of Dublin Port Company. The company that manages, controls and operates the Port of Dublin, recognises the need for strategies that contribute to sustainable economic and social development throughout Dublin city. Charlie Murphy, Communications Manager at Dublin Port Company, explains that there are three core pillars to the company’s CSR programme – education, sports and community. In terms of education, the company offers a scholarship programme that provides financial support for students in their third level educational choices. There

are currently 105 students taking part in the scholarship programme, with interviews for the next batch of scholars set to take place in September. According to Murphy, Dublin Port Company supports local schools, with a number of schemes currently at play. “We do an awful lot with the local schools,” he explains. “We fitted out two of the local schools here with interactive whiteboards, and in one local school we’ve given the first year students iPads. It’s all e-books now, rather than carrying books around on your back. “In sport we support the local rowing clubs, the yacht club, Clanna Gael Fontenoy, which is a Gaelic club on the south side of Dublin, and a

Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly with Sheelagh Broderick from Bantry, one of the new artists commissioned to create public artworks for Dublin Port’s 2017 arts commissioning series Port Perspectives. Selected from over 100 submissions, members of the public can look forward to seeing the artists’ works unfold at Dublin Port over the summer months

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range of other programmes. Under community, we do a lot with drugs projects, local community groups, summer projects – things like that.” Dublin Port’s commitment to CSR extends to other programmes too. Port Perspectives, for example, is a commission, launched towards the end of 2016 and running throughout 2017, which seeks to create a series of original and innovative public artworks and installations which respond specifically to the built environment, local areas, history and context of Dublin Port. The project is aimed at strengthening the bond between Dublin Port and Dublin city. One per cent of Dublin Port Company’s pre-tax profits go towards its CSR programmes, and Murphy is delighted to see the impact it has on the local community. “Last year and this year, we took on Aware: Depression Support as a sponsor, and we were involved with the Harbour 2 Harbour Walk, which was on St. Patrick’s Day,” he says. The Harbour 2 Harbour Walk is a 26km walk from Howth to Dún Laoghaire or from Dún Laoghaire to Howth, which raises funds for Aware’s nationwide depression support, education and information services. “There were 2,000 people going on that walk this year, and they all paid a25 each, to take part in the walk. So it’s a big fundraising event for Aware, but it also links the port to people.” Through its CSR strategy, Dublin Port Company continues to build on the strong and historic relationships it has with the city and its local communities, to the benefit of both the company itself and the community that surrounds its. As Murphy says, “It’s being a good neighbour and it helps the business to grow.”


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Great People GREAT PROJECTS RPS is one of Ireland’s leading multidisciplinary consultancies providing services in Planning, Engineering, Environment, Communications and Project Management. RPS delivers strategic and sustainable policies and projects. We plan, design, develop and manage projects for public and private sector clients. We have been responsible for managing some of the largest infrastructural projects on the island and delivering within time and budget constraints. We employ over 5,000 staff in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Australia and South East Asia and deliver services across a broad range of disciplines and sectors. Designing innovative solutions for port and energy clients, our maritime engineers work closely with harbour authorities on a range of related schemes by masterplanning, delivering, and maintaining bespoke, costeffective port/multi-modal transport facilities. Our specialised maritime team has significant experience in the successful delivery of large port, harbour and maritime projects in the UK and Ireland and are well placed to provide a one-stop-shop service to port and energy clients.

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PORT Sustained high levels of growth and the commencement of a number of major infrastructure projects have prompted a review of Dublin Port’s Masterplan 2012-2040. It seemed like a good time for InBUSINESS to check in with the Dublin Port Company, which controls, manages and operates Ireland’s premier port.


ocated in the heart of Dublin city, with prime access to the national road and rail network, Dublin Port is a key strategic access point for Ireland. When we consider that 20.7 million tonnes of imports and 14.2 million tonnes of exports passed through the port in 2016, it is clear to see just how significant the port is for the Irish economy. These figures represent just under 50 per cent of all trade in the Republic of Ireland. Trade volumes at the port increased in 2016 by 6.3 per cent, something that Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, believes is a good bellweather for the wider economy. “Increased trade through Dublin Port in recent years is a sign of the strength of the nationwide recovery which was initially strongly export driven,” he says. “Vital infrastructure improvements such as the Port Tunnel and the motorway network across Ireland have increased access to and from Dublin Port which helps extend the benefits of this crucial part of our national trading and tourism infrastructure to every region of Ireland.” In order to keep the trends moving in a positive trajectory, Dublin Port Company has prepared a InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Masterplan to guide the development of Dublin Port in the period from 2012 to 2040. The Masterplan presents a vision for future operations at the port and critically examines how the existing land use at Dublin Port can be optimised for merchandise trade purposes. It also outlines how the company can work to better integrate the port with the city and its people. Earlier this year, the Dublin Port Company announced that sustained high levels of growth, the commencement of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project and other major port infrastructure projects at national, regional and local level necessitated a review of the Masterplan. International developments including Brexit and the possible introduction of customs and other security controls in Dublin Port are other factors that led to the review, the results of which will be published this summer. Over the following pages, we take a look at some of the statistics that have emerged from the port in recent years and we speak with Dublin Port Company chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly about the development works taking place there, the threat of Brexit and the progress being made under the port’s Masterplan.


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Dublin Port MATTERS InBUSINESS spoke with Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, to get an insight into how works are progressing under the Masterplan, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Dublin Port. Q: Could you tell us about the latest redevelopment works within Dublin Port and how they are progressing?

A: We have commenced work on a range of projects as part of a ten year a600 million capital investment programme. There are three main elements to this programme. Firstly, there is the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project. Secondly, there

is the development of Dublin Inland Port at a 44-hectare site beside Dublin Airport only 14km from Dublin Port. Thirdly, there is a project to redevelop the port’s internal road, pedestrian and cycle networks including the construction of a new 4km cycle and pedestrian greenway along the northern perimeter of the port overlooking the Tolka Estuary.

Q: Could you tell us about the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project and its key objectives?

A: The ABR Project is the largest single project in the long history of Dublin Port and it comprises the building and rebuilding of 3,000m of quay walls. As part of the project we will also deepen the port’s channel from -7.8m to -10.0m. Work on quay wall construction has commenced and

Dublin Airport has the connectivity and Dublin Port has the plan to build the berths. What is needed in the interim is the building of large hotels (600 beds) to provide accommodation for cruise passengers.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company

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the capital dredging programme to deepen the port will start in October this year and be completed by March 2022. We believe that this will be the final deepening of Dublin Port and it will have taken 227 years to reach this level since the Great South Wall was completed in 1795. The most visible part of the ABR Project will be the redeveloped North Wall Quay Extension extending eastwards from the Tom Clarke Bridge. This will provide deepened berths capable of accommodating the largest cruise ships in the world, two at a time.

Q: How important is the cruise industry to Dublin and the wider economy?

A: The cruise business started in Dublin in earnest a little over a decade ago and has been accommodated on berths that are mainly used for cargo ships. It has grown steadily and, this year, we expect around 130 cruise calls to Dublin. We are also seeing tremendous interest from cruise lines in using Dublin as a starting and finishing point for cruise ships. The scale of growth means that the cruise business is now a valuable revenue generator for Dublin Port Company. However, the greatest benefits from cruise go to the tourism and retail sectors. A 2014 study in Barcelona estimated the economic impact of 2.5 million cruise passengers to be a796m from which the contribution to Catalonia’s GDP was a413m. We estimate that the number InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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of cruise visitors to Dublin could increase to about 600,000 by 2040. Based on Barcelona’s 2014 estimates, this could contribute a100m to the local economy. Dublin Airport has the connectivity and Dublin Port has the plan to build the berths. What is needed in the interim is the building of large hotels (600 beds) to provide accommodation for cruise passengers. In Barcelona, 23.9 per cent of cruise visitors spend an average of 2.6 nights in hotels. If these figures translated into Dublin, this could mean 370,000 hotel bed nights from cruise passengers by 2040.

Q: Could you tell us about Dublin Inland Port?

A: Dublin Port tried for 31 years from 1979 to 2010 to expand by way of a controversial 21 hectare infill project which was ultimately rejected by An Bord Pleanála. With growth

continuing, we have no option now but to maximise every square metre of port land both on the north side of the port and on the Poolbeg Peninsula. Much of the port’s lands are used for activities which, while port-related, are non-core to the central business of loading and

Q: What was the volume of goods and tourists that passed through Dublin Port in 2016?

A: Dublin Port’s volumes are a tremendous barometer for what is happening in the economy and the main characteristic we see is that annual volumes grow at a large

On the tourist side, Dublin Port is bigger than Shannon Airport and not too far behind Cork Airport in terms of passenger numbers. discharging cargo ships. Non-core activities include the long-term storage of empty containers and yards, workshops and offices for haulage companies. During 2016 we bought 44 hectares of land beside Dublin Airport which we have started to develop as Dublin Inland Port to accommodate the non-core activities we need to relocate.

and sustained compound rate. For example, in the 30 years from 1950 to 1980, average annual growth was 3.2 per cent. In the next 30 years to 2010, this rose to 4.7 per cent. Having come through the recession, volume began to grow again in 2013 and in the four years to end 2016, cargo throughput increased by an incredible 25 per cent. While we don’t see


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this rate of growth continuing, we do foresee that the pattern of annual compounding growth evident in decades past will continue for years to come. On the tourist side, Dublin Port is bigger than Shannon Airport and not too far behind Cork Airport in terms of passenger numbers. Last year we had two million passengers including 1.8 million on ferries.

Q: Could you tell us about the first review of the Dublin Port Masterplan?

A: Having received planning permission for the ABR Project, we now have clarity on about one-third of the development envisaged in our Masterplan. Moreover, following on from the commencement of our development of Dublin Inland Port, we have created new options to provide additional capacity. Taking these together and looking at our return to high levels of annual growth, we launched a first review of the Masterplan 2012 to 2040 in January this year. We have completed a public consultation which attracted more than 60 thoughtful and detailed submissions in response to our revised ideas of how we would develop in the future. These ideas include: an increase in our growth planning assumption from 2.5 per cent per year to 3.3 per cent; the more intensive use of our lands as a result of the development of Dublin Inland Port; development InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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of our lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula to create more capacity; and, importantly, confirmation that we would not have to return to a controversial infill project to provide the port capacity needed for our projected growth to 2040. We are planning to publish our reviewed Masterplan in the summer and, based on this, to bring a second large Strategic Infrastructure Development project forward to An Bord Pleanála within the next two years.

Q: How is Brexit expected to impact business and what measures is Dublin Port Company taking to navigate any knock-oneffect?

A: Given that there are two years for the economy to absorb and adapt to the negative impacts of Brexit, we do not believe that there will be any very serious impact on the business of Dublin Port Company; certainly nothing like we saw following the economic collapse in 2008. However, there will be challenges from the reintroduction of customs controls. When these were removed in the early 1990s, the number of freight vehicles on ferries to Britain was about 100,000. Last year, the equivalent figure was over 800,000. To put the possible impact into context, if we had to provide a large yard to take all of the freight vehicles arriving every morning into Dublin on ferries from Holyhead prior to them being checked by Customs, this yard

would be the size of three football fields. However, I am confident having met the Customs officials faced with the challenge of re-implementing border checks that the impact will be nowhere as severe.

Q: How are the port’s growth projections for 2017?

A: Last year we grew by 6.3 per cent. This year we are budgeting for growth of 5 per cent. So far, in the first quarter, we have seen growth of 4.2 per cent. With unemployment continuing to fall and the economy continuing to grow, I think we will end

Bottle site was bought for a comparatively modest a17m per acre. We have turned in recent years to the arts and to try to rebuild the connection between Dublin Port and Dublin city and to increase the appreciation of the port in all its aspects. On the infrastructure side, this has resulted in the Diving Bell on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and, by September this year we will have redeveloped the area around Port Centre on East Wall Road to create a new and welcoming maritime garden with spectacular industrial heritage installations.

During the boom years, we saw mad ideas about selling the lands of Dublin Port for a25bn and moving all of the operations and activities to a new port north of Dublin. 2017 in or around our budgeted increase of 5 per cent for the full year. Given the scale of the challenge to develop port capacity for the future, a lower rather than higher growth rate is no bad thing for us.

Q: Any other news or plans you can share with InBUSINESS at this time?

