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14/10/2016 09:55

Editor: Joseph O’Connor Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton

Commercial Editor: Conor Forrest Art Director: Alan McArthur Editorial Contributors: Orla Connolly Erin Donnelly Conor Forrest Valerie Jordan Olive Keogh Rachel Murray Design: Alan McArthur Julie Horton Front Cover Photography: Jason Clarke Stylist: Rachel Murray Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon

Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: +353 1 432 2200 Email: Web: On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: Web: All articles © Ashville Media Group 2016. 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



Drop co-founder and CEO Ben Harris on the connected kitchen space and his start-up’s deal with Bosch


Business of Sport

Dundalk FC’s recent run of form in Europe has not only brought prestige, but vital funding that could secure the club’s long-term future Words: Conor Forrest



We hear from businesses operating within Ireland’s wedding industry on the challenges they face and where the sector is headed


Twenty Years Boxing Clever

As TG4 turns 20, Pádhraic Ó Ciardha, Deputy Chief Executive of the Irish language broadcaster, tells us how súil eile has contributed to Irish life Words: Joseph O’Connor

Mobility Matters

We speak with eir’s Eavann Murphy about how the company is helping businesses get more out of their telecoms budgets MENTORS



Words: Conor Forrest




t’s safe to say that Emily O’Reilly has come a long way since making work calls from public phone boxes. The Offaly native – who in her current post as European Ombudsman is responsible for making the EU more accountable to its citizens – did not always possess the confidence and selfassuredness that you’d associate with her job. It was back in the early ’80s when O’Reilly was starting her career in journalism and interning at Woman’s Way magazine that she was struggling to overcome a crippling shyness which was holding her back in her everyday life. “I was a very shy child, I had a speech problem when I was very young and had to spend three months in hospital trying to get that sorted so that didn’t help my shyness very much,” O’Reilly tells me by phone from her Strasbourg-based office. “I remember that when I got my first internship I had to make an awkward phone call one time and I was so shy

that I went out to the phone box to make it. So I wasn’t the world’s greatest door-stepper, I can tell you that! I realised though that I had to battle against this.” And that’s exactly what O’Reilly did, and she puts her ability to overcome her shyness down to good old fashioned willpower. “I remember saying to myself, ‘Emily, this isn’t going to get you anywhere’,” she recalls. “It was a case of consciously forcing myself to deal with it and I did. I mean it’s still part of my basic nature – not that many people might think so now – but it’s the way I was and I’ve battled against it.” O’Reilly says that it taught her a good lesson in life, and one that the 58-year old passes on to her five children; “you can complain to lots of people about this, that and the other, but ultimately the one person that you have to draw on is yourself and, if you can, you have to find it within your own resources to sort things out or at least be wise enough to know where to go for help. Ultimately, you are your own best resource.”



InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

Jen Murphy

Editorial Assistant: Susan McDermott (Chambers Ireland)

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016



Emily O’Reilly

European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly on battling shyness, being your own best resource and holding the EU institutions to account Words: Joseph O’Connor

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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The new ŠKODA Superb. From €289 per month including three years servicing. Imagine a car that blurs the line between beauty and functionality. Where style and spaciousness are in perfect harmony. Where there’s room for everything, except compromise. We imagined such a car and we call it the new ŠKODA Superb. Longer, wider, taller, lighter and packed with the latest technologies, the new Superb represents 120 years of forward thinking. From €26,995, the Superb will be one of the most talked about cars of 2016. Call into your local ŠKODA dealer and see the all-new Superb for yourself.

Clever inside The most popular Superb model, the Ambition, is available with a host of standard features such as: Bi-Xenon Headlights with LED day time lights

Smartphone compatible with latest Infotainment Systems

Largest interior in its class

Terms and conditions apply. RRP prices displayed exclude dealer delivery and related fees. Typical Finance Example: Superb OTRP €27,595. Deposit / Part Exchange €8,519. 36 monthly payments of €289 (Including service plan of €13.99 per month). Optional Final Payment €10,798. Total cost of credit €1,772.50. Total hire purchase price €29,368. Minimum deposit is 10%. Subject to lending criteria. This offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. ŠKODA Finance is a trading style of Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland, authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Images used for illustrative purposes only.

