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Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editorial Assistant: Amy Woods

EXCLUSIVE: Conversation is King, Ignorance is Bliss

Commercial Editor: Conor Forrest Art Director: Alan McArthur Editorial Contributors: Conor Forrest Raluca Gãitan Valerie Jordan Olive Keogh Rachel Murray Ruraidh O’Reilly Front Cover Photography: Conor McCabe Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: 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 2015. 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

Interview with TED founder Richard Saul Wurman Words: Joseph O’Connor [FEATURES]

14 Entrepreneur

Helen Steele on adding colour to the business of fashion


Chris Hadfield Ireland’s favourite astronaut on facing your fears Words: Joseph O’Connor


Services for the Future 22 Financial

Delivering Strategic Change

A look at the factors shaping the FS industry in Ireland Words: Valerie Jordan

Bernard McCarthy on bringing DHL Ireland back from the brink Words: Joseph O’Connor

26 Brands Built With Balls The mutual benefits of sports sponsorship Words: Conor Forrest

33 Snapchat

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel, UTV Ireland

34 SME Feature

We paid a visit to the Merchant Barber in Dublin’s Temple Bar

Founders 40 Female to Bank On The women behind a start-up revolution in Palestine Words: Joseph O’Connor


Book Extract

Extract from Getting There: A Book of Mentors





Bernard McCarthy has spent 13 years at the helm of DHL in Ireland but it took more than good fortune to bring the Irish arm of the international giant back from the brink, writes JOSEPH O’CONNOR.


ernard McCarthy has had his 15 minutes of fame. It may not have been the 15 minutes that the 51-year old managing director of DHL Express Ireland envisaged but it came his way on May 7th 2009 when the company announced the closure of seven regional depots across the country with the result of 320 redundancies. It ran as the main story on RTÉ’s nine o’clock news that night and it marked the lowest point of McCarthy’s 28 years at DHL. “I was here in this facility,” he recalls. “All staff were called to a meeting at six o’clock. They knew something big was going on and before we got through the meeting the RTÉ crew had arrived at the gates. Word had got around. All of a sudden you’re the lead news story. It’s not a nice place to be.” Six years on and I meet McCarthy at the DHL Express headquarters at Dublin Airport Logistics Park, an impressive facility displaying the DHL yellow and red colours from afar. He appears upbeat and is surprisingly open about what a challenging time it was back then. In his office surrounded by DHL model airplanes and numerous industry awards, he explains what went wrong for the company. “As you’d expect DHL Express Ireland performed well during the Celtic Tiger years and into the 2000s. A big corporate expansion programme had been initiated by DHL’s parent company, Deutsche Post, which included a major acquisition spree


Conor McCabe

Editor: Joseph O’Connor


InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

[LIFESTYLE] 114 MOTORING: New offerings from Peugeot and BMW 118 INNOVATION: Footwear technology 120 TRAVEL: Raluca Gãitan on the treasures of Transylvania 123 BOOKS: Good mentors are hard to find

126 The Last Word

124 FASHION: We get shirty on detail

[REGULARS] 3 Business News 8 Movers & Shakers 11 Opportunity Ireland 12 Start-Up Central 49 Chambers Catch Up 128 The IB Index

Our Local Government InBUSINESS 02 Supplement continues to look at the 13 important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise

Kingsley Aikins on exploiting the vastness of the Irish diaspora Words: Valerie Jordan







Investors sought for Rising Film, calls for Donegal twinning programme and works on Cavan dairy site underway.

Sligo County Council takes stake in Knock Airport, Mayo benefits from telecoms investment and new jobs announced for Roscommon.

Graduates enter local Government, Dalymount Park changes hands and plans afoot for new Facebook data centre in Meath.




Cork tourism spend revealed, Clare County Council shows quality in HR and Limerick cultural initiative generates €44m.




In Association with

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• Din Medium • Din Regular

THE CONNECTOR InBUSINESS chats to Siobhán Finn of Cork innovates about the award-winning initiative.


Local authorities are using GIS to offer improved and enhanced services

Page 9


Galway County Council is taking advantage of a number of investment opportunities

In Association with

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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THE DIFFERENCE IS IN THE DETAIL Professionals and business people expect the highest standards. With AIB Private Banking you are assured of an enhanced banking service that saves you time and effort. Our signature new banking experience provides you with the relationship-based service that you appreciate. We understand the value of great advice. Our financial planning service gives you access to expert, impartial guidance to help you make informed financial choices to secure your future. It’s details like these that make us different. If you would like to find out more about AIB Private Banking, contact Patrick Farrell, Head of AIB Private Banking, directly on: (01) 641 7634 or email Typically our clients have an annual salary or income which exceeds ₏250,000.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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new report titled Second Hand Ireland has revealed a mass retail movement of hundreds of thousands of people buying and selling everyday items online. The 24/7 online shopping revolution is being led by the second hand Ireland market, including Ireland’s largest classified advertising website, DoneDeal. ie, who last year alone valued goods traded on its site at over a300 million per month, representing almost 3 per cent of Ireland’s GNP (a158.4bn for 2014 as reported by the ESRI). This amounts to a sizeable a4.5bn market in second hand trading activity in 2014.



To mark their move to a brand new Ireland headquarters, Peninsula Business Services held a business soirée on April 23rd at their new location in Block W, East Point Business Park, Dublin 3. The evening also marked 18 years of the company helping Irish employers protect their business. Alan Price, Managing Director of Peninsula Ireland, said: “In line with our growth strategy, Peninsula continues to thrive and expand in Ireland and Northern Ireland. We are very excited about future developments and would like to thank all our clients and partners for joining us at our soirée and making the evening so enjoyable.” John Warburton, Chief Executive, DoneDeal with David McWilliams, Economist and Author of the Second Hand Ireland report

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Model Pippa O’Connor with Jeanette Jordan, Dundrum Town Centre Marketing Manager at the RDS

Dundrum Town Centre and the RDS have announced that the retail centre will be the title sponsor of Ladies Day at the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show at the RDS. Ladies Day at the Dublin Horse Show is one of the longest running and most prestigious ladies day outings, a staple in the social and fashion calendar. This year the Dundrum Town Centre Ladies Day will take place on August 6th and will feature a number of categories including the Best Dressed Lady, Most Colorful Outfit, Most Creative Hat and Best Dressed Man. For more on sponsorship in sports go to page 26.


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Bernard McCarthy, Managing Director, DHL Express Ireland

Low-cost Icelandic airline WOW Air’s first flight from Dublin Airport to Reykjavik took off on June 2nd. Wow Air is now operating flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays to the Icelandic capital with a flight time of two hours and 20 minutes. “We made the decision to operate a service from Ireland because we were confident that Iceland would appeal to the Irish. We weren’t wrong,” said WOW Air CEO Skuli Mogensen, who founded the company in 2011. With flights to 20 destinations in Europe and the US, the airline passed the one millionth passenger milestone in December 2014.


ABOUT WOW AIR WOW Air was founded by entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen, whose extensive business background is largely in technology and telecoms in Iceland, Europe and North America. WOW Air is entirely owned by Mogensen, debt free. He sits on the board of many tech companies both in North America and Europe and was selected Business Man or the Year in Iceland 2011.

Mallinckrodt plc, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, has announced a a45 million investment to expand its Dublin-based operations. A new stateof-the-art manufacturing facility and office building are to be located at College Business and Technology Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. The development will provide 300 jobs during the two-year construction phase and 45 skilled full-time positions once the construction is completed.

David Keenan, Vice President, Global External Supply & Managing Director, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Ireland; US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley; Chief Executive Officer and President of Mallinckrodt Mark Trudeau and An Tánaiste Joan Burton

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Singer songwriter Sinead McNally, the first winner of the Arts Showcase Initiative. The innovative three-year Business To Arts sponsorship will see artists win themselves or their art a full ad on the back of a bus for a six-month period. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography

MOST WORKERS NOT CYBERSAVVY Michael O’Hara, Managing Director and Francis O’Haire, Director of Technology and Strategy, Data Solutions

New research commissioned by Data Solutions has found that the majority of employees in Irish businesses admit to putting their company at risk of cyber security breaches by using personal devices, social media and the cloud for work purposes. The research was carried out by the Marketing Development Programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, among 296 working professionals across five locations in Ireland and among 76 IT decision makers within Irish businesses. It found that 53 per cent of employees share work documents and corporate data through cloud services even though 62 per cent of employees admitted they are not aware of the security risks. Francis O’Haire, Director of Technology and Strategy, Data Solutions, said: “These findings should make Irish businesses sit up and take notice.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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US distillers Brown Forman, the company behind Jack Daniel’s, has announced a a44 million investment in Slane Castle Irish Whiskey. Up to 25 permanent jobs are expected to be created by the deal, which will see a new distillery opening up on the 1,500 acre estate in Co Meath.


The country’s services sector expanded at the fastest pace in three months in May with new orders helped by a fall in the euro against the dollar and sterling. The Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index, which covers businesses from banks to hotels, stood at 61.4 in May, up from 60.6 the previous month.


Facebook remains the most popular social network in Ireland, according to Ipsos MRBI’s social networking quarterly, though the percentage of the population using the website has fallen. The survey shows that 60 per cent of Irish people had accounts between March and May, down three percentage points on the quarter to February.


A new venture by former CEO of Sligo Chamber, Rebecca Stevens, has been launched in a bid to revitalise the iconic Irish 25 card game. Stevens, along with friend Padraig Gorry, believes she can give the game a new lease of life by building an online version. Full details can be found at www.


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What are your social media platforms of choice? SIMON HARRIS Minister of State, Department of Finance For my own political endeavours I use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook is a useful tool for my constituents to follow my work. Twitter is a convenient way of interacting with both constituents but also the wider public, the media and stakeholders.

KINGSLEY AIKINS Founder of Diaspora Matters I’m a fan of LinkedIn. I do think we are over connecting electronically and under connecting interpersonally. I’m not a luddite and certainly engage with social media but I do think we may be getting the balance wrong. There are no water coolers or coffee stations on the internet!

HELEN STEELE Fashion Designer My favourite platform is Instagram, for inspiration and for direct sales. I put a dress from my pre-SS16 up on Instagram and the response was overwhelming. I’ve had 20 orders for that dress already.

BERNARD MCCARTHY Managing Director, DHL Express Ireland I’m not a big user of social media; I do use Twitter but only to browse, not to post.


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CONSUMERS DAUNTED BY FINANCIAL JARGON Findings from a new survey commissioned by protection specialists Royal London (Ireland) and conducted by research company IReach on 1,000 Irish consumers nationwide, have found that 32 per cent of people say a lack of confidence in their understanding of ‘financial jargon’ is their primary deterrent from changing insurers. According to Royal London, these results signal a big problem that has long hung over the financial services industry; a lack of understanding amongst the public and their perception of the complexity of financial products and services. Unnecessary jargon and gobbledygook is not exclusive to the insurance sector and can be often heard in everyday office meetings. Here’s some of the worst offenders: CIRCLE BACK: Circle back is a more grandiose version of ‘follow up’ or ‘check back’.

DRILL DOWN: This has nothing to do with heavy machinery. It means to look at something in detail.

LOW HANGING FRUIT: This phrase refers to an easily achievable goal or target. It can be misleading; taking the easiest option is not always the best solution.

CORE COMPETENCY: Supposedly refers to a firm’s fundamental strength, and now appears in everything from interview questions to company balance sheets.

PUT A RECORD ON AND SEE WHO DANCES: There’s a touch of David Brent to this one. It is supposedly a “cool” alternative to ‘let’s see how it’s received’.



K publisher Times Newspapers Ltd will not be using the title The Times Ireland for a new online newspaper it launches in June. The Irish Times had objected to the alleged intended use by the UK group of the title The Times Ireland for a new online newspaper. In May, both parties told the High Court that the proceedings could be struck out on a number of undertakings by Times Newspapers Ltd, part of the Rupert Murdoch-led News Corp Group, not to use the title The Times Ireland or domain names,, using the description The Times Ireland on Twitter accounts or using the “T” logo on its twitter account or any other logo confusingly similar to the “IT” logo.

NAME GAMES: FIVE FAMOUS BATTLES OVER CORPORATE TRADEMARKS Apple Computers World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Budweiser Starbucks Facebook

Apple Records World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Budejovicky Budvar Sam Buck’s Teachbook

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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While imitation is always flattering, the only thing that could ever come close to the sheer driving pleasure of a BMW 3 Series, is another BMW 3 Series. Built for true driving pleasure, it perfectly balances unrivalled agility and practicality, with BMW Efficient Dynamics technology for awe-inspiring performance and low fuel consumption.

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BMW 3 Series

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The Ultimate Driving Machine

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NEW TITLE: Client Director EMPLOYER: Starcom PREVIOUS ROLE: Client Manager, Starcom

NEW TITLE: Programme Director EMPLOYER: Newstalk PREVIOUS ROLE: Deputy Editor, Newstalk

NEW TITLE: Compliance Manager EMPLOYER: TelecityGroup Ireland PREVIOUS ROLE: Operations Director, Almir Business Ltd

NEW TITLE: Head of Global Communications EMPLOYER: BT Ireland PREVIOUS ROLE: Director of Sales and Marketing, G4S Ireland

Media planning and buying agency Starcom has announced the appointment of Colum O’Hara as client director. In his new role, O’Hara will be responsible for media planning and strategy across the Heineken Ireland account. Prior to his new role, O’Hara held the position of client manager at Starcom for two and half years.

Newstalk 106-108 FM has announced the appointment of Patricia Monahan as Programme Director for the station. Deputising for Newstalk’s Editor in Chief, Monahan will be responsible for day-to-day management of the station’s programming output, implementing the station’s content strategy, and identifying and training new talent.

TelecityGroup Ireland, a provider of carrier neutral data centres in Europe, has appointed Desmond Butler as compliance manager. Butler is responsible for maintaining regulatory compliance assurance and delivering new technologies. He brings with him more than 16 years’ experience working with international customers on information security and quality management.

BT Ireland has announced the appointment of John O’Driscoll as Head of Global Communications in its business division. In his new role, O’Driscoll is responsible for leading the retention and acquisition strategy for global multinational corporations and new foreign direct investment in BT Ireland.


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NEW TITLE: WRWC Tournament Director EMPLOYER: IRFU PREVIOUS ROLE: Tournaments’ Operations Manager, European Rugby Cup

NEW TITLE: Chairperson EMPLOYER: Marketing Institute of Ireland CURRENT ROLE: Head of Brand Operations, Vodafone Ireland

NEW TITLE: Head of Marketing EMPLOYER: Grafton Recruitment PREVIOUS ROLE: Entries Manager, European Business Awards, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

NEW TITLE: Associate Vice President, Plant Management EMPLOYER: MSD PREVIOUS ROLE: Executive Director of MSD in Hangzhou, China

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has appointed Garrett Tubridy as Tournament Director for the Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) which will take place in Dublin and Belfast in 2017. As WRWC Tournament Director, Tubridy will be responsible for the planning and delivery of the WRWC 2017 tournament across all venues in both Dublin and Belfast.

The Board of Directors of the Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII) has appointed Paula Murphy as Chairperson. She takes over from Páraic O’Toole, Chief Executive of Automsoft, who remains as non-executive Director. Murphy currently carries responsibility for brand operations at Vodafone Ireland, and she was previously Group Marketing Director at Independent Newspapers.

Eileen Jordan has been appointed Head of Marketing at Grafton Recruitment. Previously, Jordan held roles with RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, Jones Lang LaSalle, Unilever and Danone. A graduate of DIT and Trinity College Dublin, Jordan has a MBS from UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business and a postgraduate qualification in Digital Marketing from DCU.

Healthcare company MSD has appointed Ger Carmody as Associate Vice President, Plant Management, for its site in Ballydine, Co Tipperary. Carmody will now be responsible for overall operations and management of the Ballydine facility, leading a team of over 450 highly-skilled people with a core focus on a range of new and innovative products.

Call Visit Email Follow

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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(01) 432 2200 @Ashvilleteam


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SECTOR: Technology


ANNOUNCEMENT: Irish cloud computing and IT services company Ergo has announced the creation of 20 jobs over the next two years.

SECTOR: Food and Drink LOCATION: Dublin

COMPANY: Mayo Renewable Power SECTOR: Energy LOCATION: Killala, Mayo

ANNOUNCEMENT: Irish Distillers’ bottling facility in Clondalkin is expanding to increase bottling capacity by 60 per cent, with the creation of 30 new jobs across all operations.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mayo Renewable Power’s construction of a 180 million electricity generating plant will create 350 construction jobs, with 30 people employed at the plant.

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

COMPANY: East Coast Bakehouse SECTOR: Food and Drink LOCATION: Drogheda ANNOUNCEMENT: New Irish biscuit company East Coast Bakehouse is investing 15 million in a new large scale commercial biscuit manufacturing facility, with the creation of 100 new jobs.


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COMPANY: Maxi Zoo SECTOR: Retail LOCATION: Nationwide


SECTOR: Retail


ANNOUNCEMENT: Discount clothing retailer TK Maxx is to open its 21st Irish store in Wexford Town with the creation of 40 jobs.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Pet retailer Maxi Zoo has opened its 17th store in Ireland, with plans to open a further 15 new stores across the country over the next five years, creating up to 150 new jobs.

Irish employers are expecting to increase staffing levels across almost every industry in Ireland in the third quarter of 2015, according to a new study. The latest Manpower Employment Outlook survey says that staffing levels are set to grow in ten out of the eleven sectors examined, with employers in the electricity, gas and water sector expecting the strongest jobs growth. The survey was conducted by interviewing a sample of 620 Irish employers.


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John Flynn, Chairman, IVCA

IRISH TECH FIRMS RAISED A120M IN Q1 Irish technology companies raised a120 million in the first quarter of 2015, according to new research published by the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA). John Flynn, Chairman of the IVCA, said that the level of activity continues the positive momentum experienced in 2014 where 41 per cent growth to a401 million was achieved for the full year. The IVCA VenturePulse survey also found that since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, in excess of 1,000 Irish SMEs raised venture capital of a2 billion. These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers.



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There has been a broad welcome to the introduction of SURE – a tax refund scheme announced by the Government in May aimed at encouraging more people to start up businesses. The ‘Start-Up Refunds for Entrepreneurs’ allows entrepreneurs obtain a refund from the Government of up to 41 per cent of the capital they invest in starting up a business. Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and Finance Minister Michael Noonan also unveiled a comprehensive marketing campaign aimed at increasing awareness of SURE among people considering starting their own businesses, as part of an overall drive aimed at supporting more start-ups and ultimately more job creation. For more details on the initiative visit


The amount raised by more than 1,000 Irish technology companies since the credit crunch began in 2008, according to the latest VenturePulse survey by the Irish Venture Capital Association.

For a special report on some of the women behind a small but vibrant start-up scene in Palestine go to page 40.

PLAYERTEK is a Dundalk-based technology start-up that recently raised a a1 million investment to develop its innovative wearable technology system for players of multiple team sports including football, rugby, GAA and hockey. Founded by sports technology experts Ronan Mac Ruairi and Kevin McDaid who have between them over fifty years’ experience across education and technology development, PLAYERTEK is the world’s first consumer wearable sports tracker designed to give aspiring amateur players the ability to optimise their training and matches. PLAYERTEK will give every player his or her own personal stats. The system is based on GPS and is packed with sensors and smarts that make it easy to measure runs and workloads across training and matches. Launching first in Ireland PLAYERTEK will be released in the UK in July to coincide with the start of the 2016 Premiership season. PLAYERTEK is now available for pre-order from with a RRP of a249.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Gene Murphy, Startup Gathering City Coordinator for Dublin, Lesley Tully, Bank of Ireland Innovation Manager and Eoin Costello, CEO of Startup Ireland

CEO and Co-founder of Avvio How did you fund your business initially? I coded for about six months on the first prototype hotel booking engine to the Irish market back in 2001. We were a typical bootstrap story from there where we stayed in our jobs for another nine months until we’d secured sales with several of the leading Irish 5-star hotels, giving us the confidence to take the jump into our start-up fully.


What’s the best advice you were given? Make your bed each morning (thanks Mam) and don’t stop believing (thanks Journey).

With the aim of accelerating Ireland’s entrepreneurial goals and the development of world-class regional start-up hubs in Dublin and across the country, stakeholders from the corporate world, Government, academia and the start-up community gathered on May 19th at Grand Canal Dock to advance plans for the Startup Gathering in October, set to be the largest regionally distributed event in the world.

What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? Cashflow management was something that stretched us more than it should have in the early days. It’s harder to innovate and motivate yourself and others when cash is tight, so bringing structure to our finance function early on was critical.

For further details go to

CEO Andrew Macfarlane and the CareZapp team

Your biggest make or break moment? Delivering our first a1m of direct bookings to our clients was a very real milestone for us. Today Avvio transacts over a140m per annum of hotel bookings to clients but I can still remember how huge that first milestone felt. Would you change anything in hindsight? On more than one occasion we delivered products or innovations to a market that perhaps wasn’t looking for them or wasn’t necessarily ready for them. We’d have saved ourselves a lot of time, effort (and sometimes tears) if we’d scoped each opportunity better and got our timing right.


A cutting-edge Irish app has been listed as one of the top 20 health digital start-ups to watch by one of the healthcare industry’s leading analysts. CareZapp is a high-value but free mobile app for family caregivers to create their own network of care, helping them to bring peace of mind and share the care through communication and collaboration tools. Award-winning US-based HIT chose CareZapp as one to watch in the UK and Ireland because they say it is not just an app it is a holistic platform that enhances in-home caregiving by allowing patients to communicate with their doctors, their families and other patients to provide social support.

Company: Avvio Location:

Dublin, Limerick, London, Glasgow


A premium booking platform for hotel websites, supported by website design, digital marketing, revenue-drive support and distribution consultancy




InBUSINESS | Q2 2015


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She’s in

Fashion In this issue’s entrepreneur slot, InBUSINESS caught up with award-winning fashion designer Helen Steele.

his year Ireland has been celebrating its vibrant design and craft industry through Irish Design 2015, a yearlong initiative aimed at promoting its talent and attracting new investment. Creative entrepreneur Helen Steele is one such talent. She produces clothes for Dublin, London, the Middle East and beyond from a duck farm in Monaghan. The once abstract artist and now critically acclaimed fashion designer spoke to InBUSINESS about colour therapy, tackling spreadsheets and the state of Syria. Q: What are you working on at the moment? A: I’m working on print files for spring/summer 2016 for Fashion Week in September. It’s going well and I’m just back from London where I had a pop-up shop and fashion show with Arthur Cox. They bring over Irish designers, organise the show and invite clients and buyers along. It’s been great to do that and then finish off the print files for spring/summer after getting a good feel for what clients are looking for.

Pamilla Burj dress


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Q: Colour therapy lies at the heart of your work. Could you expain? A: Everything I do is based on colour and colour therapy. We live in Northern Europe and it can be








so dark in this country so you need to be surrounded by bright colours. It stimulates you and has an effect on a person’s mood. What you do is place colour at certain points of the body to stimulate communication, to help focus the brain so each print does something different. Usually the client is drawn to certain prints, especially buyers. For example, in the Middle East they’re more adventurous with their colours whereas here, blue is a great colour and a great seller. It’s because it works with the Irish complexion but also we’re really good communicators and blue helps inspire that as well. Q: What was your biggest make or break moment? A: Every couple of months are make or break in the fashion industry but I think my breakthrough in the Middle East was my moment. I was lucky to get to show my work with some galleries in the region. In Abu Dhabi, the owner of the gallery was part of the Omani royal family so we had a strict dress code where you had to have certain parts of the body covered from a culturally respectful point of view. If you’re doing business in the Middle East that’s something you do need to be aware of; having the knees covered, InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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You need to produce for this country – it makes sense logistically – but you also need to look at the bigger picture for longevity for your brand.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Helen at the launch of the Design Island exhibition at Dublin Airport

Art and Design (NCAD) now have fantastic incubator schemes helping businesses grow out of the degree courses. There have been about three or four extremely lucrative businesses that have come out of NCAD over the past four years. It’s refreshing to see the combination of business and design ethic. Bogside Print Sharjah dress

the top of the arms too. I soon realised there was an opening for people travelling to this area to wear clothes that are culturally respectful, available all through the year. It’s a niche and it now makes up the core of my business. Q: How have you found it balancing the commercial with the creative? A: From the marketing side, it’s something I like and we touched on some of it in college. But the spreadsheets, the accounts and all those things, if you’re running a business you need to be familiar with them. I’d be the first person to hold my hands up and say ‘It’s not my forté’. Unless you’re a trained accountant it’s not going to be, but it’s something you need to be aware of. It’s definitely something that should be more prominent in creative degrees. When I was doing mine there wasn’t enough emphasis on this. The National College of 16

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Q: Is there enough support for the fashion design industry in Ireland? A: The main challenge in the industry is access to finance. If it wasn’t for the help of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) and IntertradeIreland I would still be painting. Banks tend to ignore young fashion designers and fashion brands to the point that very few stay in Ireland because they have no incentive to set up a business here. For me, receiving the IntertradeIreland FUSION grant has enabled me to develop duck down jackets with feathers from Silver Hill Foods and that has really helped boost the business. The grant helped me partner with the univerisites. They tested fabrics in the lab at the University of Ulster and I had an incredible graduate work with me so it was really good to have that backing. There’s also help to grow the business and branch out into new territories like South Korea, Japan and China although logistically, it’s not very cost-effective so I have tried to keep most of the

sales closer to the European market and the Middle East. It’s important to state that the DCCoI are exceptional. They have been such a huge support to me. 2015 is the year of Irish Design and the DCCoI commissioned Design Island, an exhibition of portraits of work from fashion designers, animation companies and architects. Through that I have had quite a few sales. There’s also a new app that’s being launched in conjunction with ID2015 so there’s a lot of good things happening. The DCCoI and Irish Design 2015 brought a selection of young fashion designers to London Fashion Week and that’s been really good too. That kind of initiative makes sense and I hope that’s something that will be ongoing, not just for 2015. Q: What advice would you have for young designers? A: I would say it’s a global market. You need to produce for this country – it makes sense logistically – but you also need to look at the bigger picture for longevity for your brand. Team up with someone who has a business background or else do a course in how to start your own business. It’s important to have the business side. You won’t get ahead otherwise. Young designers also need to make their own clothes. They need to be familiar with pattern cuttings and tailoring. If you want to be a fashion designer, you need to have that knowledge and be able to produce yourself for the first couple of seasons. Q: You travel a lot with your work. Are there any places that truly inspire? A: The Middle East in general. I’ve been travelling there since 1998 and I’ve seen incredible changes, especially when you look at countries like Syria. Damascus is an incredibly beautiful city. It’s so sad to see what is happening there. A lot of my clients are from there and are now living in different parts of the Middle East and Europe. It’s heartbreaking to see. It’s being ignored and to a certain extent it’s a very misunderstood part of the world. InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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ernard McCarthy has had his 15 minutes of fame. It may not have been the 15 minutes that the 51-year old managing director of DHL Express Ireland envisaged, but it came his way on May 7th 2009 when the company announced the closure of seven regional depots across the country with the result of 320 redundancies. It ran as the main story on RTÉ’s nine o’clock news that night and it marked the lowest point of McCarthy’s 28 years at DHL. “I was here in this facility,” he recalls. “All staff were called to a meeting at six o’clock. They knew something big was going on and before we got through the meeting the RTÉ crew had arrived at the gates. Word had got around. All of a sudden you’re the lead news story. It’s not a nice place to be.” Six years on and I meet McCarthy at the DHL Express headquarters at Dublin Airport Logistics Park, an impressive facility displaying the DHL yellow and red colours from afar. He appears upbeat and is surprisingly open about what a challenging time it was back then. In his office, surrounded by DHL model airplanes and numerous industry awards, he explains what went wrong for the company. “As you’d expect DHL Express Ireland performed well during the Celtic Tiger years and into the 2000s. A big corporate expansion programme had been initiated by DHL’s parent company, Deutsche Post, which included a major acquisition spree

Conor McCabe

Bernard McCarthy has spent 13 years at the helm of DHL in Ireland, but it took more than good fortune to bring the Irish arm of the international giant back from the brink, writes JOSEPH O’CONNOR.

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A NEW FOCUS The DHL Focus Strategy is based upon four main pillars. The first is to have a motivated team of people. Then it’s about ensuring that this team delivers great service quality. In turn, this will generate loyal customers, and loyal customers will ultimately lead to a profitable business. And it certainly seems to have worked, both in an Irish context and internationally. The repositioning 20

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Conor McCabe

throughout Europe. In Ireland and the UK, Deutsche Post acquired Securicor Omega Express, a large mainly domestic delivery company. My job was to integrate the DHL Express international business with the Securicor Omega domestic business under the DHL umbrella and whilst there were some successes in the early stages, ultimately it wasn’t a match made in heaven.” In the mid 2000s, with the Irish economy still performing well, the international side of DHL’s business was returning strong profits, but the domestic business was at best breaking even and ultimately lossmaking. According to McCarthy, by 2009 the domestic business was sucking the life out of the healthier international business. “Although you don’t realise it at the time, all your focus, time and energy is going into trying to address the loss-making side of the business whilst in relative terms the healthy part is being neglected. As DHL’s business declined in Ireland, DHL’s brand and reputation were being damaged.” A decision was taken to focus on the company’s core competence and at DHL that was the international express business. Divesting of its high volume domestic delivery services meant hitting the labour intensive side of the operation and that’s where the majority of the 320 redundancies came from. A period of restructuring followed, both locally in Ireland and indeed in many other DHL businesses around the globe. It was at this time that DHL initiated what it called its ‘focus strategy’ and in the following years, a significant recovery emerged.

strategy has resulted in the firm continuing on a successful path and in 2014 profits at the Irish operation grew for the fifth consecutive year. However, there was much work needed in between, and one of the major challenges was regaining the trust of employees after the redundancies in 2009. “There was a grieving process,” says McCarthy. “Those who stayed behind had seen friends and colleagues leave so there was an initial period when people were really just getting by day-to-day. It’s almost like the death of a loved one. But you have to move on and after a short time there was a renewed sense of ‘let’s get on and make this work’.” It helps that McCarthy doesn’t like jargon. If at any point during our interview he finds himself using corporate clichés, he makes reference to it and chooses to re-communicate his message in a simpler and clear manner. It’s this approach he took when informing staff of the Focus Strategy. “It was no more complicated than someone like me just sitting down with groups of people to say ‘here’s where we’re at, and this is what we’re going to do’. It wasn’t about fancy PowerPoints, graphs and models. It was just about asking some very basic questions about what we needed to do to ensure that we’d have a sustainable future. You need to have those conversations at that level. Our staff are very sophisticated in their own right but they don’t necessarily want to know about gross profit margins and indirect cost ratios. They want to know about what we do every day, how we operate and what that means for them.” This approach seems to have paid off and McCarthy says it was towards the end of 2009 when he noticed a discernible change in the mood and a real sense that staff were on board with the new approach. Since then, DHL has carried out yearly employee opinion surveys to gauge levels of staff engagement – which has increased every year from 2010 onwards. The company also rolled out a global

CV: Bernard McCarthy ROLE: Managing Director, DHL Express Ireland LIVES: Central Dublin FAMILY: Wife Sharon and three children, Joan, Niamh and Ciaran CURRENTLY READING: Darren Clarke’s An Open Book FAVOURITE FILM: Any Given Sunday HOBBIES: I’m a big sports fan and former soccer player but golf and hillwalking is as active as it gets these days

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training programme for all 100,000 staff with the aim of ensuring that each employee understands the importance of their individual role within the organisation. In Ireland, DHL also introduced a staff incentive scheme whereby each employee can earn an additional one per cent of their salary each quarter if company financial targets are achieved, effectively a simple profit sharing scheme. The company has also sought an outside opinion by entering the ‘Great Place to Work’ process and this year they made the official list as one of Ireland’s Best Large Workplaces. These are just some of the measures now in place at DHL that show a renewed focus on engaging with employees. “If you don’t have engaged employees don’t be surprised if you don’t have engaged customers,” McCarthy notes, adding that staff turnover for 2014 was less than 2 per cent, which in industry terms is extremely low. A CONTINUOUS JOURNEY So six years on, in what shape do we find DHL Express in Ireland? “There is no end destination,” says McCarthy. “You’re always on a road of continuous improvement. If you look at where we were in 2009 and where we are today, we have significantly improved versus our core objectives in terms of profitability, market share growth, customer satisfaction and employee engagement. 2014 proved to be a particularly strong year for DHL in Ireland. It remains to be seen whether 2015 will live up to last year’s figures but McCarthy says he is seeing further improvement monthon-month. With DHL’s business stabilised and continuing on a growth path, one of the company’s main objectives is to remain innovative. The issue of ‘last mile delivery’ remains a major challenge. This refers to the last leg of the supply chain, in which consumer products are delivered to the home. “It’s important to get this right, otherwise you risk alienating customers,” explains McCarthy. InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Ten years ago, 90 per cent plus of the shipments we delivered in Ireland were to businesses. Today, 50 per cent plus of what we deliver is to a consumer at a residential address. The challenge this brings, if you’re a van courier, is that you might have 80 delivery stops but for 45 of those you need to find someone at home to sign for the delivery. Okay, that’s our day job but the challenge lies in making sure you’re there when we call and that you receive it at a time that suits you.” The industry as a whole is seeking to develop more effective and costefficient systems. Smart boxes will most likely play a major part, whereby a customer makes an order online and then collects their parcel at a smart box at a nearby location with the use of a customer code. “This discussion is taking place across the board,” says McCarthy. “But anyone who says that they’ve cracked it is frankly spoofing. They either have systems and processes that are very expensive and people don’t want to pay for them or the less expensive ones don’t meet the customers’ needs. It’s about trying to find the middle ground.” So as we see new technologies and innovation change the face of the import-export industry in years to come, can we expect to see McCarthy still at the helm of DHL’s Irish arm? “I’m 28 years in the company now and it’s unlikely at this stage that I’ll move out of Ireland but I’m more than happy to continue to do what I do. The beauty of our business is that no day, no week, no year is the same as the last. It really is ever-changing and it’s certainly a role that I’ve never become bored of. As long as they’re happy to have me, I’ll be happy to stay.” There’s a pause and I think the interview is over. But McCarthy provides a footnote for his last comment: “It’s an important point,” he says. “It’s not just a quote for the piece. You don’t stay 28 years somewhere unless you’re happy and fulfilled.” Who knows, if DHL Express Ireland’s renewed focus continues to deliver, McCarthy might get another shot at 15 minutes of fame, but this time a very different one.