A: I think that the biggest single challenge we face in Dublin Port is to ensure that the importance of the port is well understood. During the boom years, we saw mad ideas about selling the lands of Dublin Port for a25bn and moving all of the operations and activities to a new port north of Dublin. This suggested price is equivalent to a39m per acre. The Irish Glass

On the softer side, we commissioned the Starboard Home song cycle last year with the National Concert Hall. This year we are running our Port Perspectives visual arts project which includes an exhibition of the works of the Antwerp port artist Eugeen Van Mieghem in the Hugh Lane Gallery (until June 11th); the commissioning of new works by three artists; a huge programme with local communities and schools to produce works about the port and the city and the connection between them. Finally, we are also very proud to support Jesse Jones’ Tremble Tremble installation representing Ireland at the Venice Art Biennale 2017.


20/04/2017 12:24

Providing a wide range of maritime engineering solutions to Dublin Port Company on the extensive Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Plan

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20/04/2017 10:17


Dublin Port’s volumes are now


13% higher than they were at the peak of the boom in 2017




0.9% +8.1% 663,732 1.8M TEU


In 2016 6.1%

Lo-lo grew at



InBUSINESS looks at some of the stats to emerge from the Masterplan Review 2017.




Ro-ro grew by

Trade volumes grew by



34.9m tonnes

7.6% +6.7% 104,185 to 944,531 units


New trade vehicles increased by +2.0% to

In 2012 the Masterplan originally assumed an average annual growth of

In 2017 the Masterplan now assumes a higher average annual growth rate of

2.5% 3.3%

over the 30 years to 2040 InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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over the 30 years to 2040 91

20/04/2017 12:26

• Site Investigation Scoping • Geotechnical • Interpretation and Ground Modelling • Ground Risk Management • Foundation Design • Infrastructure & Earthworks Design • Dewatering design & temporary works solutions • Coastal, Retaining walls and Marine Engineering Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions (GDG) are a specialist geotechnical engineering consultancy providing innovative solutions to the most challenging engineering problems in the civil and structural sectors. GDG focuses on offering efficient designs and value engineering alternatives to the Irish, UK and International markets. We have a highly technical team that optimise civil engineering designs, while at the same time mitigating ground risk. GDG are particularly strong in the areas of deep excavations, renewable energy, heavy civil construction, transport infrastructure, marine engineering and offshore design.


Dublin: +353 1 207 1000 Email: Web: Unit A2, Nutgrove Office Park Rathfarnham Dublin 14

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Security Systems: Our security services are supported by the most advanced technology and equipment on the market, including CCTV, intruder alarms, detection systems, access controls, x-ray facilities, and tagging and tracking systems.

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Monitoring: All of our alarms are monitored 24/7 at our state-of-the-art Alarm Monitoring Centre. Our professionally trained staff investigate every received alarm and respond appropriately.

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20/04/2017 10:30


“Dublin Port is of significant importance to the wider Irish economy. This was evident as we saw the Irish economy strengthen in recent years while Dublin Port’s volumes increased by 25 per cent in the last four years. Our company, like other companies operating in the port, has benefited from this increase in volumes. This year-on-year volume increase of approximately 6 per cent created more jobs within the economy for the companies operating within Dublin Port, which in turn has a positive effect on the overall performance of the Irish economy.” Michael Holmes, Managing Director, Reefer Tech IRL Ltd.

Talk of the “RPS was commissioned by Dublin Port Company to develop and deliver the 230 million Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project – the largest port related infrastructure project in the history of the Irish state – through the feasibility and planning stage. RPS is delighted to have recently secured a further six year environmental monitoring contract from Dublin Port Company thereby maintaining RPS’s involvement in the ABR Project throughout the construction phase.” Dr Alan Barr, Technical Director, RPS

“Vital to Dublin Port’s position as Ireland’s premier port is the port’s infrastructure and facilities. As international engineering consultants with a strong national presence, ByrneLooby’s Marine Division is assisting Dublin Port with the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment plan. The redevelopment works are both technically and procedurally challenging. ByrneLooby relishes such a challenge and is proud to be working with Dublin Port on such an exciting project.” Adam Cronin, Director of Marine at Cronin Millar, a ByrneLooby company

Port InBUSINESS hears from a number of businesspeople on what Dublin Port means to their organisation, the city and the wider economy.

“Having seen growth of 25 per cent in the four years to last December, 2017 has started strongly with growth of 4.2 per cent in the first quarter. Growth at this level was the norm over decades before the economic crash after 2007. What we are seeing in Dublin Port’s volumes is entirely consistent with the strong recovery evident in the domestic economy in recent years.” Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, commenting on Dublin Port’s trade statistics for the first quarter of 2017.

“Increased trade through Dublin Port in recent years is a sign of the strength of the nationwide recovery which was initially strongly export driven. Vital infrastructure improvements such as the Port Tunnel and the motorway network across Ireland have increased access to and from Dublin Port which helps extend the benefits of this crucial part of our national trading and tourism infrastructure to every region of Ireland.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland


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20/04/2017 12:25





We believe clients get better commercial outcomes when their lawyers work alongside them, rather than a step removed. We work hard to understand our clients’ goals and priorities because we believe the best advice and solutions come from knowing what really drives a business. This hands on, pragmatic approach allows us to see and deliver solutions quickly. Side by side with our clients, we achieve more.

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10/04/2017 10:16:11 20/04/2017 10:19


Advising the Port Beauchamps is one of Ireland’s top full service corporate law firms. InBUSINESS speaks to Maitiú Ó Dónaill, Partner, Commercial Property, to discuss the firm and its advisory work with Dublin Port.


s one of Ireland’s top corporate law firms, Beauchamps provides top quality legal advice and solutions to many high profile clients. One such client is Dublin Port Company (DPC). “We advise Dublin Port Company on a range of legal issues,” explains Maitiú Ó Dónaill, Partner, Commercial Property at Beauchamps. “A key ongoing project involves a detailed review of DPC’s title to all its land in the port – one of the largest and most strategically and commercially important land banks in the state. We also assisted DPC in the recent purchase of extensive external lands adjacent to Dublin Airport for the development of a new External Port Logistics Zone.”

Beauchamps is advising Dublin Port Company as it continues with the implementation of its Masterplan – which is essentially a guide to the development of Dublin Port in the period from 2012 to 2040. The Masterplan presents a vision for future operations at the port and critically examines how the existing land at Dublin Port can be optimised for merchandise trade purposes. It also examines land utilisation in the area and suggests some options for future development which will facilitate the port handling 60 million tonnes of goods by 2040.

We hope to continue to work closely with DPC in advising on issues that arise in its day-today operations and as it implements the Masterplan. “DPC is in the process of implementing a major Masterplan for the development of Dublin Port, covering the period from now to 2040. As it moves towards the implementation of that plan, a range of legal issues arise,” says Ó Dónaill. Beauchamps will advise Dublin Port Company throughout the Masterplan process, and will seek to solve the potential legal issues that may arise along the way. Beauchamps and Dublin Port Company have been working together since 2013, a relationship both parties hope to build on in the future. “We

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Maitiú Ó Dónaill, Partner, Commercial Property at Beauchamps

hope to continue to work closely with DPC in advising on issues that arise in its day-to-day operations and as it implements the Masterplan, where a range of legal issues arise on an ongoing basis,” says Ó Dónaill. Dublin Port is of critical importance to Dublin and the Irish economy as a whole, and legal counsel of the highest standards is an absolute must to ensure its future success. Ó Dónaill and Beauchamps recognise the significance of the port, and plan to work tirelessly to play a role in its future growth. “Dublin Port has always played a pivotal role in ensuring Dublin and the wider economy in Ireland continues to prosper,” he says. “The port has experienced particular growth in recent years and supports a high level of employment in Dublin, while remaining a central part of the community.”


20/04/2017 11:13


ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE DBFL has been successfully making designs a reality for 30 years now.


BFL Consulting Engineers is one of Ireland’s leading civil, structural and transportation engineering consultancies, combining commercial understanding with innovative engineering solutions. For 30 years, DBFL has been successfully making designs a reality across infrastructure, marine, airports, commercial, institutional, educational, industrial and transportation sectors. We have built our reputation by providing a high level of personal service to both public and private clients in each of our three disciplines across Ireland, UK and Europe.

At Dublin Port, DBFL, as part of the Programme Management Office (PMO) team, provided full civil/structural services and PSDP on the delivery of four NR multifunction storage yards including the installation of 150,000 sq m of high strength concrete pavements, securing fencing/boundary stabilisation, contamination removal strategies, surface water drainage systems including storm mitigation measures and HML/ general services. Works also included the demolition of five large former industrial units and recycling of materials from same. A number of these buildings had asbestos materials removed from them and, in the case of the Storecon Yard, had demolition works adjacent to and within

the Topaz fuel facility. Works also included the design and installation of reefer container storage structures. Yards were strategically designed to facilitate future ABR projects and included both Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo facilities. Additionally, DBFL has provided full civil/structural services as part of the refurbishment of Coal Quay Multi Function Berth including pavement replacement, quay wall upgrades, and services works such as cement/molasses lines and traps and containment areas. DBFL is also acting as technical advisor with Roadbridge/LM Keating JV on the delivery of the Cross Berth Quay Berth 26/27, Berth 28 and Berths 31/32. These new deep water berthing facilities form part of the overall ABR Project.

Contact Us: Dan Reilly, Director E:



Bill Bates, Director E:


DBFL Consulting Engineers_IB Partner Profile.indd 96




Registered Office:


Ormond House, Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7 Tel: 01 4004000

Unit 2, The Chandlery, 1-2 O’Connell Street, Waterford Tel: 051 309500




20/04/2017 11:04



KNOWLEDGE Exporting makes a significant contribution to the Irish economy, and though Brexit casts some uncertainty over the future of Irish exports, key figures in the industry remain positive.


reland’s exporting sector is undoubtedly one of the country’s greatest strengths and it has played a major role in our economic recovery. Exporters continue to lead the way in helping to make Ireland one of the fastest growing economies in the world by reducing unemployment, creating jobs, and reducing our national debt. Britain is of course a significant trading partner to Ireland, and its exit from the EU will indeed have an impact on Irish exports. However, from a Government policy perspective to individual company strategies, Ireland is and will continue to be a place that embraces trade with countries from all over world and while we will continue to have a strong trading partnership with the UK, it will

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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certainly not be our only one. In the following pages, InBUSINESS meets Shirley McCay, Director of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy, and Liam O’Sullivan, Director of Mails Operations at An Post to get their views on the industry and the threat of Brexit. Both McCay and O’Sullivan approach Brexit in a calm manner, not necessarily subscribing to the forecasts of doom that many have adopted in the wake of the referendum result. This positive outlook reminds us that Ireland’s trade and export performance is not reliant on one source alone and if exporting companies are clever in navigating the challenges of Brexit, they can help ensure that the stellar performance of the exporting sector of recent years will continue for some time yet.


19/04/2017 15:51

AnPost_PostLogistics_From ParisToPortlaoise_A4.pdf




From Portlaoise to Paris. Freight forwarding made simple. C








Post Logistics from An Post is a high-quality, standardised, freight forwarding and groupage service for SMEs looking to export pallets to the UK and Europe. Visit to find out more.

Terms and conditions apply. 241917_1C_Post Logistic_Chambers 10.01.indd 1

20/04/2017 10:21



LOGISTICS InBUSINESS speaks with Liam O’Sullivan, Director of Mails Operations, An Post, about the new Post Logistics service and how it is helping small exporting businesses.

not just a slogan, we are serious about creating new business and pushing ourselves to do more.

Q: How has business been Q: Could you tell us about

Q: What kind of solutions

since the initial launch?

Post Logistics and how it came about?

does Post Logistics offer?

A: Any start-up is a

A: An Post’s ambition is to

challenge and no less so for a company like An Post. But we’ve gotten off to a solid start and it is building nicely. We focused on getting the product offering right, did our research and then made sure we had the nuts and bolts in place. We have already shipped from many counties in Ireland to countries across Europe including UK, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Finland, France and the Czech Republic.

A: Post Logistics is a high-quality, reliable, standardised freightforwarding and groupage service for SMEs exporting to the UK and Europe. We have put together an innovative new service for exporters based on reliability, simplicity, speed and value. Basically, we are leveraging our national network and fleet expertise to target new business opportunities in freight forwarding.

just do more business, an ambition that has seen us launch a number of new services for customers in recent months. We’ve had success with Addresspal and our home DeliveryBox and there was an ambition to push into new areas of business. Then came the realisation that An Post’s existing network and logistics capacity could be utilised to ‘do more’ in the words of our well known catchphrase. It’s

Q: How do you view the impact of Brexit for small exporting companies and how is Post Logistics addressing the issue?