Travel in Style InBusiness.indd 1 237765_1C_Volkswagen_Chambers 9.03.indd 1

07/09/2016 09:55 17:24 14/10/2016

Go to for the online edition

[LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION] Not only does the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield show the latest and greatest indie films, it also offers an excellent space to stage events, exhibit and, in our case, organise a photo shoot. Photographer Jason Clarke made great use of the lighting and surroundings in the basement to capture Eavann Murphy for our cover.



John McGrane, Director General, The British Irish Chamber of Commerce


No Difficulty Here

Having a learning difficulty often makes for a more visionary and innovative business leader. We meet two entrepreneurs proving that very point





Words: Orla Connolly


Book Extract [LIFESTYLE] 140


New offerings from Skoda and MercedesBenz 144


Nostalgic for consoles from the ’90s 146


Falling for Napoli 149


Misadventures in the tech start-up bubble 150


Coats to grab attention InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

An extract from new book Hell at the Gates: The Inside Story of Ireland’s Financial Downfall


In Conversation Enda McNulty, Chief Performance Officer at McNulty Performance, on changing your mindset and improving your performance. Words: Valerie Jordan [REGULARS]


Dressing up for business is back in fashion, and it’s helping suit company Louis Copeland & Sons return to profit Our Local Government InBUSINESS Supplement continues to CAPITALISE ON look at the important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise Page



5 Business News 10 Movers & Shakers 13 Opportunity Ireland 14 Start-Up Central


152 The IB Index




Louth gets tidy, Chinese delegation visits Fingal and Athenaeum Theatre Opens in Wexford.

Ludgate Hub opens in Cork, Limerick festival secures award and STEM Initiative launched.

Sligo libraries to remain open, filmmakers arrive in Galway and Leitrim shortlisted for Pakman award.



CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0



Taste of Cavan event exceeds expectations, funding granted for Monaghan park and Molloy named Donegal Chowder Champion.

RGB: 64/179/223 Font:

As the Irish film industry continues to develop, the Irish Film Board has called for funding levels to be restored in order to capitalise on the sector’s achievements.


GeoDirectory offers businesses the chance to fully utilise the data in their possession.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016



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

HEX: 1f1e21

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

• Din Medium • Din Regular


Page 15

49 Chambers Catch Up

Small Business

In Association with

We examine what businesses can expect from the upcoming MeetWest event in Mayo.


SBCI loans – progress to end June 2016

8,619 SMEs


across Ireland have drawn down SBCI loans



loans drawn by Irish SMEs

percentage points

Average discount on SBCI loans versus market rates for loans <€250,000


SBCI funding is benefiting a wide range of sectors (% of loans by value)

In Irish SMEs supported by SBCI loans





Admin & Support


Manufacturing Services

Average loan size

(all figures cover the period March 2015 to June 2016)


What SMEs use SBCI loans for

86.5% 7.6% 5.9%

Professional & Scientific



Construction Services

Transport & Storage



of loans used for investment in growing the business

used for working capital used to refinance loans owed to banks exiting the Irish market |

@SBCIreland |

240497_1C_National Treasury1 Management_Chambers 9.03.indd 1 5671 SBCi A4 trade ad.indd


Accommodation & Food Trade

Wholesale & Retail

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland


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THE 2016


WHAT WORKS: GENDER EQUALITY BY DESIGN by Iris Bohnet (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)


BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR Michael Murphy, Chairman, Irish Venture Capital Association


RECORD NUMBERS High tech Irish SMEs raised 249m in the second quarter of 2016 or a record 486m for the first half of the year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey published in association with William Fry. This is a 58 per cent increase from the first half of 2015 when 307m was raised. “2015 overall was a record year with 522m being raised over the 12 months so it is promising to see the momentum continuing,” commented Michael Murphy, Chairman, Irish Venture Capital Association. He added: “The importance of good international relationships is once again emphasised by sustained strong support from international investors. The Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish innovative SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicate investors.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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he Financial Times and McKinsey & Company have announced the shortlist for the 2016 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Now in its twelfth year, the award is an essential calendar fixture for authors and the global business community alike. Each year it recognises a work which provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues. The winner will be announced at a dinner ceremony on November 22nd at the National Gallery in London. Previous Business Book of the Year winners include: Martin Ford for Rise of the Robots (2015); Thomas Piketty for Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014) and Brad Stone for The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (2013). For more on the latest business books go to page 149.