HUB Last October DHL Express Ireland launched a new website (, which has been specifically designed to guide new or emerging exporters and help them to take their first steps into the export marketplace and trading internationally. The website contains information including how to prepare a good export plan, opportunities in key international markets, duties and tax information as well as details on specific paperwork that may be required so that goods can be customs-cleared without delay upon arrival at their destination. Furthermore, there are a number of useful tools and guides available for download and in the DHL Partners section there are links and resources from Irish organisations that can provide further expert advice.


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n the 1980s in Ireland there were three companies working in the international financial services (IFS) industry, employing between 55 and 60 people; at the end of last year there were more than 400, employing more than 35,000 people. Of those 400 companies about 200 of them are Irish owned. It’s also a national industry; of the 35,000 people employed in IFS about 12,000 of those jobs are outside Dublin. Earlier this year the Government outlined a new strategy for Ireland’s international financial services industry. IFS2020 is a five-year strategy with a goal of creating 10,000 new jobs by 2020, in line with the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. The policy covers five strategic priorities: promoting Ireland as a location for IFS; driving improvement in the operating environment and competitiveness; driving research and innovation, with a particular emphasis on fintech; developing job creation opportunities through emerging sub-sectors, such as the development of a funds cluster; and performance and benchmarking measures. Minister of State for International Banking (including IFSC) Simon Harris, who launched the strategy, explains why it’s important to have such a strategy in place: “You can’t afford to stand still in this industry. You’ve got to understand what’s coming next. The big policy area we have identified is fintech but there are broader issues for Government too like making sure Ireland is an attractive place to do business, making sure there is support for small indigenous companies and companies that want to start up in Ireland, and making sure that our education system is producing the skills we need – we’ve a skilled workforce now but we’ve got to ensure we’ve a skilled workforce in ten and 20 years. The strategy gets into all of those areas.” IFS2020 was developed in consultation with industry experts and includes an industry advisory forum with representatives from each of the key sub-sectors, with a quarter of the seats assigned to Irish-owned companies. “It’s easy to put together a glossy plan for strategy and put it on a shelf but we’ve adopted the Action Plan for Jobs model so there will be a quarterly progress report published to show how we’re getting on,” explains Harris. “There’s 30 actions identified for this year in the report, each of those has InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Minister of State Simon Harris


IRELAND 400+ IFS Companies 200 Irish owned


35,000+ directly employed in IFS 1/3 of jobs are outside Dublin

+ + +

1st for availability of skilled people

2nd for financial skills

4th largest exporter of financial services in the EU

+ +

#1 location for alternative investment funds

a3.2 trillion of assets under administration

a timeline for delivery and it lists which agencies are responsible for delivering it. “It’s a five-year strategy with a goal of creating 10,000 new jobs by 2020 but we recognise it can’t be static. Each year there will be priorities set for the coming year.” FINTECH Fintech companies are usually disruptors of traditional models of financial services, using software and technology to ease payment processes, reduce fraud, improve security and save money. It has been identified as one of the key opportunities for growth in the Government’s strategy. “We have the top technology companies here and we have some of the top financial giants here, so we can actually develop Dublin and Ireland as a hub for fintech startups,” says Harris. “There are three things we want to do in the strategy to really make Ireland a fintech cluster. One is to provide start-up space. Secondly, we need to make sure funding is available for fintech projects, and thirdly, we need more accelerators and more companies working with start-ups to provide incubators. I’m encouraged that we have a number in operation in Dublin but I’m working with industry to secure more of them.” Deloitte published a report shortly after IFS2020 that corroborated the importance of fintech for the future of the financial services industry in Ireland, estimating some 5,000 jobs could be created in fintech over the next five years. 23

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FINTECH IN IRELAND: Who are the Players? REALEX Founded by Colm Lyon in 2000, Realex Payments grew to be one of Europe’s largest online payments gateway businesses. Processing over a28bn per annum for 12,500 retailers, Realex Payments was acquired by Global Payments in March 2015 at a value of a115m.

STRIPE Stripe, co-founded by the Collison brothers, is a company that provides a way for individuals and businesses to accept payments over the internet. Twitter and Facebook use Stripe technology to facilitate payments.

CURRENCYFAIR Founded by four former bankers, CurrencyFair gives individuals and businesses access to the same exchange rates for international currency transfers normally reserved for banks and market professionals.

FINEOS The Dublin-based software development company provides software solutions for the global life, accident and health insurance industry, supporting six of the top 20 life, accident and health insurance carriers in the US.

David Dalton, Partner and Head of Financial Services at Deloitte says: “There are three key factors in our view that will shape fintech’s success. Firstly, the extent that there is collaboration between existing financial services players and technology innovators. Secondly, that talent and skills in technology and business are sufficiently available in Ireland to support these types of fintech ventures. And lastly, how well Ireland develops a reputation for undertaking this type of innovation and markets itself as a leading location for fintech. There are already a number of locations that have very strong reputations; London, New York, Boston, Berlin, Israel and Hong Kong. It’s a competitive space.” Deloitte’s report also suggested the key challenge for fintech in Ireland will be to support both disruptors and optimisers, guiding financial services institutions to transform their business models, and to improve connectivity between fintech companies and established FS firms. “At a global level we are witnessing investment in fintech units by several of the large FS firms and there is no reason why this can’t be emulated at a local level given the significant untapped investment potential in fintech,” says Dalton. “We support the objectives of the IFS2020 strategy, but believe it is a starting point and the key factor is the level of support for its implementation.” Brett Meyers, co-founder and CEO of Dublin-based CurrencyFair, the world’s only large-scale peer-to-peer currency exchange, concurs with the aims of the Government’s strategy for fintech.

Brett Meyers, co-founder and CEO, CurrencyFair


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David Dalton, Partner and Head of Financial Services, Deloitte

“Dublin has for a long time had a strong financial services ecosystem and in recent years a maturing tech ecosystem that puts it at the cusp of the fintech wave, which is rightly highlighted in the new strategy,” he says. “The focus needs to be on innovation, and innovation comes from smaller start-ups that need a different kind of support than large corporations. It’s clear that there are some exceptional Irish entrepreneurs and founders in the fintech area. We need to do more to support seed stage start-ups and develop the ecosystem in Ireland so that can happen here.” Meyers believes Ireland is an ideal location to start a tech company and is ripe for the clustering effect that is taking hold, but more support is needed, such as access to seed capital, more flexible R&D credits as well as physical start-up space: “Imagine if the north Docklands could match the south Docklands in Dublin as being a hub, but for fintech?” he muses. “We need more of a cluster for fintech and any support the Government can do for smaller companies, the stronger existing fintech companies will become – and the more likely we’ll be in Ireland to develop unicorns that employ thousands.” The Government’s strategy is, of course, bigger than fintech, but its importance is indisputable. “How will we be banking in five, ten years or 20 years? Nobody definitively knows the answer, but everybody knows we’ll be doing it differently,” says Harris. “We have already seen the ingenuity of Irish people in coming up with new ideas and new solutions and we’ve a city and a country in which it’s pretty good to do business. It’s a very exciting growth area and we’re well positioned to do well out of it.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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BUSINESS OF SPORT To discover more about the mutual benefits of sports sponsorship, CONOR FORREST sought out the advice of Kelli O’Keeffe, Director, PSG Sponsorship.



he topic of sports sponsorship made its way to the fore earlier this year via the GAA – Carlow GAA announced they had sold naming rights for Dr Cullen Park to local company Netwatch, Wexford GAA announced a four-year sponsor for Wexford Park (henceforth to be known as Innovate Wexford Park), while the GAA’s Director-General Páraic Duffy maintained that Croke Park’s name will remain untouched by any additions. “We have never had any offers on Croke Park, nor have we sought it. It has never been discussed, really. That’s for the GAA to decide. But I don’t see it as likely. I can’t talk for 50 or 100 years down the line. But in the near future I would say, no,” he said in April. While the GAA probably isn’t in the financial position that would require them to seek out sponsorship for Croke Park, many clubs and sports teams around the country would benefit greatly from such partnerships from business. And it is 26

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by no means a one-way street. “First and foremost, awareness is a major [benefit],” says Kelli O’Keeffe, Director of PSG Sponsorship, an agency that specialises in sponsorship negotiation and activation. “That would be particularly beneficial for a major new entrant to the market... mass sponsorship can deliver huge awareness with immediate effect. Then there’s brand positioning – if it’s done correctly, a brand looking to position itself and identify with its demographic can do this really successfully through sponsorship.” Every year PSG Sponsorship surveys 1,000 people, gauging their thoughts on whether companies should be investing in sponsorship in Ireland. The latest figures show that 77 per cent of people agree – sponsoring local teams, for example, isn’t just a nice gesture or show of support, but something people now expect of companies. “When driving preference, the evidence

is there to show that sponsorship can push consumers towards one brand or the other,” O’Keeffe adds. “Sponsorship can offer loyalty and attention, the energy market being one example. The cost of acquiring customers can be huge, so a lot of companies invest in their sponsorship and reward their customers to keep them.” LOOKING INWARDS Getting involved in sponsoring a team or stadium isn’t as simple as walking down to your local club and slapping a cheque on the table, however. O’Keeffe counsels caution and preparedness – companies should be well aware of their own strategic business objectives and should carefully choose their partnerships based on these. “If you’re getting involved with sponsorship it has to deliver for the business and the business’s bottom line. Our first recommendation would be for the business to know InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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The IRFU signed the six-year deal with 3 and Canterbury after the union agreed an a11.5 million settlement with Puma after it withdrew its sponsorship early last year.


All-Ireland Football Championship - a4.5m

AIB and the GAA struck a sponsorship deal at the start of this year that will see the bank give a1.5m a year for an initial three-year period.


Cork’s Alan Cadogan launching the Bord Gáis Energy GAA All-Ireland U21 Hurling Championship last year.

Launch of the EirGrid GAA All-Ireland U21 Football Championship this year.

its own strategic objectives and how sponsorship can feed into that, so they need awareness,” she explains. “Based on that they need to go out, knowing the budget that they have, and see what’s out there, what’s available, what’s realistic.” Once that initial stage is complete, the next step involves drawing up a shortlist of three to five potential sponsorship partners to whom the business can go and talk to, the fleshing out of a potential activation plan, as well as an evaluation of each of those sponsorship options to really understand if they will fit with their business objectives. “If you are a local grocer and you want to get to the local community then it definitely makes sense to go and get behind your local soccer club where there are X amount of parents every week,” says O’Keeffe. “But, if your business has nothing to do with the local community, it doesn’t make sense to put money into something that’s not going to deliver for you.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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ROLE MODELS O’Keeffe highlights several examples of sports sponsorship partnerships that could be held up as examples to which businesses should aspire. Allianz, for instance, is one of the longest supporters of Gaelic games in Ireland, and has sponsored the hurling and football leagues since 1993. “The league has gone from strength to strength over the last number of years and Allianz has been there with them all the way. You could also look at Etihad – they came into the market and were completely unknown here, they needed a huge amount of brand awareness and they needed it quickly. To go in with the hurling championship was very unexpected, but people got to know who they were and what they did immediately,” she says. O’Keeffe also notes the increasing importance of digital campaigns in an era when social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all-pervasive. Most recently AIB’s #TheToughest campaign successfully leveraged the power of digital media in boosting the profile of the AIB-sponsored GAA Club Championships, focusing on ordinary club players and turning them into heroes. The campaign generated 1.5 million video views and widespread engagement on

3 Ireland extended their partnership with the FAI pledging support to Irish football until 2016 in a deal worth an additional a4 million.


All-Ireland Hurling Championship - A5m

The airline agreed to sponsor the All-Ireland senior hurling championship in 2012 in a deal thought to be worth about a5m to the GAA.


Dublin GAA - A4m

Dublin GAA signed the biggest inter-county sponsorship deal of all time in 2013 signing with insurance firm AIG in a deal that is believed to be worth more than a4m over a five-year period.

social media, and took home the Marketing Institute’s Digital Marketing Campaign Award in May. “Five years ago that didn’t exist. Now, for people putting sponsorship activation plans in place, they have to have a digital element. Facebook and Twitter are really growing in Ireland and the benefit for smaller businesses is that it’s really costeffective; you can activate a small sponsorship cleverly, and Facebook can reach a good target audience as well,” O’Keeffe explains. For businesses interested in becoming involved in sports sponsorship, the steps are clear – establish your brand aims and budget, scout relevant sporting organisations for which your sponsorship will deliver real value, and plan not only for the immediate future but also the next three to five years. From there, it’s up to you to get the ball rolling. 27

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He has 83 books to his name. He’s a highly esteemed architect and graphic designer. He has created numerous groundbreaking conferences including the world renowned TED Talks. So where do you even start when interviewing Richard Saul Wurman? The trick, as JOSEPH O’CONNOR discovered, is to just let him talk.

ichard Saul Wurman has just turned 80 and his thirst for knowledge has never been greater. To mark the milestone, Wurman organised a small meeting of minds between him and four friends – all experts in their fields – and opened it up to 20 attendees. The speakers – architect Frank Gehry, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, urban designer Moshe Safdie and producer Jon Kamen – didn’t quite know why they were there but came from all over the US to converge in a small warehouse in the city of Newport, Rhode Island. Wurman’s idea was to stage an improvised conversation on what he termed ‘EAT’. EAT stands for ‘Envy, Admiration and Terror’ and the 90-minute discussion centred on these three emotions and how people respond to them in their everyday lives. In essence, this is what Wurman does. He pushes boundaries and changes the fundamentals of how things are generally done, whether that’s organising a conference, writing a travel guide or pioneering a new area of study. His curiousity remains his main motivator but it is by embracing his own ignorance that he says he has gained a competitive edge in life. “I have worked hard to be the dumbest guy in the room,” he tells me speaking over the phone from his

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Newport home. “I have worked hard to understand what it’s like not to understand. And that’s a struggle. It’s not just a glib statement. It’s an ongoing challenge to be a blank slate and to allow things to come in and then see patterns of connectivity between them.” Wurman believes that the methods by which we learn in the Western World are counterproductive because we are not taught to understand but only to memorise. “We get rewards for putting up our hand and answering a question correctly,” he says. “We are taught to memorise things so that we can answer questions and then basically forget what we memorised and the cycle begins. So most of our schooling, certainly our home experiences, are designed for comfort, not to ask too many questions because it bothers our parents. Then in later life, we work and we find ourselves in meetings saying ‘uh-huh’ to the person holding the meeting because we don’t want to seem stupid. We want to go along with things as a means to get ahead in this world. We make believe we understand because we are constantly in this acting mode of trying to look smart.” That’s where much of Wurman’s work comes in. His passion lies in making information understandable and the simple journey from not knowing to knowing. He coined it as 29

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‘information architecture’. One way to achieve this is to present information in a way that interests the consumer, often through the convergence of different subjects. Wurman uses the example of someone who is interested in cars and points to the fact that cars connect with physics and biology. A traffic jam, he tells me, is the exact same physics mathematic diagram as peristaltic action when you swallow. I take him on his word. “Everything connects to everything,” he says. “It all goes in if we’re interested in it.” That’s where the idea for the TED conferences came from. “The convergence of things,” as Wurman puts it. In this case the convergence of technology, entertainment and design, hence the TED acronym. “It’s the realisation that many subjects, many areas of interest – medicine, technology, design, health and wealth – are all converged and we can learn new ideas and breakthroughs and have deeper understandings of subjects by opening ourselves up to other subject areas.” TED has today developed cult status and has come a long way since Wurman first hosted it in 1984 in Monterey, California. He stuck at it until 2001 when he sold it for $14 million, something he says he should have done years earlier. “All I was doing was making it incrementally better every year. That’s not enough reasons to have a life. Innovation is not putting a rear-facing camera on a car and calling it ‘innovation’. Thinking up a new system of movement is what innovation is. Innovation is different than just making something incrementally better.”

Today TED’s reach is incredible. TED Talks, the audio and video podcast series of lectures taken from TED events, has received more than one billion views to date. TED Radio Hour now brings ideas and stories from TED Talks to public radio listeners all over the world. University professors assign them as required course material. Some airlines have a TED channel on their in-flight entertainment systems. So what are Wurman’s thoughts on how it all transpired? “What TED has turned into is a television show,” he says. “They read from teleprompters. They

RICHARD’S ADVICE ON PLANNING A CONFERENCE Don’t have people read speeches and, if you take away the lectern, they can’t put their speech down. Get people to have a conversation, even if it’s a one-way conversation with the audience. Get them to give a speech they haven’t given before. Speak about what they would like to do next or what they are thinking about. Take commercialism out of it. A CEO can’t legally tell the truth because of stock manipulation and a politician doesn’t have the DNA to tell the truth. You must break the mould and realise that conversation is king. Extraordinary things happen in conversations, particularly improvised ones. 30

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rehearse their speech. It’s one they give over and over again. They have makeup on. They stand behind a podium. They sell things. They sell a book. They sell a charity.” It’s safe to say that TED would have turned out quite different had Wurman chose not to sell it. “I like how I used to do it before the internet,” he explains. “I’d send DVDs to people. I like that and I like the TEDx events (an opening up of the TED format to local, independently organised events) but the main conference that it comes from is all canned. People go to conferences to talk to someone. I don’t think they go to be talked to. A rehearsed speech? Send me an email!” One look at Wurman’s resumé shows how he likes to move quickly from project to project and spending 18 years working on something like TED was uncharacteristic of him. He says that once you lose your terror of doing something, you’ve lost your edge. “Two of the emotions I carry with me in large measure are InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Researched, designed and published 83 books



13-year partner in Murphy Levy Wurman Architects



Mapped one-third of the Mayan city of Tikal and current project 19.20.21



Image courtesy of The Nantucket Project



I wouldn’t have an edge, I


lazy. I would be DOING


slightly better. I wouldn’t


coming up with NEW THINGS.”

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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confidence and terror. If you think they cancel each other out, they don’t. We grow up being told that if you’re too confident you’re a bragger and if you’re terrified you’re a scaredy-cat. And yet those are the two emotions that allow me to work. If I wasn’t terrified I wouldn’t have an edge, I wouldn’t think of ideas. I’d be lazy. I would be doing what I was doing before but slightly better. I wouldn’t take the risk of coming up with new things. And if I wasn’t confident, I couldn’t do anything. Once you get comfortable you might as well give it up and yet that’s the sociological ideal we have in our society. I’m not trying to change the world, I’m just trying to get a better idea of who I am. I just try to do good work.” Wurman’s latest project sees him partner with ESRI, the international supplier of GIS software, on a major cartographic initiative called 19.20.21 which endeavors to comparatively map 100 cities in the world. It’s certainly an ambitious project but then all of Wurman’s work is. I ask

him what is the one thing he is most proud of? “The next thing I think of,” he replies without hesitation. “See how fast I said that? That’s because I’ve been asked it before and that was my answer, ‘the next thing I’m going to do’. I’m certainly not proud of anything I’ve already done because they have little spots that worked well but nothing that’s good enough.” I’m not surprised to find out that there’s much more than just the cartographic initiative on the horizon for Wurman and his thirst for knowledge shows no sign of abating any time soon. “I’m doing another conference called Finding the Future First which is on things that will happen in five years’ time. I’m writing the biggest book I’ve ever done and I’m conducting a global analysis of healthcare policies in a comparative manner on 50 countries in the world. So I’m still in the game. “Did you notice how I didn’t mention any of those things when we talked first? It’s because I’m not selling anything!”

Recipient of MIT’s Kevin Lynch Award in urban design



AIGA Gold Medal, membership in AGI and inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame



Created and chaired the TED conference from 1984 to 2003, the TEDMED conference from 1995 to 2010 as well as the EG and WWW conferences


ACCOLADES Awarded four honorary doctorate degrees and recipient of the annual gold medal from Trinity College Dublin among numerous other awards


30/06/2015 13:16


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CHAT Mary Curtis, Head of Channel, UTV Ireland


research that I give them in order to maximise the audience.

I had come from a very busy workplace at RTÉ into a really nice time at home. Then this came along. I hadn’t expected it at all because no one knew that UTV Ireland was coming to town. A lot of people were juggling a huge amount at the beginning and working towards the broadcast date of January 1st which wouldn’t be ideal normally, but that was when the channel gained the rights to ITV content. We had to do a great deal of work in terms of communication but I think people now clearly understand that this is a channel that is broadcast along with the other terrestrial channels in Ireland and the initial teething problems are over. A lot of people have a default position on their remote and that’s what they go to. It’s about breaking those habits. We’ve put a couple of programmes into the BAI and we’re hopeful that we’ll have some success with that. InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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News is difficult because people need to become familiar with it. A trust needs to develop and we’re building that. We have just commissioned some channel research and the news has been praised hugely for its independent reporting and its strong regional presence. New devices are increasing the amount of time that people spend consuming audio-visual content, but home-based linear TV is still by far the most dominant form of viewing.

I have very eclectic viewing habits along with being the mother of three I’m a huge fan of children, which is probably why I The Good Wife which is on watch my television after the news More 4 and Channel 4. That’s a at ten. joke in the office. They say:

“Mary, what would Alicia do in this situation?”

This wasn’t where I thought I’d be but here I am. In terms of my career, I had been 20 years in RTÉ. It’s fantastic to get an opportunity to do something different.


29/06/2015 14:44


Old School Barber STIL




The recent boom in male grooming means there now seems to be a barber shop on every street corner. But there’s still room for the old guard. InBUSINESS paid a visit to the Merchant Barber to chat to its charismatic owner Bernard Breslin about a changing industry and life as a trader in Dublin’s Temple Bar.

Graeme McQueen

ON HIS BACKGROUND IN BARBERING I’m from Walkinstown and I left school at 15 to become a barber. That’s when I started working in town and I’ve been working there ever since.

Bernard Breslin, 53, has been operating from the same premises in Temple Bar since 1986 and played a role in the development of the Temple Bar area, having chaired the Merchant’s Arch and Crown Alley Traders Association


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I started in a place called Lionel’s Barber Shop where I did a two-year apprenticeship. When I was 23 I moved to Temple Bar and started my own business. Temple Bar wasn’t developed at the time and there was a lot of derelict places around town. But when we moved in there was huge goodwill. It wouldn’t be unusual for strangers to drop in and wish me the best of luck. It was really positive stuff for a young guy at 23. ON LANDLORDS While in the shop, I always made sure I paid my rent. I used to see my landlord calling into the other traders. One day I was talking to another shopowner and told him how I felt a little offended because the landlord called into the other shops but never mine. The trader laughed and said: “Bernard, you pay rent, don’t you?” That was the reason for it!

ON BREAKING NEW GROUND The shop became very popular over the years. One reason why is because we were the first shop to mix two styles of hairdressing. I had previously worked in gents hair stylist shops. They never called themselves barbers. They saw themselves as being distinctly different. If you called them a barber they would be quite insulted but if you called a barber a gents hair stylist they would be insulted. So I decided to mix the two traditions. I was able to blow dry, style and offer a wide range of services. All of a sudden you had people with long hair coming in, people with short hair, different kinds of hair. This really put a spotlight on the shop and we suddenly had people like Elvis Costello and Sinéad O’Connor coming through the door.

The place became so vibrant. There were skinheads, cureheads, all sorts of people in here and to people outside it was very visual. We were unique in that we had an open barber shop. In the old days, they were either the upstairs or downstairs of a premises, there was very few ground floor barber shops. It was a hidden part of Dublin. So suddenly you had these guys getting mohicans and people would come in and watch. It created an atmosphere. At that time, I could count on one hand the number of barber shops or gent hair stylists in the city centre. That’s how little there were. Now if you look at this area, there are maybe ten within ten minutes of here, but we’re the original. ON HIS ACCOLADES I won the Hairdresser of the Year for the first InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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time in 1970. We have dominated the Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) championships for the guts of 25 years. There has been no one that has really touched us. I have retired from competitions but I train other people now. I’m also in the IHF’s Hall of Fame. My kids always slag me about that and ask where it is. It isn’t anywhere, it’s a name, but I was put in the hall of fame for my contribution to barbering over the years. I was extremely proud, particularly to be recognised by hairdressers because for many years barbers felt like second class citizens within the industry. ON THE CURRENT STATE OF THE INDUSTRY If you look at it now you have plenty of barbers who haven’t been trained properly. When I was younger it was an apprenticeship and you had to do a set number of years. Now they’re taking people on and training them in a couple of months instead of four years. You have a lot of people doing six-week courses and then opening shops. It’s quite common. For people that are in the industry for a long time, people like myself, it’s InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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devastating because even though customers will often recognise a good job, some of the guys with no qualifications are charging a5 or a10. They don’t even have skills in dealing with people but because it’s a cheap haircut, some people just accept it. The industry is full of spoofers. I hate saying that about my own industry but it’s true. There are too many shops and too much competition. ON SOCIAL MEDIA The internet and social media are playing a huge role in the industry. There was a time when people like me and my peers relied on their skills; to cut someone’s hair well and for that person to recommend the barber to someone else. My haircut would do the talking for me. Nowadays, these guys can put up pictures of haircuts that they didn’t

Graeme McQueen


even do. We know guys who are okay barbers but are doing good business because of social media. They wouldn’t have survived in the old days.

the quality of my life on a daily basis. I’ve been broken into seven times, my car has been broken into six times. I’ve had ongoing problems.

ON THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE HE FACES AS AN SME I feel saddened to say that it is crime in the city. A lot of businesses outside the city are not affected by it but crime in Dublin city is rife. This is something that affects me daily. Every day I have to deal with a heroin addict in some way, whether it’s trying to rob me or harrass me for money. I have had people threaten to burn the shop down, had bottles thrown at me. This is a regular occurance. The reason I’m not talking about rates is because crime affects

ON THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE HE’S BEEN GIVEN Don’t trust anyone in business, no matter how well you know them. ON LOOKING AHEAD I would love to have another shop but it’s difficult to keep a barber shop steady when it starts getting bigger and bigger. You really lose that intimacy, that connection with customers and they become more of a number. I believe when it’s small and you have one great shop, it’s something good. 35

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adopted stronaut

Since returning to earth, guitar-strumming space man Chris Hadfield has been sharing his experiences with the world, imparting the practical lessons he’s learned during his career on and off the planet. He spoke to JOSEPH O’CONNOR about facing your fears and achieving your goals.

very once in a while a person of international The subject of dealing with fear and how to maximise notoriety comes along and captures the hearts and your potential forms the basis of our conversation. It’s minds of the Irish people. It could be a musician, a a topic that Hadfield has been interested in since he politician, an actor or a businessperson; no matter started giving talks 23 years ago. He begins with his take what their profession, they somehow connect on fear. “Often we have some sort of unspoken, grey with the Irish psyche and are quickly claimed as amorphous fear. This dictates our actions when in fact one of our own. it may be based on no actual danger at all,” he explains. One such person is Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is well placed to discuss fear. He was once Hadfield. Cmdr Hadfield became the world’s blinded during a spacewalk, something he recounted in a best known astronaut when he started tweeting TED Talk last year. He believes in order to overcome our images and videos from space while on fears we must first identify the difference between the International Space Station between the danger and the fear. “Take for example 2012 and 2013. Through his regular the fear of flying,” he says. “It’s an easy commentary (and occasional David thing to say. You don’t have to do any Bowie rendition) on social media, research but what you’re doing is The key is to celebrate he took us closer to space than ever denying yourself the ability to see the small successes, before and to our delight he took the world by simply hiding behind to recognise that there’s a particular interest in Ireland, ‘I’m afraid of’. Instead you should victory every day. It tweeting as Gaeilge in February acknowledge your fear of flying builds a growing sense 2013: “Tá Éire fíorálainn! Land but question what you are actually of green hills and dark beer. With afraid of. Is it the flying? Is it hitting of competence and Dublin glowing in the Irish night.” the ground? Is it dying in a crash? momentum Since returning to earth and hanging If you start digging into it, you very up the space suit, Hadfield has kept rapidly understand that your chances of himself busy. From motivational speaking dying in the car ride on the way to the airport to tourism promotion, from writing bestsellers are significantly higher than dying in the airplane.” to recording albums, he’s had an action-packed schedule. It may sound trivial to use the example of flying This is all the more evident when I catch up with him by but, according to Hadfield, this way of evaluating and long distance call on a Friday morning in Toronto. He decomposing the fear can be applied to anything. “You has a flight to New Jersey to catch so he pulls over on the need to assess what the fear is keeping you from doing. highway en route to the airport to take the call. Dig into the actual danger that is causing this irrational, 36

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InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Jen Murphy


InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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CHRIS HADFIELD ON... BUCKET LISTS Like some millstone, people drag this 90 per cent empty bucket around with them as a constant reminder of what a failure they are. To me that’s a terrible way to go through life. Instead, change your whole personal threshold of a victory and a success. Allow yourself to feel like you’ve succeeded every single day.

HIS NEW ALBUM I played music at the space station regularly. I wrote a bunch of music and now that it’s been a couple of years, we’ve brought it into the studio. I love how it’s sounding and the album should be out in August/September. It’s another layer of how to explain the newness of the experience of leaving the planet.


caveman fear and then ask ‘how can I realise the intrinsic, minor details of what’s actually going to happen?’ Then simulate them, practice them and become an expert in them. It will allow you to change not only your fundamental reaction to something but improve your chances in succeeding at it as well. That’s how we pick apart a space walk of a rocket launch. You can apply this to a new business venture or hiring an employee or anything really.” The other part of the conversation centres on achieving our goals and Hadfield has some advice on how to work towards something that may never happen but all the while stay optimistic and productive along the way. “To decide early in life to be something as fanciful as an astronaut knowing full well that the odds of that actually happening are virtually zero, the challenge is to somehow not become depressed, despondent or self-judgemental about it.” Hadfield says he counsels businesses on this mantra all the time: ‘What is your future visualisation of perfection?’ “Stick that up as a guiding light,” he says. “Once you’ve got that clear perception of what it looks like, where you’re headed, what you’re trying to accomplish, it really simplifies choosing what to do next. The common problem is you get all wrapped up in your next decision without really trying to understand where the whole thing is headed. Before trying to get to your end goal one year from now, what don’t you know? What employees don’t you have? What are you not ready for? Asking these questions gives you a sort of litmus test to simplify the next decisions. Life is not the big grandiose goals for yourself, life is the sum of the small decisions that you make.” For Hadfield, it is important that success is not defined by a long-term goal. He suggests

that we should celebrate minor successes along the way. “Don’t ever say you’re a failure if you don’t achieve a long-term goal. Instead say this weekend I’m going to, for example, learn exactly how the seals on the neck ring of a space suit work that by Sunday night you won’t have achieved your overall five-year goal but you will have deliberately moved yourself slightly closer to being what you dreamt you’d be and you can celebrate it. The key is to celebrate the small successes, to recognise that there’s victory every day. It builds a growing sense of competence and momentum and with that comes confidence and a clearer sense of purpose.” After sharing his thoughts on what he believes are the key ingredients for success, I just about have enough time to ask Hadfield about his experience in Ireland, a place he has visited a number of times since becoming an ambassador for Tourism Ireland (a role he took on free of charge in return for a tour of the country). “I’d say I’ve flown over Ireland a thousand times so I certainly know the look of it,” he says. “It’s been great to be able to meet the people and put reality on the previous guesses. I’ve had the chance to go from Inishowen across to Galway and Westport, down as far as Cork and then spend several days in Dublin. So I’m getting a better feel for it and I look forward to every trip. I’m kind of sad that my daughter Kristin has already graduated from Trinity College because that was a wonderful excuse to keep going back. It won’t be my last time for sure.” Chris Hadfield illustration courtesy of Jen Murphy (@JenJen_Murf). Jen is a graphic designs and caricature artist based in the west of Ireland. For further details contact

Chris Hadfield at the Titanic Exhibition, Belfast

I grew up with a lot of traditional and folk music. I listened to The Kingston Trio, Gordon Lightfoot, Peter, Paul and Mary, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash. To me a beautiful song is a melody that naturally stays in your head when it’s over and one that causes a rush of emotion just to listen to it. Traditional music fits that bill for me.


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InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

29/06/2015 15:10

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BANK ON While Israel is well known throughout the world for its tech prowess, there is a small but vibrant ecosystem developing in neighbouring Palestine. JOSEPH O’CONNOR travelled to the West Bank to meet some of the women using innovation and entrepreneurship as a means of empowerment.