A: Certainly Brexit was not

Liam O’Sullivan, Director of Mails Operations, An Post

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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part of our thinking when we started putting our Post Logistics business together. The words ‘uncertainty’ and ‘insecurity’ are the twin evils that now accompany any talk of Brexit. Post Logistics counters that with ‘certainty’ and ‘security’. We can provide a measure of comfort to our customers when they make decisions about getting their goods to market in both the UK and Europe.

Q: How important is the An Post brand when rolling out a new service like this?

A: Crucial. We are a trusted national brand. People trust us to handle their mail and online shopping through our mails network and their everyday business through our post offices. Now we are putting that level of expertise at the service of our SMEs as they do business abroad. Q: What can we expect from Post Logistics in the months ahead?

A: It has been quite a journey so far. We have brought Post Logistics from a hunch to a fullyfledged business and we are up and running. Our plan is that 2017 will be the year when Post Logistics becomes firmly established as a key option for Irish SMEs seeking to ship their goods abroad. I keep telling prospective customers to not just listen to me. Have a look at our service offering at and see for yourself how our commitment to reliability, simplicity, speed and value matches your needs. We are proud of the competitive pricing based on Eircodes, the quality of the service, and how our people have responded to the challenge of the new business. 99

20/04/2017 11:08


Looking for innovative products or services? Contact UK Dept for International Trade, Dublin at Tyne Bridge Newcastle upon Tyne

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20/04/2017 10:21



TO BREXIT There have been doubts cast over the future of trade between Ireland and Britain following the British referendum last year, but Shirley McCay, Director of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy, is confident that the trading relationship between the two countries will continue to flourish.


he UK’s shock decision to withdraw from the European Union has meant that the future trading relationship between Ireland and the UK faces new challenges. It remains unclear as to the precise impact that Brexit will have on trade between the two nations, but the strong cultural links and geographical proximity between Ireland and Britain are factors that cannot be ignored. Shirley McCay, Director of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy, believes these links will prove decisive in the years ahead. “I appreciate that there is some concern about the potential negative aspects of Brexit,” she says. “However, I believe that trading will continue to grow and develop. We are already very closely linked across our key sectors of food and drink, construction/ engineering, life sciences/pharma and professional services, as well as in our business operating environment and in our cultures. I believe the flourishing private sector in Ireland will largely find solutions to continue and expand trade irrespective of the outcome of Brexit.” McCay is part of the Irish team for the new Department for International Trade (DIT), which in July 2016 replaced UK Trade & Investment – a ‘daughter’ of the Foreign Office and of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. “We help Irish firms source suppliers of goods and services in the UK, so that they can take advantage of their innovation, expertise and cost competitiveness,” InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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McCay explains. “We help Irish firms set up operations and expand in the UK.” The UK is currently the world’s fifth largest economy and has a population of 64 million. It has represented a huge opportunity for Irish firms over the years, and although the manner in which its potential is utilised is expected to change, Shirley McCay, Director of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy McCay believes that both nations can “First of all,” points out McCay, capitalise upon Brexit. “there is still at least two years to “In the short term, Irish firms will go before the UK is not part of the find UK suppliers more competitive EU; we’re still part of the EU, so because of exchange rates,” she it’s important to start now if you’re suggests. “Some UK companies are not trading already and continue looking to set up Irish operations as a trading and expanding.” result of Brexit, so there are wins on She advises Irish firms to get both sides.” in touch with some of the many “The UK will also gain,” she available bodies and sources of continues, “because many Irish advice out there. “We’re very companies are considering that, impressed by the support that rather than just selling from Ireland to Enterprise Ireland offers,” she says. the UK, they should actually be based “Also the British Irish Chamber and set up in the UK. So we will have of Commerce and the British Irish some new investors in the UK as a Trading Alliance are great sources result of Brexit.” of advice and support. Then, of It would be naive not to course, our own service here at acknowledge the uncertainties of the DIT team in Ireland. We’re future trade between Ireland and happy to offer advice on any initial the UK, but with careful planning, questions.” potential obstacles can be overcome.


20/04/2017 11:14



of the Ocean InBUSINESS spoke with Minister for the Marine Michael Creed about the importance and value of the marine sector to Ireland’s wider economy.

Q: How would you say Ireland’s attitude towards the marine sector has changed in recent years?

A: There is a greater Q: How has progress been on the Government’s strategy Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth?

A: Ireland’s marine sector is now becoming a vibrant part of our national economy and this transformation has been brought about by the commitment and hard work of a range of agencies and individuals involved in the marine sector. In the Programme for a Partnership Government 2016, this Government recognises the great national resource that Ireland has in the sea that surrounds the island. Encouraging the continued development and potential of Ireland’s ‘blue economy’ is a priority for the Government. Building on the success of recent years, we will continue to implement Harnessing our Ocean Wealth that aims to double the value of the blue economy by 2020 and deliver 29,000 additional jobs across the various maritime sectors. Q: What have been the best performing sectors within the ocean economy?

A: According to the most recent research published by the Socio-Economic Marine


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Research Unit (SEMRU), the established marine industries in 2012 had a turnover of a3.96 billion and provided employment to 16,271 Full Time Equivalents representing 95 per cent of the total turnover and 93 per cent of total employment in Ireland’s ocean economy. This sector includes shipping and maritime transport, marine tourism and leisure, international cruise, sea fisheries, marine aquaculture, seafood processing, oil and gas exploration and production, marine manufacturing and marine retail services. The emerging marine industries in 2012 had a turnover of a215 million and provided employment to 1,154 Full Time Equivalents representing 5 per cent of the turnover and 7 per cent of employment in Ireland’s ocean economy. Emerging industries refer to those that are still at a relatively early stage of development or growth, and are primarily research and development intensive and/or use the latest cutting edge technology in their pursuit of economic growth.

awareness among the public of the importance and value of the marine sector. This was one of the goals of the Government’s strategy – Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth. One way the State has been supporting this is through SeaFest – Ireland’s National Maritime Festival. Now in its third year, SeaFest incorporates a series of marine-related business and research events, the annual Ocean Wealth Summit, as well as a maritime festival running over the weekend. There is a growing appreciation of the value of the marine sector in terms of the amount of research and development which is being undertaken and also the commercial opportunities which are being pursued to sustainably use this valuable resource.

Q: What are the major challenges facing the sector?

A: An ongoing overarching challenge we have been working on includes harnessing and improving the collective national consciousness of our marine asset, leading Ireland to achieve a place as a leading maritime society and meet the ambitious economic targets set out in Ireland’s

Integrated Marine Plan. It is vital we look also at the wealth of non-market services our diverse marine environments provide. With the increased demand for marine space, we need to manage our resources in an integrated ecosystembased approach. As stated in Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, our ocean wealth will be a key element of our economic recovery and sustainable growth, generating benefits for all our citizens, supported by coherent policy, planning and regulation and managed in an integrated manner.

Q: What are the key market opportunities that the Government has identified?

A: To turn the challenge of harnessing our economic potential in a sustainable integrated way, we recently launched a dedicated Marine Development Team to operationalise the business development and enterprise ambitions of Ireland’s integrated Marine Plan. The team has dedicated resources to work with all the relevant agencies and organisations to support the implementation of a strategic framework for delivery that will strengthen established marine sectors and ‘marinise’ sectors outside the marine where Ireland has existing strengths such as ICT, life sciences and commerce. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

20/04/2017 11:15


This Marine Development Team will act as a hub to provide information to and from our national development and marine agencies to ensure that business projects with a marine focus receive the best supports possible. Existing development agencies such as Bord Bia and BIM are already working with the seafood sector to reach the targets set out in Food Wise 2025. We have also have identified market opportunities such as ocean energy, as set out in Ireland’s Offshore renewable Energy Development Plan.

Q: How is Brexit expected to impact the industry here? Will it offer any opportunities?

A: I am acutely aware of the challenges that arise for the seafood sector as a result of the Brexit vote. At this stage it is impossible to say with certainty what effect Brexit will have on the Irish fishing industry. We don’t know yet what changes the UK may seek to the current arrangements. What we do know is that there is a strong desire and expectation from parts of the UK fishing industry for a hard Brexit on fish – a ‘pulling up the drawbridge’ – to ensure that non-UK fishermen will no longer have access to the UK zone and that all fish in that zone. In theory, the UK could indeed restrict access to its waters and/or seek to gain larger quota shares at the expense of others. However, that could only happen if the UK was content to ignore the potential repercussions that would certainly arise from the EU side. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed

There is a growing appreciation of the value of the marine sector in terms of the amount of research and development which is being undertaken and also the commercial opportunities which are being pursued to sustainably use this valuable resource.

In a worst case scenario, an extreme ‘hard Brexit’ outcome would be a fundamental threat to the wellbeing of the seafood sector. On average, 36 per cent of the Irish landings are currently taken from UK waters. However, for some of our most important stocks the figures are even higher. Limitations on access and, more worryingly, any attempt by the UK

to increase its current quota share at the expense of Ireland and others must, and will be, resisted strenuously. I will remain in close contact with fisheries stakeholders as the issues develop and work with them and my fellow fisheries Ministers in the EU to ensure that we are all fully prepared for what are likely to be extremely complex negotiations.


20/04/2017 11:15


Shining A Light on our MARINE RESOURCES BIM, Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, is excited for the future as it looks ahead to its industry conference on June 29th that will kickstart the annual SeaFest 2017 event in Galway.


erhaps unusually for an island nation, Ireland does not always appreciate the true value of its marine resources. SeaFest is a great opportunity to shine a light on the importance of the marine and Irish seafood sector and its potential for significant growth in the years ahead. There is no disputing the ever increasing popularity of seafood. The global demand for high quality protein, particularly on Asian markets, will ensure the positive trends continue into the years ahead. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, world consumption of fish will grow by an average annual consumption of 17kg per person per annum, resulting in a requirement for an extra 40 million tonnes of seafood by 2030. For a small country in a competitive global seafood market, Ireland performed well, with seafood exports in 2016 valued at a557 million and domestic sales at a330m. Irish organic salmon continues to achieve a higher

price than its European competitors at a7.8 per kilo, with total exports of this premium product valued at a71m in 2016. Sustainability has become a critical requirement for accessing higher premium markets and doing business with global food businesses. Ireland’s seafood sector has made considerable progress in this area, with two seafood companies – Island Seafoods and Castletownbere Fisherman’s Co-Operative Society – winning the top ‘Green Business of the Year’ award at the Green Awards in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Working in partnership with Bord Bia’s Origin Green Charter is central to BIM’s sustainability agenda. The agency has aligned all of its environmental management systems and accreditations for aquaculture, fisheries and processing to the Origin Green programme, and these robust standards are a first stage of entry to Origin Green, ensuring the Irish seafood industry is demonstrating

Trawlers at Clogherhead


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high standards in responsible fishing, green processing and environmental management systems. Brexit will continue to be a key focus for the Irish seafood sector in the years ahead. BIM is working in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Bia to prepare for the challenges of Brexit and this will be part of the agency’s overall discussions at its upcoming business conference on June 29th. The conference will also focus on the potential for the industry – which already contributes a1 billion in GDP to the Irish economy and employs over 11,000 people directly and indirectly around the coast. The event will focus on a collective vision for Ireland to become the international leader in high value, differentiated seafood products that satisfy the growing domestic and international demand for healthy, safe, and sustainably sourced seafood. BIM will announce a full programme for the event in due course, with a focus on the agency’s four priorities of skills, sustainability, innovation and competitiveness and its plans to achieve the ambitious targets set for the Irish seafood sector in the Government’s Food Wise 2025 report. BIM will also host its interactive and educational seafood showcase at the SeaFest Family Festival on July 1st and 2nd at the Galway docks. This showcase is designed to inform the public with seafood cookery and fishmongery demonstrations in partnership with Bord Bia, sustainability exhibits, trade stands with Irish seafood producers, life-jacket demonstrations, and interactive games for kids. For more information on SeaFest 2017 and BIM, please visit and InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

20/04/2017 11:07


An Ocean of FESTIVITIES Galway’s SeaFest returns this summer in spectacular fashion.