ALIBABA: THE HOUSE THAT JACK MA BUILT by Duncan Clark (Harper 360/Harper Collins; Ecco Press/Harper Collins)



THE 100-YEAR LIFE: LIVING AND WORKING IN AN AGE OF LONGEVITY by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott (Bloomsbury)

THE MAN WHO KNEW: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALAN GREENSPAN by Sebastian Mallaby (Bloomsbury; Penguin Press)

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BYRNE CROWNED BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR Angela Canavan of Canavan Byrne has been awarded Business Woman of the Year in the SME category at the Dublin leg of the Network Ireland awards programme. Canavan is a partner in Canavan Byrne which offers HR, employment law and health and safety support to small and medium sized enterprises. The awards are a key part of the Network Ireland mission on supporting the advancement of women at the top of the professional world. Byrne is an active member of the Dublin Network for Women in Business and has used this platform to connect and communicate with other women in business. For more information on Network Ireland, the business women’s network, go to



“Every single customer we talk to is looking to mobile to see how they can make themselves more agile for their customers and how they can reduce cost.” Eavann Murphy, Chief Commercial Officer, eir

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Frankie Sheahan, CEO and founder of the Pendulum Summit, pictured at the launch of the business and self-empowerment event, which will take place in Dublin on January 11th and 12th 2017. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography



IRISH SMES EXPRESS OPTIMISM Irish businesses are among the most optimistic in the world, according to a major global survey of SMEs. The research from OECD, the World Bank and Facebook found that neither Brexit or a stuttering global economy was dampening the mood here.




raduates from Trinity College Dublin founded more venture-backed companies than graduates from any other European university over the last ten years, according to independent research. PitchBook’s recently published Universities Report shows that Trinity sits at number 48 in the global rankings, which rank institutions on the number of undergraduate alumni who go on to found companies that receive a first round of venture capitalist backing. Trinity is the only European university to sit within the Top 50.









Produced by TCD between the years of 2006 and 2016, the period over which PitchBook conducted its latest independent analysis.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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COVENEY SEEN AS CORE ADDITION TO MARKETING FIRM Marketing communications group Core Media has announced the appointment of Patrick Coveney as nonexecutive chairman, a new role within the group. Coveney is CEO of convenience food business Greencore plc. Core Media says it is keen to embrace business knowledge from outside the marketing communications industry as it evolves its business model and sees Coveney’s appointment as a way to support this objective, as he brings with him insights and practices as the CEO of a highly successful international company and a strong background in business consultancy from his time as Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company in Ireland.

ACCENTURE TO BUILD GOVT FINTECH PLATFORM Professional services firm Accenture has won a 30m contract to build a new fintech platform and management system for Government departments. It’s expected that the system will take around three years to complete.

Alan Cox, Chief Executive, Core Media, Aidan Greene, Deputy Chief Executive and Patrick Coveney, its new non-executive chairman

EIB TO OPEN DUBLIN OFFICE The European Investment Bank (EIB) has said it expects to open its first permanent presence in Ireland later this year. Over the last five years the EIB has provided over 3.6bn for new investment in Ireland’s infrastructure.

IRISH ONLINE SPENDING ON GROCERIES SOARS Irish consumers’ online spending on food soared by almost a quarter last year to nearly 140m, according to a new report. The figure far outstrips overall online spending growth here of 18 per cent.



European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has called on the European Commission to clarify its position regarding the recent appointment of former Commission president José Manuel Barroso as chairman and adviser to Goldman Sachs International. In a letter to the current Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, O’Reilly said she wished “fully to understand the Commission’s position on the matter” in light of the EU’s obligations under article 245 of the Lisbon Treaty, which requires commissioners to “behave with integrity both during and after their term of office”. An ad-hoc ethical committee is now examining whether there is a conflict of interest in Barroso’s new post. Speaking to InBUSINESS, O’Reilly said: “The committee shouldn’t spend too long deliberating over it. The Commission will have to take a decision looking at its advice and we’ll see where it goes then.” For our mentors series featuring Emily O’Reilly go to page 38. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman


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Aside from InBUSINESS magazine where do you go for a good read on business and to get your news? BEN HARRIS CEO and Co-founder, Drop I’ve tried to curate my Twitter feed through the people I follow so that I’m seeing information that is interesting to me. I do the same with LinkedIn too.