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beer Abu Ghaith is all about getting her priorities right. Wearing a bright green hijab, the 30-yearold arrives in a beat-up Mazda 323F to meet me in a café on the outskirts of Ramallah, the city that acts as the economic heart of Palestine. She’s the first of several female tech entrepreneurs I have come to the West Bank to meet as I explore the role such women play in getting the Palestinian start-up ecosystem moving. Abu Ghaith is the founder of StayLinked, an internet employment brokerage and software development firm which she runs from her home in Dura in the southern West Bank. Branded as Palestine’s first female high-tech entrepreneur, she was recently listed as one of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women by CEO Middle East magazine. Last year she was named best technology enabler and facilitator at the Women in Technology Awards for the Middle East and Africa. Such accolades are flattering but she’s not resting on her laurels and is adamant that any revenue generated by her two-year-old start-up will be spent in a sensible manner. “If I was to rent office space I’d need a lot of money,” she explains. “I want other women to know that you can deal with large international companies from your home. It’s not hard. I don’t want to waste the revenue I take from the projects on something that I don’t really need. I always use profits to improve the company.” As for her mode of transport, Abu Ghaith’s 1992 Mazda just about gets her where she needs to go. She jokes with me about how the Israeli soldiers get worried when her car breaks down at checkpoints during her regular trips from Nablus in the north to her hometown near Hebron, a car journey very few women take alone. “I even know how to use jump leads now,” she says in jest. BREAKING BARRIERS Being a female entrepreneur in Palestine isn’t easy. In fact, being any kind of entrepreneur poses significant challenges, mostly in part to Palestine’s nervous and antagonistic neighbour, Israel. For instance, there’s currently no 3G network available in Palestine. Israeli authorities control 42

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NAME: Abeer Abu Ghaith AGE: 30 EDUCATION: Computer Systems Engineering, Polytechnic University, Hebron START-UP: StayLinked WEBSITE: PERSONAL GOAL: I want to expand my company to reach talent from Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon. I want StayLinked to become a unique platform in the EMEA region and also expand to the European market where I don’t have a lot of customers.

cellular networks there and have yet to grant 3G licences to Palestinian operators. Businesses can invest in better connections inside their offices but they’re expensive, certainly for cash-strapped start-ups or SMEs. It’s also difficult for Palestinians to travel freely to and from the West Bank and Gaza, while receiving visitors can prove complicated too. There’s no airport in Palestine and without Israeli ID, Palestinians have to fly out of Jordan and then undertake a three-hour journey through the Jordanian border to come home, and these are just the lucky ones who can obtain travel visas. Then there’s the various checkpoints scattered across Palestine that make the most basic journey feel like an eternity. To add to this hardship, last year’s 50-day war in Gaza wreaked havoc on that part of Palestine. According to the United Nations, about 2,200 people were killed during the conflict while dozens more died in Jerusalem and the West Bank. While the situations in the West Bank and Gaza are very different (electricity supply in Gaza has long been intermittent with many homes receiving only a few hours of electricity a day), all Palestinians face major challenges in life and in business. These barriers and inhibitions seem to make the entrepreneurs I meet even more resilient. “From a business perspective, instability is something you can plan for because that’s our environment and we want to be able to adapt,” says Abu Ghaith. “For early stage start-ups in Palestine it’s the lack of connection to the outside world that’s the biggest challenge. This leads to a lack of awareness of potential markets. There is also a lack of access to market. Because most Palestinians cannot travel, they have difficulty in networking, in forming strategic partnerships and selling their products.” StayLinked was founded with these restrictions in mind and is a start-up born out of the desire to bring the global market to Palestine. The company acts as a talent broker between skilled Palestinians (the majority of whom are women) and businesses around the world that need their services. These include graphic design, IT outsourcing, website development and 3D modelling. Abu Ghaith’s start-up had a significant breakthrough in June 2013 when she signed four “modest” international contracts with companies in the US, Australia and the UK. To complete these projects she had to hire and train 30 freelancers across the West Bank and Gaza. Since then StayLinked has started to see profits for the first time. It now has four staff and to date more than 300 jobs have been carried out by over 200 freelancers. When seeking new InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Downtown Ramallah, West Bank

NAME: Mays Attari

business, Abu Ghaith has the benefit of namedropping impressive clients such as Time Out, for whom StayLinked translated the magazine’s content into Arabic. Abu Ghaith, who was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, has advice for other women who dream of setting up their own business in an equally challenging environment. “Until now I haven’t received funding from any organisation,” she says. “I started from my room at home without any capital. I just had my laptop and internet. I want to prove to other women that if you want to make a change you can do it with very basic tools. Whether you are in Africa, Syria or Jordan, you can change the world.” MORE THAN A FAD Mays Attari could be described as halfentrepreneur, half-philosopher. Still a student at Birzeit University, the 23-year-old from Jenin is co-founder of Fadfid, an online psychotherapy platform that connects patients seeking expert psychological therapy to specialists across the Arab world. Launched last year, the innovative idea allowed Attari and her business partner, Mohammad Abuqrae, to enter Palestine’s first start-up incubator programme called Fastforward and receive funding of $50,000. Now in her final year of university where she is studying a major in computer engineering and a minor in philosophy, Attari tells me that when people are just coding and dealing with ones and zeros, they become machines. “We need to connect that with humanity,” she says. And that’s just what she has achieved with Fadfid. We meet in a suite at Fastforward’s co-working space called e-zone, located in a bright, airy office InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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AGE: 23 EDUCATION: Computer Engineering and Philosophy, Birzeit University, Ramallah START-UP: Fadfid WEBSITE: PERSONAL GOAL: I want Fadfid to continue to be a place based on trust where clients are comfortable to talk to therapists. It’s not just for Palestine, it’s for all the Arab world and together we can take a big step in therapy.

in Ramallah where young Palestinians beaver away on their start-up projects. It’s not unlike a scene you’d discover among the cluster of tech enterprises in the Dublin Docklands. Attari assures me she has been interviewed before – for Palestinian television in fact – so the microphone does nothing to faze her. She tells me how there is a lot of stigma in Palestine when it comes to seeking professional help for mental health. “This is something we considered,” she says. “We could create therapy services where you can keep your privacy, one where you talk to a professional therapist through an online portal. We started to experiment at university and found that there was a big demand for the service.” In a similar way to Abu Ghaith’s StayLinked, FadFid’s service is not wholly affected by impediments to movement. When Attari recalls the most significant moment so far for her start-up, it becomes clear that she is driven by altruism. “I received a phonecall at midnight from an Egyptian girl who told me that she needed a session immediately. I told her that it wasn’t possible but she pleaded with me. So I contacted one of the therapists in Jordan and asked her for a favour for me, not for Fadfid. I said we need a session now. She asked me to give her ten minutes and she’d be online. And we made it happen! A Jordanian therapist provided a session for an Egyptian client and we connected them in Palestine. It was great. At that moment I called everyone I know and said, ‘We made it!’” So what’s in the name? ‘Fadfid’ is Arabic for ‘to vent’, precisely what Attari wants her clients to do. Fadfid currently has 13 therapists working for them, all on a voluntary basis. In 18 months of operation they have conducted more than 500 sessions. Their budget for marketing has dried up and they are yet to profit from the business 43

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A TIME FOR PRAYER In addition to the political and economic challenges, women who aspire to be tech entrepreneurs in Palestine must also navigate family pressures and expectations. This is something recognised by Alaa Shaheen, a software engineer from Nablus who says she was lucky to have a family who encouraged her to follow her ambitions. Ambitious is certainly a word you could use to describe Shaheen who is now working on her third tech start-up. Our interview takes place in a prayer room at the Ramallah offices of her employer, ProGineer Technologies. The conference room was out of bounds due to construction works but Shaheen assures me that the location is fine. It’s there that the soft-spoken 23-year old explains some of the social barriers facing women in Palestine. “In Arabic culture and also in the Palestinian community, we have some restrictions but luckily, on a personal level, my family and parents were very supportive. One of the main factors causing these restrictions is fear. They feel that it might not be safe to move to another city due to the occupation and checkpoints. When I moved from Nablus to Ramallah, my parents told me to live there because they didn’t want me travelling between the two cities each day due to checkpoints and problems that might occur.” Then there are the social pressures of marriage and how many young women are expected to settle down and commit to family life once they finish their education. But Shaheen believes this mentality is changing, especially in the cities. “Nowadays, people are realising the importance of education and having a career because we don’t know what will happen later in our lives. We should be able to work and support our families, if you are a man or a woman. It’s great that people are now starting to accept this.” Shaheen’s latest start-up is Travel which centres on an app that aims to help people travelling from abroad to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She identified a gap in the market, believing that more information is needed for tourists about the kind of activities available. She’s also learned valuable lessons from her previous start-ups. “It will be completely 44

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Mohammad Yusuf

but it is still early days and they’ve had plenty of interest from investors so far. “There can be tough moments with all this when you think you have reached a deal with a certain investor but it falls through,” says Attari. “At these moments I feel like I’ve had enough but then I think of the people who might rely on me so I feel like it’s not a choice. That’s the reason I’m doing all this. It can be difficult but that’s the motivation.”

NAME: Alaa Shaheen AGE: 23 EDUCATION: Computer Engineering, An-Najah National University, Nablus START-UP: Travel PERSONAL GOAL: I’d love to bring new methods of innovation to local IT and software companies in Palestine so we can produce better products. I can see myself as a potential leader in business and technology in my country.

Pictured above and right: Attendees at a Nablus Tech Meetup event

different from the first time,” she says. “I now know the importance of finding customers and developing our idea at an early stage and making any necessary changes in just a few months. We don’t need a year to discover whether our road is the right one or wrong one.” For this project, Shaheen received $3,000 in funding by finishing second in the Arabic Digital Content competition that took place in Dubai last year. Unfortunately, she missed the opportunity to attend the ceremony due to visa restrictions. Nonetheless, Shaheen remains passionate about travel. In 2011, as part of an innovation competition organised by Partners for Sustainable Development, she had the unique experience of travelling to Silicon Valley to participate in a ten-week training programme at Singularity University. “That was my first experience of travel and my first visit to Silicon Valley, so I was shocked at how everything was so different there,” she says. “It’s a very different community of course but there are so many companies and so much high tech industry that when I returned to Palestine I recognised that we have a long way to go.” As much of a learning experience that visiting the global hub for high-tech innovation is for any young Palestinian entrepreneur, Shaheen believes it is important that Palestine develops its own identity in the tech world. She’s playing her part through Nablus Tech Meetups, a technology, business, and entrepreneurship initiative she co-founded in Nablus city in February 2014. Through regular meetups, young Palestinians share their knowledge, skills and ideas on technology and entrepreneurship. “Nowadays there are lots of programmes which InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Jafar Zuabi


help Palestinians to travel and get experience but it doesn’t make sense that we bring the experience itself and put it here,” she says. “We have a different culture, different communities, different challenges here, in respect to the occupation, to funding. We can invent our own ecosystem in time. We can figure out the good things we can use to form a better entrepreneurial community here.” NOTHING VENTURED NOTHING GAINED One person who could paint me a comprehensive picture of the current start-up landscape in Palestine was Saed Nashef, a Palestinian venture capitalist born and bred in East Jerusalem. Nashef speaks with a distinct American accent after a 19-year stint there working for Microsoft as well as various tech start-ups. He’s now Founding Partner at Sadara Ventures, the first early-stage venture capitalist firm in Palestine investing in internet, mobile and software start-ups. We meet in an upmarket Jerusalem hotel and after some initial discussion about his time spent in Dublin while attending the 2014 Web Summit, he outlines the dramatic transition he has witnessed in the start-up ecosystem in Palestine since returning from the US in 2007. “We started fundraising towards the end of 2008,” he says. “It wasn’t a great time to be fundraising. It was a time when no one was talking about start-ups or tech entrepreneurship. People probably didn’t know what venture capital was. Today we have about five funds that are involved in investing in tech. We also have three active accelerators.” There has also been substantial progress in terms of the culture and awareness of entrepreneurship, according to Nashef, but he warns that it’s still early days and over-excitement InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

Untitled-1 45

Jafar Zuabi

Pictured right: Alaa Shaheen outside her workplace in Ramallah and speaking at a Nablus Tech Meetup event

Saed Nashef, Founding Partner, Sadara Ventures

“We can

INVENT OUR OWN ecosystem in time. We CAN


can use to

FORM A BETTER entrepreneurial community here.” Alaa Shaheen

about the idea of building Palestine’s answer to Silicon Valley or Silicon Wadi could generate a tech bubble. “The ecosystem is still in its very early steps. There has been too much exuberance around entrepreneurship but I think that may be something happening at a global level.” So where does Nashef think female tech entrepreneurs fit in to the Palestinian start-up space? “In Palestine and especially in tech, I’m pleasantly surprised at the presence of female representation,” he says. “If you take one of our companies, Yamsafer, they probably have around 26 employees. Out of those 26 around ten are women. If you compare that to global averages in terms of the representation of women in tech companies, that’s a very high percentage.” There also seems to be a significant presence of women behind start-up events, according to Nashef. “When you talk about entrepreneurial activities, be it a start-up weekend or hackathon, you will see female representation at almost every one of these events and they’ll be in either leadership or critical roles in terms of founding them, running them or making them happen on a regular basis.” Where the problem lies, in Nashef’s experience, is that there are not enough female founders, such as Abu Ghaith and others, gaining access to capital. “I look at our deal flow in terms of tech start-ups coming to us for funding. So far we’ve seen around 90 opportunities from the point when we started the fund. Probably two or three of those were female founders who came to us with ideas, who wanted to launch companies, and we didn’t end up funding them. So it’s a very low percentage at that end. I really think we need to do more work on this.” Nashef doesn’t claim to have the answers but cites societal pressures as one of the main barriers. So there’s still a long way to go, not only in terms of Palestine forging itself a strong and sustainable start-up ecosystem, but also in supporting more women to bring their start-up ideas to fruition. But the roots are already in place. Right now, there is an urgent need to change the perception much of the world has of Palestine as a volatile conflict zone to a place that boasts a young, well-educated, entrepreneurial-minded population who through their own unique struggles emanate innovative and exciting ideas. As Abu Ghaith puts it: “In Palestine, we have really talented people who can do amazing work. We want the world to give us an opportunity. We deserve it.” Joseph O’Connor travelled to Palestine with support from the Simon Cumbers Media Fund. 45

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In new book Getting There: A Book of Mentors, billionaire founder of the shapewear company Spanx, Sara Blakely, reveals how not being fazed by the word “no” led her on an eventual path to success. ne day, after about seven years of selling fax machines, something fortuitous happened. In the hopes of looking better in my fitted white pants, I cut the feet out of a pair of pantyhose and substituted them for my underwear. This allowed me to benefit from the slimming effects of the pantyhose’s “control top” while allowing my feet to go bare in my cute sandals. The moment I saw how good my butt looked, I was like, “Thank you, God, this is my opportunity!” I would create a unique type of body shapewear, something that would be thin, comfortable, and invisible under clothes but would still perform the magic of a girdle. It was the business I had been mentally laying the groundwork for all this time. For the first full year I kept my idea a secret from anyone who could not directly help to move it forward. That was my gut instinct at the time, but it’s now one of the best pieces of advice I have to give. Ideas are the most vulnerable at the moment you have them; that’s also the time people are most inclined to run around seeking validation from everyone they know. Discouraging 46

046 InBusiness Q2 2015_Book Extract.indd 46

remarks will likely take you off getting off now.” I’m pretty positive course. You’ll either end up deflated that if I had told my friends and or spend your time defending your family about Spanx early on I’d still idea instead of going for be selling fax machines. it. I worked on Spanx The problem was that until I felt I had enough even those who could “FROM of myself invested that help Spanx advance COLDI wouldn’t turn back were discouraging. I CALLING I regardless of what I couldn’t move forward LEARNED heard. Everyone in my life without a prototype, THAT YOU knew I was pursuing an and I needed a factory HAVE “idea” (I had to tell them to produce one. I began ABOUT something because I went by calling the local mills to the Georgia Tech library FIFTEEN but, without exception, almost every night and they either laughed at me SECONDS weekend to work on it), or explained that it was TO CAPTURE but they had no clue what a dumb idea that would SOMEONE’S it was. When I finally sat never sell. So I decided to ATTENTION my friends and family —BUT IF YOU draw on a lesson I learned down and said, “Okay, it’s during my cold-calling CAN MAKE footless pantyhose!” they days: Face-to-face makes THEM thought I was joking and a huge difference. I took a SMILE OR laughed hysterically. Out week off work and drove LAUGH, of love, I heard things like around North Carolina YOU GET AN “Well, honey, if it’s a good popping by many of EXTRA idea why haven’t the big the same mills that had guys done it?” and “even FIFTEEN TO already rejected me via if it does turn out to be phone. I would literally THIRTY.” a good idea, the big guys sit in their lobby and will knock you off right wait to speak to either away.” I told them: “You the founder or owner. I may be right, but I’ve just spent a usually got about five minutes to year researching this, patenting it, make my pitch but, once again, no naming it, and creating the package. one was interested. I’m already on my path and I’m not About two to three weeks after InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Gillian Zoe Segal

this unfruitful trip, a mill owner in Charlotte called and said: “Sara, I’ve decided to help make your crazy idea.” When I asked him why he had the change of heart, he replied: “I have three daughters.” I think he was both won over by my passion and had developed a soft spot in his heart from imagining his daughters in my shoes one day. My own father also played an important role in my success. When my brother and I were growing up, he would encourage us to fail. We’d sit around the dinner table and he’d ask: “What did you guys fail at this week?” If we had nothing to tell him, he’d be disappointed. The logic seems counterintuitive, but it worked beautifully. He knew that many people become paralysed by the fear of failure. They’re constantly afraid of what others will think if they don’t do a great job and, as a result, take no risks. My father wanted us to try everything and feel free to push the envelope. His attitude taught me to define failure as not trying something I want to do instead of not achieving the right outcome. I believe that defeat is life’s way of nudging you and letting you know you’re off course. There’s always some sort of hidden opportunity or lesson in each episode—a chance to build your character. Spanx wouldn’t exist if I had aced the LSAT. From cold-calling I learned that you have about fifteen seconds to capture someone’s attention—but if you can make them smile or laugh, you get an extra fifteen to thirty. When I invented Spanx, I didn’t have the money to grab people’s attention the conventional way: through advertising. I needed to somehow inspire people to want to talk about pantyhose, one of the world’s most boring topics. By infusing humour wherever I could (from naming it Spanx to writing “We’ve got your butt covered!” on the package), I ended up turning my product into something people love to joke about, and it has been referenced everywhere from The Oprah Winfrey Show to Sex and the City.

I’ve been through a lot of trauma in my life. Most of it stemming from the unexpected tragic deaths of people I love and the very painful divorce of my parents when I was sixteen. Just before my dad left home, he handed me Dr. Wayne Dyer’s ten-tape series, How to Be a No-Limit Person and said, “I wish someone had given this to me when I was your age.” I now tell people that one of the most important things they can do for themselves and their children is to listen to that series. Society constantly assaults us with negative imagery and messages. You have to go out of your way to view things in a positive light. People go to chiropractors to align their backs, but it’s also important to align your thinking from time to time. Listening to How to Be a No-Limit Person is my method. It has been emotionally encouraging, gotten me through the toughest of times, and framed my thinking in a way that helped lead to the success of Spanx. I still listen to it a couple of times a year.

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx

I can’t tell you how many women come up to me and say something like: “I’ve been cutting the feet out of my pantyhose for years. Why didn’t I end up being the Spanx girl?” The reason is that a good idea is just a starting point. Everybody has them all day long; everybody has a multimillion-dollar idea inside. Edison said: “Genius is one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration.” The same holds true for innovation, invention, and entrepreneurialism. The combination of not being fazed by the word “no”, tinkering with comedy, visualising the product, and not being afraid of failure was critical for the success of Spanx. I was prepared to perspire for this opportunity.

This is an extract from Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal, which is published by Abrams Image. The book is available on For more details on Getting There go to our book review section on page 115.


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WEXFORD CHAMBER HAS ANNOUNCED A LANDMARK PROJECT with Wexford County Council and Wexford-based ICT solutions and services provider Datapac, which will see the Chamber’s offices completely revitalised and redeveloped to incorporate the latest technology and communications infrastructure. Over the past number of years, Wexford Chamber has grown exponentially to become one of the most active and successful Chambers of Commerce in Ireland. Staff numbers, levels of business-to-business meetings, the number of events held, and the range of services offered to its members have all increased in line with this growth. The rejuvenated offices will serve as a meeting area where Chamber staff and members can work collaboratively to develop and grow the local Wexford economy.

CHAMBER COMMENT “Ensuring that EU legislation is well designed, evidence based and fit for purpose will ensure that policy measures can be achieved without imposing disproportionate costs and burdens on businesses.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, welcomes the European Commission’s adoption of a Better Regulation Agenda.

Mayor of Wexford Cllr George Lawlor; Madeleine Quirke, CEO, Wexford Chamber; Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin; Martin Doyle, President, Wexford Chamber; Karen O’Connor, General Manager, Datapac and Tom Enright, Chief Executive, Wexford County Council at the launch of the new project

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“The redevelopment of the Port of Cork is good news not just for the Southern region, but for the wider economy. This is a major infrastructural investment that will support economic growth and increase our competitiveness.” Mark O’Mahoney of Chambers Ireland welcomes the decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant the Port of Cork’s planning application for the redevelopment of existing port facilities at Ringaskiddy.

BROSNAN RECOGNISED FOR CONTRIBUTION TO REGION Denis Brosnan has received the award of honorary life membership of Limerick Chamber at a business breakfast in Limerick. Brosnan was keynote speaker at the launch of the fifth annual Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards on June 11th. The honorary life membership award was presented to acknowledge his outstanding contribution to the economic development of the region through his tenure as Chair of the Regional Jobs Task Force, the Limerick Re-Organisation Group and now Chair of the Limerick Economic Forum.

Occupational psychologist Neil O’Brien, Frank Madden, Founder and CEO, Crest Solutions and Jim Barry, Managing Director, Barry Group

CORK FORUM ATTRACTS LOCAL LEADERS Up to 200 business people attended Cork Chamber’s 2015 Forum on June 4th, where superb local leaders shared their stories and gave practical examples of leadership in their businesses. The event entitled ‘Leadership in Action’ was held in association with Laya Healthcare at the Radisson Blu Hotel. It had an excellent line-up of speakers including Jim Barry, MD of the Barry Group, EOY finalist Frank Madden and Great Place to Work CEO John Ryan.


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Catherine Duffy, President, Limerick Chamber presenting the award to Denis Brosnan

The American football game between Boston College and Georgia Tech in Dublin next September could generate as much as a24 million for the national economy, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce. As many as 25,000 fans are expected to travel to the capital for the meeting between Boston College and Georgia Tech in the Aviva Stadium on September 3rd 2016. According to Dublin Chamber Chief Executive, Gina Quin: “Big sporting events provide a huge draw for prospective visitors. Given the huge Irish contingent living in the Boston region, this game might be a perfect reason for people to visit Ireland for the first time or to return for the first time in years.”


“This announcement firmly underpins Dell’s commitment to the region, Limerick’s position as a strategic location for technology companies, and the phenomenal benefits of strong collaboration across industry, education and key stakeholders.” Dr James Ring, Limerick Chamber CEO, welcomes the announcement that Dell plans to create 100 new roles at Dell’s Limerick Campus.

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n a month dominated by aviation-related headlines, Shannon Chamber hosted a luncheon seminar on May 28th where two key players in the tourism and travel sectors were guest speakers. The lunch, sponsored by American Airlines, was held in the Radisson Blu Hotel and was addressed by Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland and Suzanne Boda, Senior Vice-President Asia, Canada, Europe and Cargo, American Airlines, among others. One key theme of the seminar was access and connectivity to the region. Shannon Chamber president Kevin Thompstone commented: “With just over 5 per cent of international traffic to Ireland, Shannon delivers 15 per cent of the west’s, 37 per cent of Shannon’s and 12 per cent of the southwest’s overseas holidaymaker bed nights. This demonstrates the link between access to Shannon and tourism activity in Shannon and the surrounding regions.”


Stuart Dwyer, US Embassy; John Hartnett, ITLG; Minister Michael Noonan; Cllr Mags Murray, Mayor of Fingal; Craig Barrett, ITLG; Paul Reid, Fingal County Council, Brian MacCraith, DCU

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Suzanne Boda of American Airlines and Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland being presented with each other’s Ireland jerseys by Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes in advance of attending the Ireland versus Barbarians match in Thomond Park.

Months of hard work that went into planning the recent ITLG Global Summit in Fingal will reap rewards for the area in the months and years ahead. That’s according to Paul Reid, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council whose comments came in the wake of the highly successful summit which was hosted on May 25-26th. The event saw elite business and technology leaders from Silicon Valley visit Fingal for an intensive two-day programme. “We seized the opportunity to promote Fingal to this highly influential audience. We used every moment of the trip to showcase Fingal as a place in which to invest, work and live, said Reid.”

“The Exchequer returns so far this year have been positive with steady increases in overall tax take. These figures, combined with the ongoing reduction in unemployment numbers, demonstrate that Government do have capacity to introduce a number of focused tax reductions.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, welcomes the positive Exchequer returns for May.

TIGER OPENS IN DUNDALK In our last issue InBUSINESS reported on the success of Tiger Stores in Ireland. On June 16th the Danish chain opened its 16th Irish outlet at the Marshes Shopping Centre, Dundalk, creating seven local jobs. Described as a variety store selling low cost, high value items, ranging from a1 to maximum a30, Tiger Stores is a welcome addition to the Marshes Shopping Centre. Commeting on the opening, Michael Gaynor, President of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a successful brand coming to the area, creating new jobs and adding to our growing retail community. I know that the people of Dundalk will give them the warmest welcome and wish them every success.”


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TALKS ON TRADE Now entering its tenth round of negotiations, the TTIP talks remain as complex as ever and are expected to continue well into 2016 if not 2017. Emma Kerins, Project Officer, Chambers Ireland looks at the state of play following the most recent meeting in New York.


Implementation of the TPP is one of the primary goals of the trade agenda of the Obama administration in the US.

he Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a free-trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and US. The agreement has three main strands; improved market access, improved regulatory coherence and improved co-operation when it comes to setting international standards. Should the trade negotiations reach a successful conclusion, the European economy is predicted to grow by about a119 billion per year.


​US President Barack Obama​

The ninth negotiating round took place in New York from April 20th to 24th. The negotiating sessions encompassed a very broad range of subjects with a view to consolidate the work in all three pillars of the negotiations. This round focused mainly on the regulatory and rules pillars. The negotiating teams also discussed market access and had many discussions on the technical aspects of tariffs and public procurement.

in the final stages. Implementation of the TPP is one of the primary goals of the trade agenda of the Obama administration in the US. However, in order for the Obama administration to finalise these trade negotiations, the administration will require what is known as ‘trade promotion authority’ or TPA. This fast-track negotiating authority for trade agreements gives authority to the US President to negotiate international agreements. Congress may then only approve or disapprove of the final agreement but cannot amend or filibuster. In 2012, the Obama administration began seeking renewal of the authority. This has proven to be controversial over the past number of months as public support for agreements like the TPP continues to fall with increasing numbers of Democrats pledging to vote against giving the

OBAMA’S TRADE AGENDA IN THE US Trade has been an important policy priority for the Obama administration since his re-election in 2012. However, TTIP is not the only trade agreement that the US is negotiating. The negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP), a trade deal between the US and 11 other Pacific countries, are currently

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TPA to President Obama. The TPA Bill narrowly passed in the Senate on May 22nd and the Bill now proceeds to Congress for the final vote. If the White House does not succeed in having the trade promotion legislation passed, it is very likely that the TPP negotiations and indeed the TTIP negotiations will come to a halt.

WHAT NEXT? The next round of talks will be held in Brussels from 13-17 July. It is hoped that the negotiations would be concluded by early 2016. However, giving the complexity of the proposed trade deal, it is probable that talks will continue well into 2016 if not 2017. By then there will be a new President in the United States and we will be drawing closer to a German election. It is becoming increasingly unlikely that TTIP negotiations will be concluded on “one tank of gas”, as was suggested by US trade representative Michael Froman at the beginning of the talks. Chambers Ireland is continuing to work to ensure that SMEs can fully benefit from TTIP and is represented on the Advisory Group to the European Commission on TTIP by Eurochambres, the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


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ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIATION T John Deaton of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators examines the role mediation plays in avoiding and resolving environmental disputes.

he Irish environmental arena appears to be littered with dispute; from high-profile conflicts about large infrastructural projects such as energy transmission and wind, to smaller feuds coming before An Bord Pleanála and the courts. Is our current system of dispute resolution in need of improvement? Does the current system encourage dispute avoidance or does it foster and exacerbate conflict? Not everyone shares the same values or opinions in respect of proposed developments and it would be naive to think that we can always achieve consensus. But can we not pursue negotiation and compromise as an alternative to conflict?

ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIATION The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has been examining the prospects for environmental mediation both as a means of avoiding as well as resolving disputes. Mediation has been defined as ‘a process involving an independent third party whose role is to help parties to identify the real issues between them, their concerns and needs, the options for

The Irish system which has restrictions on submission of additional information and strict time limits would seem to exacerbate if not encourage conflict. One step would be to facilitate the parties to ‘stop the clock’ during the application process. The National Planning Forum and Planning Inspectorate in the UK reported that “lessons can be learned from mediation processes in other areas of law, where mediation is the default process and it can be decided to ‘stop the clock’ by having an adjournment.”


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resolving matters and, where possible, a solution which is acceptable to all concerned’. An essential feature of the mediation is that it is voluntary process with no solution imposed on the parties. Environmental mediation is well established in a number of countries, for example Australia, New Zealand and latterly the UK. These countries have re-configured their planning systems to facilitate mediation. Even without changing the Irish system there are areas where mediation could make a difference:

• At pre-planning stage, applicants could engage in mediation with affected parties, such as community groups in order to produce agreed plans which would then be less likely to be challenged at planning application stage. • Time limits and restrictions on submitting additional information forbid the applicant to modify plans during the application phase; except where the planning authority has issued a request for additional information so as to suspend the decision period for up to 6 months. This interregnum could be developed as an opportunity for consultation and mediation between third parties and applicants. • Certain local authority schemes under Part 8 of the Planning Act are exempt from planning permission, subject to the local authority being obliged to consider the submissions of third parties. A mediated forum would be a fairer way of doing this.

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• Event licenses. For instance, could the cancellation of the Garth Brooks concerts have been avoided if mediation had taken place before an irrevocable decision had been made by the local authority? • Planning enforcement disputes where, in certain cases, mediation could be attempted as an alternative to litigation. • Disputes regarding the management of roads and services where there may be various parties with opposing agendas.

process. The National Planning Forum and Planning Inspectorate in the UK reported that “lessons can be learned from mediation processes in other areas of law, where mediation is the default process and it can be decided to ‘stop the clock’ by having an adjournment.” Building mediation into the system would permit proposers and those affected by the proposals to engage directly in a neutral forum where power imbalances can be mitigated so as to help to more efficiently achieve an effective and enduring solution.

CHANGING THE SYSTEM A study of the New Zealand Environment Court found that appeals were avoided in 75 per cent of cases where mediation was used, resulting in significant savings in time and cost. The Irish system which has restrictions on submission of additional information and strict time limits would seem to exacerbate if not encourage conflict. One step would be to facilitate the parties to ‘stop the clock’ during the application

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MUCH TO GAIN FROM MEDIATION Mediation is not a panacea for all planning ills or development challenges but can be tailored for use alongside the other dispute resolution methods within the planning system. Planning processes are open to third party scrutiny and mediation practice must take account of this. Mediation is not a surrogate planning process. Non-participating parties would

retain the right to opt out of the mediation process and the planning authority would still be required to have regard to their submissions in arriving at a decision. Mediation is now provided for in the Rules of the Superior Courts and is increasingly promoted as a first resort in the resolution of disputes. The Mediation Bill 2012 is expected to be passed into law in 2015. As a country undergoing rapid environmental change, Ireland has much to gain from mediation both as a fairer and less costly method of dispute resolution and a means to avoid the type of environmental conflict that has bedevilled the nation in recent times. For more information, please see or www.irishenvironmentalmediation. ie. John Deaton chairs the Planning & Environmental Mediation Group in the Irish branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is a director of Deaton Lysaght Architects.


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SMALL BUSINESS BURDENS Unnecessary red tape and administrative burdens can be crippling for SMEs. Emma Kerins, Project Officer, Chambers Ireland, looks at a new project aiming to address this.


nnecessary bureaucracy and regulation can very often be an extra cost for both businesses and citizens. It can also hamper economic growth and limit the creation of new job opportunities. Therefore, when it is necessary to regulate, legislation must be designed so policy objectives are achieved at the lowest cost to society, citizens and business. As part of the 2015 Work Programme, the European Commission announced that cutting red tape and reducing administrative burdens for SMEs would be among their key policy priorities for the coming year. This goal reflects the Commission’s strengthened commitment to its Better Regulation Package, building on the Regulatory Fitness Programme, with the goal of creating an environment conducive to investment and growth.

WHY REGULATE? It is accepted that developed economies require a certain amount of regulation in order to ensure environmental protection, appropriate health and safety standards and other important societal goals that would not come about without some form of


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state intervention. However, regulation is not a goal in itself and should not go beyond what is necessary to achieve its specific purpose. Those responsible for putting regulations in place should be mindful of the sometimes unintended consequences regulatory measures can have for businesses, particularly SMEs. Generally speaking, regulation tends to have a proportionally larger impact on SMEs when compared with larger enterprises. On average, where a big company spends a1 per employee to comply with a regulatory duty, a medium-sized enterprise might have to spend around a4 and a small business up to a10. The reason for this is that regulation tends to be made up of fixed costs that bear no relation to the size of a business. For example, filling in a form takes a certain amount of time, and it makes no difference that a larger business might have to fill in bigger figures than a smaller enterprise. Secondly, larger businesses, given their greater resources, can employ specialists to deal with regulatory obligations more efficiently. SMEs would not have access to this expertise and so may be unable to meet the regulatory requirements in the same way as much larger companies. It is for this reason that the European Commission pledges to “Think Small First”. This principle requires that legislation takes SMEs’ interests into account at the very early stages of policymaking in order to make legislation more SME-friendly. However, in spite of good intentions, SMEs can still find themselves at a disadvantage when new regulations are introduced at European and national level.

BURDEN TRACKER PROJECT As a result of this, Chambers Ireland, in partnership with Eurochambres, is taking part in a project known as the Burden Tracker, which aims to identify pieces of legislation that are burdensome for SMEs and subsequently alert policymakers to their negative impact.