larger and more spectacular SeaFest is planned for 2017, as the festival expands to include three days of activities and attractions to celebrate the sea in Galway from June 30th to July 2nd 2017. More than 60,000 visitors flocked to the family-friendly event in 2016 and Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, is confident that SeaFest will attract even more visitors this year. “Galway Harbour will be a hub of activity for three days, featuring even more activities for children, aquatic displays, vessel tours, as well as exhibitions and entertainment,” he says. “Ireland’s marine infrastructure and resources will be on show, and visitors will also have the opportunity to celebrate our maritime history and discover more about our oceans. “SeaFest also raises public awareness of the value of our marine resources and the economic benefits our ocean provides,” he adds. According to the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) at NUI Galway, Ireland’s marine economy in fisheries and seafood production, maritime transport, marine tourism, as well as in emerging sectors and research and development has a turnover of 4.5 billion annually, providing over 29,000 direct and indirect jobs. Donal Maguire, Director of Aquaculture Development Services at Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) says that BIM is delighted to be taking part in SeaFest 2017, and hopes to add to the well received ‘Big Top on the Docks’ last year. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Irish naval ship, marine research vessels and the famous tall ship, The Phoenix, on display in Galway Harbour for SeaFest 2016

“Our Big Top will be a wealth of family-friendly and fun information on all things relating to Ireland’s fishing, fish farming and overall seafood sectors, from cookery demonstrations to exciting interactive games and puzzles for the kids,” Maguire says. The Department of Defence will be returning this year with an even bigger display for the festival, including the return of the naval service ship, which was popular with crowds last year. The world-famous tall ship, the Phoenix, will return to Galway Harbour, and visitors will also enjoy tours of Marine Institute vessels the Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager. SeaFest 2017 is being supported by Galway City Council, Galway County Council, NUI Galway, Bord Bia, Port of Galway, Western Development Commission, Galway Chamber, The Village Salthill and Latin Quarter Galway. Dr Peter Heffernan says collaboration with partners is key to the success of the festival. “A unique aspect of SeaFest is the number of local, state and national agencies and organisations that come together to plan this event,” he points out.

As well as the public festivities, the fourth annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit will be held on June 30th 2017 at NUIG. National and international delegates will discuss how Ireland is transforming its marine sector through new thinking to achieve economic prosperity and to protect marine resources for the future. A range of other industry events is lined up for SeaFest 2017. These include Ireland’s Marine Engineering and Technology Conference, Digital Ocean on June 29th, organised by IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Maritime Development Office, the Marine Institute, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation of Ireland. A marine trade show will take place on the grounds of NUIG on June 29th and 30th to run with the Digital Ocean and Our Ocean Wealth Summit events. A marine industry network event, in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, will take place on June 29th. For more information, visit www. and


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BIG SUPPORT for Small Businesses As Ireland’s economy continues to grow and businesses across the country look to the future, Bank of Ireland is committed to providing access to finance among other financial supports. InBUSINESS spoke with Mark Cunningham, Managing Director for Business Banking, to discover more.


mall to medium enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of Ireland’s economy. Through the downturn, they played a vital role in getting the country’s financial situation back on track. Now, in a growing economy, access to finance remains a key priority for many SMEs in developing and expanding a viable business. “The SME sector is a hugely important sector for Ireland, and it is hugely important that it reinvents itself and looks to grow and expand. Business owners and businesses have been through a very rough time, and I do think it’s important that they continue to be supported, and that we work with them to help them grow. I hope that the entrepreneurial spirit and confidence is still there – it’s vital to growing the Irish economy,” explains Mark Cunningham, Managing Director for Business Banking at Bank of Ireland. Throughout the recession, the banks and Irish businesses were often portrayed as being at odds with one another – the accusation of closing avenues to finance was levelled at banking organisations

Business owners and businesses have been through a very rough time, and I do think it’s important that they continue to be supported, and that we work with them to help them grow. 106

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Mark Cunningham, Managing Director for Business Banking, Bank of Ireland

more than once. However, Cunningham argues that this sentiment was often much more pronounced in the media than it was on the ground. Many SMEs faced downsizing measures – reducing

their workforce and restructuring their businesses to get through a turbulent period and, he notes, the banks worked with these customers to help them get back on track. “We tried to ensure that we were InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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open for business at all times, we saw it as an opportunity to increase and deepen our relationships with our clients,” he says. “There will always be people who feel that we should provide them with finance and believe that we don’t want to support them. You might have the best idea in the world but you need equity and you need somebody to invest in your business.” For Bank of Ireland, business customers are among their most valued, and their service offering has and continues to evolve to provide greater choice and flexibility. Results for 2016 released earlier this year have seen the bank’s new business lending grow to a3 billion, rising from a2.7bn the previous year. “We’re providing over 50 per cent of the lending to the business banking sector in Ireland, and we’ll continue to do that as the economy recovers. Our approval rate is between 87 and 88 per cent for small business, and for medium enterprises it rises to between 91 and 92 per cent. Almost nine out of ten people who approach Bank of Ireland seeking funding are getting it,” says Cunningham. “But the core of our services is the management of financial accounts – transactional banking and payments services. That’s at the heart of what SMEs want. In addition, we provide foreign exchange services for about 20,000 customers – both importers and exporters.”

BATTLING BREXIT Given the shifting political landscapes across the globe, particularly Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump in the US, many Irish SMEs are wary of how the business landscape will evolve in the coming months and years. Caution appears to be the name of the game at the moment – Cunningham notes that businesses are paying back debt as soon as possible, holding significant sums of cash on their balance sheets, and increasing credit balances and deposits. “We’ve seen a near a2bn increase in credit balances for business customers, InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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and that is indicative of businesses trading well, businesses having liquidity, and businesses being cautious,” he explains. Brexit in particular has many entrepreneurs worried – a recent survey noted that almost half of Irish SMEs anticipate a drop in turnover this year as a result of Brexit. Enterprise Ireland has warned that Irish companies must be prepared for a hard Brexit, with the organisation recently launching an ‘SME Scorecard’ that will allow Irish companies to selfassess their exposure to Brexit under six key pillars. “Brexit is going to have a very significant impact on businesses. Over 40 per cent of our food and drink exports are heading to Britain... for the SME sector a much higher proportion of their exports are heading to the UK market,” says Cunningham. “The most immediate impact is on the exchange rate, and there are particular sectors that are going to have to adjust to that. Consider the hotel sector which experiences quite a lot of traffic from Northern Ireland and the UK, or the motor sector where we’re seeing large increases in secondhand car imports from the UK. And for the retail/convenience sector, once the exchange rates gets close to 90p, you tend to see people crossing the

border to do their shopping. We’ve seen a 15 to 18 per cent depreciation in the currency thus far – it can wipe out your profits in one fell swoop.” Despite the challenges ahead, Cunningham remains positive about the short and medium term future for Ireland’s SMEs. “I think that the Irish economy is going to grow, and may well even grow at a stronger rate than the forecasts predict. I think that the GNP economy – which is where the bulk of the SMEs operate – should grow significantly this year, and SMEs should benefit,” he says. “GDP is going to fluctuate and vary depending on how the foreign direct investment (FDI) situation plays out, though that isn’t within our control, but I think that the outlook on the horizon is very good for the Irish economy.”

Think Business The result of extensive research among Irish SMEs and powered by Bank of Ireland, is a very useful tool for Irish business owners and managers, providing indepth information on topics ranging from business strategies and finance to sales and marketing and IT.


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A Spoonful OF SUGAR In this series, Bord Gáis Energy shares stories of some of its SME customers and their business successes. In this issue, we feature Mark Murphy from Dublin’s Sugar Club. Q: Who are some of the artists you have supported at the Sugar Club?

A: Notable bands that started out here would be Hozier and The Stripes. People with serious international acclaim have performed here, including Sinead O’Connor, Bucker T Jones and James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem.

Many big artists would fill much larger venues but they just love to perform here. And we love to host them.

Q: Do you work well with other businesses?

lending us glasses, to hiring lighting engineers, sound engineers, DJs. It’s a multi-faceted venue so we work with many different kinds of companies.

Q: Do you feel that there’s good community spirit and helpfulness within the industry?

A: There’s great community spirit in the entertainment industry

A: We work with everybody, whether it’s lending ice to the bar across the road or them

Try to be honest and fair and show consideration in everything you do in your business. Because if you don’t, it will eventually bite you.” because everybody needs a favour. We could be short of something or we might need equipment and another venue may be able to supply. Or a venue like the Concert Hall might be in need of something we could provide. We’re always happy to help out.

Q: Have you received any valuable business tips?

A: Probably the best piece of advice was from my partner Nicky, which is: try to be honest and fair and show consideration in everything you do in your business. Because if you don’t, it will eventually bite you.

Q: And if you were to Mark Murphy, Sugar Club


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A: I would advise them to do one thing really well. And to keep your costs down. It’s hugely important to our business. We rely on the consumption of energy all the time. Whether it’s a live show with bands performing, amplifiers, guitars, DJ equipment, our cinema screen, fridges. We use a lot of light at night so we need to be mindful

give a piece of advice to someone starting out?

of usage. We need to be as cost effective as possible.

Q: How do you find being a customer of Bord Gáis Energy? And when did you switch?

A: We think they’re the best energy provider in Ireland. We switched over to Bord Gáis Energy three years ago when we formed the new partnership. We found it the best service and the best value for money. To find out more about The Sugar Club and the work they do, visit To find out more about the products and services Bord Gáis Energy provides visit or call 1850 211 907. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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An Idyllic Retreat Hunter’s Hotel, Co Wicklow offers a welcome retreat in beautiful surroundings.


unter’s Hotel, located in the heart of Wicklow, is Ireland’s oldest coaching inn. Its picturesque gardens along the banks of the River Vartry provide a delightful setting for a small corporate gathering, delicious lunch, or afternoon tea. Hunter’s Hotel is in an ideal location for small corporate gatherings, located only 60 minutes by car from Dublin and 90 minutes from the ferry at Rosslare. Conference facilities are available for groups of up to 30 people. Meetings are held in The Garden Room, appropriately named as it overlooks the gardens and courtyard, with full access to both. The Drawing Room can also be used for short breaks or for smaller group meetings. When events have concluded for the day, guests can avail of local amenities including the 15 golf courses within a 30-minute drive from the hotel. If golf isn’t your thing, horse riding and hill walking can be arranged. The hotel is also close to many of Wicklow’s most notable tourist attractions. It is situated just five minutes from Mount Usher, one of Ireland’s most celebrated gardens, and is also an ideal base from which to visit Powerscourt, Russborough, Kilruddery and Glendalough.

RICH HISTORY Hunter’s has been operated by the Hunter/Gelletlie family for five generations. The inn had been serving the old coach road to Dublin for many years when John Hunter InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Tulips in the hotel’s knot garden

The dining room

took over the lease around 1825. The hotel passed from generation to generation, and today it is owned and run by brothers Richard and Tom Gelletlie, continuing a stewardship that has lasted nearly 200 years. The leather-bound guest book found in reception dates to 1825, with entries from visitors throughout the years. Dining in Hunter’s is an event not to be missed. The dining room is a vision of crisp linen and mahogany furniture, encompassed in a warm and friendly atmosphere. A small team of dedicated staff ensure that every need is catered for. Expect daily-changing menus of classically informed Irish cooking

Hunter’s Hotel

using local produce and fruits and vegetables from the kitchen garden. Hunter’s has 16 charming bedrooms, most of which overlook the flower filled gardens. The hotel retains its old-world charm with creaking floorboards, polished tile floors, old prints, beams, sofas covered in old fashioned chintz and antique furniture. There is a delightful feeling of another age. As Hunter’s is set in two acres of blooming gardens along the River Vartry, it has been voted one of Ireland’s Top Ten Most Beautiful Hotels by the Good Hotel Guide, 2016. The long-standing tradition of friendliness, hospitality and good food makes Hunter’s Hotel the perfect choice for your next corporate retreat. Hunter’s Hotel is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. For more information see or contact Hunter’s Hotel directly on 0404 40106.