EAVANN MURPHY Chief Commercial Officer, eir I use Newstalk. They are our media partners but the Breakfast Show is absolutely my go-to every morning. After that, it’s Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Harvard Business Review, reading articles that pop up on my Facebook feed.

Dee Forbes, Director General of RTÉ, Sean McGrath, CEO of Allianz Ireland and Andrew Hetherington, CEO of Business to Arts

RTÉ has received the 25th Anniversary Special Award from Allianz and Business to Arts in recognition of its long-term contribution to the development, support and promotion of the arts during the 25-year history of the awards, including its achievements in partnership with Ireland 2016. The award was presented to Dee Forbes, Director General, RTÉ, Lorelei Harris, Head of Arts/Cultural Strategy, RTÉ and Moya Doherty, Chair, RTÉ at a special ceremony at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on September 19th.


The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships to bring businesses and the arts into mutually beneficial relationships across society. The event is a celebration of the most innovative and creative partnerships in Ireland which use the arts to enhance communities and working environments.

ENDA MCNULTY Chief Performance Officer, McNulty Performance Number one, I subscribe to Harvard. And number two, I’m an avid hunter for the best business brains in the world on Twitter.

ROSS O’NEILL Managing Director, R-Gon Customer Insights I read The Sunday Business Post and The Sunday Independent, and use their websites for daily updates.



director Catherine Madden says: he divide between designers and developers “It’s almost a cliché at this stage, but designers and developers will be tackled by often conflict. A lack of senior speakers team collaboration from Intel, IBM and and understanding Ryanair at a major creates friction tech conference and severe in Dublin this product November. This deployment year’s UXDX – delays. Bridging short for User this gap is vital Experience (UX), Catherine Madden, UXDX conference for individuals, Experience Design, director companies and the (XD) and Developer tech sector as a whole. Team Experience (DX) – focuses collaboration is often the most on the theme of ‘The Team critical, but most under-utilised, Behind The Product’ and sees aspect of building a product.” international leaders in design, development and business come For full details on the event go to together at the RDS in Dublin on November 2nd. UXDX conference

8 InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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14/10/2016 09:56






NEW TITLE: Commercial Director EMPLOYER: CPM Ireland PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of National Accounts, Musgrave Wholesale Partners

NEW TITLE: Executive Vice-President for Sales EMPLOYER: SEAT PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Sales at AUDI AG

NEW TITLE: Deputy Chief Executive EMPLOYER: Wilson Hartnell PREVIOUS ROLE: Director, Head of Consumer

NEW TITLE: Managing Director for Ireland EMPLOYER: Royal London PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Customer Proposition

Communications company Wilson Hartnell has appointed Sharon Murphy as Deputy Chief Executive. While continuing to lead the company’s fast-growing consumer practice, Murphy will now take on responsibility for further developing and growing the company’s offer across creative, content, social and planning.

Life, pensions and investment company Royal London has appointed Alex Koslowski as Managing Director of its Irish business. Koslowski joins the team in Ireland from his previous role as Royal London’s Head of Customer Proposition. Originally from Germany, Koslowski holds a Masters and PhD from Oxford.

CPM has announced the appointment of Ciara Kellett as Commercial Director of CPM Ireland, the outsourced field marketing and sales solutions specialists. Ciara brings 20 years’ experience in the retail, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and food services industries within Ireland.

SEAT has announced the appointment of Wayne Griffiths as Executive Vice-President for Sales and Marketing. Griffiths, who was previously head of sales at AUDI AG in Germany, will report directly to SEAT Executive Committee President Luca de Meo. Griffiths had already worked at SEAT for two years, from 1991 to 1993.