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As part of this process, Chambers Ireland aims to identify 3-4 pieces of EU legislation that are problematic for companies (e.g. legal uncertainty, excessive bureaucracy, unnecessary regulatory burden) and campaign for an evaluation of the EU legislation at national and European level. Examples of legislation that can prove unnecessarily burdensome on SMEs include the following:

• Late Payment Directive It is reported that SMEs are still not feeling the benefit across Europe. Data published in 2014 shows that European business still wait nearly twice as long as the law’s stipulated 30-day maximum for public bodies to pay their bills.

• Package Travel Directive The aim of this directive is to tackle websites that are offering what amount to holiday packages without providing the same protection that a consumer would get when booking with a package tour operator. This becomes more difficult for SMEs in the tourism sector who may have related services on their websites. The legislation at present is unclear and may create more red tape and

costs for small tourism related business in Ireland.

• REACH SMEs reported concerns to the European Commission regarding the cost and complexity of information obligations, the inconsistent application by member states, and a lack of coherence between REACH and other chemicals legislation. Amongst the concerns identified by SMEs were: • Significant compliance costs • Unforeseen supply chain costs • Diverts resources and undermines legislation • Barrier to investment Chambers Ireland will be working with the Irish Chamber Network over the course of the next few months to identify some of the more burdensome pieces of EU legislation and gather data as to their impact on Irish SMEs. We will then liaise with Eurochambres over the autumn months to present these findings to the European Commission. For more information on the Burden Tracker Project, please contact Chambers Ireland.


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OR REGRESS Now is the time for the Government to reinvest in infrastructure to ensure we can maintain our competitiveness and generate economic growth in a sustainable manner, writes Sarah Foley, Policy and Research Executive, Chambers Ireland.


ne of the greatest victims of the financial crisis has been investment. The scaling back of public finances has hampered centrally funded capital expenditure to the extent that public investment has seen a 60 per cent reduction between 2008 and 2014. As the economy improves it is now time to refocus on the need for developing our infrastructure to protect our economic future.

SHORTFALL IN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT When looking at the effect of the recession on public investment in infrastructure it is striking that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s (DTTAS) expenditure has been more than halved from a peak of a3.6 billion in 2008. In 2014, the Department’s expenditure amounted to a1.7bn - approximately the same level as seen in 2002/2003. Budget 2015 set aside a950 million for capital investment in transport. Although this level represents a a50m increase on 2014, budget provision is far from sufficient to meet the investment levels needed. In a 2015 report on transport trends, the DTTAS acknowledges that a


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minimum a300m budget shortfall currently exists in order to maintain the land transport network as is. This level of underfunding is obviously unsustainable. Unless we increase investment in transport, we risk undermining our ability to generate economic growth in a sustainable manner as well as damaging our national competitiveness.

IMPORTANCE OF INFRASTRUCTURE A well-functioning infrastructural system is critical for any modern economy’s ability to generate growth. If we wish to remain competitive in a global market, we must therefore invest in our infrastructure. In order to continually attract inward investment, we need to first ensure that the required economic and social infrastructure is in place. Investors who perceive Ireland as unable to meet their infrastructure requirements will decide to invest elsewhere. This fact should be seen in context of Ireland scoring lower than the OECD average when it comes to perception of overall infrastructure quality. Like most capital investments, it will take time

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to deliver improved infrastructure. If Ireland’s future growth is to be safeguarded, we must thus make the right decisions now. Further to supporting longterm strategic ambitions for competitiveness and economic growth, investment in infrastructure has short-term knock-on benefits on employment. At a time when the construction sector is recovering, we can recover more jobs lost during the recession by prioritising economic infrastructure for investment. In this way, targeted investment can meet both our long term objective of securing sustainable growth as well as contribute to the Government’s aim of reaching full employment by 2018. Investment in infrastructure is also required to keep up with resurgent demand. The fall in unemployment from 15.1 per cent in 2012 to 9.8 per cent in April 2015 is a significant achievement. While job creation undoubtedly is a much-needed and welcome development, increased employment and productivity add to the burden imposed on our transport network and so reinforces the need for investment. Failing to invest in our infrastructure not only has negative implications for our national competitiveness but also causes environmental damage. In January this year a report by An Taisce concluded that traffic congestion has now returned to 2008 levels. In addition to slowing commuting times, traffic congestion damages economic productivity and causes more air pollution due to higher levels of CO2 emissions. CSO projections estimate that our population by 2021 will have grown by at least 200,000 people. All of these additional people will require effective transport methods to access employment. In order to accommodate this population growth and realise Government’s ambition of returning to full employment we must first invest.

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NEED FOR A NEW SPATIAL PLAN All investment decisions taken at the moment are nonetheless operating in limbo. The National Spatial Strategy, originally agreed to guide economic development from 2002 to 2020, was officially deemed unsuccessful and shelved by Minister Hogan in 2013. At a time when public finances are improving in line with rising employment and capital from European funders is available at historically low interest rates, the absence of a national planning strategy is highly disappointing. We are currently witnessing a once in a generation opportunity to secure low interest funding for Irish investments and thus ensure that the right services and infrastructure are in place to support our economic recovery. Until we reach an agreement on which direction Irish development should take, any interim efforts to invest will be made in vain. As a country, we therefore need to implement a new national planning strategy as a matter of urgency. As our recovery is taking hold and ahead of the Government’s publication of its Capital Review, Chambers Ireland recommends that Government increase investment in our transport network. Economic infrastructure projects often have asset lives exceeding 20 years. Even if borrowing is required to realise strategic infrastructure projects, the return on investment will have lasting implications for Ireland’s growth prospects and national competitiveness over the course of the next two decades. Facilitating the development of strategic projects will benefit us by acting as a pillar for economic recovery. Effective investments, however, go hand-in-hand with a well-thoughtout planning strategy. It is therefore critical that a new national planning framework is adopted as soon as possible since this will pave the way for Ireland seizing the opportunities currently presented by low interest funding.

INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS OF STRATEGIC INTEREST M20 CORK TO LIMERICK Inter-urban connectivity between Ireland’s second and third cities is a critical and overdue project to develop the Atlantic Corridor and the wider southern region. Its completion would improve journey times between both urban centres and reduce traffic congestion which would ease business interaction and act as an attraction to more FDI. MALLOW BYPASS ON N72 A bypass for Mallow where traffic gets highly congested at peak times is crucial for the development of this town and the north Cork region. DART UNDERGROUND AND AIRPORT LINK DART Underground must remain a key priority for integrating public transport at the city centre and sustainably underpinning the growth of Dublin city. Integrating the rail network will equally allow passengers to travel from the airport into the city centre and on to Cork, Galway, Limerick and Sligo. NORTHWEST ACCESS More effort is needed to upgrade access to the northwest. Specifically, the north Mayo and Sligo sections along with the Mullingar to Longford road are in need of investment. Equally, we call on past Irish government commitments to support the upgrading of the A5, linking Donegal to the east coast. CONNECTING STATE PORTS Enhanced road connectivity to all of our Tier 1 and Ten T ports in the State is required to support the timely import and export of goods to and from Ireland.


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In Reputation WE TRUST It’s been a year since Conor Brennan became the CEO of Zurich’s General Insurance business in Ireland. Here he outlines why reputation is important in the insurance industry and to Zurich in particular.


ast month, we were delighted to hear the news that Zurich was confirmed as the highest ranked insurer in Ireland in a survey for reputation measurement. The results followed the most comprehensive study of corporate reputations undertaken in the country, carried out by The Reputations Agency and their global partners, The Reputation Institute. The study is considered the gold standard for reputation measurement and involved almost 5,000 members of the general public across Ireland. Over the past few years, the reputation of the financial services sector has been under the spotlight. Banks in particular have been at the forefront of public concerns, but insurance companies haven’t escaped the headlines.

Issues like the very public collapse of insurer Setanta last year, which left a reported 75,000 van drivers with no cover and uncertainty around new or existing claims, meant consumers questioning the stability of the industry and second-guessing the decisions they were making about who to place their trust in when buying cover for the things that matter to them. Insurance plays a critical role in any economy and it’s important to ensure that consumers, whether personal lines customers with their homes, cars or other forms of cover, or business owners with the myriad more complex coverages they need, are confident in their provider and have the peace of mind they deserve to get on with their day-to-day lives or business activities.

Gaining a good reputation has nothing at all to do with offering products at the lowest prices, popular though that approach might be in the short-term. It’s about listening to your customers and delivering the type of products and services that they need and which are sold at a price which offers value for money and sustains the business over the longer term. This is absolutely critical when the product you’re buying is insurance and you need to make a claim against the policy. Reputation has always been very important to Zurich. As a group worldwide, established way back in 1872, we like to think we wouldn’t be one of the largest insurers globally if we didn’t have a great reputation which inspires trust and confidence in our customers. Millions of

Gaining a good reputation has nothing at all to do with offering products at the lowest prices, popular though that approach might be in the short-term. It’s about listening to your customers and delivering the type of products and services that they need and which are sold at a price which offers value for money and sustains the business over the longer term. Conor Brennan, CEO, Zurich General Insurance


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insurance holders, from homeowners to the vast majority of the Fortune 500 corporate giants, have chosen Zurich because we have great quality products, expertise in our field, great employees who help our customers day after day and, most importantly, a reputation for being there when customers need us most. Unlike buying something tangible, like a house, a car, or a tv, insurance customers can’t inspect the quality of the product before they buy it. They are, in effect, just buying a promise. The policy they get is our promise that, if they suffer an accident or an incident, we’ll honour our promise and help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible. I’m proud of the track record we have for honouring that promise, here in Ireland and around the globe, which is key to building a reputation which attracts and retains our customers. It’s been a long-held ambition for Zurich to build a reputation for being the best. As I’ve said before, that doesn’t mean being the largest or having the greatest market share. We won’t compromise our reputation or our market leading position to chase unprofitable and therefore unsustainable market share. Being the best means providing fulfilling, enriching and challenging careers for our 55,000 employees around the globe; being the best means delivering consistent returns for our investors so they continue to believe in us and support our ambitious plans – and all this means being the best in the eyes of our customers, providing quality products and service at the right price. Following the Setanta collapse, consumer confidence was understandably knocked and our industry, and our regulators, are having to work hard to overcome it. As a result, we’ve been busy working with our brokers to ensure that they can reassure customers that Zurich has a reputation for being a solid, reliable, financially stable provider. We’ve also been at the forefront

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Zurich offices, Dublin

of taking the focus away from price alone. We’ve been unwavering in our determination to ensure that we set the right price for each and every risk. Despite the improvements in the Irish economy, we know the pressure consumers continue to feel so price continues to be important to them, but we’ve been changing the agenda so people begin to think beyond pure price to ensure they understand that not all policies are the same and, like anything else, they get what they pay for – and that not only means a

great quality product at a reasonable price but the reassurance that comes with dealing with a long-established, financially strong global organisation. Here in Ireland, we continue to focus on understanding our customers better, helping them to identify and manage their risks and then delivering the products and services they need at a price which they’re willing to pay and which reflects the quality we provide. It’s a reputation we have and one which we will continue to protect and enhance.


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ONWARDS NOT UPWARDS Seeking professional advice concerning the Irish commercial rental market is the best way forward, according to CBRE’s Enda MacMahon and Dervla Gunne.


ver the last number of years, there has been much discussion about rents in the Irish commercial property market, with considerable focus on the extent to which rental values in many sectors of the market decreased following the global financial crisis. Indeed, in some sectors, prime headline quoting rents fell by more than 50 per cent from peak to trough. Several occupiers didn’t benefit from this decline, however, on the basis that many of them had committed to leases prior to the downturn, which in most cases contained upward only rent reviews, as had been the norm prior to 2010 when new legislation was passed in Ireland effectively banning such clauses in leases from that date forward. All leases signed since 2010 now contain ‘upward or downward’ rent review provisions or some variant of this. Considering how depressed the Irish commercial real estate market was following the unanticipated and unprecedented decline experienced after 2008, it is no surprise that very few rent reviews materialised over recent years. However, given the extent to which rental and capital values have appreciated in the Irish commercial real estate market over the last 18-month period in particular, this situation is

likely to change. We expect to see a considerable increase in the number of rent reviews being activated over the next few years and on the basis that many of these will be quite complex, we expect that negotiations will prove contentious in many cases. As this area is quite specialist, we believe that the demand for professional advice will increase considerably over the next few years and that there will be strong demand for the services of specialist rent review experts.

LEASE STRUCTURES As rent reviews begin to be activated over the next few years, it remains to be seen what effect the new ‘market rent’ rent review lease structure will have. It also remains to be seen as to what adjustments will have to be made to historic ‘upwards only leases’ in order to accurately compare them with new ‘market rent’ leases. The new lease structure provides a tenant with the comfort that the rent being paid throughout the life of the lease will be at (or close to) market rent. The rent review cycle is generally every five years; as the market changes during a five-year period, the lease rent will be aligned to the market level at the expiry of each five-year cycle. In contrast, as a

Enda MacMahon, Director, Professional Services, CBRE

Dervla Gunne, Director, Professional Services, CBRE

We expect to see a considerable increase in the number of rent reviews being activated over the next few years and on the basis that many of these will be quite complex, we expect that negotiations will prove contentious in many cases.


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standard lease historically provided that a rent level was not to fall below the rent being paid, the likelihood of a reduced rent at review was nil. An adjustment will therefore need to be considered when seeking to compare these differing lease structures. The extent of the adjustment will depend upon such issues as: • the market conditions at the time • the level of rent • the length of the lease • the rent review provisions • the number of break options Another question to consider is what significance specific rent review provisions will hold under the new lease structure. Investors generally favour institutionally acceptable leases. However, within institutionally acceptable leases, there may be significant differences in the negotiation and inclusion of rent review provisions. Whilst the impact of these provisions may not have been largely significant in the historic lease structure (as rents could not be reduced at rent review) it is likely that the specific rent review provisions will now become more controversial. The interpretation and negotiation around the specific rent review and lease terms will therefore be crucial in maximising value at rent review.

RENTAL LEVELS Another question arises in assessing comparable rental levels, concerning how rent-free periods and other inducements will be analysed under the new regime. The impact of rentfree periods and inducements will continue to be an area of dispute, in terms of analysing their value. Traditionally, for the purposes of analysing comparable evidence at rent review, rent-free periods and landlords’ inducements have generally been deducted from ‘headline rent’ levels, in order to ascertain the real or ‘effective rent’ level. There are a variety of clauses

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included in rent review provisions that assume that a tenant has had the benefit of rent-free periods and inducements, or which disregard rent-free periods and inducements, in establishing the revised rent; the wording varies and so does their impact. Several of these clauses have been decided upon by the courts in England; it is currently unclear how the Irish courts would interpret them. In any case, the wording of the entire rent review clause together with the wording of the entire lease will have a bearing on the ultimate interpretation. Again, these are issues that only a specialist rent review surveyor will be able to advise on. We believe that there is likely to be an increase in the number of rent review negotiations going to arbitration over the coming years. As a result of the wider range – of possible revised rent levels – for both landlord and tenant at review, it is possible that a wider range of expectations may emerge when comparing the parties’ positions. The arbitration process may become the more common method of resolving rent reviews. It is crucial therefore to have full familiarity with the arbitration process when taking this option. The prevalence of carrying out an arbitration by documents only may become less used; oral hearings have the advantage of assisting an arbitrator understand the issues in dispute and clarifying areas that may not have been fully addressed or tested by way of written format. In any event, there is no doubt but

We believe that there is likely to be an increase in the number of rent review negotiations going to arbitration over the coming years. As a result of the wider range – of possible revised rent levels – for both landlord and tenant at review, it is possible that a wider range of expectations may emerge when comparing the parties’ positions. that the new ‘market rent’ rent review lease structure will add increased complexity to an already specialised area of practice. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant with a rent review looming, it would appear that obtaining professional advice from specialist rent review experts as early as you can in the process is highly advisable and will prove invaluable in the long run. For further details contact Enda on 01 618 5519 or email Contact Dervla on 01 6185754 or email


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EARLY BIRD RATE AVAILABLE NOW! Following on from last year’s successful inaugural event, the Access to Finance 2015 Summit will examine the new initiatives available to SMEs and how they can be accessed. An expert panel of speakers will update delegates on changes that have occurred in this area over the past 12 months and how to effectively secure funding in an increasingly competitive market. Both bank and non-bank finance will be discussed, while the importance of providing companies with the means to invest and grow will be stressed throughout the event.

WHO WILL ATTEND? SME stakeholders and owners, policymakers, government officials, senior representatives from government agencies and SME associations, CFOs, CTOs, economists, financial institutions, consultants - finance, management, legal, SME, business, departmental heads, procurement, contracts, purchase, supply chain, risk management.

OUR SPEAKERS Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) A new, strategic SME funding company, the SBCI’s goal is to ensure access to flexible funding for Irish SMEs by facilitating the provision of flexible products with longer maturity and capital repayment flexibility, subject to credit approval; lower cost funding to financial institutions which is passed on to SMEs; and market access for new entrants to the SME lending market, creating real competition.

Emma Jane Joyce, Senior Manager – Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) •F  unding Irish SMEs - how Ireland Strategic Investment Fund works • Top tips on how SMEs can access investment

James Carroll, Financial Stability Division, Central Bank of Ireland

Catherine Collins, Deputy Credit Reviewer, Credit Review Office

As Editor of the Central Bank’s SME Market Report, James will provide delegates with an overview of useful statistics on the SME credit market in Ireland including on credit supply, demand, competition and interest rates.

The session will focus on the current credit landscape in Ireland, particularly supply of credit and funding from banks. It will look at bank credit risk appetites and lending policies, and how businesses can help ensure they get the ‘right’ credit decision. Information will be based on the Credit Review Office’s experience of dealing with SMEs that call the helpline and make formal applications for review, and will provide some typical scenarios to show how credit proposals made by SMEs can be strengthened or made ‘bankable’.

To book an early bird place at this event, email

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PROUD SPONSORS OF THE IRISH LAW AWARDS 2015 We understand the value of good counsel and premium service. That’s why we were delighted to sponsor The Irish Law Awards 2015. With AIB Private Banking you are assured of a professional partner you can rely on to expedite all your banking requirements and impartial guidance to secure your financial future. Good advice should be black and white. If you would like to find out more about AIB Private Banking, contact Patrick Farrell, Head of AIB Private Banking, directly on: (01) 641 7634 or email Typically our clients have an annual salary or income which exceeds ₏250,000.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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LIST OF 2015 WINNERS Law Firm of the Year - EVERSHEDS Sponsored by AIB Private Banking



The top legal professionals in Ireland were out in force at this year’s AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards.


Section picked up Public Sector Team of the rish law firms, legal practitioners Year for their dedicated work and advice to and in-house legal teams were the Criminal Assets Bureau. Daniel Spring recognised at the 4th annual AIB & Co, Dublin was the recipient of new Private Banking Irish Law Awards category Dublin Law Firm of the Year and on April 30th 2015. The awards Rochford Brady Group, commend excellence in Dublin was the recipient Irish law and recognise of another new category, the outstanding Service Provider to the achievements and Legal Profession. Sole exemplary practices of Practitioner of the Year leading law firms and was presented to Barry teams throughout the Rafferty and the Bar country. Minster for Council’s Human Rights Justice & Equality Frances Award went to Brother Fitzgerald was the guest Kevin Crowley of the of honour, opening the Capuchin Day Centre. A awards with a welcome Special Merit Award was address. presented to Dr Thomas B Law Firm of the Year Courtney, Arthur Cox for was presented to one of his work over the past 14 Dublin’s largest corporate years on The Companies law firms, Eversheds, who Act 2014. also received the Irish Patrick Farrell, Head International Law Firm Awards host Miriam O’Callaghan of AIB Private Banking of the Year Award. Pro said: “I would like to Bono & Public Interest congratulate the award recipients in all Team/Lawyer of the Year was awarded to their respective categories. The increased David Langwallner for his work on the Irish level and calibre of nominations this year Innocence Project at Griffith College, Dublin. speaks volumes for the growing stature of The Lifetime Achievement Award went this event. Many of our valued customers to Barry St. John Galvin in recognition of are legal professionals who do outstanding his contribution to the legal profession in work and we are delighted to be associated Ireland following a 30 year career as State with an event that recognises excellence in Solicitor for Cork city. Young Lawyer of the this field.” Year (Under 35) was presented to Aoife The judging panel for the awards was Corridan of Michael J. Staines & Company chaired by Dr Eamonn G. Hall. The black-tie for her work on the Anglo Trial and Jacci Fox gala awards reception was hosted by Miriam of Holmes O’Malley Sexton was presented O’Callaghan in the DoubleTree by Hilton, with the Legal Executive of the Year award Burlington Road, Dublin 4. Charity partners for her management and leadership on the for the awards are the Solicitors’ Benevolent HOMS’ Debt Collection Unit. Association, The Barristers’ Benevolent Also on the night, the Bord Gáis Energy Society, The Capuchin Day Centre and the legal team picked up the In-House Legal Peter McVerry Trust. Team of the Year, and the Criminal Asset InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Lifetime Achievement Award - BARRY ST. JOHN GALVIN Sponsored by Friends First Special Merit Award - DR THOMAS B. COURTNEY Sponsored by AIB Private Banking Dublin Law Firm of the Year - DANIEL SPRING + CO. Sponsored by Lincoln Recruitment Specialists Leinster Provincial Law Firm of the Year over 5 Solicitors - ORPEN FRANKS Sponsored by Advanced Legal Leinster Provincial Law Firm of the Year under 5 Solicitors - CLARKE JEFFERS & CO. Sponsored by Advanced Legal Munster Provincial Law Firm of the Year with over 5 Solicitors - HOLMES O’MALLEY SEXTON Sponsored by Hibernian Legal Munster Provincial Law Firm of the Year with under 5 Solicitors - MCCARTHY & CO. Connacht Provincial Law Firm of the Year - M.G. RYAN & CO. Ulster Provincial Law Firm of the Year - JAMES P. SWEENEY & CO. Sole Practitioner/Principal of the Year BARRY RAFFERTY – BARRY J. RAFFERTY SOLICITORS Sponsored by AMTrust & AON Law Firm Innovation Award - PIERSE FITZGIBBON Sponsored by KeyHouse In-House Legal Team of the Year BORD GÁIS ENERGY LEGAL TEAM – BORD GÁIS ENERGY Sponsored by Thomson Reuters Banking, Finance/Restructuring & Insolvency Team/Lawyer of the Year - BEAUCHAMPS Sponsored by Rochford Brady Group Public Sector Team/Lawyer of the Year Criminal Assets Section – CHIEF STATE SOLICITOR’S OFFICE Employment Law Team/ Lawyer of the Year - BYRNEWALLACE Sponsored by The Financial Times Legal Executive of the Year JACCI FOX – HOLMES O’MALLEY SEXTON Family Law Team/Lawyer of the Year AVRIL MANGAN – MANGAN & COMPANY Sponsored by The Sunday Business Post Criminal Law Team/Lawyer of the Year RONALD LYNAM – PARTNERS AT LAW Sponsored by Kantar Media Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Team Lawyer of the Year - EVERSHEDS Litigation Case of the Year ERNEST J. CANTILLON SOLICITORS – GILL RUSSELL V HSE Irish International Law Firm of the Year Award - EVERSHEDS Sponsored by Robert Walters Pro Bono & Public Interest Team/ Lawyer of the Year DAVID LANGWALLNER – GRIFFITH COLLEGE INNOCENCE PROJECT Property, Planning, Probate Team/ Lawyer of the Year - BEAUCHAMPS Sponsored by ENKI Legal Website of the Year RONAN DALY JERMYN – WWW.RDJ.IE Sponsored by Documatics Service Provider to the Legal Profession ROCHFORD BRADY GROUP Sponsored by WebTrade Young Lawyer of the Year (under 35) AOIFE CORRIDAN – MICHAEL J. STAINES & CO. Irish Language Practitioner of the Year ANTOIN DELAP – EDGE MANNING & CO. Sponsored by Foras Na Gaeilge Bar Council’s Human Rights Award BROTHER KEVIN CROWLEY – CAPUCHIN DAY CENTRE Presented by the Bar Council


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Minster Frances Fitzgerald, Patrick Farrell, AIB Private Banking and Miriam O’Callaghan

Public Sector Law Team of the Year presented to Kevin McMeel and Mary Power, Criminal Assets Section Chief State Solicitor’s Office

“I was delighted to have the honour of attending the fourth annual gathering for the AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards. It afforded me the opportunity, as Minster for Justice and Equality, to join in the recognition and honouring of the outstanding achievements of lawyers and firms throughout the country. It was also an event which brought to the fore the enormously wide range of legal, social and human rights issues that come before the legal professions and which help shape and maintain the orderly conduct of our lives in a democratic society.” Minister for Justice & Equality Frances Fitzgerald

Fiona Breheny, ENKI (centre) presents the Property Planning Probate Award to Tony O’Sullivan and Gerry Gallen of Beauchamps Solicitors


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David Barniville, Bar Council Chairman and Br Kevin Crowley, Capuchin Day Centre

Claire O’Neill, Marketing Director, Eversheds, Patrick Farrell, AIB Private Banking and Alan Murphy, Managing Partner, Eversheds

Ronan Conboy of AmTrust presents the Sole Practitioner/ Principal Award to Barry Rafferty of Barry J. Rafferty Solicitors

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Ken Murphy, Director General, Law Society of Ireland

Jillian Fitzgerald and Ian Noble of Kantar Media

In House Legal Team of the Year presented to Bord Gais: Maura Smith of Thompson Reuters (centre) with Gareth Byrne, Hilda Kelly, Joanne Ross and Emma Burrows of Bord Gรกis

Dr Eamonn G Hall, Chairman of the Irish Law Awards judging panel, Dr Thomas B Courtney, recipient of the Special Merit Award, and Catherine Moroney, AIB

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Barry St John Galvin, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Friends First

Gareth Crowe and Annemarie Connolly of the Peter McVerry Trust


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Law Firm of the Year – Irish Law Awards 2015

Eversheds helps you go further Eversheds is delighted to be named Law Firm of the Year at the Irish Law Awards. Our firm was also winner of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team of the Year and Irish International Law Firm of the Year. As a leading Irish firm, and the only full service international law firm, we would like to thank our clients for their continued support and business. To find out how Eversheds can take you further, please contact: Alan Murphy Managing Partner and Chairman Eversheds International +353 1 6644 289

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Eversheds Ireland is a member of Eversheds International Limited.

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Eversheds Named

IRISH LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR Eversheds was delighted to be named Law Firm of the Year at the 4th annual Irish Law Awards held on Thursday, April 30th.


s one of Ireland’s leading law firms, Eversheds is also part of an international network of 57 offices operating in 31 countries worldwide. In addition to winning the overall accolade, Eversheds also emerged top in two other categories, International Law Firm of the Year and Alternative Dispute Resolution Team of the Year. In light of the Irish Law Awards win, Alan Murphy, Managing Partner, Eversheds Dublin, and Chairman, Eversheds International, outlined the below: We are delighted with winning the overall title of Law Firm of the Year at the 2015 Irish Law Awards. Our firm has been growing steadily over the last couple of years. In the last two years, we grew revenues by 15 per cent year on year, we created 80 new jobs and we’ve taken on additional office space to cater for our firm’s growth needs. As the Irish economy strengthens and grows in the years ahead, we are very optimistic about the future for our firm.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald and the Eversheds staff

Eversheds differentiates itself in the Irish market on a number of levels. We are the only truly international firm operating in Dublin, capable of offering a seamless service across multiple jurisdictions, managed centrally by a partner in our Dublin offer. We believe this is a very attractive advantage we can offer to multinationals operating in Ireland. As well as winning the title of Law Firm of the Year, we also won in the International Law Firm category – we believe that decision was in recognition of this singular ability to advise clients on a global basis. The international nature of the Eversheds global network is also an advantage in other ways. Our staff benefit from the ability to work in Eversheds offices outside of Ireland, enabling them to broaden their perspectives and bring that wider experience back to the firm in Dublin for the benefit of all Alan Murphy, Managing Partner and Chairman, Eversheds International, Clare O’Neill, Marketing Director, Eversheds our clients; the and Patrick Farrell, Head of AIB Private Banking multi-nationals,

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the large indigenous firms and the start-ups. We also differentiate through our unique project management approach. When companies turn to Eversheds for expert advice, they are accessing an innovative service that aligns itself to clients’ objectives and expectations. This offers cost certainty and peace of mind and is more akin to how businesses operate themselves. Our clients relate to and appreciate this approach. We were also pleased that Eversheds won the Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Team of the Year category. We have been pioneers in Ireland in pursuing growth in this arena. Given the tumultuous period that Ireland has come through in the last few years, it’s no surprise that there was increased demand from the business community for this kind of legal service, and we invested in building up our team of experts to assist our clients. In Ireland we work with some of the largest, most progressive companies as well as many exciting and innovative smaller companies and start-ups. We are very pleased to have our hard work and expertise recognised at this year’s Irish Law Awards and we look forward to building on this success in the years ahead.


01/07/2015 10:45

Assisting the legal and accountancy professions with debt advisory solutions for personal, partnership and corporate clients

Contact Matthew J Harvey T: 01 6137713 | M: 087 2340714 | E: Ferndale Advisory, Clifton House, Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2

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DEBT ADVISERS For those dealing with debt, using an intermediary can offer a cost-effective and stress-free resolution for all concerned. InBUSINESS spoke to Matthew J Harvey, Principal, Ferndale Advisory, to discover more about the process.


t present there is a substantial amount of people faced with property related borrowings, from single home mortgages to complex portfolios of residential or commercial investment properties. The impact of the recession – notably the reduction in property values and rental incomes – and the requirement of these borrowers to maintain loan repayments and associated commitments in light of these events can result in both uncertainty and not insignificant pressure over what happens next, what the bank will do, and whether the borrower will lose their properties.

ASSISTING BORROWERS It is in this arena that Ferndale Advisory operates, a firm specifically established with the goal of assisting and guiding borrowers through this often stressful and pressurised process. Ferndale prides itself on both assisting and supporting the borrower, whether they be personal, partnership or corporate borrowers, and then identifying and obtaining a solution that is acceptable to both parties. The boutique practice has extensive experience across a number of sectors, including the legal and accountancy professions, and core services include meeting and liaising with banks, lenders and new loan owners, identifying and appraising the options available for both parties, explaining the details and implications of such options, drafting relevant documentation and presenting proposals to the bank or new loan owner. InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Matthew J Harvey, Principal, Ferndale Advisory

DEPTH OF EXPERIENCE At the helm is Matthew J Harvey, whose previous roles have seen him working in insolvency and banking restructuring roles in the UK and Ireland for a number of years. These include posts with accountancy practice BDO, banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank and Irish loan servicing group Certus. Harvey’s experience from the financial institutions’ point of view is what differentiates Ferndale’s ability to secure an outcome that can prove acceptable for both sides of the equation. “With Ferndale Advisory, you have experience from the other side of that equation and an ability to provide a clear understanding of where the bank is coming from and what is important to them. In these situations clients take comfort from the fact that our staff have worked in the banking environment, and the insight that this provides,” Harvey explains.

Further uncertainty, Harvey notes, is generated by the current trend of loans sales from the banks to new owners. In recent months European banks, for example, have stepped up sales of distressed property loans in particular, placing the borrowers in unknown territory, as they move from dealing with a high street bank to an entity they may have never heard of. Ferndale Advisory, however, maintains relationships with a number of these loan purchasers and so can guide borrowers through the entire process – providing advice on what can be achieved, and the best way to do so. Combining a knowledge of how financial institutions operate in such cases with experience across a number of jurisdictions and related roles, as well as a very strong technical knowledge of banking, insolvency, restructuring and recovery, Harvey and Ferndale are clearly focused on the end result. “We’re results-driven, and we’re not about over-promising and underdelivering. We’re focused on the end result and getting to that point – we know how to do that,” he explains. “Often that’s about delivering something quick, rather than having to go through a convoluted, expensive enforcement process of receivership and repossession. It’s about saying ‘we want this to be a consensual, mutual discussion.’ And, as part of that, we want to be able to negotiate the best deal that we can for our clients.” For more information, please phone our office on 01 613 7713, 087 234 0714 or email


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On the RIGHT TRACK When tracing missing beneficiaries, your first stop should be Massey & King.


ounded in 1994, Massey & King Ltd is Ireland’s leading firm of probate genealogists. Specialising in intestacy matters and missing or uncontactable beneficiaries, our directors, Kit and Steven Smyrl, have over 45 years combined experience in the field. Our offices are based in Dublin and, with a network of researchers and agents across the globe, we can trace nextof-kin no matter where they reside. Massey & King’s expertise was recognised when it was depicted in RTÉ’s recent IFTA-nominated television series Dead Money. Each episode gave the background to a particular intestacy case: fascinating stories that showed how Kit and Steven solved what appeared to be intractable

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such disparate places as the United and/or complex family mysteries. Kingdom, the Indian sub-continent, These cases included finding cousins, South America, the Caribbean, unknown to each other, living only Mauritius, Australia, New Zealand, a village apart in Massachusetts and Malta, Africa and the former Easternlinked together by a deceased aunt Bloc. If next-of-kin exist…then we will from the west of Ireland; reuniting find them. a young English woman with her late and estranged father’s extended family, people she never even knew existed; and tracking down the remote relatives of an Irish Protestant family that served in colonial India. Over the years we have dealt with estates in Steven and Kit Smyrl

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WINNING FORMULA Holmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors are celebrating success founded on hard work and dedication to their clients.


olmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors (HOMS) are a leading Irish law firm dedicated to delivering a timely, friendly, cost effective service in a complete range of commercial and personal legal services. With offices located in Limerick and Dublin, they represent local, national and international corporate and private clients. High profile legal work and cases, repeat instructions and new client engagements, extensive business and CSR initiatives, together with a gold grade quality certification demonstrate an exceptional commitment to client service. The firm is delighted to have once again received outstanding recognition in being named Munster Law Firm of the Year 2015 (Over Five Solicitors) for the third time in the past four years at the recent AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards 2015. In addition, Jacci Fox, the firm’s debt collection manager, won Legal Executive of the Year 2015. Fox and her team are among the most experienced and skilled debt collection practitioners in the State, and she has led the way in the development of tailored debt recovery, reporting software, work processes, training schemes and knowledge sharing. Robert Bourke, a partner in the firm’s litigation department based in Munster, commented: “We’ve won the Munster Law Firm of the Year three times out of four years. It’s a testament to the dedication of the staff at HOMS in providing quality services to our clients and making

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HOMS Partners Donal Creaton, Robert Kennedy, Harry Fehily and Robert Bourke are pictured accepting the Munster Law Firm of the Year 2015 award from Denis Hickey, Managing Director of Hibernian Legal (centre)

The firm is delighted to have once again received outstanding recognition in being named Munster Law Firm of the Year 2015 (Over Five Solicitors) for the third time in the past four years.