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Escape Mount Juliet Estate offers the chance to experience a relaxing escape and renowned hospitality in a fabulous country house.


ount Juliet Estate is one of Ireland’s finest country houses and County Kilkenny’s most acclaimed country estate. The easily accessible location makes Mount Juliet the ideal destination for a break away or corporate event. Enjoy everything the estate has to offer, including meeting and event facilities, golf on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, a dining experience in the Michelin Star Lady Helen Restaurant, treatments in the luxury spa, lake fishing, woodland walks, and much more. Mount Juliet was designed during the Georgian era, so you’ll find the rooms bright, generously proportioned, and exceedingly luxurious. Each of the 32 individually decorated bedrooms are equipped with the latest technology and conveniences. Mount Juliet Estate is the perfect ambience to focus minds, communicate ideas and achieve business objectives. There is a wide range of meeting and event facilities at Mount Juliet House. The main house has a choice of two rooms; the Caretakers and the Drawing Room, both equipped with AV and wireless technology. Renovations are currently underway in Mount Juliet’s Hunter’s Yard, which will include further conference and banqueting facilities for up to 210 guests. This is due to be completed by the end of 2017. Located just off the M9 motorway, Mount Juliet is only an hour from Dublin and 30 minutes from Waterford. All event spaces can be adapted for


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a wide variety of business and social events, from conferences, private dinners and exclusive hire to product launches and high-profile galas. Dining options include the best of local ingredients; menus feature classics as well as healthy and energy nourishing break options.

RELAXATION When events have concluded for the day, guests can avail of estate activities such as championship golf, equestrian pursuits and archery, which make for ideal team building events or can add an extra feature to your conference or corporate days. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, Mount Juliet golf course first opened in 1991 and has since established itself as a premier venue for top professional and leisure golfers from around the world, recently voted Ireland’s Best Parkland Golf Course. The Mount Juliet Equestrian Centre is one of the most advanced in the country and will guarantee an unbeatable riding experience, whether you’re having a lesson, riding a trail, jumping in the school, or jumping cross country. If you are looking for an extra special

treat, you can dine at the renowned Lady Helen Restaurant. With a Michelin Star and three AA Rosettes, the internationally-themed menu of this superb restaurant consists of dishes made using local ingredients, including many from the kitchen garden, herb garden and farm. The atmosphere of opulence within the Lady Helen Restaurant complements the pastoral views over the pastures to the River Nore, racing its way south to Inistioge. The residents’ bar, known as the Majors Bar, is an ideal spot to spend a restful hour or two, reading the newspaper or enjoying morning coffee, and provides the perfect setting for an after dinner ‘night-cap’. Famed for the welcome and exceptional service every guest receives, Mount Juliet is truly a unique experience. It upholds the traditions and standards from a bygone era and is proud of the hospitality that has brought it international renown. Mount Juliet Estate is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. For more information see www. or contact Mount Juliet directly on 056 777 3000. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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FILLING THE FINANCE GAP Microfinance Ireland provides loans to smaller businesses that struggle to access credit through commerical lenders.


icrofinance Ireland (MFI) is a government funded, not-for-profit lending organisation, established to provide loan finance to both start-up and existing micro-enterprises that are having difficulty in accessing credit through commercial lenders. Businesses that have fewer than ten employees and turnover of less than a2 million annually are eligible to apply. Funding is available through four loan packages, ranging between amounts from a2,000 to a25,000 for a wide variety of purposes including working capital, stock and capital expenditure. Loan terms are available from three to five years. To date, 2,811 jobs have been

supported by MFI through the provision of a17m in approved loans to 1,167 businesses. Figures recently released reveal that a record number of 397 loans totalling a5.4m were approved in 2016, assisting in the creation and sustainment of 990 jobs, which also represents a record number of jobs supported in one year by the company. In July 2016, Microfinance Ireland reduced its interest rate on loans by 1 per cent to a fixed interest rate of 6.8 per cent APR for applications received through Local Enterprise Offices, local development companies and banks. It also has a fixed interest rate of 7.8 per cent APR for applications submitted directly to MFI. MFI, as part of its loan packages, also

Garrett Stokes, MFI Chief Executive, Martin Taylor of Dublin Crystal, Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor and Cyril Forbes, MFI Chairman

offers expert one-to-one mentoring to approved loan applicants through Local Enterprise Offices, increasing the chances of small businesses achieving commercial success, and helping to sustain jobs in the longer term. Further information about Microfinance Ireland loans and mentoring services can be found at


BIG IDEAS? We provide Small Loans for Small Businesses with Big Ideas.

Visit today or talk to your Local Enterprise Office


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Accessing Finance for SMEs The Credit Review Office ensures that viable small and medium-sized enterprises have access to finance in order to grow and develop.


mong its many functions, the Credit Review Office provides an independent appeals process for small and medium-sized businesses, sole traders and farmers that have had credit facilities refused, reduced or withdrawn. It operates a helpline for business borrowers having difficulty getting credit, as well as monitoring bank lending by the pillar banks, including how much new money is being approved. The office considers applications from businesses that have had credit facilities of up to a3 million refused, reduced or withdrawn by AIB, Bank of Ireland, PTSB and Ulster Bank. It also considers refinance applications

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to these banks which occur when a borrower has an existing loan with a bank that has left the Irish market, or has had their loan sold to a hedge fund. In the experience of the Credit Review Office, credit is available for most businesses that can demonstrate current or future viability. Lending decisions are firmly based on cashflow and projections – but banks will seek to reduce risk, so security may still be required. The bank will also be reluctant to take all of the risk, generally wanting to see a cash input from the business itself to part fund the project. The CRO recommends good preparation and documentation

before applying for credit – this will greatly improve the likelihood of a successful outcome. The key message to businesses seeking credit is to be a prepared borrower, aware of the finance and funding options available, with a clear business plan and up-to-date financial information and realistic projections based on clear assumptions. If you’re a borrower who believes that your business is viable but has been refused credit, appeal the decision to the Credit Review Office. It is able to recommend credit be provided to over 50 per cent of businesses that apply. For further details visit

20/04/2017 12:21









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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • ULSTER Arklow library to be renovated, Meath spending programme revealed and jobs announcement for Swords.

Tourism booklet launched in Tralee, Chinese delegation visits Limerick and former Nenagh shopping centre set for revamp.

Castlebar hotel to reopen, Croatian president on Galway visit and plans in place for Mayo Day.

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Donegal tourism on the rise, Monaghan nursing home to be expanded and Castle Saunderson Walking Trail launched.

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Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council was among the successes at this year’s Council & Community Awards.


Investment to help scale up cycling in the Dublin city has been announced

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In Association with

Leitrim Councillor meets with EU Brexit Negotiator


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James Fryar, SmartCharge; Maria Gavin, Enterprise Ireland; Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr; Philip McAleese See.Sense; Mark Bennett, Bike Look and Conor Cahill, Fluidedge





JOBS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR SWORDS Fingal County Council has welcomed the announcement by technology company eShopWorld that the majority of the 250 new high-end jobs it intends to create over the next three years will be based at its new global headquarters in Airside Business Park, Swords. The jobs announcement is part of a a25m investment that eShopWorld will make in people, software development and R&D that will bring total employment at eShopWorld to almost 400 staff by 2019, inclusive of 80 new jobs created in 2016. “This is yet another endorsement of Fingal as a location where companies can grow their operation and create high-end jobs,” said Council CEO Paul Reid.


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a100,000 of innovation procurement funding has been announced by Dublin City Council and Enterprise Ireland to help scale up cycling in the city. Four companies have been awarded a100,000 to develop smart technology solutions to help scale up and improve cycling across the capital.




ARKLOW LIBRARY TO BE RENOVATED Wickow County Council has approved planning for the conversion of the former Arklow Library into seven social housing units. The development will consist of three one-bedroomed and four two bedroomed units. The Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Pat Fitzgerald said: “This is a winwin situation for Arklow as it sees a beautiful period building restored, giving it new life and a home for seven lucky housing applicants.”


MEATH SPENDING PROGRAMME REVEALED Meath County Council has announced a new spending programme worth a281 million. The funding will be put into projects and services around the county over the next three years. The capital investment programme is to spread the spending over the years 2017 to 2020, with a57.2m allocated for this year, peaking at a74.4m in 2018, but with further spends of a73.3m in 2019, and closing the programme with a55.9m in 2020.

WHERE THE CASH WILL BE SPENT Large projects to be tackled by the programme include greenways, environmental protection – where a20.5m is allocated up to 2020 – graveyards, libraries and courthouses.

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TOURISM BOOKLET LAUNCHED IN TRALEE The Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Terry O’Brien has launched a new 52-page tourism information booklet aimed at encouraging people to visit Kerry’s capital town. The booklet features information on local accommodation, hospitality, indoor and outdoor attractions, festivals, events and leisure activities. 10,000 copies of the Tralee booklet have been printed for the coming season and will be mostly distributed outside the county.


28TH – 30TH APRIL RALLY OF THE LAKES Killarney, Co Kerry



Kingdom Greyhound Stadium


The Aqua Dome

28TH – 30TH APRIL FATHER TED FESTIVAL 2017 Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare


Kerry County Museum



CLARE IN BLOOM Tidy Town groups, development associations, community groups and residents associations have been invited to take part in the Clare in Bloom competition 2017. The annual competition is a motivational mechanism for local groups to enhance the visual impact of their settlements by means of flower, tree and shrub planting. Cash prizes for the purpose of furthering projects in the local community will be awarded to category winners at Clare County Council’s awards ceremony in October. Sponsorship is this year being provided by ESB Moneypoint and Roche Ireland, with matching funding from the Council.


PROPOSED REVAMP OF FORMER SHOPPING CENTRE Tipperary County Council has received an application to redevelop the former Nenagh Shopping Centre. The application was made by developer Martin Healy, who plans a a10.5 million revamp of the site to include the demolition of the existing structure and the building of a supermarket, retail units, and a plaza. Healy bought the 12-acre site in 2015. It had been on the market since the centre closed in 2011. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Siamsa Tíre Theatre and Art Centre


Tralee Town Park




CHINESE DELEGATION VISITS LIMERICK A delegation from Limerick’s sister city in Nanjing have visited the city to examine the possibility of crosscontinental investment. Over the last five years, Limerick has developed a strong relationship with the south-west China city. The delegation visited Limerick Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon’s office, who said: “I think there is huge opportunity with the Chinese community. They are looking for opportunities to invest and Limerick is ideal for business, cultural and sporting events.”


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THE FRENCH CONNECTION This year’s Mayo Day will have a special focus on the MayoFrench connection, with the highlight of the weekend set to be a battle reenactment of the Races of Castlebar, where French and Irish forces routed the British forces in 1798.



Events will take place in towns and villages across Co Mayo as part of the third annual Mayo Day celebrations. The unique concept is being driven by Mayo County Council, which seeks to encourage all Mayo businesses to play their part and to become involved with the celebrations. Events will take place from April 28th to 30th.

28TH – 30TH APRIL MAYO DAY 2017 Co Mayo


LEITRIM CLLR MEETS BREXIT NEGOTIATOR Leitrim County Councillor Enda Stenson recently met with the European Commission Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, putting forward the case for special treatment for the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Cllr Stenson is hoping to find a solution to the challenges that Brexit will impose upon both sides of the border. “Coming from a border county in Ireland I can tell you that citizens on both sides are very worried about the impact that the UK leaving the EU will have on their daily lives,” said Cllr Stenson.


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28TH – 30TH APRIL INISHBOFIN ARTS FESTIVAL 2017 Inishbofin, Co Galway


4TH – 6TH MAY MOJOCON Galway city


CROATIAN PRESIDENT’S GALWAY VISIT The President of Croatia was in Galway in early April as part of a three-day state visit. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was welcomed to City Hall with a civic reception headed up by Mayor Noel Larkin and a number of councillors. The President’s native port city of Rijeka will jointly hold the title of European Capital of Culture with Galway in 2020.


CASTLEBAR HOTEL SET TO REOPEN One of Mayo’s best-known establishments, the Welcome Inn Hotel in Castlebar, is taking steps to reopen. An application has been made to the Mayo County Registrar’s Office for a publican’s seven-day licence for the facility, which has been closed since entering voluntary liquidation in February 2016. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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CASTLE SAUNDERSON WALKING TRAIL LAUNCHED Cavan County Council has launched a new walking trail on the border between Cavan and Fermanagh, funded by Fáilte Ireland and Cavan County Council. Commenting on the trail, Joanne Hayes, Tourism Officer at Cavan County Council, said: “We’re delighted to have partnered with Fáilte Ireland to deliver this exciting new addition to the Cavan tourism offering, which will provide overseas visitors with yet another reason to visit the scenic northern frontier of Ireland’s Ancient East.”