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John Warburton is CEO at DoneDeal, Ireland’s largest classified website. Warburton has held the role for over six years. In 2015, he was a key part of the team that saw DoneDeal join forces with and to create Distilled SCH, the leader in online marketplaces in Ireland. Warburton has over 25 years of experience in information technology, business processes, project management and business transformation. Prior to joining DoneDeal, he held senior positions in some of the largest companies in the world.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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NEW TITLE: Senior Associate EMPLOYER: FitzGerald Solicitors PREVIOUS ROLE: Law Practitioner

NEW TITLE: Public Affairs Manager EMPLOYER: Dublin Chamber of Commerce OTHER ROLE: Media Relations

NEW TITLE: General Manager, Visitor Centre EMPLOYER: Teeling Whiskey Company PREVIOUS ROLE: Manager, Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum

NEW TITLE: Group Head of Sales & Marketing EMPLOYER: Carr Golf Group PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Commercial & Marketing, Connacht Rugby

FitzGerald Solicitors has announced the appointment of solicitor Annette Sheehan as Senior Associate to its firm. Sheehan, who specialises and practices in the Family Law and Child Care Department, has been working with FitzGerald Solicitors, Lapps Quay, Cork since 2004.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of Graeme McQueen as Public Affairs Manager. McQueen has been part of the Chamber’s Public Affairs team since the start of 2014. In the new role, McQueen will lead the Chamber’s work on key policy issues and oversee the Chamber’s media relations activity.

The Teeling Whiskey Company has announced the appointment of Lisa Jameson as the new general manager of the visitor centre at the Teeling Whiskey Distillery. Jameson has over ten years’ experience in the tourism and hospitality sector, including seven years as General Manager at the National Wax Museum.

Following four years at Connacht Rugby as Head of Commercial & Marketing, Alex Saul has been appointed Group Head of Sales & Marketing at Carr Golf Group. In a newly created role within the senior management team, Saul is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing and growth strategies across the group companies.


Approach your career and job with a real sense of purpose, which will bring energy, enthusiasm and fulfilment in all your actions.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Approach your day excited about the work you do – you will be more effective at work and your outlook will have a positive impact.


Always be as open and honest as you can with your team. This builds trust and earns respect.


14/10/2016 17:47

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COO, Alien Technology Transfer How did you fund your business initially? The company was started with the investment of the co-founders’ own money. It was three months before we won our first bid, so until that point there was just four of us working from the co-founders’ house. What’s the best advice you were given? Be honest. It works better than any other way and you’ll find yourself in trouble less. What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? That tomorrow you will never be free, something else will come up, and therefore it’s best getting on with the work that needs to be done today rather than putting it off. Your biggest make or break moment? Successfully raising more funding than we expected for our first clients. It proved that our business model and approach works and financially allowed us to grow at a faster rate than anticipated. We did decide to go big from the start but we didn’t expect it to pay off immediately. It was great! Would you change anything in hindsight? The name. Some people love it, some people think it’s silly. But it sticks, that’s for sure! Company: Alien Technology Transfer Location: Dublin, London, Rome and Lithuania Product: Project finance and project management Staff: 26 Website:


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Natalie Walsh, Edel Browne and Mary Carty, Women Mean Business Awards 2016 finalists

THREE NUIG INNOVATORS SHORTLISTED FOR AWARD Three nominees from Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway have been shortlisted as finalists for the Women Mean Business Awards 2016. Mary Carty and Natalie Walsh are both shortlisted for the Boots WMB Empowering Women Award which recognises the initiatives made by companies and individuals to facilitate and encourage the progression of women in their careers. Nineteen-year-old Edel Browne, founder of Free Feet Medical, is shortlisted for the Sodexo WMB Female Newcomer Award. This award is for a new start-up where the recipient demonstrates outstanding innovation within her business.

STARTUP IRELAND MERGES WITH CONNECTIRELAND Lobby group Startup Ireland has merged with ConnectIreland, the economic development initiative that seeks to attract businesses to Ireland. The move comes as ConnectIreland said it had seen a surge in the number of companies wanting to start in Ireland instead of simply expanding here. Startup Ireland was founded in 2013 with the intention of making Ireland a global startup hub by 2020. Organisers believe the merger will boost this ambition.