Miriam O’Callaghan, Jacci Fox, Legal Executive of the Year 2015 and Donal Creaton, Partner

sure we go the extra mile. It’s a very difficult market, a very competitive market, and sometimes it takes long hours or innovative strategies to solve our clients’ problems. That’s down to the staff and their dedication, and Jacci Fox is outstanding in her field. She’s led her department for a number of years, her clients have great faith, trust and experience in her.” Managing Partner Harry Fehily also believes the emphasis the firm places on client relations, and the effort of the staff in searching for solutions, is what secured their success at the awards. “Congratulations to all at

HOMS and to Jacci Fox who has been recognised as the national Legal Executive of the Year. I am delighted that the outstanding dedication and hard work of all of the staff at HOMS has been recognised by the awards. I think it epitomises our brand, a brand of knowledge, value and experience, characterised by a friendly, cost-efficient service. I think it’s a recognition of the value and work that we do for our clients,” he says. “We would like to thank all of our clients for their continuing support, without which succeeding in these awards would not be possible.”


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TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE Dublin-based firm Orpen Franks was recently announced as the winner of the Leinster Law Firm of the Year (Over 5 Solicitors) category at the Irish Law Awards 2015.


rpen Franks are proud to have won the prestigious award of Leinster Law Firm of the Year (over 5 solicitors) at the Irish Law Awards 2015. Peter Walsh, Managing Partner, commented: “We are delighted that our firm has been acknowledged for the quality of its professionals and services across the board in the AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards 2015. The award reflects the quality, depth of knowledge and client confidence in

our legal services. We are particularly grateful to have had the support and commendation of our clients and peers. We would like to thank all of our clients who took the time to nominate us for these prestigious awards. This award will serve to further instil and inspire our core values of delivering first class legal services, teamwork and integrity.” Orpen Franks is one of Ireland’s oldest law firms. We work with a wide variety of clients, from the

 he award reflects the quality, depth of knowledge and T client confidence in our legal services. We are particularly grateful to have had the support and commendation of our clients and peers.

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smallest individual up to the largest corporate client, and our aim is to ensure that everyone who engages Orpen Franks receives the same excellent, personal and expert advice. Each of our solicitors specialise in a particular area of law. We are focused on teamwork and one of the advantages our clients can benefit from is consistent cross departmental interaction in the firm. As a result, we can confidently provide expert advice in a professional and personal way. Our clients can rely on us for technical excellence in the law, a capacity for innovative thought and a positive approach. 30/06/2015 17:27

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ENKI – New Online Closing Search ENKI provides faster, reliable, online closing searches that eliminate closing day surprises.


ased completely online, ENKI seeks to change the approach to conveyance searches. They offer the first fully online platform, which gives solicitors a lot of flexibility in terms of when they order the searches, how the searches are refreshed, and how they can manage the process. Barry Darmody, ENKI founder and lead architect, says working in the industry gave him insight into daily tasks that could be replaced with simple solutions – with time inefficiencies within conveyancing, performing a closing search is a laborious task that software can

experience and use the lessons learned from the last property boom to eliminate a lot of the key issues that the old process suffered from. As well as ease of use and practicality, another reason for service uptake is that legal professionals in general are more willingly engaging with technology. Solicitors are now more likely to seek out technological solutions to their problems and conveyancing is no different. The users have peace of mind knowing they can requisition searches, removing the element of surprise when ordering searches on the closing day.

address. Darmody focused on addressing those issues at the core of conveyancing. After researching the best approach, they found that the key solution was to facilitate solicitors with the ability to order their searches far in advance. Searches are refreshed daily, and a fully updated search is provided on the specified closing date. Since launching, ENKI has successfully engaged with solicitors nationwide, bringing a new lease of life to the conveyance sector in Ireland. ENKI’s growth coincides with rising trends within the property market, giving solicitors a new outlet for carrying out closing searches as the volume of legal work in this sector picks up. When this area gained momentum, ENKI was sure to be in a position to leverage their

This is an amended version of an article first published in the Sunday Business Post on May 31st 2015.


Toronto London





New York



As Seen On IFTA Nominated RTE Series, ‘Dead Money’

Massey & King is the only incorporated firm of specialist Genealogists & Probate Researchers in Ireland.


Oslo Canberra

Christchurch Rome Prague









Sister Deceased tel: (01) 492 8644 email: 236299_2L_MASSEY_JR_CIB.indd 1

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GETTING AHEAD Advanced Legal, the UK and Ireland’s largest private legal software company is expanding its business interests in the Republic of Ireland.


he owners of OPSIS, who provide practice management and payroll software to law firms across Ireland, have recently acquired new Dublin city centre offices in Aran Quay and have recruited a new sales manager for the Republic of Ireland. The firm has also announced plans to expand its local helpdesk and support team. All of this investment is to support the introduction of their next generation software, ALB, to the Irish legal market. Jimmy Scullion, Regional Manager for Advanced Legal, is the first to admit that law firms are facing many difficult decisions at the moment and picking the right business model

will be key to future success. He comments: “Law firms in ROI have been taking advantage of the leaner times to emerge from the recession in better structural and financial shape with many turning to software to improve their internal processes and reduce risk.” Scullion continues: “We are seeing more law firms implement ALB as they realise the benefits that automating process can give – saving time re-keying data and introducing standardised processes across the firm are key labour saving initiatives that any firm should look to adopt.” Beyond process automation, Advanced Legal are seeing firms use


their software to reduce exposure to risk in the form of money laundering checks and controls and have seen a sharp uptake in private cloud-based solutions as law firms look to access their business software through a managed hosting service. Scullion comments: “In times of change the cloud gives great flexibility to up-scale or down-scale accordingly, significantly reducing the level of risk associated with having office based IT infrastructure. Scullion concludes: “As firms look to maximise productivity, the right business software, whether installed or hosted via the cloud, will be essential if they are to respond to the changing market conditions.”

Business Solutions

Advanced Legal

The complete practice solution ALB - the fastest growing PCMS in the market - is a single, fully integrated, system that delivers everything your legal practice needs to improve productivity and grow in today’s competitive market. Improve client engagement Unify matter management and legal accounting Ensure firm-wide compliance and risk management Drive business efficiency with automated processes 00447917247626 / 00442890447129 236114_2L_IRIS_AMA_CIB.indd 1

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MODERN SOLUTIONS The team at Clarke Jeffers & Co place an emphasis on a modern approach to client relations, complemented by quality legal advice.


larke Jeffers & Co is a specialist legal service provider in the areas of company law, commercial litigation, construction dispute resolution and cyber law. We adopt the approach that location is irrelevant in a modern world and what matters to our clients are results. To match this philosophy we have implemented a modern approach to dealing with our clients. This has taken the form of video conference meetings for busy clients, social media interaction, email instructions and a fast, solution-based turnaround coupled with clear and uncomplicated communication. We live in a modern world. Clients need access to and solutions

from their solicitors without delay. Everything we do is aimed at the provision of the best quality, precise legal advice, coupled with a prompt turnaround. Commercial problems are often complicated. The right solutions should never be. Clarke Jeffers & Co is a boutique law firm catering for individual private clients, small start-up companies, nationwide and international brands together with some of the largest building contractors in the State. The firm has won back-to-back Irish Law awards as the number one law firm in Leinster (under five solicitors category 2014 and 2015). If there is any problem or query that you would like

Everything we do is aimed at the provision of the best quality, precise legal advice, coupled with a prompt turnaround. Commercial problems are often complicated. The right solutions should never be.

to discuss then please contact us. Let us show you why so many clients and businesses are now putting their faith in Clarke Jeffers & Co. Our motto is simple: strong, clear advice when you need it. For more information, email


Wherever you are we can assist. Video conferencing and instant online instruction now available to all clients. Specialising in :

■ Corporate and commercial litigation ■ Company Law. ■ Construction law & Disputes. ■ Cyber and Internet Law. Clarke Jeffers & Co Solicitors, back to back winners of an Irish Law Award, in the category Leinster Law Firm of the year (under five Solicitors) William & Victor Clarke of Clarke Jeffers & Co Solicitors make it to the geographic North Pole. 19th April 2014

Please feel free to contact us on or visit us at

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Flexible solutions with LKG LKG provides tailored, flexible plans for its corporate customers.


KG are one of the leading corporate boutique firms in Ireland, regularly punching above their weight in terms of transaction size, complexity and value and acting for some of Ireland’s premier businesses. The quality of LKG’s work was recognised in it being a finalist in three separate categories in the Irish Law Awards 2015 and is reflected in the client testimonials on its website. LKG are more competitively priced than some of the larger firms in Dublin, are absolutely rigorous in avoiding actual or perceived conflicts of interest, and employ lawyers who have worked at some of the biggest law firms in both Ireland and the UK, therefore being able to advise Irish businesses trading or expanding into the UK.

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LKG has been at the forefront of advising its own clients and a wider audience on the implications of the Companies Act 2014 commencing on June 1st and has high quality, publicly available materials on a dedicated Companies Act section of its website. Although a corporate boutique firm, LKG offer a fullservice. LKG can help reduce clients’ legal spend. LKG are flexible in their charging structures and will tailor a system to suit the type of work to be undertaken in line with specific budgetary and administrative requirements. The quality of the client base that LKG acts for and the calibre of transactions it has advised on are available at

Neil Keenan, Managing Partner

Should you wish to talk about how LKG can help you, please contact Managing Partner Neil Keenan on + 353 (0)1 231 1430 or email

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Excellence Through EXPERIENCE Daniel Spring & Co. have been named Dublin Law Firm of the Year.


ed by former Munster and Irish rugby international Donal Spring, Daniel Spring & Co. has been awarded Dublin Law Firm of the Year at the recent AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards. This award honours a firm’s “exceptional achievement in the law” whilst also “epitomising the ideals of the legal profession in Ireland”. Daniel Spring & Co. is a full service law firm covering a wide range of general and specialist practice areas. The firm is widely recognised for its employment, healthcare, professional regulatory, litigation, sports law and family law practices. It offers clients a one-stop shop for all their legal needs. The firm was previously named Family Law Team of the year at the inaugural Irish Law Awards in

2012. The following year, it was awarded Employment Law Team of the Year. 2013 also saw Outsource award the firm its gold accreditation mark for adherence to best practice and Aileen Fleming, Donal Spring (Principal), Jacqui Cross, Geraldine Shanley, John Macklin (Lincoln Recruitment Specialists, award highest standards sponsor), Paula Murphy and Jennifer McCarthy of client care and service, the first provide high-quality timely advice whilst time a firm had received this award on ensuring a very personalised client a first application. service. We believe that this award is Principal Donal Spring said: “We are a testament to the firm’s excellence in delighted to receive this prestigious client care which is core to all aspects of award. Client satisfaction has always been critical for us. As a firm we aim to our relationship with clients.”

• Employment Law and Industrial Relations • Healthcare and Medico-Legal • Professional Regulatory Law • Litigation • Mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Collaboration and Arbitration • Health and Safety Law • Family Law • Public Sector

Irish Law Awards Dublin Law Firm of the Year 2015 Employment Law Team of the Year 2013 Family Law Team of the Year 2012 For further information contact: Daniel Spring & Co., 50 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2. E-mail: Telephone: 01-6449900

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• Company Law, Corporate and Commercial • Corporate Governance • Sports Law • Commercial and Residential Conveyancing • Probate and Private Client

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Striving for SUCCESS Winner of the Sole Practitioner/Principal Law Firm of the Year 2015, Barry J Rafferty Solicitors operates on the principles of efficiency and effectiveness.


aving been announced as the winner of the AIB Private Banking Law Awards Sole Practitioner/Principal Law Firm of the Year 2015, we believe this highlights our firm’s ethos and dedication to assisting clients and dealing with their requirements as efficiently and effectively as possible. Winning this award comes on the back of years of dedication to providing our clients with high quality legal services with the principles of integrity, professionalism and respect for our clients and the community at the core of everything we do. The firm is structured around three main areas of law – commercial law, litigation and dispute resolution

and property with an emphasis on banking and conveyancing services. We strive to become one of the most sought-after providers of legal services in the region by being accessible, efficient and technologically sophisticated. In pursuit of this goal, we have realised that in these busy times, it can be difficult for our clients to come to us. As a result we pride ourselves on offering a service whereby we visit our clients when and where they want. In addition, by utilising the Documatics case management system, we strive to become an ‘e-office’ whereby all paper is scanned and shredded where possible, allowing clients to access and

follow their case from start to finish. This instant access to the firm and knowing that their issues will be dealt with in a professional and competent manner is, in our view, the main key to success.

We strive to become one of the most sought-after providers of legal services in the region by being accessible, efficient, responsive and technologically sophisticated. For example, our main advantage is that we have realised that in these busy times, it can be difficult for our clients to come to us.

Winner of the AIB Private Banking Law Awards Sole Practitioner/Principal Law Firm of the Year 2015, our firm prides itself on its dedication to helping clients and dealing with their business efficiently and effectively. The firm is structured around three main areas of law – commercial law, litigation and dispute resolution and property with an emphasis on Banking and Conveyancing services.

BARRY J RAFFERTY SOLICITORS 77 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland Phone: (+353 1) 6401845 | Fax: (+353 1) 6401899 General Enquiries:

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WINNER Sole Practitioner /Principal Law Firm of the Year

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Testament TO SUCCESS Partners at Law offers a broad range of award-winning services complemented by a highly capable staff.


award-winning service at the firm, including an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the law and the law of evidence, a highly capable staff on hand as well as those qualities necessary to ably and successfully represent their clients in the courtroom. The award also embraces road traffic offences including excess alcohol prosecutions and all forms of regulatory legisation. “I think the fact that the award was made to the office is a very good reflection on the staff and those who work here, and the systems that are in place. We also have the Gold Q mark from the Institute of Legal Research and Standards – that in its own way is testament to our success,” he concludes.

organisation, Partners at Law were one of the successful Irish law firms that were recognised at the recent AIB-sponsored irish Law Awards. “Surprised and delighted would be the immediate reaction,” says Ronald Lynam, who was named Criminal Lawyer of the Year. Lynam commands one of the most substantial criminal law practices in the country and handles all matters arising in the Dún Laoghaire District Court, and has also led some of Ireland’s leading criminal law cases. “You always hope that your efforts down through the years are recognised, and the fact that they were to that extent is certainly a great encouragement.” Lynam points to several positive attributes that combine to provide an

artners At Law (PALS) is a Dún Laoghaire-based law firm that was established in 1993 when four local solicitors merged their practices under a new and distinct identity. Combining the attraction of a familiar local business with the experience and technological support of a sophisticated legal

You always hope that your efforts down through the years are recognised and the fact that they were to that extent is certainly a great encouragement.

Solicitors • Notaries Public

SPECIALISTS IN PENSION AND TRUST LAW ITC Consulting are a team of lawyers and tax advisers specialising in the legal and tax aspects of pensions and trusts. • Pension Law Consultancy • Retirement Structuring Services • Pension Investment Structuring Services • Pension Property Structuring Services • Private and Commercial Trustee Services Irish Pensions





Personal Injury Litigation Employment Law Family Law Residential Conveyancing Landlord & Tenant Wills & Probate Trusts & Estate Planning Commercial Property Transactions Defence of Prosecutions Commercial Law Debt Collection Road Traffic Offences WINNER Licensing

Criminal Law Team / Lawyer of the Year


What can we do for You?


ITC Consulting is the trading name of Astons Tax & Legal Ltd. ITC Consulting, Harmony Court, Harmony Row, Dublin 2.

Institute of Legal Research & Standards

GOLD The Legal Quality Standard

8 Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin Tel: 01 2800 340 email: DX : 6007

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Local firm, INTERNATIONAL REACH A Donegal firm whose reach exceeds its geographical boundaries, James P. Sweeney & Co places value on technology, efficiency and continued professional development.


ames P. Sweeney & Co was founded in 1935 and serves an extensive area of north-west Donegal but, with the benefit of technology, can easily service clients at a distance in Ireland, Northern Ireland and overseas in the areas of

The firm has a blend of mature experience and youthful vigour and can deliver an efficient, friendly and courteous service to clients. The firm has always committed to ongoing professional development by continually training staff, both professional and support staff.

property, wills, probate, litigation, family law and taxation. The principal, Brendan J. Twomey, was admitted as a solicitor in 1978 and has practiced with James P. Sweeney & Co since 1979. Alison Parke joined the firm as a trainee in 2005 and qualified as a solicitor in 2006. The firm has a blend of mature experience and youthful vigour and can deliver an efficient, friendly and courteous service to clients. The firm has always committed to ongoing professional development by continually training staff, both professional and support staff. Training is sourced through the Law Society Skillnets programme and the Donegal Bar Association CPD.

Miriam O’Callaghan presents Brendan J. Twomey and Alison Parke with the Ulster Provincial Law Firm of the Year Award

INSOLVENCYIRELAND.IE We provide FREE Confidential Advice on all our services including: • Creditors Voluntary Liquidations • Members Voluntary Liquidations • Court Liquidations • Receiverships by Equitable Execution • Mortgage Arrears Advice & Assistance • Bankruptcy Advice • Transfer of land & property • Wills, probate & legal issues for the elderly

PJ Lynch & Company 5-7 Westland Square Pearse Street Dublin 2

• Landlord & tenant • Accidents* & litigation • Family law • Taxation & insolvency advice

Phone: 074 913 5121 • Fax: 074 9135704 Email: DX238001 Falcarragh M A I N S T R E E T, F A L C A R R A G H , C O . D O N E G A L

T: (01) 707 9662 E:

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement, nor is it our practice to do so.

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Delivering through INNOVATION Pierse Fitzgibbon was awarded the Law Firm Innovation Award for 2015.


ierse Fitzgibbon is a progressive Irish law firm providing affordable legal services of the highest quality and integrity since 1975. The firm prides itself on its innovative use of technology to manage and control its business from its Kerry base where it successfully delivers all of its services nationally, specifically in the areas of debt recovery and enforcement services. Rural practices that have low population and footfall in their immediate locality rely on today’s technology to support business growth. A large portion of its corporate business comes from Government contracts and financial institutions throughout Ireland. Pierse Fitzgibbon operates on the basis that

• • • • • • • • •

Kyran Hurley, Martina Larkin, Marie Stack, Riobard Pierse, Michael Fitzpatrick, James Pierse with Minister Frances Fitzgerald

it is through the use of technology that it can deliver the legal services demanded in today’s world. These services are delivered in a safe, efficient and cost effective manner. Over the past eight years in

Real-Time Transcript Streaming Digital Audio Transcription Disciplinary Hearings AGM & Board Meetings Public Inquiries & Confidential Meetings Tribunals Video Conferencing Facilities Secure Transcript Web Casting Same Day, Door-To-Door Transcript Delivery

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particular, the Kerry firm has invested in a programme of technology enhancements. The firm understands the skills balance necessary to ensure an effective and progressive service delivery to clients. Completing many legal tasks manually is administration heavy, so automation and inventive application of work practices provides significant cost benefits to the client; allowing its staff to focus on the legal services. The innovation award has been received in recognition of the complex technological solutions identified by the firm in providing legal services, and in particular its unique integration with the Dublin Courts Service in processing large volumes of data. Being innovative is what allows a rural firm compete for national contracts.

Gwen Malone Stenography Services, The Law Library, 145-151 Church Street, Dublin 7, Ireland. DX1071 Tel: 01- 878 2000 FAX: 01- 878 2058 After Hours: 087 249 1316 Email:

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The Companies Act 2014 commenced on 1st June 2015. The Act codifies the previous Acts into one logical legal code. It also introduces significant reforms.

Are you up to speed with changes affecting your company in the Companies Act 2014? New versions of CRO forms are available and must be used. Old forms will no longer be accepted by the CRO. ■ New forms have Companies Act 2014 citation ■ New forms contain additional guidance notes

For information on the Companies Act 2014 and on new forms please go to

AN OIFIG UN CHLÁRÚ CUIDEACHTAÍ Oifig Poiblí: Teach Pharnell, 14 Cearnóg Pharnell, Baile Átha Cliath 1 Fiosruithe: Bóthar Uí Bhriain, Ceatharlach

COMPANIES REGISTRATION OFFICE Public Office: Parnell House, 14 Parnell Square, Dublin 1 Postal Enquiries: O’Brien Road, Carlow

Lóghlao: 1890 220 226 Fón: +353 1 804 5200 Faics: +353 1 804 5222 Ríomhphost: Láithreán:

Lo Call: 1890 220 226 Tel: +353 1 804 5200 Fax: +353 1 804 5222 Email: Web:

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A NEW ERA The recent Companies Act brings with it some significant changes for Irish companies. Maureen O’Sullivan, CRO Registrar explains.

date and time of receipt of a fully completed submission to the CRO – the date of creation of the deed of charge will no longer determine the priority. To secure priority, notification of charges to the CRO can only be done through e-filing using ROS signatures. There is no paper option. Please see information leaflet 27.


he Companies Act 2014 came into effect on June 1st. The Act consolidates the existing Companies Acts 19632013 into a logical legal code with the most common company type (private limited by shares) placed at the centre. It also introduces some significant reforms which are outlined below.

CONVERSION All private limited (by shares) companies, which account for more than 85 per cent of all companies on the register, must convert into one of two new company types: • Limited (LTD): Simplified company structure that will operate under a one document constitution (no objects) and may have only one company director (but must have separate secretary) and convene through written AGMs. • Designated Activity Company (DAC): Will operate under a two document constitution (with objects). An 18-month transition period began at commencement within which these companies must ‘convert’ into one of the new company types. To convert, they must notify the CRO through filing the relevant documents, a process that will be free of charge. During the transition period and before conversion, all private companies limited by shares will operate under the rules applying to a DAC. Please see information leaflet 31. InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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VOLUNTARY STRIKE OFF The previous administrative regime has now been set out in statute. Please see information leaflet 28. Maureen O’Sullivan, CRO Registrar

NAME CHANGE REQUIREMENT During the transition period companies limited by guarantee and unlimited companies will need to change their name to fulfil the requirement under the Act to specify their company type at the end of their name. Please see information leaflet 33.

ANNUAL RETURNS Companies now only have to meet two of the three size criteria to qualify as a small company for the purposes of claiming an audit exemption. Guarantee and group companies can also now qualify and audit exemption is available to dormant companies. Please see information leaflet 23.

DIRECTORS Directors’ duties have now been codified and set out in part 5 of the new Act. Every director and secretary must be aged 18 or over and any underage officers have been removed from the register.

MORTGAGES The priority of a charge registered with CRO is now established by

NEW SUMMARY APPROVAL PROCEDURE This allows companies to carry out certain activities by means of a director’s declaration and a shareholder’s resolution for activities which under the previous law required High Court approval.

CRO COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN The CRO’s main source of information on the Companies Act 2014 is CRO have updated all content including forms and information leaflets. The ODCE are also updating all of their key publications. CRO have advertised and written directly to all company directors during 2015. CRO has engaged extensively with its stakeholder groups over the last two years on this legislation and will continue to do so, reviewing commencement of the legislation and the effects of the changes. CRO provides an information telephone service and staff are available to answer queries on the Companies Act 2014. To sign up to the CRO ezine – visit ‘newsletter’ on and for tweets follow @cro_ie.


29/06/2015 16:09


Strong FOUNDATIONS Griffith College Law School strives towards excellence, innovation and flexibility in its programmes.


ince 2009, under the direction of the Dean, the Law School has been at the forefront of a major criminal justice initiative, the Innocence Project at Griffith College. The project is open to a select number of third-level colleges and homed within Griffith College Dublin. It recently achieved the first posthumous pardon in the history of the State for Harry Gleeson, the last man hanged in Ireland in 1941. “Griffith College Law School is delighted by the success of our Dean of Law, David Langwallner, who won the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award at the recent Irish Law Awards ceremony,” says Siobhan Leonard, Head of Law at Griffith College. Since it was founded in 1992, the

Law School has positioned itself as learner-centred and innovative in its approach to academic and clinical legal education. Delivering law programmes from its Dublin and Cork campuses, the school provides the following programmes across the spectrum of legal education: • Certificate in Legal Studies • Diploma in Legal Studies & Practice (accredited by the Irish Institute of Legal Executives) • LL.B (Hons) degree in Law (accredited by King’s Inns) • LL.Ms in International Law, International Human Rights Law and International Commercial Law • Preparatory courses for entrance examinations to the Honorable

Society of The King’s Inns and The Law Society of Ireland. Griffith College Law School pursues excellence in legal education in a pioneering and creative way, enhancing the student learning experience by offering relevant, flexible programme delivery and a wide range of extra-curricular student activities such as the Innocence Project, a free legal advice clinic and a trophy-winning mooting and debating society. It has built strong relationships with professional bodies such as IILEX and is committed to delivering quality legal programmes to suit the needs of students and employers both now and in the future.

Griffith College Law School

Griffith College offers courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional levels Certificate in Legal Studies Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice LL.B. (Hons) Degree LL.M. in International Law LL.M. in International Commercial Law FE1 Revision Courses King’s Inns Revision Courses

the secret is Call us on 01 415 0415 or visit:

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28/05/2015 14:45



MAKES SENSE Accredited mediator Colm Deignan outlines why mediation should be considered if in a dispute and what the process involves. WHAT IS MEDIATION? Mediation is where an independent third party facilitates discussion between parties in a dispute and helps them identify solutions that might work for them. A mediator does not impose a solution or dictate a result.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Typically a mediator will meet with the parties individually in pre-mediation meetings to understand and identify the issues between the parties. On the mediation day the parties are given an opportunity to explain how the dispute has arisen and how it has affected them and usually the parties are then divided into separate rooms and the mediator will shuttle between them as issues are discussed and agreed. The parties are often accompanied by their lawyers and advisors and sometimes barristers are also present. When the matters have been dealt with a mediation settlement agreement is signed which sets out the terms and conditions which have been agreed.

IS A WILLINGNESS TO MEDIATE A SIGN OF WEAKNESS? Of course not. It invariably makes sense in a commercial dispute to examine all the options. The simple truth is that most of us in a dispute want a solution. We want to have an input and where we feel that both parties are giving something we can usually sign up to a solution. We have a legal system which does not encourage co-operation or collaboration by opposing lawyers. The parties are isolated from the process and instead of looking for a solution are forced into hoping that their legal argument will hold up.

WHAT TYPES OF DISPUTE LEND THEMSELVES TO MEDIATION? Any commercial dispute which has the potential to end in court is suitable for mediation. Contract terminations, warring shareholders or partners, banking and financing issues, PI claims – the list goes on. The only exception might be a public interest case.



Litigation is uncertain, expensive, adversarial and extremely time consuming. Mediation, on the other hand, is confidential, speedy and solution driven. It is ‘without prejudice’ and involves the parties in the decision-making process. It is far better for each side to have an input into the solution rather than an imposed one where one party wins or loses.

A mediator should have a recognised mediation qualification. Obviously a mediator needs to be a good listener, be able to look at both sides and be capable of facilitating the parties to generate solutions. Good commercial nous is probably the most important trait which should include an understanding of financial and legal issues.

Litigation is uncertain, expensive, adversarial and extremely time consuming. Mediation, on the other hand, is confidential, speedy and solution driven. It is ‘without prejudice’ and involves the parties in the decisionmaking process. 90

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Colm Deignan

HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE GREATER USE OF COMMERCIAL MEDIATION? It’s common sense that companies should embrace mediation. Most commercial disputes end up in negotiation anyway but usually it is on the court steps. However, significant costs and time have been invested. It is far better to look for solutions earlier in a dispute. Commercial mediation is beginning to gain traction as the judiciary in the commercial courts regularly insist on mediation. There is a Mediation Bill which is due for publication this year which will insist on lawyers and barristers informing clients of the benefits of mediation. The next contract you are drawing up, insist on mediation as a method for resolving disputes. The next dispute you are involved in, insist on mediation. Remember, it is likely to be in your best interest. For further details email Colm Deignan InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

29/06/2015 16:11


Under the MICROSCOPE Microfinance Ireland’s performance is having a positive impact on enterprise and jobs, according to a Government report.


icrofinance Ireland, a notfor-profit, microenterprise lender was recently subject to a Government performance-based review carried out by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The review stated that Microfinance Ireland’s (MFI) performance is now having a significant positive impact on enterprise and job creation in Ireland. “The review confirmed we were fit for purpose and concluded that we are now contributing significantly to enterprise and economic development,” says MFI’s CEO Michael Johnson. MFI was established in November 2013 to administer the Microenterprise Loan Scheme under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. Although MFI

offers interest bearing loans like a bank, there are a few key differences. MFI operates on a not-for-profit basis and only lends to microenterprises with less than 10 employees which have under a2 million in turnover and on the balance sheet. Microenterprises represent 90 per cent of all businesses in Ireland. The goal of MFI is not to compete with the banks but to assist those who may find it difficult to access credit through the banks. Up to now, all of MFI’s customers required a bank decline before applying for a loan. One of the recommendations of the review was that this should be removed. “People are really devastated when they get rejected and need to have their journey made easier,” says

The review confirmed we were fit for purpose and concluded that we are now contributing significantly to enterprise and economic development. Johnson. “Many people are so dispirited after rejection that they abandon their plans and dreams.” This will no longer be a necessity under the proposed changes in legislation and MFI are convinced this will lead to more businesses and jobs being created. Other recommendations in the report included a call for more cooperation from the banks to actively refer customers who may not meet their criteria to Microfinance Ireland.

Are you having difficulty accessing credit for your small business?

Microfinance Ireland offer loans of up to €25,000 to start-up and existing businesses with fewer than 10 employees

Contact us today on (01) 2601007 This financing benefits from a guarantee issued under the ‘European Progress Microfinance Facility’ established by the European Union

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29/06/2015 16:12

Save the Date! 10 - 11 Nov Save the Date

2015 RDS, Dublin

INFRASTRUCTURE. SERVICES. SOLUTIONS. Whether you’re running a couple of stacks, a nationwide network of comms rooms, a small datacentre or a mega-shed, you face similar challenges: to operate more sustainably, boost efficiency and cut costs‌ All without compromising speed, resilience, service continuity or security. DataCentres Ireland Conference & Exhibition is where you can get the knowledge, ideas and see the technology that can help you.

To find out how you can get involved, call the team on +44 1892 518 877 or email For the latest information visit

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29/06/2015 17:01


KNOWLEDGE IS POWER InBUSINESS spoke to Hugh Robinson from Stepex to discover more about the importance of data infrastructure, and the upcoming DataCentres Ireland conference and exhibition, 10-11 November 2015. What is DataCentres Ireland, and what does it address? DataCentres Ireland, now in its fourth year, continues to address the issues relating to the infrastructure and operation of data centres, server rooms and comms rooms to make them run more effectively and efficiently. Ireland – in terms of the international data centre market – punches above its weight being host to nine out of the top ten world leading IT companies, many of whom are looking to base their data centres here, while a number of significantly sized carrier neutral co-location data centres are also based in the country. However, DataCentres Ireland is not just aimed at these large institutions, it also has content and information that will benefit those who are challenged with managing small data centres and server rooms. DataCentres Ireland deals with infrastructure, power cooling, lighting and management, as well as the design and build of the data centre itself. It combines a world class conference with international speakers. It allows attendees to listen to the issues, understand the latest approaches and learn from the experience of others, so they can improve their data centre operation, which will assist them in saving money and contributing to their bottom lines.

introduced to new technologies – like water-cooled systems – that could be deployed in data centres. The conference will also focus on understanding and operating green technologies. It’s an opportunity to learn about what is new in the world, to meet key suppliers both international and those who represent them locally, who can offer businesses the tools, techniques, products and services to help them become more efficient and more resilient.

Can potential exhibitors still get in touch, and are there any particular exhibitors or sectors you are looking for? We always welcome exhibitors, particularly those from Ireland. At the moment we have a good mix of international key players, but it would be nice to see a few more Irish companies, particularly from the consulting and energy side, who have a lot to offer in terms of how these technological tools and products can be adopted.

To those considering attending, but wonder if they will gain anything, what would you say? This event will be packed with information and ideas that can benefit Irish companies. It’s also free to attend, so I urge anyone involved in their organisation’s data storage or IT infrastructure to invest the time and benefit from the ideas, information and contacts that attending this event will deliver. Whatever you do, DataCentres Ireland will have products and services that will help you. Whether you come for one or two days, investing the time will result in improved business performance and reduced risk that will ultimately make you more competitive. For more information on the upcoming DataCentres Ireland conference, email or visit

What can attendees expect from this year’s conference? This year’s conference programme features a number of interesting debates that will stimulate thought and give insights into new EU standards and terms of conduct that are coming down the line. Attendees will be InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Datacentres Ireland conference and exhibition


29/06/2015 16:14

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20/02/2015 10:34

Book your place today for

CHAIRPERSON Dr Thomas B Courtney


SPEAKERS Nessa Cahill BL, Dr Thomas B Courtney, William Johnston, Professor Irene Lynch-Fannon, Lyndon MacCann SC and Daibhi O’Leary

The new Companies Act makes the most far-reaching and fundamental changes to Irish company law in two generations, putting forward a radically different approach whereby the private company limited by shares will become the new model company.