28TH APRIL – 1ST MAY COUNTRYFEST 2017 Inniskeen, Co Monaghan

Councillor Fergal Curtin, Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, officially launches the Walking Festival and new trail with special guests from Fáilte Ireland




MONAGHAN NURSING HOME EXPANSION Monaghan Independent Cllr Paudge Connolly has said that Monaghan can expect a jobs boost following the news that the County Council has approved the expansion of Drumbear Lodge Nursing Home. The expansion will allow for an additional 85 bedrooms to be built on the site, and will provide a jobs boost in the construction and care industries.


DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL TO CARE FOR BATTLE SITE Letterkenny Municipal District Council has agreed to adopted a motion from Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh that Donegal County Council take over the maintenance of a 17th century battle site located at Scarrifholis. Cllr Kavanagh explained that the site was of huge historical significance and was worthy of the care that could be afforded to it by the Council. The names of many local townlands can be traced back to the battle. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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ABOUT THE BATTLE The Battle of Scarrifholis was fought on June 21st 1650, during the Irish Confederate Wars. It was fought between the Ulster Army and an English parliamentarian army and resulted in the annihilation of the Ulster army and the loss of most of its weapons and supplies.



DONEGAL TOURISM ON THE RISE Tourism in Donegal is set to rise thanks to years of investment in the region, according to Donegal County Council’s Chief Executive Seamus Neely. A recent report found that between 2011 and 2016, the local government sector had an investment of 170.9 million in tourist attractions, with 73.3m of this made available by local authorities. “Donegal’s tourism sector has grown substantially in the last number of years and we believe that there is potential for significant further growth in this sector,” Neely commented.


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Civil EXCELLENCE DLR County Council was among the successes at this year’s Council & Community Awards.


he a8.5 million Leopardstown Link Road & Roundabout Configuration Project, designed and managed in-house by the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Roads Projects Office, was awarded best civil engineering project at the recent Council & Community Awards. The project replaced the previous roundabout with a safer and more efficient signalised junction to manage heavy traffic flows in the area and to provide improved pedestrian and cycle connectivity. Accepting the award on behalf of the County Council were An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Cormac Devlin, Michael Mangan, Senior Engineer with the Infrastructure and Climate Change Department, and Cllr Pat Hand. Speaking at the event, Cllr Devlin said: “Winning this award demonstrates the Council’s commitment to upgrading its transport infrastructure for the benefit of residents, visitors and businesses in the county. It is also a fitting reward for all the hard work put in by the council’s staff and its contractors.” Work on the project commenced in November 2014, with the construction of a new link road to provide a new access to the South County Business Park, making commuting much faster for many local workers. The project has also increased the safety of pedestrian and cyclist facilities in the area. This was achieved by constructing new


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footpaths and off road cycle tracks on all approaches to the new junction and along the new link road. Once construction of the new link road was complete, work on the removal of the roundabout commenced. The existing roundabout was removed in phases and the new signalised junction was constructed. “Prior to the removal of the roundabout, there were a number of junctions coming out onto the roundabout – mainly from the South County Business Park,” explains Cllr


Devlin. “As well as that, near enough to the roundabout was the Leopardstown Racecourse, coupled with the main entrance into the Sandyford Business District and Brewery Road and a number of other key roads. It was a very, very busy junction.” In order to facilitate this project, complex temporary traffic management was required to ensure that traffic moved freely through the works, and that access to the Leopardstown Racecourse and South County Business Park was maintained at all times. The cooperation and understanding of the motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who use the area was greatly appreciated by the Council throughout the project. The project will allow for future expansion and will assist the continued development of the Sandyford Business Estate by streamlining traffic approaches to and from the area and up towards the M50 junction. Furthermore, Dún

Tom Corcoran, Clonmel Enterprises Ltd, Cathaoirleach Cllr Cormac Devlin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Michael Mangan, Senior Engineer and Philip Trotter, Resident Engineer

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council hopes to encourage the growth of Sandyford in more ways than by only improving the area’s road infrastructure. “The Council has invested heavily in the Sandyford area with new pieces of road infrastructure, and there’s more to come as well over the next number of years,” says Cllr Devlin. “The Council has worked very closely with Sandyford businesses and has recently just launched the Sandyford Business Improvement District BID scheme, which is the coming together of all the businesses as a legal entity to further promote and enhance the Sandyford area.” A Business Improvement District (BID) scheme involves businesses in a set district forming a limited company, funded by the businesses themselves and charged with identifying and implementing key InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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projects aimed at improving working and living in an area. It aims to develop a strong sense of community among the businesses and residents of a given district. “The Council and the BID have worked together and have brought in free WiFi for the district,” beams Cllr Devlin. “This will obviously, technologically speaking, bring Sandyford forward as an attractive area for both employees and for businesses to set up.” The Sandyford Business District is already one of the Dublin City Region’s foremost employers, but the recent investment in the district is sure to spur further growth. The District already has a number of clusters in

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key economic sectors and a high proportion of national and European corporate headquarters. It has a total workforce of 25,000 and is home to high-profile multinationals including Microsoft, Vodafone, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and SSE Airtricity. “Both the infrastructural work and the investment from the Council and in the businesses has culminated in the growth of Sandyford, with internationally recognised global companies up in that area,” says Cllr Devlin. “They’ve chosen Sandyford because, between the Luas and the M50 and the road infrastructure improvements, it has become a very attractive place to set up and do business.”


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Informing you about the work of local authorities in supporting the business needs of their community... To tell us what your local council is doing for business email

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19/04/2017 17:10


SMALL BUT SOCIAL InBUSINESS spoke to Maryrose Lyons from Brightspark Consulting to see how small firms can develop a social media strategy that gets results.


f you are running your social media in 2017 with a strategy that dates from 2014, you are costing yourself money – there’s your headline!” declares Maryrose Lyons, founder of social media marketing agency Brightspark Consulting. As a self-confessed social media veteran, Lyons has seen a dramatic change over the past number of years in how social media is being used to increase a company’s bottom line, and unless your business is making that transition, it will inevitably get left behind. “Back then it was very text-based,” explains Lyons. “It was very much about pasting a link to the blog with a witty comment. That’s what you needed to succeed. Whereas now, it has switched and it’s much more about video, it’s not just about posting it and being seen, you’ve got to actually create your video content and then distribute that using ads.” In terms of which social media

platform to invest your time in, Lyons believes Facebook will continue to dominate the space in the near future, particularly with the emergence of Facebook Live, the live video streaming application. “Back in 2014 I was telling my clients that just being on Twitter and LinkedIn was fine, but now Facebook is dominating and it’s

Learn Social Media Like a Pro Lyons is all too aware of the limitations of small businesses, and for that reason she has established an online course called ‘Learn Social Media Like a Pro’. “It’s aimed at small businesses that want to do social well,” she says. “This course is the process I follow when I’m managing social media for clients. It works. It gets results every time.” To check out the course visit

Maryrose Lyons, founder of Brightspark Consulting

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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giving LinkedIn a run for its money. It’s starting to offer free job ads which is an interesting development for small business owners.” Along with Facebook Live, the disappearing content platforms like Instagram Stories and Snapchat are the ones to watch and, according to Lyons, engaging in old-style social media – publishing a lot of links, not promoting ads – will simply cost you money and fail to get you results. So what are some of the most common mistakes being made by companies when it comes to social? “They’re trying to be on every platform, talking to everyone all at the same time,” says Lyons, who stresses the importance of identifying who your target customer is. “When you know who you’re going after, then it’s very easy to target, say for instance, the 34-year old fitness fanatic who will be all over Instagram. “Another problem I’m seeing is companies that publish too much. Again it ties back to this 2014 strategy of five posts a day every day. Now, because it’s about video, perhaps do three quality posts and then propel them out using advertising. You will get much better results.” Having a clear and concise social media strategy is all well and good for the big corporation, but what about the cash-strapped small firm that doesn’t have the resources at hand? “Don’t leave it to the intern,” advises Lyons. “I’ve seen this with clients where the intern leaves the company and they’re scuppered, asking ‘who looks after our social now?’ I’m not saying that everyone in a small firm suddenly has to take responsibility but a certain basic level among staff is necessary. Then it’s authentic, it’s coming from the company, there is a brand voice; all that behind the scenes stuff will naturally flow and that’s social media gold.”


20/04/2017 11:18




l’Ecrivain Restaurant offers a contemporary dining experience in charming Georgian surroundings.


ichelin-starred l’Ecrivain, in the heart of Georgian Dublin, is a contemporary restaurant run by husband and wife team Derry and Sallyanne Clarke. Established in 1989, this awardwinning restaurant has built itself a reputation for innovative Irish and French style cooking using the highest quality of Irish seasonal produce. Dublin-born Derry Clarke trained in the classical French tradition in Man Friday in Kinsale. He came home to Dublin to continue his training under the direction of John Howard in Le Coq

Hardi before spending eight years as head chef in le Bon Appetit Restaurant. Derry’s aspirations were always to open a place of his own and, together with Sallyanne, they opened l’Ecrivain Restaurant in July 1989. After several transformations, l’Ecrivain now stands on the site of two old Georgian coach houses/ mews in its own charming courtyard. Derry is now Chef Patron of l’Ecrivain and is renowned for his culinary expertise. Together with Sallyanne, his team of chefs, and the welcoming front of house team, l’Ecrivain guarantees a unique dining experience not to be missed. The restaurant is well known for its seafood, all of which is caught daily from all over Ireland. l’Ecrivain’s extensive wine list features new and old world wines from New Zealand, Bordeaux, Austria, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Chile and South Africa.

dining rooms, l’Ecrivain is the perfect spot for a corporate gathering. The Malt Room is situated on the ground floor beside the chic Piano Bar and seats up to 12 people. On the first floor, the beautifully appointed Salon Privé seats 20 people and includes access to the rooftop terrace. Weather permitting, a lovely spot for pre-dinner drinks. The third private dining option is something a little bit different – The Kitchen at l’Ecrivain. A new feature to the restaurant, this demonstration area seats up to 20 people and includes a live kitchen. Here you can watch your meal being prepared by one of the restaurant’s senior chefs. Not only will you enjoy Irish cooking at its finest, but you can interact with the chef, ask about the dishes, or learn about their techniques and methods. Each course is prepared and cooked before your eyes, with a tailor-made menu to suit the occasion. The room includes two large screens to ensure the demonstration is visible to all. The Kitchen is ideal for corporate events, private functions or indeed to simply get together with friends. A warm welcome awaits you at l’Ecrivain, where the magnificent dining is complimented with a convivial atmosphere in luxurious surroundings. Derry Clarke’s award winning cooking and Sallyanne’s front of house hospitality is a winning combination that has seen the restaurant go from strength to strength over the years. L’Ecrivain Restaurant is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book.

MEET AND DINE Located in the heart of Dublin’s city centre and with three private


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For more information see or contact l’Ecrivain directly on 01 661 1919. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

20/04/2017 11:18


ROAD TRIP ŠKODA Ireland is once again sponsoring the hugely popular Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip, following the show’s move from UTV to RTÉ One.


KODA Ireland has recently announced an investment worth a178,000 across media and production, which will see the elevation of its sponsorship of the second series of the hugely popular Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip. The show began broadcasting on RTÉ One on Tuesday March 7th, following its move from UTV to RTÉ. This is the second year in a row that ŠKODA takes on the title sponsorship of the show – which sees Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella travelling the nation to stay in the B&Bs of fans – much to the delight of Raymond Leddy, Head of Marketing at ŠKODA Ireland. “We’re delighted to be involved with Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip again this year, after the huge success that was season one,” he said. ŠKODA’s latest investment sees a number of specially commissioned stings that showcase the ŠKODA Superb against the rugged Donegal landscape, in a move which ties in with its recent Made for Ireland television campaign – the first TV advert created by ŠKODA specifically for an Irish audience. “This year,” explains Leddy, “we challenged Brian Melarkey of FleishmanHillard to come up with some locally produced stings that take in some of Ireland’s best scenery. Brian developed a concept called Treasure Island, which we shot over two days on the Inishowen peninsula, in Daniel’s home county of Donegal. We are really thrilled with the finished product which tells the story of a father and son as they start off in their ŠKODA Superb InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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Combi on a treasure hunt that concludes at sunset on Pollan Beach in Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal.” “This is the second successful commercial TV production we have completed in the last six months and we are considering a third production before year end,” he added.