The percentage of banking respondents in PwC Global and Irish 2016 FinTech Survey that believe part of their business is at risk due to fintech start-ups.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR START-UPS USING SPACE TECH Irish start-ups that use space technology in both terrestrial and space exploration contexts are being invited to apply to the new ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland for funding and support. The centre, launched in September, is led by Tyndall National Institute in Cork in partnership with Athlone Institute of Technology, Maynooth University, and Irish Maritime and Energy Research Cluster. Funded by the European Space Agency and Enterprise Ireland, it aims to support the application of technologies developed for space to solve challenges on Earth and beyond. The centre is one of 14 ESA Business Incubation Centres in Europe, which work to inspire entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies.

HEALTH INNOVATION HUB LAUNCHED Minister for Health Simon Harris has launched Health Innovation Hub Ireland in a bid to drive collaboration between the health service and enterprise, leading to the development of new healthcare technologies, products and services. The Hub is hosted by University College Cork in partnership with Cork Institute of Technology, the National University of Ireland Galway and Trinity College Dublin, and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Health through the HSE. It is hoped the project will establish Ireland as a leading location for start-ups and expanding healthcare companies.

IRISH AGTECH START-UP WINS US SUSTAINABILITY AWARD Irish start-up MagGrow has been named winner of the 2016 Thrive Accelerator Sustainability Award at the 2nd annual Forbes AgTech Summit held in Salinas, California. The Forbes AgTech Summit brings together over 500 of the smartest and most entrepreneurial minds in Silicon Valley and global agriculture to tackle some of the world’s most critical challenges. MagGrow is a pioneering magnetic spraying technology which reduces drift by up to 80 per cent while at the same time delivering superior coverage, a key challenge of existing drift reduction technologies.


For more information about the application process, go to

Stephen Twaddell, Chair, HBAN Food Syndicate; Orlagh Nolan, HBAN; Colm Healy, Investor, HBAN Food Syndicate; Pat Rigney, Investor, HBAN Food Syndicate; and Barbara Hanly, Founder, Soopa Pets.

Founded in 2012 by Barbara Hanly, Soopa Pets manufactures and distributes a unique range of nutritious and delicious chewable dog treats. After leaving a career in financial recruitment to start a dog-grooming business, Hanly was shocked to see large numbers of dogs with medical issues such as obesity, diabetes and pancreatitis. She decided to capitalise on the gap in the market for low fat, nutrientpacked treats. Soopa Pets’ range of Soopa Chews are made from 100 per cent natural ingredients that are human grade – meaning they are fit for consumption by humans. The company’s popular dog chews are currently available in stores across Ireland and the UK, as well as in Spain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Singapore. The chews are stocked by large chains including Pet Mania, Pet World in Ireland and Pet’s Corner in the UK, while more new products in the Soopa range will come later in the year.

Find out more at

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016


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Recipe for


Irish start-up Drop recently announced an expansion of its smart kitchen technology, starting with Bosch ovens. InBUSINESS caught up with co-founder and CEO Ben Harris to find out more about the deal, to get his thoughts on the connected kitchen space and to hear about his early career as a paperboy. Q: Have you always had a business head on your shoulders? A: Yes, for better or for worse I suppose! I can’t even remember it because I was so young but my Mum says she was driving us around the neighbourhood and I saw a couple of guys delivering newspapers and I asked her what they were doing. She told me they were paperboys and I thought it was a great idea. So I went home and found all the papers I could and went door to door selling them. People actually bought them despite the fact that they were a couple of weeks old because I think they took pity on me. I didn’t quite understand that people wanted up to date news!


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Q: Could you give us some background on how you became involved in the business of food? A: I’m a real foodie. I come from a fooddriven family, and an entrepreneurial one as well. My Mum started Munchies, Ireland’s first gourmet sandwich bar, which has since grown into a franchise. Both my parents were great chefs and instilled in us a real understanding of how to create great food and how important it is to get people around the dining room table to share food together so I always had that passion. When I went on to study industrial design in London’s Brunel University I was excited about bringing food and

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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“Slowly but surely the mentality is changing here. With the big companies setting up in Dublin, they’re bringing in that entrepreneurial spirit.”

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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technology together. It was there that I created an egg boiler that could help anyone to make perfectly hard or soft boiled eggs. After moving to Belfast and then back to Dublin where I set up my own product design consultancy, I met the three other founders of Drop who were amazing creative technologists and designers and the four of us together became excited about making connected products.