9 July 2015, 9am – 6pm

Who better to explain and contextualise the changes to Irish company law than the Bloomsbury Professional company law authors, to whom practitioners turn when they need to understand a point of company law?

VENUE The Radisson Blu, St Helens Hotel, Stillorgan Rd, Blackrock, Co. Dublin DATE COST €590 (includes lunch, course materials plus a copy of Bloomsbury Professional’s Guide to the Companies Act (RRP €195) plus complementary parking.

Book your place today To make a booking or for further information contact: Jennifer Simpson, Sales & Marketing Manager (Ireland), Fitzwilliam Business Centre, 26 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.

T: +353 (0) 1 6373920 F: +353 (0) 1 6620365 E: Places are at a premium so don’t delay, contact us today.

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29/06/2015 16:16




KILDARE Renowned for its horse racing and flat, green plains, stunning scenery and great food, County Kildare is also home to some of the world’s biggest names in business. The largest Tesco hypermarket in Europe, for example, is in Naas, while Kerry Group has invested heavily in its new innovation centre in the town’s Millennium Park. Kildare is also the European base for tech firms Intel and Hewlett Packard in the town of Leixlip, and has pharmaceutical giant Pfizer located in Newbridge. When it comes to retail, Kildare Village attracts shoppers from all over the country, offering chic outlet shopping in a small village environment. Whitewater Shopping, meanwhile, has been trading successfully in Newbridge since 2006 with more than 70 retailers operating in a two level mall. Kildare’s location is ideal too. On Dublin’s doorstep, it’s less than 35 minutes from the airport and with easy access from the M7 motorway, it’s a county with a lot to offer the business community. With household names such as Newbridge Silverwear, Punchestown and The K Club in the county, there is plenty to encourage foreign direct investment. All the while, North Kildare Chamber and Newbridge Chamber are on hand to work with businesses, community groups, central and local government to provide information, support and the framework that will enable businesses and their employees reach their potential in the county.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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29/06/2015 16:16

Your Perfect Business Setting

Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? Carton House on Dublin’s doorstep is the natural choice when it comes to business. Nestled in 1100 acres of stunning parkland, yet just 30 minutes drive from Dublin City and Dublin Airport. This historic estate offers 14 unique event spaces for five to five hundred guests. And with 165 rooms designed for total relaxation, two gourmet restaurants, tennis courts, luxurious spa & leisure facilities and two championship golf courses, we can strike just the right balance between business and pleasure.

C A R T O N H O U S E , M AY N O O T H , C O K I L D A R E , I R E L A N D Te l : + 3 5 3 (0 )1 5 0 5 2000, Em ail: m eet i ngandevent s@ c ar to nho m w w w. c ar ton h ou s e. co m

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29/06/2015 17:02


A Different EXPERIENCE Carton House, located close to Dublin City, offers a modern experience in truly tranquil surroundings.


nly 20 minutes from Dublin’s city centre and Dublin Airport, Carton House is a stunning piece of Irish history set on a 1,100 acre estate in Maynooth, Co Kildare. With rolling woodlands, meandering rivers, wild wooded areas and a rich diversity of native animals and birds it’s the perfect luxury escape. From relaxing spa treatments to a round of golf or walking trails – it’s all on site.

UNIQUE EXPERIENCE Carton House is a unique venue that has been hosting special guests since 1739. Whatever your purpose – private dining in the Gold Salon, a board meeting in the Dukes Study, a seminar in the inspiring surrounds of the library or exclusive use of the whole house – all rooms in the main house offer unrivalled historical grandeur with modern comfort. The old and new blend seamlessly together with the modern conference and events facilities subtly connected to the Old House by glass corridors, affording views of the magnificent grounds. Grandeur aside, everything is within easy walking distance. From a spa treatment to a round of golf or team-building activities – it’s all to be found on site.

YOUR EVENT The perfect blend of historical grandeur and modern sophistication, there are 14 fully equipped and beautifully decorated meeting rooms that can cater for up to 500 people in total. The Carton Suite is designed InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Our dedicated conference and events team will tailor each experience to your needs and desires. Whether you’re planning an elite executive meeting, a glamorous product launch or a bespoke reward programme, you’re not on your own.

around modern business, with all the latest audio, video and internet technology. Enjoy modern styling and natural daylight inside and invigorating breakouts on manicured lawns outside. Take it as one suite or split it into three. With its own entrance and pre-function foyer, it adapts to your individual needs: business conferences, product launches, exhibitions and even car launches. By night it can be a sophisticated space for a drinks reception or a shimmering silver ballroom for 350 gala dinner guests. Carton House also hosts, the only tailor-made team building company in Ireland offering a unique combination of forest adventure, ropes courses, 4x4 driving, archery, falconry and clay pigeon shooting. When you’re looking for an exciting way to motivate and enhance team

dynamics, offers a unique combination of the most challenging team building activities and upto-date facilities. Our dedicated conference and events team will tailor each experience to your needs and desires. Whether you’re planning an elite executive meeting, a glamorous product launch or a bespoke reward programme, you’re not on your own. From the very first call we work with you to make sure your event runs smoothly and successfully, from the smallest meeting to exclusive use of the entire venue, down to the last detail. There’s nothing quite like Carton House for a special occasion.

For further information, phone us on +353 (0)1 505 2000, email or visit our website at


29/06/2015 16:18


A Bright Future for Irish Retail Ireland’s largest regional shopping centre, Whitewater Shopping Centre has reported record footfall and sales growth.


ocated in the centre of Newbridge, Whitewater has become loved for all the right reasons since first opening in 2006. Recognisable for its airy atmosphere, the 32,000 sq. metre, fully-let retail centre is home to over 70 high end stores including Debenhams, M&S, H&M, Zara, Carraig Donn, Kilkenny, Best Menswear and iConnect. With 1,700 parking spaces and regular parking promotions, shop-mobility services, premium customer service and engaging the latest technology such as Google indoor maps, Whitewater is easy to navigate.

The award-winning centre has recently achieved Q-mark status for its high quality car park services and also earned a ‘Grade A’ accreditation, following a nationwide IBAL survey for cleanliness standards. The report commended the abundant flower boxes and verdant shrubs adorning the shopping centre, visually enhancing the elegant architecture. Community-focused from day one, Whitewater supports fundraising initiatives and local charity partners throughout the year. Regular style and beauty events and free family-friendly events ensure that young and old alike can always enjoy a trip to Whitewater. In a competitive retail environment, Whitewater has consistently grown its market share, with 2014 proving to be Whitewater’s busiest year on record, with record-breaking

footfall and sales. Participation in the multi-centre gift card scheme, extended opening hours, top brands, an extensive cleaning programme and a professional security team have all contributed to the premium experience and positive turnover growth. Commenting on this success, centre manager Ingrid Ryan noted: “At Whitewater, we strive to offer a five-star service and experience to our customers and will continue to do so. We are very much a part of the local community, and we encourage fundraising, work with local charities and offer regular events and family entertainment for our customers to enjoy . We are very grateful for the wonderful local support and it is very rewarding being able to give something back.”

Ireland’s Largest Regional Shopping Centre

Whitewater Shopping Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare

75 Stores • 1,700 Parking Spaces T: 045 449002 • /WHITEWATERSC /WHITEWATER_SC /WHITEWATERSC

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05/03/2015 14:45

29/06/2015 15:25


Investing in IRELAND’S FUTURE The European Commission Investment roadshow hits Dublin – aiming to raise a315 billion.


ow can Ireland get more money into SME funding? How can countries like Ireland renew public investment while not running up yet more debt? These are some of the issues the EU’s new investment plan aims to tackle headon – with a315 billion. On May 21st European Commission Vice-president, Jyrki Katainen, came to Dublin as part of his roadshow that will visit all European capitals by October 2015, to explain how the investment plan will work and what’s in it for Ireland.

GENERATING FUNDING The EU’s aim is to raise a315 billion and open up funding for expensive public infrastructure projects like better broadband, or to cater for SMEs who find bank loans too expensive. The investment plan works by building up a seed fund and having the European Commission and the European Investment Bank act as guarantors for the money markets. This allows investors to put money into projects, from start-ups to public infrastructure, which would normally be considered too risky. The ‘Investing in Europe’s Future – Digital Opportunities for Ireland’ event focused on answering questions about the package. The open, pubic event was held in Dublin’s Convention Centre and was organised by the European Commission Representation in Ireland. Vice-President Katainen said that he was happy to be in Dublin to discuss how the investment plan for Europe can help create more jobs for Ireland. He said: “The European InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen

Investment Bank has already announced, as part of the plan, that it will help finance a public-private partnership to create 14 new primary healthcare centres around the country. Improving and increasing digital infrastructure such as rolling out high-speed broadband in rural areas is one of the objectives of the investment plan, and I hope Ireland can benefit from this.”

POSITIVE FORECAST The Irish economy rebounded strongly in 2014 with real GDP growth of 4.8 per cent in 2014 and forecast GDP growth of around 3.5 per cent in 2015 and 2016. Growth has been driven mainly by net exports and investment as Ireland has benefited from improved competitiveness and strong trade links with the UK and US markets. Investment grew by over 11 per cent in 2014 as companies started to replenish their capital stocks and construction started to pick up from low levels. Ireland also continued to attract substantial inflows of foreign

direct investment, supported by a favourable business environment and a well-educated international workforce.

SME SUPPORT However, in contrast to foreign multinationals, investment by Irish SMEs remains low, partially due to the comparatively high interest rates they face from the banking sector, much of which is still deleveraging. Public investment fell sharply during the crisis and it is still weak, with the result that there is a need for investment in infrastructure, particularly in sectors such as energy, water services and health. The investment plan for Europe could support investment in these sectors and help SMEs to access finance, and thus contribute to higher growth, enhanced competitiveness and new jobs in Ireland. More information on the investment plan for Europe: priorities/jobs-growth-investment/plan/. On Twitter #EUDialogues #investEU. Short clip of the event at citizens-dialogues/ireland/dublin


01/07/2015 11:00


A Home FROM HOME Moy House is a luxurious Georgian country house hotel perfect for a relaxing getaway or an active holiday in County Clare.


Moy House is complemented by a number of ith private spaces breathtaking views dispersed overlooking the throughout the Atlantic Ocean, house; from Moy House is the traditional a beautifully drawing room restored early 19th to the zen feel century home. In its of the lower majestic splendour, library. The aroma the house overlooks emanating from the the stunning Lahinch baking of bread at dinner Bay, set on 15 acres of grounds Dining Room time attracts guests to the kitchen adorned by mature woodland and a which is open to all visitors during their picturesque river. Major restoration stay. It’s these touches that make Moy has transformed this country house House the ideal home from home. to keep in line with present day expectations of superior standards, yet Moy House is just a one-hour drive preserving its unique character, style from Shannon Airport with plenty and ambiance. of activities at its disposal. A tenEnjoy dining at Moy House where minute coastal drive from the property you can indulge in the stunning views of the ocean from the conservatory candle-lit restaurant. Watch the sun set on the sea as you enjoy fine cooking which has been recognised by the Restaurant Food and Wine Awards. The restaurant also holds two prestigious AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence. Blessed with some wonderful local ingredients, from Burren Smoked Salmon to local seafood, chef Matthew Strefford brings cooking to a new level at Moy House. He offers a wonderful six-course tasting menu which changes on a daily basis, but is always inspired by the home grown produce from the gardens and neighbouring farms. Matthew produces everything on site, from homemade bread to ice-cream, and cooks only the freshest Atlantic seafood from Doonbeg. The residential ambience at Moy House Exterior


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brings you to the world famous Cliffs of Moher. County Clare is nothing short of a golfer’s paradise and Moy House’s location is perfect in this regard. The town itself boasts two superb golf courses located at Lahinch Golf Club. The links championship course and the 18-hole castle course certainly won’t disappoint golf lovers. Meanwhile, a mere 35-minute drive takes you to the Greg Normandesigned Doonbeg Golf Links course which offers exceptional golfing in a spectacular setting. Moy House has been described as “an elegant country house with the air of a small luxury hotel”. The only difference is you’ll feel at home! Moy House is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. Tel: 065 7082800

Bedroom with fire

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

29/06/2015 16:24


Welcome to THE FAMILY A number of new engine options from Škoda will be launching ahead of the 152 registration period this July.


koda have announced that they will be introducing a brand new engine line-up just in time for the new 152 registration period. A new range of EU6 compliant petrol and diesel engines will see fuel economy improve by up to 23 per cent and CO2 emissions reduced by up to 18 per cent. All Rapid, Octavia and Yeti models will receive new technologies such as new variable valve timing systems and the latest Stop/Start technology.

Škoda is celebrating 120 years in 2015 and to mark this Škoda are introducing a number of limited edition upgrade packages for the best-selling Octavia in time for July’s 152 registration. In the Octavia, Ambition models receive Cruise Control, Parking Sensors and a Colour Touch Screen Sound System free of charge.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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The Škoda Rapid 1.6 TDI 90bhp is replaced by a newer, 1.4-litre unit with the same output (90bhp) but with 23 per cent better fuel economy (with up to 3.4l /100km on the combined cycle). There is a new 1.6-litre 110bhp (+5 bhp) TDI diesel engine for the Škoda Octavia which replaces the former 105bhp version. The entry-level 90bhp Octavia 1.6 TDI now comes with Stop/Start technology which reduces fuel consumption by 10 per cent and now delivers up to 3.7 l/100km on the combined cycle.

INTRODUCING ADBLUE The ever-popular Škoda Yeti in 2.0-litre TDI 110bhp and 150bhp guise are the first models in the Škoda range to benefit from AdBlue® technology, an additive that was developed to drastically reduce nitrogen oxide emissions to close to zero. In addition, these engines have reduced both CO2 and fuel consumption, the 110bhp by 12 per cent (4.5 l/100km on combined cycle).

LIMITED EDITION Škoda is celebrating 120 years in 2015 and to mark this Škoda are introducing a number of limited edition upgrade packages for the best-

selling Octavia in time for July’s 152 registration. In the Octavia, Ambition models receive cruise control, parking sensors and a colour touch screen sound system free of charge. Style models receive a free reversing camera, exterior chrome package, electric folding mirrors and LED rear lights. And to further celebrate, Škoda have launched 0 per cent APR PCP finance on selected Rapid, Octavia, Yeti and Superb models ordered before July 1st 2015. Commenting on the news, John Donegan, Brand Director, Škoda Ireland, said: “The arrival of our new engine line is coinciding perfectly with the arrival of the 152 registration period. Customers investing in a Škoda are benefiting from some of the most advanced engine technology available on the market today. Škoda is one of the oldest car manufacturers in the world celebrating 120 years this year. To celebrate we are offering special 120-year specification upgrade packages together with what promises to be the best finance offer available from any manufacturer for the 152 registration period.” For further information on Škoda go to www.Š or the Škoda Ireland Facebook page ŠKODAIreland.


29/06/2015 16:26


ONWARD & UPWARD Holmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors have recently moved to larger offices, signifying the continued growth and success the firm is enjoying at present.


olmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors are delighted to announce that we have moved our Dublin office from its previous location at 16 Hume Street to larger premises at 2 Ely Place, in order to facilitate the ongoing growth and expansion of our Dublin practice. The opening of the office was attended by Minister Michael Noonan, Managing Partner Harry Fehily, and a number of HOMS staff members. The Dublin office was initially opened in March 2009 at 14 Hume Street, targeting institutional banking and recovery work, and institutional financial lines defence work. Although the office was originally opened during some tough economic times, significant contracts were secured by the Dublin office, providing a strong platform on which to build success, and tender for further work. Tender successes led to an increase in employment, necessitating our first move to larger premises two doors down. Since then, our practice in Dublin has established itself as one that specialises in the niche areas of financial lines for insurers and

Front: Robert Bourke, Robert Kennedy, Michael Noonan, Harry Fehily, Donal Creaton. Back: Anna Owens, Wayne Finn, George Kennedy, Ailbhe Storan, Alice Lanigan, Lorraine Power

complex litigation, insolvency and restructuring work for major financial institutions. Our recent move to larger premises at 2 Ely Place will ensure the continued development and growth of our Dublin practice and we will continue to deliver quality, knowledge, experience and value to our clients in a professional, timely, friendly and cost effective manner. “Our model surrounds a deep commitment to serving our clients, and we have invested heavily in the new premises because we believe that it’s a more efficient and better premises from which to service the clients. The move to the Ely premises is a move aimed at Robert Bourke, Robert Kennedy, Minister Michael Noonan, Donal Creaton, Harry Fehily bringing better


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value and service for our clients,” explains Managing Partner Harry Fehily. “We’d like to think that with the economy improving we can also rise with that. We have invested heavily in the brand and in quality management. We’d like to continue to grow now and to expand our footprint here.” To our existing clients we extend our sincere thanks for your ongoing support and business, and look forward to continuing our work with you from our new premises. To all potential new clients, we would be delighted to welcome you to our practice and to be given the opportunity to provide a successful outcome for your business’s legal needs. For any enquiries, please contact Harry Fehily, Holmes O’Malley Sexton, Solicitors at Telephone, fax, DX and email details for our Dublin office will remain the same. Tel: 01 676 8928, Fax: 01 676 8925 or DX: 109055 Fitzwilliam. InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

29/06/2015 16:27


Online to STREAMLINE Dublin Airport has launched online travel services in order to provide a more streamlined experience for business travellers.


ublin Airport welcomed nearly 22 million passengers through its doors in 2014, the highest number seen since the peak of 2008. According to Dublin Airport’s Head of Marketing, Louise Bannon, business passengers represent about 18 per cent of the total numbers travelling, with each person making an average of 12 business trips a year. As a result, the airport pays close attention to what business travellers want. “The launch of Dublin Airport Travel Services on is an example of business passengers helping us to improve our services for them,” says Bannon. “They told us they wanted streamlined delivery of services, such as airport parking, fast-track and executive lounges, and to have them available on to purchase individually or as annual membership plans. So we did just that in September 2014.”

NEW ROUTES The airport announced 22 new routes/ services so far this year, according to Bannon. They include Aer Lingus flights to Washington DC and Nantes, as well as Ryanair services to Copenhagen and Lublin. Dublin Airport’s development as a transfer hub is showing strong momentum: transfer traffic in 2014 amounted to 750,000 passengers, a 37 per cent increase on the previous year. “We see significant potential for further expansion in this area, and it is not just on transatlantic routes,” says Bannon. Passenger volumes to other international destinations – mainly InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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to 50 African destinations, including Johannesburg and Cape Town,” says Bannon.


the Middle East and North Africa – increased by 19 per cent to 643,000 passengers in 2014. “Our new direct service to Helsinki six times a week, with onward connections to 15 major cities in Asia and the introduction of double daily services by Turkish Airlines, Etihad, Emirates and Air Canada Rouge, means business travellers have even more choice when planning work trips,” she adds. Ethiopian Airlines will start a three times weekly service from Addis Ababa to Dublin and onward to Los Angeles this June on board its state of the art Boeing Dreamliner 787. “This opens the continent of Africa from Dublin, as Ethiopia’s network connects

The airport announced 22 new routes/ services so far this year according to Bannon. They include Aer Lingus flights to Washington DC and Nantes, as well as Ryanair services to Copenhagen and Lublin.

Bannon recommends that frequent flyers should sign up to one of the Airport Club annual membership plans. “They involve one purchase for the year and then no more pre-booking or business expense reconciliation required. Our Airport Club silver and gold cards are designed for busy senior executives who want the convenience of short-term and designated parking, along with fast-track and executive lounges. Details are available on,” she concludes.


29/06/2015 16:27


BLAZING A BUSINESS TRAIL One of the earliest MBAs in Europe, a Henley Business School MBA was, and still is, regarded as a trailblazer.


ver 7,000 experienced managers are studying for a Henley MBA in 110 countries in any given year. A life changing and enriching experience that will revolutionise one’s outlook and shape many future personal and professional decisions, the Henley MBA is one of 57 triple-accredited MBA programmes worldwide. Here in Ireland, the Irish Management Institute has a very successful partnership with Henley Business School to offer the programme via blended learning, since 2004. Networking is central to the Henley MBA and forges invaluable connections that stay with graduates as they progress in their career. They become

part of a top-tier international network of over 66,000 alumni: businesses and influencers spread across 110 countries. Jean Courtney commenced her Henley MBA journey through the IMI in 2010. “The Henley MBA was one of the best learning experiences of my life. It has helped me to broaden my thinking as a business leader and enhance my skills, with the dynamic learning from both the IMI and Henley teams, and the help and support of a great group of experienced peers who could provide insights into challenges facing today’s business leaders across the globe and test theories and learnings to provide workable solutions,” she explained. Henley’s personal developmentcentred approach, combined with

academic rigour, helps the participant become the very best leader they can be. Though most of the learning takes place online, around eight workshops must be attended each year, with on campus exams in year one. Support is on hand for any difficulties with assignments, topics or workload via email or over the phone. The next Henley MBA programme will take place from October 17th 2015. Talk to the Programme Director, Dr Mary Hogan, at or 01 207 8551, or our programme advisors at, 1800 22 33 88. For further information visit:

Trade and Investment Promotion Section Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Dublin 4 The Vicarage St. John’s Road Dublin 4 Ireland T: +353 1 269 1370 F: +353 1 269 7662 E: W:

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With the big domestic market, highly skilled and motivated workforce, an economy that is one of the fastest growing in the EU and the business friendly environment...

POLAND is just the place. Trade and Investment Promotion Section of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Dublin is a point of first contact for potential investors and companies looking for business partners in Poland. Use our free and comprehensive advice to learn more about Poland, business and investment opportunities, administrative regulations, macroeconomic factors, legal support and business incentives available for new companies setting up in Poland. 18/9/14 12:45:14

29/06/2015 16:28



TO SUCCESS NUI Galway’s Nuala McGuinn on the benefits of adult learning and continued professional development.


hen it comes to people’s choice of careers, the times are certainly changing. Gone are the days of one occupation for a lifetime – these days individuals are more likely to chop and change, move upwards or outwards, and even change industries. It’s a sentiment with which Nuala McGuinn, Director, Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at NUIG, wholeheartedly agrees. “The idea that somebody would start with one skillset in life and be able to use that continuously throughout their working lives has passed,” she says. “Now we know that people have to return to learn, upskill and reskill at many points in their careers just to be competitive and also to be employable.”

PROFILE When you think of adult learning, chances are you picture an individual that has yet to complete certain second or third level requirements, and is looking to keep up with the rest of the world. While that may be the case for some segments of the population, the reality is that according to the profile of lifelong learning participants from quarter 4 in 2014, 60 per cent of people in lifelong learning have a third-level qualification and 47 per cent are degree holders. “For some this is their first chance, for others they are coming back to reskill,” says McGuinn. Considering its remit to provide continuous professional development InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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At the launch of the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, NUI Galway: Dr Anne Walsh, Dr Maire Geoghegan-Quinn and Nuala McGuinn

for such individuals, the centre keeps abreast of the latest developments in business and industry, both nationally and internationally, to respond to the current needs of their students. At present, one of the major growth areas is in science and technology, while the centre has also identified an increasing need for language skills in Irish companies. Training and education is also experiencing a resurgence in interest – particularly in relation to childcare and early childhood studies.

SUPPORT SYSTEM Though potential students may be intimidated about the thought of joining or returning to further education, whether with regard to time constraints, difficulty with the materials or an unease concerning their own ability to study and cope, the centre also provides a plethora of supports for its students. Firstly, McGuinn notes that they strive to engender within their students an ongoing commitment to learning, reflective of the changing social and life course needs. Flexibility is another

important aspect, and is embedded in the university’s strategic plan, which will see 20 per cent of the student population studying part time or through other flexible alternatives by 2020. For now, 60 per cent of the centre’s learners study by blended or online learning. “That allows them to really fit the course around their personal and professional lives,” McGuinn adds. “The important thing is confidence. Depending on their readiness for the course, some students may need extra support, which we provide. What we say is that the biggest challenge often isn’t the course – it’s making time for it and organising themselves. Strange to think that time for study is often one of the biggest challenges, not how difficult the content is!” What is abundantly clear is that beginning, or continuing, along the path of further education results in many benefits, including confidence within yourself and your own skills, as well as, according to OECD indicators, an increase in employment rates and earnings. So why not take the next step?


29/06/2015 16:30




Dublin Port Company CEO Eamonn O’Reilly outlines a positive quarter for Dublin Port, and their plans for the future.


hough we may only be halfway through 2015, it’s already proving to be a positive period for Dublin Port Company thus far, echoing recent murmurs concerning a return to growth and expansion in Ireland’s economy. In Q1 of this year, for example, the company was up 5.3 per cent for the year, while the figure for 2014 in its entirety was seven per cent. Passenger business also remains strong, rising by 5 per cent, a result of the addition of a second ship on the Dublin-Holyhead route, as well as a new direct connection between Dublin and France. “The business of the port is going really strong, we certainly have no complaints,” says Eamonn O’Reilly, CEO, Dublin Port Company. “We’ve entered a period of strong growth – if we look at the last few years, in 2013 we rose by three per cent, 7 per cent in 2014 and now around 5 per cent in just the first three months of this year.”

and from Dublin Port, bringing them into the heart of the city and with immediate access to the M50 and the country’s motorway network,” he explains. It also comes on the back of some major investment in Dublin Port, as part of the Masterplan (2012-2040). A new trade car facility was opened late last year, for example, an important step taken in view of the huge growth in car imports – catering to 2,500 cars at a time. The company is also in the process of planning for the reengineering of Dublin Port’s internal road network. “We are expanding the capacity of Dublin Port to cater for future growth with a focus on working within the existing footprint of the port and maximising the use of existing port lands,” says O’Reilly. “Our plans include the lengthening and deepening of the port’s berths and shipping channel and the redevelopment of

existing lands for more intensive cargo handling.” Plans are also underway to develop the port to cater for some of the world’s largest cruise ships. Dublin Port recently welcomed the MSC Splendida, the 11th longest cruise ship in the world at 333 metres, and the longest ship to ever visit the port. When preparing for its arrival detailed analysis was required to accommodate its length, and it was decided that the best option was for the ship to reverse into its berth, as the current width of the port is insufficient for vessels of this size. “Our current plans are centred on the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project which we hope to commence during 2015. Dublin Port is an attractive place for the major cruise lines to bring their biggest ships, and that’s one of the things the project would allow us to do – it would provide the extra turning space for ships up to 360 metres in length. In addition to providing additional capacity for cargo, this project will allow us to bring the world’s largest cruise ships right up to the East Link Bridge,” O’Reilly concludes.

GROWTH AND INVESTMENT O’Reilly places this more pronounced increase at the foot of recovery in the domestic economy, driven by imports rather than exports, with an increase of 8.5 per cent in bolt liquids (petrol, diesel, aviation fuel, etc.) in the first quarter of 2015. “Dublin is the chosen route for imports and exports because of our direct access to most of Ireland’s population and frequent shipping services to Ireland’s markets in Britain, Continental Europe and beyond. Ferry passengers benefit from a choice of operators and frequent services to


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Cruising IN CORK Recent investment by the Port of Cork has seen the upgrading of facilities for cruise vessels.


upgrading will ensure that Cobh and Cork Harbour can accommodate the largest vessels visiting Europe for the foreseeable future. The dedicated cruise berth offers a genuine unrestricted berthing at any stage of the tide on a 24/7 schedule. The cruise industry is experiencing unprecedented growth with 47 new ships on the order books for deliveries through 2015-2022, representing an estimated build value of approximately $38 billion. Thus, by 2022 the global industry will have capacity to carry more than 30 million passengers, compared to 22 million this year. The continuing trend with the major lines is for bigger vessels of 330350 metre lengths and 3,500-4,500 passengers. Captain Michael McCarthy,

he Port of Cork has recently invested over A1.5 million in upgrading facilities at Cobh Cruise Terminal, with the installation of a number of high load mooring bollards that will enable even larger ships to berth into the future. Construction was complete by midApril 2015, in time for the start of the port’s 2015 cruise season beginning with the berthing of the Regal Princess on April 25th. This year is the most significant year to date, not in the number of ships but in their passenger carrying capacity. The 2015 season will see 21 mega-ships berth that are greater than 330 metres in length, including the Cunard vessel Queen Mary. The company is committed to developing the cruise business into Cork and this B. Card - M Holmes JOHN landsca


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Commercial Manager of the Port of Cork and current Chairman of Cruise Europe states: “If Ireland aspires to grow its cruise sector and capitalise on this continuing expansion, Ireland’s main cruise regions of Dublin, Cork and Belfast will need to review their cruise strategy and berthing options. The cruise companies have confidence in the sector as is evident from their investment so it is now time for Government, regional authorities, chambers and tourism bodies to have equal confidence. The cruise sector is unique in that the cities and regions are the main beneficiaries of cruise calls with an estimated spend of A15m in the Cork and Munster region alone this year from vessels visiting Cork Harbour”.

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19/05/2015 09:35 29/06/2015 16:32


Taking the Proactive Approach Lorcan Tiernan, Dillon Eustace, explains the impacts of the Companies Act 2014, and why companies should take a proactive approach.


he Companies Act 2014 came into effect on June 1st 2015. It represents a significant reform of Ireland’s company law regime by consolidating, reforming and amending the previous Companies Acts into a single statute. The Act impacts every Irish company together with all directors and shareholders. Perhaps the most significant change introduced by the Act is the requirement for existing private limited companies to convert to one of two new forms of company. There is an 18 month transition period from June 1st 2015 during which existing

private companies must convert to either a private company limited by shares (LTD) or a designated activity company (DAC). Existing private companies shall be deemed to be a DAC during the transition period or until they convert to an LTD. If by the end of that period a private limited company has not converted to a type of company recognised under the Act, the company automatically becomes an LTD. Other company types, such as public limited companies, unlimited companies and guarantee companies, will not need to convert although there will be some changes to the rules applicable to them. Dillon Eustace are advising companies to take a proactive approach and to address this process sooner rather than later. By taking a personal approach to each company and offering plain English advice, Dillon Eustace believe that ensuring compliance with

Lorcan Tiernan, Head of Corporate, Dillon Eustace

the Act should be a straightforward and inexpensive process. For further information on the Companies Act 2014, contact Lorcan Tiernan in Dillon Eustace on +353 (0)1 673 1736 or

Dillon Eustace. Committed to our clients.

At Dillon Eustace we work for all types of clients including national and international corporates, banks, asset managers and insurers. We can guarantee the same level of expertise and support for the biggest of corporates and the smallest of companies. • Aircraft Leasing • Asset Management • Banking • Capital Markets • Commercial Property • Corporate Finance

• Cross Border Insurance • Debt & Investment Funds Listing • Distressed Asset Investing • General Commercial • Insolvency & Corporate Recovery • Investment Funds

• Litigation • Regulatory Compliance • Restructuring • Securitisation • Structured Finance • Tax

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29/06/2015 16:33




With many African economies now growing at 7 per cent per annum, the continent is presenting both opportunities and challenges for Irish companies looking to do business there, according to Ronan MacNioclais, Head of Doing Business in Africa team, PwC. Why do you think now is a good time to do business in Africa? The positive images of Africa are now replacing the negative ones of the past and are giving way to a narrative that reads “the land of opportunity”. The reasons to invest in Africa are clear given its promising future. SubSaharan Africa’s GDP is projected to reach $2.3 trillion by 2020 and many African countries are growing at 7 per cent per annum. By 2020, Africa will account for 7 out of the 10 fastest growing global economies. The bulk of this growth is being driven by megatrends sweeping the continent, each representing both an opportunity and a challenge to Irish businesses looking to Africa. These megatrends include:

• African governments keen on economic improvement African leaders are consciously working towards improving the economic health of their countries and are actively engaging with foreign investors to achieve this.

•D  emographic & social change Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, while Europe’s is expected to shrink. 50 per cent of Africa’s population will be under 24 years old by 2050 and with this has come a change in consumer behaviour.

• Shift in global economic power Africa has the fastest growing middle class population in the world and the continent currently has over 313 million middle class citizens. InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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entrants. The presence of corruption is still considered to be the biggest threat to Irish-African trade, with most African countries still being found in the lowest quartile of the World Bank’s transparency index. Despite this, many Irish businesses operating in Africa say that the perceived risk is much greater than the real risk, and that once risk comes down so too will the returns on offer.

Ronan MacNioclais, Head of Doing Business in Africa team, PwC

• Accelerating urbanisation Rapid urbanisation is fast becoming one of the key drivers of economic change with an additional 350 million people living in Africa’s cities over the next 15 years.