This is the second successful commercial TV production we have completed in the last six months and we are considering a third production before year end.”

ŠKODA’s latest investment in media and production is just one in a series of moves announced in recent months, which will see the brand attempt to break into the top five highest-selling car brands in Ireland. The company, which has grown to become the sixth highest-selling car brand in the country for the years 2015 and 2016, has recently invested heavily in transforming the appearance of its dealer network, and has also announced the availability its first ever seven seater SUV, the ŠKODA KODIAQ. Follow the ŠKODA adventure for Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip at SKODAIreland and tune into RTÉ One at 8:30pm on Tuesday nights. Repeated at 9.30pm RTÉ One+1.

Daniel and Majella O’Donnell standing with the ŠKODA Superb


20/04/2017 12:41


Swedish DELIGHT CONOR FORREST got behind the wheel of the new Volvo S90 to discover whether it’s a serious challenger for the executive class.


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hen I was about five, my parents purchased a grey 1991 Volvo 340, a 1.4L compact five-door hatch that was renowned more for its safety than its performance. I remember it because it had wipers on the headlamps – five-year-old me was quite tickled by this, clearly some sort of mistake had been made at the factory. That marked the last time I was in a Volvo, until quite recently, when I sat behind the wheel of the new S90. The S90 is a striking car to behold. Though there are aspects that are unmistakably Volvo, it takes some cues (whether wittingly or unwittingly) from others in the premium segment – there’s a touch of Mercedes around the headlights, and the side profile is evocative of the Jaguar XF. That unmistakably premium feel is continued inside, with Volvo opting for a tasteful combination of wood, leather and polished aluminium. Though I’m not usually a fan of the lighter interior (too easy to stain), my particular model came with a tasteful mix of black and tan. For some that won’t evoke pleasant memories of a delicate period in Irish history, though it’s unlikely the Swedes meant any offence. The front seats are quite simply divine and can be adjusted

in almost every way, balancing comfort with support. The back seats aren’t half bad either – head and leg room is here in acres. At 500L, however, the boot isn’t best in class. As you might expect, the S90 comes with quite a few toys such as heated front seats, and Private Locking (which secures the boot and glovebox when it’s in for a service), the bulk of which are controlled via a 12.3-inch media centre, which gives the S90’s dashboard a very minimalist, uncluttered feel. The only thing missing is a reversing camera, which I thought might come as standard, though this is available as an optional extra for a575.

DRIVING IN STYLE To say the S90 is a pleasure to drive is an understatement – it’s a fantastic blend of power, comfort and insulation from the world outside. Volvo’s fabulous but optional air suspension (a2,600) means that the S90 doesn’t so much drive over the tarmac as it glides, and it feels solid in the bends, if not entirely sporty. The 2.0L D5 PowerPulse engine in my test model hesitates slightly at first, but then the power kicks in and you can feel yourself being pushed back into your seat as it charges forward InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

19/04/2017 17:06


– rather like the Millennium Falcon suddenly jumping to lightspeed. This particular engine features a nifty piece of engineering – compressed air can be injected into the system to reduce turbo lag, which results in much faster acceleration. During a week’s worth of pottering around the city and surrounding countryside, I averaged 8.2L/100km (34mpg). That’s not fantastic, though partly influenced by a heavy foot, the automatic transmission and 20-inch wheels. However, you can reduce that to 5 and 6L/100km (47 and 56mpg) is possible with a lighter foot or efficient mode.

SAFETY FIRST Many of the S90’s features cement Volvo’s standing as the world leader in automotive safety – the company has set itself a goal of zero road deaths or serious injuries in new Volvos by 2020. Alongside City Safety which monitors your surroundings in urban environments, rear radar detects imminent collisions, lane-keeping assist does exactly as it says on the tin, and road sign recognition flags the current speed limit. Run-off Road Mitigation trickles down from the XC90, using advanced sensors and deploying evasive action to prevent one of the most common type of accidents today. Unsurprising, then, that the S90 scored five stars in the NCAP Safety test. At the top of the pile is Volvo’s take on semiautonomous driving, standard in the S90 under the rather innocuous pseudonym of Pilot Assist, and augments adaptive cruise control with steering assistance. There’s a feeling of cautious amazement as the system takes over and adjusts without any human input (though you are prompted and encouraged to keep your hands InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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on the wheel). The system – among the best available – keeps you on the road and between the white lines up to a speed of 130km/h. More of a driver’s aid rather than a replacement, you won’t be napping on your way to work any time soon, but it’s a useful tool on tedious stretches of road where drivers tend to lose concentration.

EXECUTIVE CHOICE The new S90 is by no means the most expensive proposition on the market. The entry level S90, equipped with a 150hp D3 engine, a manual gearbox and an impressive standard equipment list (including LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and rear park assist in the Momentum trim level) starts from a43,900, competitively priced against the BMW 5-Series (a51,950), Mercedes E-Class (a45,930) and the Jaguar XF (a45,995). A bold statement from the Swedes, the S90 takes the fight to its German rivals and by no means emerges second best. Combining power, design, technology and luxury in one goodlooking package, it’s undoubtedly the best saloon Volvo has ever made. Game on.

VOLVO S90 AWD INSCRIPTION Engine: D5 PowerPulse (Automatic) HP: 232 0-100km/h: 7 seconds Top speed: 240km/h CO2 emissions: 127g/100km Annual road tax: €270 Warranty: Three years or 100,000km (whichever comes first) Price (as tested): €64,744 including €6,872 worth of extras


19/04/2017 17:06

LIFESTYLE: motoring

A Profile-Raising



ia is going through a busy phase in the rejuvenation of its model line up. It has recently launched no less than three new models: the all-new Niro SUV, the fourth generation Rio supermini and the Optima Sportswagon and there is still a new version of the Picanto city car to come. The Niro is a really


interesting and significant addition to Kia’s portfolio as it’s a low emissions hybrid crossover and a potential challenger to the very popular Nissan Qashqai. It comes well loaded with standard equipment and advanced driver assistance technologies and is a welcome addition to the hybrid options now available on the Irish market. Prices start at €30,595.

Prices for the new Rio (which competes in the same territory as the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta) kick off at €15,950 and Kia has brought its supermini right up to date with smarter looks, a more spacious cabin and an increase in boot size from 288 litres to a very respectable 325 litres. But it is Kia’s third newcomer, the Optima Sportswagon, that concerns us here. It too is

an all-new endeavour for the company and its debut model in the executive estate car market. Some might wonder about Kia’s timing as sales of traditional body styles are under pressure from the skyrocketing popularity of SUVs and crossovers. However, in mainland Europe two thirds of all D-segment sales are estates and that makes the Optima Sportswagon an important profileraising model for Kia. In addition, while SUVs and crossovers are flavour of the month, they are not always the best choice. Sometimes InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

LIFESTYLE: motoring

MODEL: Kia Optima Sportswagon EX PRICE: €29,950 ENGINE: 1.7 litre diesel CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km): 113g/km FUEL CONSUMPTION: Combined cycle 4.4l/100km

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

a people carrier will be a much more practical buy for a family while there is simply no substitute for an estate car if carrying capacity tops your list of motoring priorities. In this respect the Optima wagon hits the spot with a versatile 552 litres of boot space and a 40:20:40 split rear seat that folds flat with a single movement. The Optima Sportswagon is an attractive looking estate with clean lines and a gently sloping roofline. Inside, it is well equipped, spacious and comfortable. The multimedia interface

is controlled by a 7” touchscreen incorporating features such as a rear camera and TomTom WiFi. The vehicle is both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible and Bluetooth comes as standard. There are two trim versions on offer, EX and EXS, and there is a 1.7 litre diesel engine on board (with 141bhp) mated to a six-speed gearbox. Standard features include front and rear parking sensors, lane keeping assist and speed limit information. The suspension for the latest generation Optima

has been substantially reworked and this has greatly improved the vehicle’s ride quality, stability and cornering. There’s a lot to like about the Optima estate, from its spacious boot and roomy interior to its nicely finished cabin, competitive pricing and relaxed driving style. Other plus points include its five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and its seven-year manufacturer’s warranty. Road tax for the newcomer is €200. The EX version is priced at €29,995 while the EXS costs €31,195.




Style WITH



ithin the last two years Renault has overtaken Ford and Opel to become Europe’s second largest brand by sales volume. The company sold almost 1.2 million vehicles in 2016, which is a 13 per cent rise in sales compared with 2015 and a new record for the French manufacturer. Key to this growth has been the roll out of a number of stylish new models including a new version of company’s top


selling Scenic MPV and the new Megane, which made its debut in June of last year. Since then the Megane family has been expanding with the addition of new body styles including the striking looking Megane Grand Coupe, which takes over from the Fluence as Renault’s mid-sized saloon. Saloon buyers tend to like a roomy interior and the Megane saloon trumps its hatchback sibling when it comes to cabin room and boot space. The hatchback’s boot has a capacity of 434 litres while the saloon has a 503-litre boot. Head, shoulder and elbowroom also feel more generous in the saloon and there is more wiggle room in the back.

Look at the GC head on and the front-end design similarities with the hatchback are obvious, including the distinctively shaped LED lights. However, the GC also gets its own distinguishing touches, the most obvious of which is the chrome detailing throughout. Also worth noting, as it is unusual in a world dominated by air conditioning systems, is the GC’s sliding panoramic glass roof. The Signature is at the top end of the Megane GC range and the test car came with additional features such as full LED headlights, hands-free boot opening, leather seats, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Power is provided

MODEL: Renault Megane GC Signature PRICE: €29,490 ENGINE: dCi 130 CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km): 105g/km FUEL CONSUMPTION: Combined cycle 4.0 litres/ 100 km

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

LIFESTYLE: motoring by Renault’s new dCi 130 engine which the company says is the world’s most powerful engine of its size. The idea (and it succeeds) was to combine driving enjoyment and fuelefficiency while also returning very low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The peak power of this 1.6-litre power plant is 130hp while torque of 320Nm. Inspiration for the engine’s design came from F1 and there are no less than 30 patents protecting its IP. On the road the dCi30 turns out to be a very pleasing engine with ample power and flexibility for everyday driving. Rather nice seats with really good support add to the easy driving feel and for those who like their tech features and gadgets, the GC has plenty to offer including a colour head-up display and Multi Sense which allows users to personalise their driving experience by choosing between neutral, sport, comfort, pero and eco settings to change features such as the engine response and gear change timing. The GC also comes with all the latest driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and active emergency braking. On the communications side of things there is a configurable seven-inch colour screen instrument display and the R-LINK 2 multimedia and navigation tablet is available in landscape or portrait format. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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PANASONIC HELPING DRIVERS KEEP THEIR EYES ON THE ROAD In January this year Panasonic unveiled its take on what driver displays of the future will look like. Right now those driving high-end vehicles have some idea of what’s to come as their cars already have the so-called HUD or head up display that beams key driving information, such as KPH, onto the windscreen so it’s directly in your line of vision. There is no longer any need to look down to check your speed. According to Panasonic, more sophisticated HUDs are going to totally replace existing instrument clusters and theirs will use augmented reality and eight cameras to project images up to ten metres in front of the car. The company says this will allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road while staying informed about traffic issues or being warned about potential hazards ahead.

CARMAKERS GETTING SMART THROUGH UNLIKELY ALLIANCES With the arrival of some potentially very strong new players in the automotive industry, including Apple and Google, the traditional carmakers are feeling a little nervous about the emerging landscape. This is driving unexpected alliances between competitors. In January this year, for example, the battle for the smart dashboard intensified when Ford and Toyota joined forces with four other automakers to mount a challenge to Apple and Google’s efforts to control how drivers connect with their smartphones in their vehicles. Toyota has decided not to offer Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto citing safety and security concerns. Ford offers both but still wants an open-source software platform to be available to all app developers as an alternative. What’s really worrying carmakers is that if CarPlay and Android Auto systems become established in consumers’ minds as “must-haves”, then Apple and Google’s influence over the car industry is going become too powerful.

BMW TAKES MIXED REALITY CHECK BMW is the first automaker to introduce a mixed reality system into vehicle development devised entirely from computer gaming. Its system comes from Unreal Engine Enterprise, a newly created division of the US-based video games company, Epic Games. Unreal Engine is at the leading edge of real-time rendering technology and develops technologies for visualisation and simulation projects in both 3D and virtual reality. These capabilities have begun attracting the attention of the automotive industry and the company has already worked on collaborations with Jaguar and BMW.