DROP AND BOSCH MEAN BUSINESS At Berlin’s IFA 2016 conference, Drop announced an expansion of its smart kitchen technology with Bosch ovens. Following on from the success of its smart home kitchen scales, Drop travelled to Berlin for the biggest consumer electronic event in the world to reveal that its technology is now fully integrated with the Bosch Series 8 oven. As part of the integration, owners of the Series 8 oven – which connects to a home WiFi network – will gain access to Drop’s interactive cookbook layer for a smart kitchen. “The partnership with Bosch is the first of many that we’ll be announcing in relation to an integration between our recipe app and other products,” says Harris.


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Q: Where did the idea for Drop come from? A: We were looking at the broad range of appliances across the home. Seeing the Nest home thermostat and the value that it has brought and how content is now being brought to the living room with the likes of Netflix, we really felt that the kitchen was right for innovation but it was really being overlooked. We felt that the only innovation that had happened between the large incumbents was merely the feature war of adding an extra blender speed or an extra heating setting to an oven. That’s really when we decided to make our own interactive recipe app and the the ideas really grew from there. Rather than just one light bulb moment it was lots of mini innovations and it was a very collaborative process. Q: What are your thoughts on the current connected kitchen space and how do you see it evolving? A: It’s the most important thing for every large kitchen appliance manufacturer globally right now. There is going to be a huge push over the coming years and I strongly believe that it will happen in a similar way to how it was with the adoption of smartphones. The opportunities for integration in the kitchen are vast, particularly this experience that we’ve been chatting about since the 1950s – the kitchen of the future where your appliances start responding contextually to the recipe that you’re cooking at that one moment in time – is not that far away. Q: Some of your funding came from Liam Casey’s PCH International through its international accelerator programme, Highway 1. How did you find working with the Corkman? A: They have been amazing to work with as a partner. Liam has been a huge support to us and me personally from day one. From the first time we sat down with him, when he happened to be coming through Dublin, he said he’d give us 20 minutes of his time and sat for around

two hours talking through our pipeline of products. He put a little confidence in us early which allowed us to really grow very quickly. Having PCH as a partner has been massive. It has enabled us to focus on the software side of the business because we know PCH has the hardware, logistics and manufacturing covered. It puts us in a very strong position. Q: What part of your work are you most proud of to date? A: Our investors gave us a nice pat on the back when they said, “getting into the Apple store with the speed and capital that we actually had was like climbing Everest without any oxygen”. I’m proud of those things, getting into the Apple stores and proud of the fact that we’re partnering with companies as big as Bosch, but to be honest, the community that we’ve built internally is probably what I’m most proud of. Q: Where do you see Drop in five years’ time? Q: I’d like to see ourselves as the de facto platform for the smart kitchen, that people will see the ‘works with Drop’ symbol on the front of their oven, their fridge or their food processor, like Intel Inside, and they’ll see that as a seal of approval that the product has a full interactive recipe experience. Q: Any advice for budding entrepreneurs hoping to get a business off the ground? A: Just go for it! It’s interesting to see the difference in the mentality between San Francisco and Dublin. In San Francisco they’ve seen so many companies start from nothing that end up being bought for a billion dollar plus and IPO-ing. It’s in their blood and I think here we have some incredibly talented and smart people that can deliver but they seem to think that it’s much further away than it is. So I’d say, if you’ve got an idea go for it. Slowly but surely the mentality is changing here. With the big companies setting up in Dublin, they’re bringing in that entrepreneurial spirit and the likes of what NDRC and Enterprise Ireland are doing can only help. Then with companies likes Movidius and Intercom – and hopefully us and others – people will see that it can be done. You just need to put in a lot of work, but if you’re willing to do that you can make it happen. Q: Do you have a favourite recipe? A: It depends on what the occasion is but I’m a big fan of paella. My favourite recipe in the app at the minute is sriracha chicken wings. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

14/10/2016 13:20

BMW 3 Series

The Ultimate Driving Machine



The BMW 3 Series remains unsurpassed on Irish roads. What makes it such an outstanding drive, is its ability to marry technology that breaks new ground, such as BMW EfficientDynamics, with the feeling you only get behind the wheel of The Ultimate Driving Machine.