• Technological breakthroughs Africa has the highest mobile broadband growth rate across the world, and with this comes a population that is increasingly willing to accept change, new products and/ or new concepts

What are the key challenges facing Irish companies when doing business in Africa? Despite the significant opportunity on offer, Africa can represent a real challenge. Cultural nuances, poor infrastructure, unfamiliar tax and regulatory regimes, and profit repatriation often impose significant up-front barriers for new market

What work does the PwC Doing Business in Africa team undertake to help Irish companies set up in Africa? PwC’s Expanding Overseas team has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to doing business in Africa. We have helped a number of Irish SMEs as well as global corporates set up operations across the continent. We aim to understand the local rules and how business is actually done in each African country in order to add value to the service we provide in helping our clients set up operations there. This is made easier with the help of our global network with over 9,000 employees on the ground in Africa and 70 office locations across the continent. Ronan MacNioclais is head of the Doing Business in Africa team in PwC Ireland which helps Irish businesses structure into and set up operations in Africa. He is one of the speakers at the Opportunity Africa conference taking place at the Chartered Accountants House in Dublin on October 14th. For further information on the event please email denise.maguire@


29/06/2015 16:34


CASUAL ELEGANCE Stay at the luxurious Dunbrody House and let the experience redefine your interpretation of the traditional Irish country house hotel.


unbrody Country House Hotel is a small luxury hotel located less than 10km from Waterford city. Owned and operated by husband and wife, Kevin and Catherine Dundon, Dunbrody reflects their joint passion for excellence in all areas - fine food and a friendly, relaxed service combined with luxury accommodation all within a beautiful Georgian property. A chic yet informal ambience permeates Dunbrody, where guests have the opportunity to experience sheer indulgence coupled with a tradition of courteous attentive service. Redefine your interpretation of the traditional Irish country house hotel. At Dunbrody House you will find the expected relaxed elegance of its Georgian origins with original 1830s Irish oak floors, pitched pine window shutters and high ceilings, but this is all mixed with a palette of rich, earthy colours, plenty of natural sunlight streaming in the picture windows. Relaxation is the order of the day starting with one of the famous late breakfasts (served until noon daily), and later on sitting back before treating yourself to some of Ireland’s finest cuisine from both the award-winning gourmet Harvest Room Restaurant and Dundon’s Champagne Seafood Bar & Terrace. Located across the courtyard in an original stone building and with a contemporary interior of wood and natural stone, the Dunbrody spa will make guests feel at ease from the moment they arrive. The treatment area at the Dunbrody Spa is a luxurious


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Dunbrody chef Kevin Dundon

Dunbrody House at night

haven complete with an Asian-styled Serail steam and mud room, relaxation room with day beds and individually styled treatment rooms. Dunbrody House is an ideal venue for small corporate gatherings, off-site meetings and conferences. The cookery school is the perfect location for team building events. Celebrity Masterchef Kevin Dundon has designed a wide range of exciting, fun-filled courses. The school has been designed to cater for all levels of cooks, from budding enthusiasts (Back to Basics) to the experienced gourmet cook (specialised courses). The emphasis at Dunbrody is on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and

utilising these to achieve fabulous dishes without the worry of overly complicated recipes. Courses range from a variety of one-day workshops to the ever popular two-day ‘Dinner Parties for Six’ course. A cookery course at Dunbrody House is the perfect way to build team spirit and in turn acquire the skills needed to produce fantastic food. For business or for pleasure Dunbrody House is the perfect getaway. Dunbrody House is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. Tel: 065 707 7005 InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

29/06/2015 16:35


Making the MATCH ETC Consult: specialists in psychometric selection; training, education and career consultancy.


ublin-based ETC Consult is a matchmaker. It has been matching people with employers – and individuals with careers – for over three decades. Established in 1982, ETC Consult specialises in selection, training, development and career guidance using psychometrics. The company assists each corporate client in selecting and retaining those candidates best suited to its specifications; it assists in developing and coaching staff and finding and nurturing the next cohort of leaders; it trains staff in the use of psychometric tests to best international standards and then provides them with access to the tests from major test publishers – most now online.

ETC Consult’s services are not only valuable to organisations looking to hire. When a major Dutch firm established a presence in Ireland over a decade ago, staff selection at all levels was carried out by ETC. But when the firm decided to shift its operations to London, it engaged ETC to provide intensive career guidance, CV preparation and interview skills training to those remaining in Ireland. With regard to individuals, it provides people of all ages with best practice intensive career guidance senior cycle students swamped with course options; professionals and managers in a mid-career dilemma and retirees with another 25 years of active life ahead of them. ETC

The company assists each corporate client in selecting and retaining those candidates best suited to its specifications writes their CVs and trains them in interview skills. ETC Consult recently added another feather to its bow in taking over the distribution in Ireland of the Hogan Personality Tests, globally recognised instruments which scientifically measure how people are likely to behave in the workplace – in normal circumstances and in unusual circumstances – and predict the kind of work that is likely to motivate them best.

Select and Retain the Best!

Hogan Assessments 2 Day Certification Workshop Join the world’s elite group of individuals – and organisations – certified to use, online, the most scientific personality inventories to measure the Bright Side, the Dark Side and the Inside of Personality and choose the most appropriate reports, delivered instantaneously, for Selection, Development and Leadership prediction purposes. Camden Court Hotel September 10th /11th and December 10th / 11th For details, registration and complimentary personality assessment go to ETC Consult – Premier League Psychometricians in Selection and Career Consultancy since 1982.

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29/06/2015 16:37


PAYPAL: Delivering for

customers and communities Louise Phelan, Vice President of Global Operations EMEA, explains how, as the leading international online payments company, PayPal is delivering for its customers, teammates and communities.


ayPal gives people better ways to connect to their money and to each other, helping them send money without sharing financial information and with the flexibility of using their PayPal account balances, bank accounts and credit cards. PayPal’s Global Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operate from offices in Dublin, Dundalk and Berlin. “People are at the heart of everything we do – our customers and our teammates. PayPal has 165 million registered accounts. We work hard to make sure we deliver the best possible service for the people behind those numbers. We provide seamless payment processing for our customers and we help our merchants to grow their business and increase their online sales. Many Irish businesses have yet to capitalise on the huge opportunities that online and mobile commerce offer. If you’re missing out then PayPal can help you get a slice of the action,” says Louise Phelan, Vice President of Global Operations for EMEA. “People – both customer and teammates – are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer our teammates more than a job; we offer them a career. We provide world-class training, coaching and development opportunities that help set our teammates up for successful careers. We want to do right by our customers and by our teammates. After all, technology doesn’t change the world – people do.”

PROMOTING IRELAND In March, the Government published IFS2020: A Strategy for Ireland’s


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International Financial Services Sector, which sets out actions designed to ensure Ireland takes advantage of job creation opportunities. “Initiatives like this help promote Louise Phelan, Vice President of Global Operations EMEA Ireland as a location for international December in response to St. Vincent investment. That’s important because de Paul and Childline’s emergency investments by companies like PayPal appeals. Our teammates decide which lift the economy, both locally and charities we should support and our nationally for the benefit of Ireland teammates often get involved with Inc.,” continued Phelan. the charities too. Some of our French and German speaking teammates are currently tutoring children with TAKING RESPONSIBILITY Saint Ultan’s Childcare ahead of their Talking about corporate social summer exams. We recently teamed responsibility (CSR), Phelan says: up with Age Action Ireland to give “CSR is a big commitment for us. our teammates in both Dublin and It’s about doing the right thing.” Dundalk the opportunity to teach In Ireland, PayPal employs 2,400 older people basic computer skills. people directly and our business has They loved it and their students helped create hundreds of indirect gained a fantastic new skill.” jobs. “Our obligations to be a good The company is also involved corporate citizen go further than with pushing several FinTech startcreating employment opportunities. ups towards success, giving back There is an onus to give back to the to the Irish business community. communities in which we operate. “As a company we are mentoring CSR is a big commitment for us. a number of FinTech start-ups It’s about doing the right thing,” and on a personal level, I am Phelan adds. “In the last couple of delighted to mentor eight female months, I announced that we were entrepreneurs through the ‘Going for giving out over g30,000 to Irish Growth’ initiative. It’s important for charities. That was on top of the companies to give back. It’s the right g55,000 we gave out in February thing to do,” Phelan concludes. and the g37,000 we gave out in InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

29/06/2015 16:39






MUNSTER • Cork tourism spend revealed, Clare County Council shows quality in HR and Limerick cultural initiative generates 44m.

ULSTER Investors sought for Rising Film, calls for Donegal twinning programme and works on Cavan dairy site underway.


• CONNAUGHT • Sligo County Council takes stake in Knock Airport, Mayo benefits from telecoms investment and new jobs announced for Roscommon.



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THE CONNECTOR InBUSINESS chats to Siobhán Finn of Cork innovates about the award-winning initiative.


Local authorities are using GIS to offer improved and enhanced services

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Galway County Council is taking advantage of a number of investment opportunities

In Association with

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The Cork

CONNECTOR Cork innovates comprises leading representatives of key regional business support agencies, who are working together to drive the long-term entrepreneurial objectives for the region. We caught up with Project Manager Siobhán Finn to learn more about the award-winning initiative. Q: Tell us a little bit about Cork innovates and its key goals.

A: Cork innovates was established in 2012 as a collaborative project between key stakeholders in the wider Cork region. It has been funded through the Economic Development Fund of the local authorities, Cork City Council and Cork County Council with Cork Chamber hosting the project. The focus of the project is to shine a light on the region, both city and county, working with key stakeholders such as third level institutions, the LEO network, Enterprise Ireland and CorkBIC. We aim to deliver initiatives to the region which add value to the support network for entrepreneurs. Q: What does your role as project director involve?

A: I describe myself as a connecter of projects and of people. I have a deep-rooted passion for entrepreneurship and the critical role it plays in the growth of local and regional economies, particularly in the current climate, and strongly


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advocate the need for local and national Government to understand and embrace entrepreneurship of all types and within all sectors, both commercial and non-commercial. It is important to recognise that individuals create businesses and it is the role of the government sector to remove barriers and support the creation of a positive and engaged ecosystem. The success of this role is built upon an extensive network which I have grown since it began in 2012. I use the support and engagement of this network to connect project and people, all of whom can help build up the strengths of the region.

assistance and advice to the Minister for Business and Employment on issues affecting small business, including start-ups and SMEs. Additionally, I am a member of the National Steering Group for the Startup Gathering 2015. Cork innovates has engaged with several thousand entrepreneurs in many ways over the last numbers of years including our annual event, the inBusiness inCork Showcase and Exhibition. We have also won several awards at national and European level in recognition of our efforts to support the entrepreneurial community.

Q: What has been

the business landscape in Cork in 2015?

Cork innovates main achievements to date?

A: As a grassroots organisation, we have grown from a concept to a strong and influential voice engaging at many levels; from the entrepreneur at the heart of the ecosystem to regional and central Government. This includes representation on the Small Business Advisory Group, which provides ongoing

Q: How would you describe A: I would describe it as extremely positive. The most recent Cork Chamber’s Economic Trends Survey showed that confidence amongst members about the financial future of their business has increased significantly since the survey series began in Q1 2009 with 90 per cent expressing confidence

Siobhán Finn, Project Manager, Cork innovates

in their company’s future. Meanwhile, 64 per cent of businesses reported an increase in turnover for Q1 2015 and 36 per cent of companies grew their employee numbers. Q: What are the main activities planned for 2015?

A: My main focus for 2015 is to support and actively participate in the evolvement of the Startup Ireland Partnership and the planning of Ireland’s first Startup Gathering which will take place in October. The Gathering will be the largest ever series of dispersed events worldwide, supporting Ireland’s start-up community, focusing on five cities over five days: Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway. For further details on Cork innovates go to

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UCC Opens Gateway TO IGNITE IDEAS The success of UCC’s GATEWAY Innovation and Incubation Centre coupled with IGNITE’s support of recent graduates in turning innovative ideas into scalable businesses has forged strong links with local and global industry.


s the first Irish university to establish a trading campus company based on one of its own developed technologies, in 1985 UCC became the first university in Ireland to conceive, develop and implement an Intellectual Property (IP) and licensing policy. UCC’s Office of Technology Transfer is the access point and one stop shop for interaction with industry, aiming to capture the commercial potential that exist in the ideas, expertise and opportunities created by UCC research excellence. The office is responsible for technology transfer, patent portfolio management, campus company establishment, the Gateway company incubation and IGNITE, the graduate business innovation programme.

GATEWAY UCC COMPANIES BREAK THE 150 JOBS MARK Since opening in 2011, GATEWAY UCC, the purpose-built, state-ofthe-art innovation and incubation centre based at UCC, has “supported over 25 start-ups, which between them now employ 150 people and contribute an estimated a12 million in wages and a3.5 million in tax annually to the economy,” according to manager Myriam Cronin. “The centre supports spin-out start-ups from the university, which use the IP generated here by globally recognised research centres such as INFANT, APC and Tyndall. We also support spin-in companies and high potential start-ups,” she adds.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Myriam Cronin (centre), Manager of GATEWAY UCC Business Incubation Centre welcoming the visit of Minister for Small Business Ged Nash and Deputy Ciaran Lynch

The centre is home to a number of Enterprise Ireland-supported high potential start-ups including Atlantia Food Trials, Luxcel Biosciences and Alimentary Health and former home to Metabolomic Diagnostics, all spin-outs of UCC. These companies are founded on world-class research conducted within the university and are targeting global markets. GATEWAY UCC also provides hot desk spaces for entrepreneurs and emerging start-ups at the pre-startup stage, providing a stimulating environment to nurture and explore the feasibility of their business opportunity and is fast becoming a hub of knowledge transfer activities in the areas of IT, ICT, medtech, food,

pharma, bio, wearable technologies and renewable energy. “We collaborate with our strategic partners in the local business community, including Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices, CorkBIC, Cork Chamber, Business Angel and VC networks, Cork City and County Councils, working constantly towards creating an ecosystem to benefit our client companies,” says Cronin. “We effectively work with clients from their idea stage of development right through to the eventual commercialisation of their product or service. It is about getting the client from having a viable opportunity it can exploit, all the way to getting


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Prof Anita Maguire, Vice President for Research & Innovation, UCC with MBS graduate and founder of Key, Peter Marcano, winner of the Innovation Award at the recent IGNITE Awards

ABOUT GATEWAY UCC This purpose-built, state-of-the-art innovation and incubation centre based at UCC comprises 21 own door business units ranging in size from 15m sq to 67m sq. Jointly funded by UCC and Enterprise Ireland, GATEWAY UCC’s primary aim is to support and accelerate the development of successful knowledge-intensive start-ups, translating academic research into commercially viable, technology-led, exportfocused companies.

Find out more at

ABOUT IGNITE GRADUATE BUSINESS INNOVATION PROGRAMME The nine-month programme is designed to support recent third level graduates in turning innovative product or service ideas into sustainable, scalable businesses. The primary objectives of the programme are to launch new businesses and, in turn, provide high value jobs.

Find out more at UCC is this year celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of George Boole, its first Maths professor and the forefather of the information age. Find out more at


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that product into the global marketplace.” Many of these companies scale with VC funding and become the acquisition targets for the multinational community. The facility also actively supports start-ups and entrepreneurs through the development of spin-out and spin-in companies utilising university intellectual property and providing a uniquely supportive ecosystem for start-ups through its programme of business supports. Such supports include mentoring and business coaching, access to financial advice and start-up funding, specialist seminars, workshops, introduction to venture capital opportunities, business angel networks and access to UCC’s network of researchers and excellent support through linkages into academic departments.

IGNITE: INCREASING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF LOCAL INDUSTRY Eamon Curtin, Director of the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme, based at UCC, explains how the nine-month programme is designed to support recent third level graduates in turning innovative product or service ideas into sustainable, scalable businesses. The first programme commenced in January 2011 and since then five cohorts have been through the

programme, involving almost 50 businesses, many of which have since created employment, raised investment and are active in export markets. The programme is open to graduates of any discipline from any third level institution. Given that there are over 26,000 third level students in the Cork region, the potential is significant. “There is a sufficient pipeline of talented students to extend the capacity of the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme to encourage and support more students to explore entrepreneurship, to develop start-up ideas and to launch their own businesses,” says Curtin. The primary objectives of the programme are to launch new businesses, in turn providing high value jobs. “The businesses create innovative products and services that can be used to increase the productivity and competitiveness of local industry. The companies become investment opportunities for local, national and international investors.” Success stories include Dr Sinead Bleiel’s Anabio Technologies Ltd, which has licensed its encapsulation technology to an impressive list of global clients, while Brendan Finucane’s Vconnecta has clients in Ireland and North America, using its voter and campaign management platform. Jayne Ronayne is working with colleges worldwide in the area of alumni management with KonnectAgain. Eoin O’Carroll and Kevin Bambury of Portable Medical Technology are developing a mobile app for the medical sector. Many IGNITE start-ups have gone on to become clients of Enterprise Ireland, accessing important Competitive Feasibility and Competitive Start Funds. This summer start-ups Vconnecta, Portable Medical Technology, Punditarena and Uniwink are in the US as part of Enterprise Ireland’s Access Silicon Valley programme following on the heels of Konnectagain, who participated last year.

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CULTURAL INITIATIVE GENERATED A44M LIMERICK’S TITLE AS 2014 NATIONAL CITY OF CULTURE generated almost a44m for the local economy based on a major economic impact assessment published in June. The economic impact study by Grant Thornton Ireland assessed the impact of Limerick’s hosting of the National City of Culture title following a a12m year-long programme of events which was aimed at showcasing Limerick as a vibrant city with a rich cultural community. The Government investment attracted a4.5m additional funding to support implementation of the a12m programme.

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12TH – 18TH JULY West Cork Literary Festival, Bantry, Co Cork 12TH – 19TH JULY Munster Fleadh Cheoil, Nenagh, Co Tipperary 22ND – 23RD AUGUST Limerick Agricultural Show, Patrickswell, Co Limerick


Over 3,000 events took place in Limerick in 2014 as part of 156 projects with an estimated audience of 1.8 million people. Royal De Luxe Giant’s Journey in September 2014 attracted the largest audience ever assembled in Limerick for a single event – 230,000 people.





A new report shows that, between 2011 and 2014, Cork County Council spent a9,669,139 on developing tourism sites and promoting tourism events in the county. The major proportion, a8,253,377, went on renovating buildings, which the council believes will pay handsome dividends to the tourism industry in the future. This included work on Mallow Castle, which the council purchased a number of years ago and which, it hopes, will become a major visitor attraction in north Cork. Further work has been carried out in the past couple of years on Spike Island and Fort Camden, Crosshaven.

Clare County Council has become the first local authority in the country to be awarded a quality standard for human resource management by the National Standards Authority of Ireland. The council received the Excellence Through People Award on foot of an audit involving a detailed examination of documentation and face-to-face interviews with staff from across the organisation. The assessor examined the existing human resource management protocols and operating procedures within the council in areas including business planning and continuous improvement, effective communication and people engagement, employee wellbeing and health and safety.

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28TH AUGUST – 4TH OCTOBER Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare


Planning Permission SOUGHT FOR NEW GREENWAY Kerry County Council is hoping to get planning permission for a new greenway on the northern side of the county so that an application for funding can be made. It plans to extend the Great Southern Trail from the Limerick border to Listowel. Work has already been completed on the 39km stretch on a disused rail line from Rathkeale to the Kerry side of Abbeyfeale. Tom Sheehy, Senior Executive Engineer with Kerry County Council, said work was continuing at a steady pace on the creation of the north Kerry/ west Limerick greenway.


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10TH – 12TH JULY Inniskeen Road July Evening Festival, Inniskeen, Co Monaghan 8TH AUGUST The Cavan Kayakarun, Cootehill, Co Cavan 12TH SEPTEMBER Irish Bog Snorkelling Championships, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan 12TH – 20TH SEPTEMBER World Boat Angling Championships, Bundoran, Co Donegal


WORKS ON CAVAN DAIRY SITE UNDERWAY The construction of a new a36 million drier at Lakeland Dairies at its site in Bailieborough, Co Cavan has gotten underway. Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton turned the first sod for the new development together with Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies and Group Chief Executive Michael Hanley back in Febuary. Despite the current dairy market slump, Lakeland Dairies plan to increase their milk output by at least 50 per cent. The co-op already has two major milk driers on the same site where it currently produces 90,000 tonnes of milk powders a year.



MONAGHAN MUSHROOMS SECURE ENERGY DEAL Vayu Energy has secured a a2.8m renewable electricity deal with Monaghan Mushrooms. The deal will involve Vayu supplying the company with 100 per cent green electricity generated from a 10-turbine wind farm in west Cork. With a total annual production capacity of 25 Gwh, the electricity generated will be used to supply Monaghan Mushrooms’ six sites across counties Monaghan, Mayo and Kildare.


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INVESTORS SOUGHT FOR RISING FILM Final investment is now required for filming of The Rising which is due to begin this summer. Set for release in 2016, the feature film will dramatise the remarkable life of Kiltyclother’s Seán MacDiarmada and the true story of the 1916 East Rising. The film, which has now been three years in development, has been backed by The Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Film board. Cavan County Council provided a10,000 towards the project while Leitrim County Council gave a5,000 and Leitrim County Library contributed a1,000. An executive producer of the film is currently being sought. For more details visit


CALLS FOR EXTENSION OF WILD ATLANTIC WAY Donegal County Councillor Enda Bonner has called for the Wild Atlantic Way to be extended in the county. The tourism route takes in thousands of kilometres of road throughtout Donegal from Malin Head to Donegal Town but Cllr Bonner says although the route is extensive in Donegal, many roads have been left out. He’s now calling on Donegal County Council to see if the Wild Atlantic Way can be extended in the county.


CALLS FOR DONEGAL TWINNING PROGRAMME Calls are being made on Donegal County Council to initiate a twinning programme for towns in the county as a way to boost tourism. A recent Letterkenny municipal district meeting was told that a twinning programme would make connections across the arts, culture, sporting organisations and youth organisations groups. Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh said that the development of the Wild Atlantic Way tourism initiative was putting Donegal firmly on the tourist map. He said a twinning programme would be a further boost, especially for smaller towns. InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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ROSCOMMON SEES BRIGHT FUTURE WITH NEW JOBS Moss Vision, a firm which produces lenses and related eye care products, has announced the creation of 50 new jobs in Roscommon town. The positions will be made at a manufacturing facility in the town’s IDA Business Park. The announcement was welcomed by Independent TD Denis Naughten who said that based on the size of Roscommon town, 50 new jobs there was the equivalent of an announcement of 200 jobs in Athlone. “Extensive work has taken place behind the scenes over a long period of time to secure this investment by Moss Vision for Roscommon Town and I want to publicly thank all those involved including the IDA and Roscommon County Council.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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SLIGO TAKES STAKE IN KNOCK Sligo County Council has voted to buy a a1.6m stake in Knock Airport. It will involve the Council contributing a55,000 a year to the airport from its annual budget for thirty years. Sligo is the latest local authority to sign up to the project, which involves seven local authorities investing a7.3m in the international airport in return for a 17.5 per cent stake. The other local authorities include Galway City and County Councils, Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Donegal.

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CONNAUGHT 21ST – 26TH JULY Sligo Jazz Festival, Sligo Town, Co Sligo COUNTY MAYO

MAYO GETS CONNECTED Taoiseach Enda Kenny has stated that Mayo is beginning to reap the benefit of over a16 million of investment in the region by the commercial telecoms sector. At a presentation to Mayo County Council’s economic development and enterprise support strategic policy committee on May 26th, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources outlined the considerable commercial investments currently taking place in Mayo as part of the National Broadband Plan.

TELECOMS INVESTMENT IN MAYO • Eircom investing a10m in providing high speed broadband to 30,000 homes and businesses in 38 towns. • Eircom and ESB/Vodafone joint venture to provide fibre-to-thepremises to homes and businesses in Castlebar, Westport and Ballina. • Enet has invested a500,000 in a new fibre-to-the-business network in Claremorris. • Vodafone is investing a4m in network upgrades and 4G rollout in Mayo. • As 3 Ireland and former O2 networks consolidate, 3 will be upgrading all its sites in Mayo to 4G. • SEPIL and partners are funding installation of fibre on behalf of the State alongside the Galway-Mayo gas pipeline.

15TH AUGUST Gaelforce West, Westport, Co Mayo 21ST – 23RD AUGUST The Five Glens Arts Festival, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim 28TH – 30TH AUGUST Loughrea Medieval Festival, Loughrea, Co Galway


COUNCIL QUIZ APPLE ON DATA CENTRE PLANS Galway County Council has asked Apple to provide more detailed information regarding its proposal to construct an a850m data centre outside Athenry. The computer giant lodged a planning application to build a 25,000 square metre facility at Derrydonnell earlier this year. It would employ 150 people when fully operational. The company hopes to have the facility ready for use by 2017.


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4TH – 5TH JULY Groove Music Festival, Bray, Co Wicklow 25TH JULY – 3RD AUGUST Carlow Garden Festival, Co Carlow 26TH JULY – 3RD AUGUST Durrow Scarecrow Festival, Co Laois 15TH – 16TH AUGUST Leinster Loop Charity Cycle, Narraghmore, Co Kildare





Five graduates have recently taken up two-year contracts at Wexford County Council as part of a national programme aimed at providing graduates with experience of working in the local authority service. These appointments are part of a recent recruitment process which has seen more than 120 graduates offered employment in various local authorities throughout Ireland. The Local Government Management Agency in partnership with the Institute of Public Administration has designed a structured Graduate Development Programme covering the two-year contract period to meet the demands of graduate entrants to local government.

Facebook have announced they will submit plans for the building of a new data centre in Meath, creating 40 new jobs when operational. Construction of the planned new centre near Clonee, valued at a200m, will create hundreds of temporary construction jobs. When opened the centre will bring the Facebook workforce in Ireland to 1,000 people. The proposed plan includes the development of a 220-acre area with two separate buildings and future plans for a third building. Meath County Council have welcomed the proposed plan saying it is a positive signal for the county’s economic development strategy. County Council Manager Jackie Maguire said: “This application sends out a clear message to the business community in Ireland and abroad that Meath is open for business.”



DALYMOUNT PARK CHANGES HANDS Dublin City Council (DCC) has completed the purchase of Dalymount Park from Bohemians Football Club in a deal worth a3.8 million. The deal brings the Phibsborough venue into public ownership, with plans to redevelop the facility as part of the council’s overall development plan for the area. DCC had hoped to acquire Tolka Park in nearby Drumcondra as part of the deal, with Shelbourne and Bohemians ground sharing at Dalymount, but there have been ongoing issues in reaching agreement.


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MINISTER FOR BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT Ged Nash brought together retailers, industry, local authority and government representatives recently to discuss how best to revitalise retail in town centres. Retail was one of the industries hardest hit during the recession with more than 40,000 jobs lost and shops closing in many towns and villages across the country. At a special meeting of the Retail Consultation Forum held in Drogheda on April 25th, Minister Nash led a discussion to examine ways to support retailers to grow and maintain jobs. As well as the 30 members of the Retail Consultation Forum, representatives from Louth County Council, Drogheda Chamber of Commerce and local retailers were in attendance.


270,000 people

• Approximately in Ireland work in retail • This accounts for 15 the population

per cent of

• The sector accounts for approximately 10 per

cent of GDP

• It is worth approximately

a16 billion to the economy

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Why Local Is LOOKING AT LOCATION The use of Geographic Information Systems is enabling local authorities to offer improved and enhanced services to communities, writes Dermot O’Kane, Esri Ireland.


he suddenness of Ireland’s recent recession created immeasurable challenges for local authorities. Right across the country, councils have had to balance the need to operate more efficiently with the desire to deliver better services to improve citizens’ lives. At the same time, local authorities have been under increased pressure to reduce spending but still offer improved and enhanced services to communities. Now more than ever, it is critical that Government – both central and local – make full use of available resources. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is one such resource that is helping local authorities to achieve these results. GIS is based on the simple principle of attaching a location to every piece of data. In addition to answering questions about “who”, “what” and even “how much”, GIS can help reveal “where” activity has taken place. Everything happens somewhere and many public and private sector companies use GIS to reveal patterns, trends and relationships that would not be possible without the use of a map. Knowing where things are happening, where you have under or over supply,

where to deploy your resources and where demand is coming from or more likely to increase, helps improve decision-making. GIS enables these questions to be analysed and answered more accurately. This scenario is particularly relevant for local authorities with an estimated 90 per cent of all information used by local government containing a location element. Over the past three years there has been significant growth in the use of geography as a platform to help open access to this vital location information. Many local authorities had already made extensive use of GIS to support the work of their various departments however existing workflows required a great deal of time-consuming management and maintenance. This was mainly because data was dispersed across different systems and databases. When updates were made to one database, employees had to replicate the changes to other databases and systems, a complex process that absorbed valuable time. Most council GIS teams are small – one or two people strong working at maximum capacity – and their day-today data and system management was all consuming. The council’s internal intranetbased GIS was completely disconnected from the actual local authority websites which led to unnecessary administration, as well as Customs House, Dublin - home to the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government confusion among

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Dermot O’Kane, Esri Ireland

staff about how to access location information. For most councils and GIS teams this scenario presented them with significant challenges and there was a real need to try a different approach. Their vision was to build a single, connected GIS to meet the needs of all members of staff, across all departments, partners and the general public. Adopting a platform approach enables the GIS teams to work more efficiently and paves the way for the delivery of new value-added services for the public. By freeing up their time, GIS professionals within the councils are now able to focus on more strategic issues and forward planning rather than being caught up in dayto-day operations. Furthermore, this renewed focus on GIS technology is enabling local authorities to interact with the citizens they serve in a much more fulfilling way to help solve real problems and open new opportunities. If you’d like to discover ways to use geography and Esri’s technology and expertise in your organisation, why not say hello to our team at


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Horizon 2020 with 2020 vision Ken Lester, Managing Director of Eirewater states that if we are serious about water conservation and energy generation we need to rethink our processes.


he focus that the establishment of Irish Water has put on leaks and leak detection is commendable; the public have noticed, the media have noticed and companies are springing up every day to deal with this issue. This can only be a good thing for the nation as a whole. It will drive down prices for leak detection and help ensure that we the people get a value for money service through competition. However, there is a bigger picture, we have got to look at what the water is doing and where it is providing service. If we are serious about meeting our commitments to Horizon 2020 then we have got to be more proactive and actually engage in dealing with the issues. Currently our water infrastructure serves a singular function, to provide water to customers, but there is so much more potential in that infrastructure. We all in the industry understand the dynamics of water, even in the simplest terms there is potential there that will assist us in meeting our common objective of reducing energy consumption. If we all make a collective effort no matter how small to generate power from previously perceived lost sources, the cumulative effect will be significant. Our mantra is every drop is precious, but let’s use every drop as efficiently as possibly. Let’s make every drop earn its path to the customer, not through their payment, but actually drive costs down by making it pay its way on the path.

DRIVING INNOVATION We’ve recently partnered with Canyon Hydro, an established hydro system company with more than 35 years’ InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Ken Lester, Managing Director of Eirewater, delivering the Local Authority Management Award sponsored by Eirewater to Ruairí Ó Conchúir of the Mulklearlife project

experience in delivering tangible results. We believe that we can share their knowledge, expertise and skills to bring real benefits to the Irish market by ensuring that every drop of water earns its rite of passage. We are confident that by employing our partner’s technology in our current systems we can drive down the potential costs that Irish Water will have to recoup from domestic customers. In fact, if used correctly, we could drive down costs for everyone. As a dynamic company Eirewater was selected as the outright winner for leak detection and mitigation 2014 by The Public Sector Magazine – an achievement they are enormously proud of. Our experience with the commercial sector has taught us a lot. We are looking to develop new initiatives with the public sector and we have several proposals that we

believe will see real and tangible savings. We are focused on proving just how effective we can be, not just by being aspirational, but by delivering real results. If we as a society want to achieve the results expected by Horizon 2020, then we have got to make a collective effort towards achieving that goal. That means looking at everything through a new looking glass and actually appreciating and effecting how we can do things better. The mantra of Horizon 2020 is science, industry and society; I say that’s a common collective. If we fully integrate these three fundamentals of progression, then we will achieve success. You can contact Eirewater by Freephone 1800 848 411, or via their website


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TO LIFE • Mentoring • Start-up Finance • Training • Advice • Marketing Local Enterprise Office, Galway County Council, Prospect Hill, Galway T: 091 565269 E:

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INVESTING IN GALWAY Galway County Council is taking advantage of a number of significant investment opportunities across the county.


orking in partnership with other development bodies, Galway County Council is investing significant resources in developing infrastructure that will improve competitiveness and provide services to support economic development in the county. These services will, says Catherine McConnell, Acting Director of Services at the Council, directly assist enterprises to grow to achieve their full potential. As a local authority we are increasing our role as leaders on local economic development and as part of our new statutory remit we’re currently preparing a local economic and community plan. The council is also becoming more conscious of all the activities it does as a local authority that could impact positively or negatively on economic development and business. Somebody who has a potential job-creating proposal can come to us and we can fast-track them to a pre-planning meeting. We’d end up seeing these people in a matter of days so they can meet supply chain demands or expand their business in a timely way. The council also took the decision in 2015 to freeze their rates. We’re very aware of the difficult economic environment that businesses are operating in. Our new county development plan is trying to be very supportive of local economic development initiatives.

SUPPORTING BUSINESS Apple Corp’s recent decision to locate its first data centre outside the US was facilitated by Galway County Council’s decision to designate InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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In 2013 Galway County Council launched the joint Galway Local Enterprise Office with Galway City Council, providing direct supports to start-up enterprises in the county and city.

Film-making in Co Galway

an area of land that extends in a 5km wide corridor from the edge of Galway City eastwards towards Athenry. The further development of the M18/M17 motorway from Limerick to Mayo will increase the accessibility of the two international airports in the region at Shannon and Ireland West Knock. This improved accessibility heightens the central location of County Galway on the west coast of Ireland, says Acting Chief Executive of Galway County Council, Kevin Kelly. In 2013 Galway County Council launched the joint Galway Local Enterprise Office with Galway City Council, providing direct supports to start-up enterprises in the county and city. Companies supported by the Galway Local Enterprise Office are creating new jobs in the region, which in turn is helping to fuel economic

recovery. The creative sector is also emerging as a strong employment growth sector in Galway, says Catherine McConnell. The recent designation granted to Galway city and county as a UNESCO City of Film is a recognition of the commitment and support for this sector, while a number of film and media production companies based in the west of the county are building a strong reputation nationally and internationally. Galway County Council is convinced that with Galwaybased manufacturing companies consolidating their position, growth in food and tourism sectors and the emergence of a cluster of multimedia companies, green shoots are appearing throughout County Galway. According to Kevin Kelly: “The emergence of so many microenterprises on the Made in Galway™ website indicates there is an entrepreneurial spirit in the County that is seeing people go for it in business. Optimism is creeping back into the air in Galway and with new projects coming on stream in the coming months, this positivity is going to continue.”