19/04/2017 17:08

LIFESTYLE: innovation

INNOVATION NATION InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping our future. In this issue: men’s accessories.

AMAZON founder Jeff Bezos has revealed that he is selling around $1 billion (â‚Ź0.9bn) in Amazon stock a year to finance his commercial and tourist venture Blue Origin rocket company.


TWITTER has launched a faster version of its mobile service aimed at people with sporadic connections or little data on their smartphone plans, hoping to pick up users in harder to reach emerging markets.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017





This new era of technology calls for an innovative type of wallet – one that protects both your privacy and your money. The Secrid wallet does exactly that. Produced in the Netherlands, they are small on the outside but surprisingly big on the inside. Secrid wallets can hold up to six cards in the protected aluminium storage area with plenty of room for cash and more cards, all the while looking incredibly stylish. Secrid wallets are available in a variety of colours and finishes at all good menswear, jewellers and lifestyle stores nationwide.

My Name is TED is a new Irish luxury tech bag and accessory company founded by Brendan McEvoy and Kasia Gaborec-McEvoy. Back in January, the couple were overall winners at the inaugural Local Enterprise Showcase Awards at the RDS in Dublin. My Name is TED develops a range of functional and adaptable luxury business and lifestyle crossover bags, which feature a four-way carrying solution easily converting to a back pack, cross body messenger or a shoulder bag.


FACEBOOK is to crack down on incidents of ‘revenge porn’ with new tools aimed at blocking intimate images shared without consent.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

GOOGLE’S ANDROID has toppled Microsoft’s Windows as the world’s dominant computing platform for the first time since the 1980s.

Founded by Eoin Cooney, Slaint is a luxury men’s accessory company offering unique, stylish products that incorporate technology in a way that enhances the user’s day-to-day life.



ds in t






ying less than 50km off the coast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Zanzibar archipelago consists of several islands bursting with attractions to suit all types of tourists. It has a rich history as a trading post between the Arab world and the Swahili coast and, as a result of the islands changing hands several times throughout the centuries, the architecture and culture of Zanzibar show traces of Persian, Omani, Yemeni, Portuguese and, more recently, British influences.


From sandy beaches with clear blue sea to the historical and cultural interests in Stone Town, to the range of trips available to the smaller islands within the archipelago, Zanzibar has everything you could wish for from a relaxing and cultural holiday. Zanzibar Island is easily reached from Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam with reasonably priced sea and air transport options. Public transport on the island, however, is a little trickier when attempting to reach some of the coastal locations. We travelled by taxi from Stone Town – the cultural heart of the island – straight to our first beach destination, Kendwa beach, which is located on the northern tip of the island less than an hour drive away. The commute from Stone Town gives you the chance enjoy the sights of cyclists busily transporting

cargo as well as offering glimpses of Zanzibarian life in small villages along the way.

Time to Relax There are numerous popular beach destinations in Zanzibar, all boasting pristine white sand and unspoiled waters. Like many of them, Kendwa offers a wide range of accommodation from high-end luxury hotels targeted at the honeymoon market to mid-range and even the very basic, more suitable for backpackers. Proximity to the beach was top priority on our list and so we chose to stay in Sunset Kendwa Resort, which provided us with on the beach apartments and the modern day essentials of high quality air conditioning and free WiFi. The temperatures in February are slightly hot for lengthy periods of sunbathing, as it averages at InBUSINESS | Q1 2017


Where To

The architecture and culture of Zanzibar show traces of Persian, Omani, Yemeni, Portuguese and, more recently, British influences.


Park Hyatt Zanzibar The Park Hyatt Zanzibar has several rooms to accommodate events of various sizes including small, intimate board meetings. The hotel’s venues are equipped with state-of-theart audiovisual equipment, broadband connectivity and air-conditioning.


Emerson Spice - The Rooftop Tea House Restaurant Enjoy sundowner cocktails from 6pm as the sun sets over Stone Town. The chefs prepare food in the rooftop kitchen as diners gaze out over the old town. The five course menu is seafood based and should not be missed! Reservations are essential.

SLEEP... between 30 to 35°C with humidity increasing as rainy season approaches. The months from June to October generally have a much more comfortable temperature of between 22 to 30°C. While Zanzibar isn’t as well known as Thailand for its beach festivities, we were lucky enough to experience the Zanzibari version of a full moon party. This included a beach barbeque buffet with fresh seafood grilled in front of you, served with African delicacies such as plantains and a Zanzibari stew known as boku-boku. Entertainment included African tribal dancers who later became background InBUSINESS | Q1 2017


BY SEA: From Dar Es Salaam you can travel by ferry which takes less than two hours. For smoother sailing it is recommended to travel by ferry in the morning.

BY AIR: A flight from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar Airport with Coastal Airlines will take less than 30 minutes in a 12-seat passenger plane and should cost less than $70.

dancing ghouls for Thriller during the Michael Jackson tribute act. The party is family-friendly with the added option of dancing on the beach until the early hours.

Spice It Up Back in Stone Town, there is much to offer those more interested in exploring the history and culture of Zanzibar. Spice tours are one of the most popular excursions on offer on an island once known as the Spice Island. Portuguese traders originally introduced spices to Zanzibar in the 16th century and the nickname came into being as the island became one

Maru Maru Hotel, Stone Town If spending time in Stone Town, the Maru Maru, a centrally located, traditional Zanzibar style house, is worth a stay. Take a swim in the rooftop pool or sunbathe while looking out over the other Stone Town rooftops. The rooms are modern and air conditioned with traditional carved Zanzibari beds and mosquito nets.


The Old Fort A standout feature along the waterfront of Stone Town is without doubt Ngome Kongwe, or the Old Fort as it is better known. It was the first defensive structure built by the Arabs when they seized the island from the Portuguese in 1698, Nowadays, the open-air amphitheatre plays host to the Zanzibar International Film Festival along with other prestigious events.



KNOW before you go

RAINY SEASON There are two rainy seasons in Zanzibar. The season of long rains is from mid-March to late May and is best avoided. The season of short rains is usually around November and is not ideal for those looking for a beach holiday.

Souvenir shops in Stone Town Selling various spices in Stone Town

Maasai selling traditional decorations on the beach

BASIC SWAHILI When travelling, it’s always good to have some basics of the local language. Swahili is spoken throughout Tanzania and locals in Zanzibar are delighted to hear visitors use some basic Swahili greetings. ‘Hello’ or ‘hi’ is ‘mambo’. ‘Thank you’ translates as ‘asante’, while ‘welcome’ is ‘karibu’.

RELIGION In Tanzania the population is approximately 30 to 40 per cent Christian, 30 to 40 per cent Muslim, with other faiths and people of no religion making up the difference. The island of Zanzibar is different as Islam is the prominent religion with 99 per cent of the population of Muslim faith. In parts of Stone Town conservative or modest dress may be necessary.


of the world’s leading producers of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices in the 19th century. Spice tours vary in duration and location from short tours around Stone Town’s markets to walking tours at a spice farm. Either way, you get the chance to smell and taste a variety of spices and learn how they are farmed and used today. Purchasing spices at the end of the tour is expected but not compulsory. Given Zanzibar’s colourful trading history, having been under the rule of various powers in the past, there are a few small museums in Stone Town worth checking out, including the Palace Museum and the Peace Memorial Museum. While you shouldn’t go with high expectations – tours are brief and exhibitions basic – they do give you a flavour of the history of the town and the island throughout the years.

five-course meal. There you can Street food indulge in the rooftop in Zanzibar surroundings, extensive cocktail selection and some of the freshest seafood available on the island.

Rooftop Dining

As great as it is to wander and get lost among the narrow winding streets of Stone Town, climbing the steps of the many accessible, historic buildings gives you a different perspective. There you can enjoy a drink or meal from a rooftop bar, while taking in a panoramic view of the island. As the sun sets over Zanzibar, sipping on a sundowner cocktail is an essential experience. In terms of cuisine, one look at the fresh food on display at the bustling markets will give you a sense of the seafood, spices and locally grown vegetables used in local dishes. With such an array of food to choose from, the dining experience in Zanzibar does not disappoint. Either the Tea House Restaurant or its sister eatery Emerson Spice are definitely worth booking in advance to experience a mouth-watering

Musical Experience If experiencing new and local music is part of your holiday wishlist then plan a trip to Zanzibar around the next Sauti za Busara festival, an annual event that takes places in early February. With two stages set up in the historical Old Fort in Stone Town, Sauti za Busara is a celebration and showcase of the best of East African music. Despite not knowing much about the genre, we were blown away by the atmosphere, the talent on display and the buzz of the dancing crowds, all set within an impressive historical high stone wall structure originally built during Omani rule to protect the island from Portuguese attack. Consider booking your trip to Zanzibar to coincide with any of the open-air events taking place at the amphitheatre within the Old Fort – it will be an experience you won’t forget. InBUSINESS | Q1 2017


BOOKS ON HIT MAKERS: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction AUTHOR:

InBUSINESS looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge.

OPTION B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy


ollowing the sudden death of her husband in 2015, Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, was left overwhelmed by grief and an apparent loss of meaning. In the weeks that followed, Sandberg confided in a friend that she wanted her husband back, to which her friend replied “Option A is not available”. With Option A off the cards then, she had to turn to Option B.

Option B is something we all experience in one form or another. Life does not always pan out the way we had initially planned, so it then becomes a case of making the best of the situation as it stands before you. This book helps with that process. Combining Sheryl Sandberg’s personal insights based upon her experiences with tragedy with psychologist Adam Grant’s research findings, Option B offers compelling insights and advice for dealing with hardships in our own lives and helping others in crisis.

AUTHOR: Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant PUBLISHER: Knopf RRP: 22.67 AVAILABLE:


Stand on Zanzibar


Stand on Zanzibar was first published in 1968 and considers the notion of the earth’s overpopulation – correctly predicting the 7 billion person population of the planet nearly 40 years after the title’s initial publication. The book is a dystopian science fiction novel with eerily accurate reflections of the state of our world as it is today, and is perhaps more relevant now than ever before.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

127 InBusiness Q1 2017_Books.indd 127

“An ideal reference book that should be on hand in the office.”

AUTHOR: Kerri O’Connell PUBLISHER: Chartered Accountants Ireland

Hit Makers is a Derek Thompson groundbreaking PUBLISHER: investigation Penguin Press in which its RRP: author, Derek 17.30 Thompson, sets AVAILABLE: out to uncover the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and to reveal the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Throughout the course of the book, Thompson demonstrates that quality in and of itself is insufficient for success. In other words, the success of a product relies not on how well or artfully it is crafted, but rather how it connects with the right network of distributors and consumers. Simply put, Hit Makers tells the story of how culture happens and why things become popular. Small and Expanding Businesses is a guide to tax issues for small businesses, which examines the tax implications of a variety of business decisions. The book is split into four main sections: payroll taxes, VAT, income tax on business profits earned by a sole trade or partnership, and corporation tax on business profits earned by companies. Written in an accessible style, it is aimed at the smart business owner and their professional advisers, particularly those who are not tax specialists.


19/04/2017 17:04


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Israel is the highest ranked country in the Middle East and received an overall health score of 92.47, based on factors such as quality of care and access to doctors. The country lost points (4.33) due to health and lifestyle problems, including overeating, and health risks ranging from high blood pressure to malnutrition.

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Looking to live long? Well, a move to Italy might be worth considering. Ranked the healthiest country on Earth in the Bloomberg Global Health Index, babies born here can expect to live to be in their 80s. Italy scores higher than other developed countries despite a rapidly aging population and facing major economic challenges.

ABOUT THE BLOOMBERG GLOBAL HEALTH INDEX The Bloomberg Global Health Index grades 163 countries on variables such as life expectancy, causes of death and health risks ranging from obesity to the availability of clean water. The ranking is based on a weighted composite score made up of factors such as survivor ratio at landmark ages for a maximum of 100. The researchers then subtract points for negative factors including obesity and environmental risks.

22nD - IrElAnD Ireland, with a much younger

population than that of Italy, ranked 22nd, just ahead of the UK but less healthy than poorer EU peers Greece and Portugal. It received a health risk penalty of 6.01 due to behavioural factors such as high blood pressure, prevalence of overweight and alcohol cosumption.


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InBUSINESS | Q1 2017

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