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Proudly supports festival promoters

Delivering more than â‚Ź20million on an annual basis for County Wexford

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Wexford reaping rewards from

FESTIVAL & EVENT SECTOR A calendar full of festival events and cultural activities are on offer year round in County Wexford, so there’s always something fun to see and do for locals and visitors alike!


rom the International Wexford Festival Opera, which takes place in Wexford town annually during October and November, to the Wexford Spiegeltent Festival and Wexford Fringe Festival offering a variety of entertainment and cultural events, Wexford town and county embraces festivals like few other locations. The May bank holiday sees a funfilled weekend on the streets of Wexford, with a street theatre and comedy festival, Jest Fest. Packed with a host of free family entertainment during the day and in the evening, top comedians bring a barrel of laughs at various venues across town. Visitors can take a trip to the world’s oldest working light house, Hook Lighthouse, each May bank holiday weekend and enjoy a celebration of all things maritime from great local seafood to seaside crafts to heritage and sea life; there’s something for all the family. In the summer season, a series of funfilled events take to the streets of County Wexford including the Wexford Strawberry Festival and All-Ireland Farmers Market in Enniscorthy and the Wexford Food and Wine Festival in Wexford town. Wexford’s unique US links are celebrated during Irish America Day in New Ross each July 4th; it is officially Ireland’s celebration of the traditional US holiday, all taking place in the Irish hometown of the Kennedy family. The Maritime Festival celebrates the life of Commodore John Barry, a Wexford-man and founder of the American Navy and offers a variety of maritime activities. Visit the quaint fishing village InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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of Kilmore Quay and enjoy the annual celebration that is the four day Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival: with its famous seafood platters it’s not to be missed. The Art in the Open Festival celebrates ‘Plein Air’ painting, attracting international artists, and features a host of paint outs, workshops and culminates in a large art exhibition each August bank holiday weekend.

SUPPORT Local Government throughout Ireland has always had a strong affiliation and engagement with local and voluntary festival and event organisers. Wexford County Council has supported in excess of 100 key local organisations in the past ten years to hold festivals and events attracting locals and visitors to the county and bringing increased economic benefit to local economies. The value of such events and festivals cannot be underestimated. In a development training session

for festival committees hosted by AOIFE in Co Wexford, 18 of the top festivals tallied the volunteer hours that go into organising, hosting and running their event during the year. In excess of 10,000 volunteer hours were conservatively estimated to be supporting the sector locally – this figure excludes the volunteer hours that are contributed each year by over 350 locals to the hugely successful Wexford Festival Opera. Wexford County Council provides grant-aid and sponsorship on an annual basis to the sector and it is a relationship that is delivering impact. Of the large festivals and events hosted throughout the calendar year in the county, in excess of a20 million is being generated in direct economic impact. This includes food and drink, accommodation, retail and discretionary spending. The most significant economic impact is contributed by Wexford Festival Opera and Spiegaltent Festival, along with the newly established Wexford Winterland.

Crowds enjoying the annual Vinegar Hill battle reenactment in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.


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Striking the

BALANCE InBUSINESS spoke with Jonathan O’Brien, Managing Director, Johnson & Perrott Fleet, about a positive start to the year, the importance of impeccable customer service, and the opportunities he has identified for the future.


espite some uncertainty regarding future residual values and concerns over supply and demand for used vehicles, 2015 thus far has been a positive period for fleet management provider Johnson & Perrott Fleet. The company has, for example, experienced an increase in light commercial sales year-to-date compared with the same period last year, which represents significant business growth in the wake of a number of challenging years. “Notwithstanding the general increase in demand, there has always been a significant trade interest for ex-lease vehicles that we dispose of,” explains Johnson & Perrott Fleet Managing Director Jonathan O’Brien. “There are two reasons for that. Firstly, we have a very strong reputation within our industry, while our vehicles are very well-serviced and maintained.” In addition, one of the company’s key selling points remains the fact that while other players face the ongoing challenge of sourcing competitive funding through high street banks or other financial institutions, Johnson & Perrott Fleet is a self-funded independent entity and so can provide more long-term security to its clients. As a result, each of these growth factors combined have sparked several expansion measures at the company, with the recent additions of another corporate account manager, and an experienced sales development manager.

RESIDUAL VALUES One of the major hot topics within the fleet management industry at the InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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moment is that of used vehicles and their residual values – in particular the prices currently being attained and whether that might fluctuate in the near Jonathan O’Brien, Managing Director, Johnson & Perrott Fleet future. For his part, O’Brien managers to our driver services team, warns against betting that these who interact with the driver on the prices will remain so high. “We need road and any problem they may to ensure that we don’t overstate encounter.” residual values and in particular where It is this renewed focus on commercial vehicles are concerned,” placing the customer at the heart of he cautions. “If you look back to everything the company does that 2009, the commercial vehicle market has seen a new market open up for was down 84 per cent, so it’s a Johnson & Perrott Fleet – the SME complete turnaround within a six-year sector. O’Brien outlines his vision period. What goes up has to come for this new avenue of business; down! When that is going to happen providing SMEs who operate fleets is what everyone in this industry has of between 1-50 with a quality been trying to predict for some time.” service at a competitive price which allows for the development of a solid business relationship CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE in companies where often the O’Brien places quality customer managing director or financial service at the heart of what they do controller is the decision maker with – ensuring the needs and desires of regard to the company fleet. “You each of their clients are met to the can sometimes build a relationship best of their abilities. “We place huge more easily with someone who has importance on that, on two levels. I a fleet of that size,” he says. “That believe in a proactive rather than a same opportunity may not exist with reactive approach, that we should some of the larger multinationals, spend the time listening to what as they generally have procurement our customers actually want and divisions or indeed outsource to a need from us,” he explains. “That procurement company. But, in the philosophy permeates the entire end, we need to strike the balance.” firm, from the corporate account


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irst, a bit of history. A GT or gran turismo is the name associated with powerful, luxury cars that can cover long distances in comfort. For the purists, models made by manufacturers such as Alfa Romeo and Lancia epitomise the heyday of the GT. They believe most modern cars with the moniker are misusing the term. However, there are cars being produced today that echo the GT’s tradition and spirit even if they don’t carry the badge. A good example is the BMW 6 Series. It comes in Coupe, Grand Coupe (four-door) and Convertible bodystyles and has recently received a midlife makeover inside and out. It also now comes with more efficient twin power turbo six-cylinder engines and prices for the range start at a little under €100,000. The new 6 Series has all of the characteristics considered essential in a typical GT. This starts with

appealing exterior styling and the ability to cover thousands of miles quickly if required. Also mandatory is room for (expensive monogrammed) luggage, a luxuriously fitted out interior and handling that prizes comfort rather than out and out speed. The 6 Series is also a technological tour de force that covers small details such as a heated steering wheel right up to variable suspension settings and multiple active and passive safety systems. BMW’s ConnectedDrive navigation and infotainment package is fitted to all models and other more specific services can be accessed through an embedded SIM card that allows drivers to set up bespoke information and connected-car services. The 6 Series Gran Coupe is a substantial vehicle with plenty of room inside and a lot of body length. The typical driving position in a GT is low to emphasise its sporty heritage and the 640 is no exception. This means the height

ENGINE 3.0L DIESEL CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km) 147-152g CONSUMPTION 5.5-5.7l/100km

adjustment on the driver’s seat is limited which can create visibility issues if you’re not a reasonably tall driver. In 4-door coupe form, the 6 Series comes with a hard top that adds to rigidity and the 640 feels stable but agile with fast, accurate steering. As might be expected, the cabin is elegant but it’s actually surprisingly understated. The seats in the test car were soft leather with a discreet two-tone inlay. Depending on the suspension setting chosen, the fascia display changes in style and in sport mode kph is beamed at the driver in big type lest one get carried away. The automatic box is slick and there are steering column paddles for those who want to get more involved. And this is a distinct possibility as there is terrific torque from 1,500rpm and the 640 will produce a 0-100kph sprint in less than six seconds. The braking is crisp, there is little or no body roll and there is a big temptation to keep it permanently in sport mode. However, the comfort setting is a little easier on the body. Boot capacity is a respectable 460-litres and while rear headroom is somewhat compromised by the sloping roofline, those in the back actually do pretty well on space, which is not always the case in the luxury coupe segment.


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LIFESTYLE: motoring



arlos Tavares took over as PSA Peugeot/ Citroen boss in 2014 and in less than a year reversed the fortunes of the loss making company. Before his arrival France’s largest carmaker had suffered badly during Europe’s economic slump. Now it’s back in the black and Tavares has no qualms about making sure it stays there by continuing to cut fixed costs and improve net pricing. Tavares is not done yet as there is some way to go until his Back in the Race strategy is complete. Still to get the Tavares treatment is the brand’s overcapacity while he also


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wants to shrink the model line up, restructure the company’s business in challenging markets such as Russia and only put features into Peugeot cars that its customers actually want and value. He is also not averse to ruffling executive feathers to save money. The top brass are being turfed out of their offices in central Paris to a more affordable location. But while Tavares is focused on pushing ahead with the company’s financial turnaround, cars are still at the heart of the business and Peugeot is quietly pushing the brand more upmarket. The emphasis now is on

affordable quality while ensuring that its products remain competitively priced. The entry version of the new 508 for example costs €26,750 and represents a lot of car for the money. There may also be something strategic in this price point as the revised 508 hit the market just as two of the biggest sellers in its cut throat segment, the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat, also landed in their latest versions. The 508 is unapologetically a family car. This means its key attributes have to include enough rear passenger space to accommodate three adults and boot capacity to match. Both are generous in the new model. The seats are broad and comfortable, the ride is supple and the only niggle

from a driving perspective is the impact on visibility of the vertical bar segmenting the window at the A-pillar. As part of its midlife makeover the 508 gets a new front grille and distinctive LED day time running lights. The rear styling has also been tweaked with the addition of a more protective bumper. There are revisions to the cabin where materials have been upgraded to give a more quality feel. The equipment levels are comprehensive from entry model up and include Bluetooth with audio streaming, air conditioning, six airbags and ESP. Moving up the range adds features such as cruise control, leather upholstery, a rear parking camera and blind spot alert. There are three trim options, InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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PRICE FROM €31,945 ENGINE 2.0 HDi 140bhp CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km) 115/119g/km CONSUMPTION 4.6l/100km


Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt with Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at the Google selfdrive launch back in 2011.

As part of its midlife makeover the 508 gets a new front grille and distinctive LED day time running lights.

Access, Active and Allure in the saloon body style while the estate version offers either Active or Allure spec packages. The power units in the new 508 are built for economy and efficiency and the 2.0 litre BlueHDi boasts CO2 emissions from just 105g/km. For anyone interested in financing a new 508 through a PCP, it is available at €270 per month with a five-year extended warranty under Peugeot’s Passport PCP.

Apple and Google already play a big part in most people’s lives and depending on the car you drive, there’s a good chance that its info/entertainment system has been developed by one or the other. Up to now the tech giants have worked cooperatively with the car companies to develop the Google Android Open Automotive Alliance and Apple Car Play systems. But now they are shaping up to become rivals as both are making noises about full-scale car production. Google’s self-driving vehicle has already been unveiled while Apple is reportedly working on an electric car. The logic for making cars is that their own vehicles would provide a natural showcase for their emerging technologies as they happen. There’s no waiting around for automakers to buy their ideas. Both companies move at lightening speed compared with the long life cycle pace of the car manufacturers. If they follow through and launch their own cars, the motor industry is facing disruption on a grand scale.

NO TEST DRIVE NECESSARY If you hate all the posturing that goes on around buying a car, you are not alone. Lots of people dread car showrooms and carmakers are now tapping in to the potential of virtual retailing. In the UK for example, you can now buy a Hyundai online 24 hours a day and complete the process as fast as buying something on Amazon if you want. Your new car is then delivered to your door. What’s interesting about this development is that it suggests that not all car buyers care about taking a test drive. In traditional car retailing it was a key part of the deal. Now people are well used to spending money online for things they don’t try out in advance. The motor makers don’t want to cut out their dealers but how customers interact with them looks set to change as more of the sales happen online.

The Internet of Cars Connected cars are currently the hot topic for motor manufacturers everywhere. In a nutshell, it’s about turning the focus of carmakers outwards whereas the traditional focus was ensuring that everything within a car functioned well. The race for connectivity has already pushed things well beyond the simple in-car synchronisation of smartphones or iPods. Now the aim is to connect all of the devices we use and all the services we want to access seamlessly. At the touch of a button in a connected car, drivers can stream music, use smartphone apps, access the Internet and real time traffic information. It will also provide the emergency services with their exact location in the event of an accident and will interact with the engine management system to optimise fuel consumption. As emerging technologies accelerate the pace of connected car development, there is good money to be made supplying the sector. The value of the global market for connectivity components and services is expected to rise to €170 billion by 2020 from around €30bn today.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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LIFESTYLE: innovation


InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping the future. In this issue: footwear technology.

INSOLE: 4mm polyurthene insole and antimicrobial drilex sockliner

MAX SOLE THICKNESS: 8mm (4mm rubber outsole / 4mm EVA Midsole)

WEIGHT: Men’s size 43 - 6.56oz Women’s size 38 - 5.11oz.


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LIFESTYLE: innovation


UPPER MATERIAL: Kangaroo leather and hemp. Machine washable.

Love them or loathe them, barefoot or minimalist shoes have gained significant traction in the footwear market over the past few years and look like they’re here to stay. Despite brands like Nike and Brooks jumping in with both feet, Italian shoe company Vibram has led the way with its FiveFingers range. One of its latest releases is the Trek Ascent LR, a rugged minimalist shoe designed for hiking tough terrain. Described by the company as a four-wheeldrive version of its orginal barefoot model, the shoe has a super grippy outsole suitable for off-road adventures. Available for €122 at

Digital Digest Fitbit, the company known for wearable devices, saw its shares surge on Wall Street recently following the biggest stock offering this year for the tech sector. Its market value is now at $4 billion based on the IPO.

NIKE FLYKNIT Nike Flyknit debuted in 2012, getting its shot at fame at the London Olympics. Originally introduced as pure athletic tech made from synthetic yarn, Flyknit is now in a unique position of being popular as a running performance shoe as well as a lifestyle runner. The range continues to impress.

The number of traditional text messages being sent in Ireland has continued to fall with figures for the first quarter down 11.8 per cent year-on-year, according to ComReg.

Start at €119 -

FITBIT CHARGE HR Make every beat count with Charge HR Available for €149.99 at

ADIDAS ULTRA BOOST Adidas has been putting a lot of effort into advancing its running trainers in recent years and the first Adidas Boost trainer launched to much fanfare. The Ultra Boost has taken the runner to the next level with a sole made up of thousands of “energy capsules” that reduce impact. Available for €155 at

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Alibaba Group Holding is to launch an online video streaming service in China in the coming months, hoping to emulate Netflix and HBO, according to the firm’s head of digital entertainment.

One or two letter Irish internet domain names will soon be available to businesses here for the first time. The move will mean 676 new combinations – like, and – will be made available.


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Treasures of



Vlad Dracula’s Bran Castle, Transylvania, Romania. It inspired Irish writer Bram Stoker’s fictional creation Count Dracula.


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here’s no doubt about it, Romania gets a bad rap. Whether it’s stigmatising the population through programmes such as Channel 4’s The Romanians Are Coming, political scare mongering about a sudden influx of Romanian migrants to western Europe once the country joined the EU, or branding it a nation of ‘gypsies’ and gangsters, Romania has one hell of a PR exercise on its hands. Perhaps the best way to counter this misinformation is to lure intrepid travellers to its land, and no better region to boast than the medieval and mountainous province of Transylvania. Situated in central Romania, Transylvania is a land of scenic beauty, rich history and cultural

heritage. Surrounded by the Carpathian mountains, it offers stunning landscapes through snow-capped mountains, dark forests and a bucolic countryside. Outdoor enthusiasts are certainly spoiled for choice with activities ranging from skiing in charming resorts that accommodate all levels to caving in the Apuseni Mountains. In Piatra Craiului National Park there’s rock climbing and vie ferrate, a series of mountain routes equipped with fixed metal ladders, pegs and cables that climbers clip onto with karabiners, making otherwise difficult routes accessible. If mountain biking is more your thing, then Bucegi Plateau offers InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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With a wealth of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania.


Grand Hotel, Napoca This hotel houses the largest conference centre in Transylvania and is the ideal venue to host a meeting, conference or event. With a total capacity of 4,000 seats, the flexible venue can accommodate anything from a board meeting to a session for 1,600 delegates.


Sura Dacilor, Poiana Brasov Take a step back in time at a restaurant where furs and dried herbs adorn the walls and seats are made of wood covered in sheepskin. You’ll find some great local dishes here, all served by staff in rather fetching outfits.

SLEEP... endless possibilities, from mild dirt road pedaling to extreme single trail riding. For the less adventurous outdoors lover, you can enjoy a relaxing walk along the countless hiking trails or spectacular gorges of Bicaz, Zãrnesti, Râme and Turzii. Transylvania is not only about the outdoors. The region alone is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the same number listed for the island of Ireland. There are nearly 200 villages with fortified churches built by the Saxons between the 13th and 15th centuries and seven of these churches make up one UNESCO site. Then there’s the historic town of Sighisoara, which today looks much as it InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Ryanair fly Dublin to Bucharest four times weekly. Blue Air fly Dublin to Bacu and Bucharest twice weekly.

Download the Romania Traveler’s Guide App for a guide around Romania’s primary tourism destinations.

did 500 years ago. This medieval town was the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, ruler of Walachia from 1456 to 1462. It was he who inspired Irish writer Bram Stoker’s fictional creation Count Dracula. His house is just one of the many attractions here. Dating back to the 1st centuries B.C. and A.D., the third UNESCO site is made up of Dacian fortresses in the Orãstie Mountains that show an unusual mix of military and religious architectural concepts. Built as a defence ring, the fortresses once formed the nucleus of the Dacian Kingdom. A trip to Transylvania isn’t complete without visiting Brasov. Fringed by the peaks of the Southern

Fronius Residence Located in the heart of Sighisoara’s citadel, the beautifully restored Fronius Residence dates back to 1609. Named after an old Transylvanian Saxon family, the 5-star boutique hotel was one of the few houses that survived the town’s devastating fire in 1676.


Turda Salt Mines Inside the old Turda Salt Mines stands the world’s largest salt mine museum. Originally established in the 17th century, visitors are invited to descend as far down as almost 400 feet into the earth in order to witness the history of the trade.


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TRIVIA: Transylvania

The meaning of the word Transylvania is ‘the land beyond the forest’.

The second largest underground glacier in Europe (in terms of volume) can be found in Transylvania. The 3,500-year old Scarisoara glacier is located in the Bihor Mountains.

Some 1,350 floral species have been recorded in the Carpathian Mountains, including the yellow poppy, Transylvanian columbine, saxifrage and edelweiss.

The real Dracula, nicknamed Vlad the Impaler, was a Romanian prince and military leader who fought against the invading Turkish army in the mid 1400s.

60 per cent of the European brown bear population lives in the Carpathian Mountains.

Romania is the ninth biggest wine producer in the world and has 11 indigenous varieties of grapes that cannot be found anywhere else.


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Carpathian Mountains and teeming with gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania. Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site and settled by the Saxons as one of the seven walled citadels, Brasov emanates a distinct medieval ambiance and has been used as backdrop in many recent period films such as Cold Mountain. It’s said to be the home of the narrowest street in Europe. The Rope Street (Strada Sforii) is approximately four feet wide and links Cerbului Street with Poarta Schei Street. Definitely one to avoid in a rented vehicle. If you’re up for a more hands-on experience, you can stay in a restored Saxon house in one of the remote, self-sufficient villages that practice traditional farming and crafts. People here are well known for their hospitality and nothing makes them happier than a tourist giving them a hand with their daily chores. Be warned though, with authenticity comes a little effort, and you may need to learn a few words of Romanian ahead of your stay. For the food lovers Transylvania offers simple, earthy, and utterly satisfying cuisine. Romanian dishes reflect the country’s agrarian roots and borrow heavily from neighbouring cultures such as Turkish, Hungarian, Germanic and Slavic. The result is a cuisine with a distinct homemade quality built around staples such as pork, chicken and lamb, but made special with the addition of organic fruits

The historic town of Sighisoara, looks much as it did 500 years ago.

The Rope Street in Brasov is said to be the narrowest street in Europe.

and vegetables. Sarmale has become something of a de facto Romanian national dish and is a must-try for any visitor. It consists of stuffed cabbage rolls with spiced pork and rice. It proves more filling than you’d expect! For a real Transylvanian speciality that dates back as far as the 14th century, make sure you sample branza de burduf in coaja de brad, which literally means ‘cheese in fir tree bark’. In the past, dairy farmers needed a way to store their surplus cheese, and the local evergreen forests provided the perfect vehicle. Strip the bark from a fir tree, wrap it around the cheese and you have a dairy product that remains moist and preserved from the elements. If you’re in search of something a little sweeter, look no further than kurtoskalacs or chimney cake. It’s a

whimsicallooking, soft bread with an addictively crunchy caramelised sugar crust and an airy open center; a real sugar feast. Fortunately, it hasn’t all been bad publicity for Romania. On his first visit to Transylvania in 1998, Prince Charles was immediately struck by the precious legacy of the Saxon villages that he ended up buying and renovating a spate of properties to help protect the unique way of life that has existed for hundreds of years. The move was undoubtedly welcomed by the Romanian Tourism Board, however there remains much work to be done in promoting the true treasures that Romania, and in particular Transylvania, has to offer. Perhaps that’s what is so rewarding about a visit there, parts of Transylvania appear to have changed little over the last century and are unspoiled by mass tourism. So why not see for yourself? Even if you don’t invest in a Saxon property, you’ll more than likely return ready to spread the word that Transylvania is a destination worth scratching off your travel list.

Sarmale has become something of a de facto Romanian national dish and is a musttry for any visitor.

InBUSINESS InBusiness | Q2 2015 2014

01/07/2015 12:12



THE BUSINESS OF WINNING: Strategic Success from the Formula One Track to the Boardroom

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

GETTING THERE: A Book of Mentors


he path to success is rarely easy or direct, and good mentors are hard to find. Getting There, beautifully photographed and edited by American author Gillian Zoe Segal, is a collection of 30 personal essays from people who have reached the top of their chosen fields. In an honest, direct and engaging way, these role models describe the obstacles they faced, the setbacks they endured and the vital lessons they learned along the way. They dispense not only essential and practical career advice, but also priceless wisdom on a much grander scale. Although many of the names are geared towards an American audience, there are plenty of inspiring stories here for everyone, from students contemplating their future to the vast majority of us facing challenges or seeking to get ahead in our careers. Highlights include contributions by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter and investor Warren Buffet.

AUTHOR: Gillian Zoe Segal PUBLISHER: Abrams Image RRP: 22 AVAILABLE:


Mindful Work: How Meditation is Changing Business from the Inside Out


AUTHOR: Bram Stoker PUBLISHER: Penguin AVAILABLE: All good bookshops

What better book to accompany you on your travels in Transylvania than the classic Gothic novel Dracula. Famous for introducing the vampire character Count Dracula, the novel written by Dubliner Bram Stoker tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread the undead curse.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Belfast-born AUTHOR: Mark Mark Gallagher has Gallagher spent decades PUBLISHER: at the centre Kogan Page of motorsport, RRP: a key business 18.99 brain behind AVAILABLE: the Irish and all good Jordan bookshops team’s 1990s giant-killing heroics, and latterly legendary engine manufacturers Cosworth, Status Grand Prix and the international speaking circuit. Now Gallagher mines his experience and observations to translate what he sees into solid business and management advice, peppered with stories and behindthe-scenes knowledge. He ably conveys the evangelical money-and-technology atmosphere of F1, insightfully explaining that its focus on big business brands and corporate hospitality makes it a B2B marketplace. As for the memories, one gets the feeling that a vast treasure trove has only partially been raided – though it’s hard to argue with a book that recalls defeating Ayrton Senna in a race up a rural Japanese dirt road, not to mention several entertaining appearances by Eddie Jordan and the ‘f’ word.

“Mindfulness can transform not only the way we do our work, but the very work we do.”

One of the most surprising and promising trends in business today is the rise of mindfulness in the workplace. From small companies to multinational corporations, more and more people are meditating on AUTHOR: the job. In Mindful Work, New York Times DAVID GELLES staff writer David Gelles injects Eastern PUBLISHER: wisdom on Western business and charts this Houghton Mifflin development, plots its future, and weighs Harcourt its benefits, while showing readers how to AVAILABLE: become more mindful in their professional and All good personal lives. bookshops


01/07/2015 11:48




Bill Stripe Shirt, a180, Thomas Pink


Knowing the measurements of your neck size and arm length is what makes a shirt look and feel great (Paul Rudd, below, star of Marvel’s Ant Man). If the collar is too loose it will hang off your neck, and if it’s too tight it could make your face blush. The cuffs of a shirt should touch the bottom of the wrist so they poke out about half an inch past the sleeves of your jacket.

Roomy & Comfortable Double Cuff Butchers Stripe, a30, Moss Bros


Clean Cut with Modern Proportions Sanders Print Super Slim Shirt, a160, Thomas Pink


Balancing Style with Comfort Smyth & Gibson Slim Fit Check Shirt, a170, Brown Thomas Dark Red Leather Formal Brogues, a87, River Island

Socks, a27, Thomas Pink

Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses, a159, Brown Thomas


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Calvin Klien Classic Stretch Briefs a32, Brown Thomas

Christian Dior Lady Oval-frame Sunglasses, a305, Harvey Nichols

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Anna Coroneo Kisses Printed Chiffon Scarf, a286, Harvey Nichols Victoria Beckham Sleeveless Shirt, a235, Brown Thomas

COOL AND COMFORTABLE Slim-fit shirts are generally the ​nicest​fit but be aware - one brand’s slim-fit is different to another’s (Rose Byrne, right, star of SPY). Make sure you can comfortably fit one finger between the collar and your neck. If two fingers fit, the collar​ i​s too big.

Monica Vinder Siren Stud Earrings, a150, Brown Thomas

Saint Laurent floral shirt, a390, Brown Thomas

Elie Tahari Chelsea Blouse, a290, Brown Thomas

Marcella Shirt, a230, Thomas Pink

Dublin from the Hills Woven Silk Bow-tie, a98, Brendan Joseph

Tateossion Round Silver Cufflinks, a195, Harvey Nichols

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Equipment Brett Navy Striped Silk Shirt a370, Harvey Nichols

Kenneth Jane Lane Large Gate Bangle a140, Brown Thomas

Saint Laurent Sac De Jour a1,990, Brown Thomas


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ingsley Aikins has always been fascinated by diaspora. An impressive and diverse career has seen him work in six different countries where he promoted and employed the Irish diaspora as a network of “affluence and influence”. In 1985, he was based in Sydney working for the Irish Trade Board and the IDA. There he met Tony O’Reilly and Dan Rooney, founders of The Ireland Funds; Aikins ended up running the Australian Ireland Fund before setting up the same

Irish 550.5%

Italian 29.5%

Greek 11.8%


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Polish 25.1%

model in New Zealand and Japan. He then moved to Boston to head up the American Ireland Fund, and was appointed CEO of the Worldwide Ireland Funds from 1995 to 2009. “Dan Rooney and Tony O’Reilly had a vision that there was such a thing as an Irish empire, built not by military force or economic might, but because over the years over ten million people had emigrated from Ireland. Traditionally these people were seen as ‘lost actors’ whereas Tony and Dan saw them as national assets,” says Aikins. Under Aikins’ tenure the Worldwide Ireland Funds raised approximately $250 million. His certainty of the potential and passion for the Irish German diaspora 59.3% brought him back to Dublin where he launched Diaspora Matters, a consultancy that advises governments,

Diaspora populations in the US compared to home country populations

regions, cities, companies and organisations on networking and connecting with their diaspora. “I believe very strongly in the power of networking, and diaspora is all about global networking. Everybody has to increase their social capital, which is the resources available to them in their personal and business networks. In a world where nobody has a job for life, networking is a key skill that you need to develop your own career playbook,” says Aikins, speaking to me from Beirut where he’s just given a keynote address on diaspora engagement. “Companies now want to ‘hire and wire’. They want to hire well-connected people and wire into their networks. We now live in a world where it is not what you know or even who you know but who knows you.” Networking. Most people either love or loathe it. The term still carries negative connotations, but it’s a fundamental tool, essential in many industries, and more and more avenues to facilitate

networking are emerging. Open and gifted with the gab, the Irish have a natural adeptness to network and build relationships, though Aikins says we can confuse sociability with networking. “We also assume that people are either good at networking or they are not and it can’t be learned. One of the curiosities about networking is that it is not taught at school or college and companies don’t have strategies for it, yet everybody says it is critically important.” Diaspora Matters provides training and courses to corporates and organisations to build networks, change their skills and attitudes to networking, and develop it as a business strategy. “We can improve but it will involve changing attitude, altering behaviour and learning some new skills,” advises Aikins. “The most fundamental attitude change is to move from being transaction-driven to being relationship-driven. You also have to learn to give rather than get and to become a listener.”

NEW NETWORKS Networking is not just about your industry, your colleagues, competitors, stakeholders of potential future employers; it’s much wider. There are now 232 million people living in a country other than the one they were born in, compared with 150 million in 1990; if the international diaspora was a country it would be the fifth largest in the world. Eighty million Europeans live outside their place of birth. The Irish have a long history of InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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emigration, mostly not a matter of choice. We’re still talking about ‘generation emigration’ and ‘brain drain’, but migration is a reality of how we live, and Aikins sees it as a positive. “In the old days absence equalled exile – when you emigrated you were gone and you were gone forever. Your geography dictated your identity. Now, because of technology and communications you can be ‘here and there’, live hyphenated lives: American-Irish, AustralianGreek, Canadian-Polish,” he says. “What was once brain drain can become brain gain and brain exchange. There is a growing realisation that countries possess ‘diaspora capital’ which we in Diaspora Matters define as the overseas resources available to a country, city, region, location or organisation and is made up of flows of people, knowledge and finance.” Diaspora has long been associated with the scattering of Jews and other nations like India, China and Ireland, but interest in diaspora engagement is growing amongst other countries too. Aikins says Ireland’s unique model of diaspora engagement, helping the vulnerable overseas and connecting with the successful, is attracting a lot of attention worldwide. Indeed, the Government recently published a statement of policy on the diaspora, recognising that we have a unique and important relationship with our diaspora that must be nurtured and developed. “There is now the InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Kingsley Aikins

Kingsley Aikins with Hilary Clinton at the launch of the Global Diaspora Strategies Toolkit in Washington

possibility for Ireland to position itself as the leading country in the world for research, teaching, training and consultancy,” says Aikins. “What is fascinating is the number of other countries around the world who want to emulate the Irish diaspora model for themselves; I have been involved in over 30 countries who want to tap into their diaspora.” Technology has enabled us to reach the diaspora and to answer the questions of who they are, where they are and what they are doing. We’re learning to embrace these tools to leverage the power of the Irish diaspora. “Technology is opening up all sorts of fascinating possibilities,” says Aikins. “There are 350 million plus on LinkedIn freely

Kingsley Aikins with Dan Rooney, co-founder of The Ireland Funds

making available all their educational and career details; innovative Irish companies like Konnect Again, who scrape social media to update databases; LinkedFinance – peer-to-peer crowd funding for people in the diaspora to support companies in Ireland [Aikins is chairman of and an investor in LinkedFinance]; and IEMP, the Irish Executive Mentoring Programme. This is changing everything rapidly.” Diaspora is about place and can be viewed at a more local or community level: the village or town you’re from, where you went to school or college as well as your country. We have an affinity with

and connection to where we’re from. Aikins points to Limerick’s initiative to reach out to its diaspora to highlight this. His last word on the matter is that networking and building relationships requires engagement and activity, and doesn’t happen overnight. “It is important to understand the role of serendipity and realise that, by changing your behaviour, you can make luck and random chance happen. None of these things happen by staying behind your desk all the time – you need to be in motion. As the cliché goes ‘a bad day on the road beats a good day in the office’.”


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In this issue, InBUSINESS explores data from the 2015 World Happiness Report.



6 3




158 10 9


1st Switzerland

3rd Iceland

4th Denmark

5th Norway


7.587 7.561 7.527 7.522 7.427 6th

7th Finland



9th Sweden

New Zealand

10th Australia

7.406 7.378 7.364 7.286 7.284 1st








The land of clocks and chocolates is the world’s happiest country according to the index. Switzerland tops the poll thanks to its healthy GDP and its high life expectancy rates, among other things.

Despite suffering decimation of its banking system, Ireland has suffered incommensurately small happiness losses. A continuing high degree of social support in the country contributes to its ranking of 18th.

Greece took the biggest hit in happiness this year. It dropped 32 places from the last report in 2013. If its government fails to strike a deal on their debt in the coming months it can expect a lower ranking in 2016.

West African country Togo is the world’s least happy country for the second year running. The reasons behind its position starts at the highest level, with a government frequently accused of human rights abuses and corruption.


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ABOUT THE WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The first report was published in 2012, the second in 2013, and the third on April 23rd 2015. Leading experts across fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more – describe how measurements of wellbeing can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. The report reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as a criteria for government policy. The report is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). For the full report findings go to:

InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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Dublin Airport Travel Services

Dublin Airport offers all passengers unlimited free Wifi


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31,000,000 tonnes of goods pass through the heart of Dublin City annually

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Profile for Ashville Media Group

InBUSINESS Q2 2015  

InBUSINESS Q2 2015  

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