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14/10/2016 09:57


MATTERS As businesses look to get more out of their telecoms budgets, communications providers are upping their game and offering services that help companies increase their effectiveness and reduce costs. InBUSINESS spoke with Eavann Murphy to find out how eir Business is doing just that.


avann Murphy has been busy it seems. The Chief Commercial Officer at eir Business has been popping up in the InBUSINESS inbox quite a lot of late, appearing in press releases promoting the eir Elevation Awards as well as the deployment of high density WiFi at Croke Park, and the evening before we meet she was presenting entrepreneur Colm Lyon with an award in recognition of his achievements in the fast-company space. It all makes for a good conversation starter when we catch up at eir’s HQ in Dublin’s Heuston South Quarter. Murphy has been with eir for almost two years now having been approached by the telecoms company to fill a new position responsible for its trading performance across the SME, Enterprise and Government markets. The Northern Ireland native now leads a team across sales, marketing, new product development and delivery – “everything that touches the customer”. Murphy brought bags of experience with her. Over the course of 14 years she worked in senior commercial positions across both enterprise and consumer markets in the telecoms space. “I’m really enjoying it,” she says. “It’s a big challenge but also a great one. We’ve been very successful so far. We’ve returned the business to growth in an 18-month period, which I’m absolutely delighted about.” That growth has been driven, in part, by the company’s service offering to businesses, providing them with what Murphy describes as “really good value connectivity deals”. For SMEs it’s a case of bundling at the most basic level; that’s voice, broadband and mobile, while at the same time offering SMEs control so that they’re not locked in to


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InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

14/10/2016 13:17

Jason Clarke


InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Worn by Eavann: Dark Red Bar Trim Midi Dress, a62.50, Principles range by Ben de Lisi @ Debenhams


14/10/2016 13:17

CV: Eavann Murphy ROLE: Chief Commercial Officer, eir Business LIVES: Sandyford, Dublin FAMILY: Married to Nigel and two sons Fionan & Conor CURRENTLY READING: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins FAVOURITE FILM: Grease (1978) HOBBIES: Reformer Pilates and more recently mountain biking


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Jason Clarke

Eavann Murphy at the Lighthouse Cinema

long-term, inflexible contracts. For larger companies, it’s all about bespoke services. “No one does it better than eir Business in terms of designing connectivity and solutions across both the data and mobile network for big business,” says Murphy. “And really we’re at the root of a lot of the digital transformation that you hear about in Ireland.” At the very high end of the spectrum eir Business offers full telecoms solutions to some of the largest organisations in the country. “They outsource to us,” Murphy says. “It’s like our deal with AIB two years ago whereby we took over 34 of their staff and we now manage every single piece of their telecoms. And more recently, we won the outsource contract for Liberty Insurance. Outsourcing to us allows organisations to invest their time and effort in bigger projects or in digital transformation. We see that as a huge growth area for us.”

A PUSH FOR MOBILE Whether it’s a sole trader or a major enterprise, a common trend eir Business has seen emerge in recent years is the desire by businesses to get the right information to the right people, at any time and from any device. The factors behind this push for mobility lie in how it helps companies improve productivity, makes users more responsive and ultimately allows a business to get more done. “What we mean by ‘mobile businesses’ are those companies that want to transform how they do business and make mobile the central driver of their competitive edge,” explains Murphy. “Every single customer we talk to is looking to mobile to see how they can make themselves more agile for their customers and how they can reduce cost.” As part of eir Business’ efforts to enable businesses to be more mobile, the company recently announced a new strategic partnership with CWSI, an Irish mobility services business. “Rather than entering the market only focusing on ‘device and price’, we have partnered with one of the best business app providers in the market. We offer an advisory consultation in helping people really pinpoint applications that can be integrated seamlessly into their infrastructure to give them the benefits they are looking for.” Murphy provides some examples of the kind of companies that eir Business has worked with. One of those is the courier service Nightline, which is using mobile to improve its relationship with its customers. The company has equipped its drivers with devices, which they use to provide real-time information on the status of a delivery to the customer. “It has really given them a competitive edge,” she says. “Their customer experience has really shot up as a result. It’s a really fantastic story of how mobile can be a strategy in itself to help drive productivity, enhance processes and improve customer experience.” Another business reaping the benefits of eir Businesses’ mobile offering is CityJet. As Murphy says, eir’s solution for the airline was simple but effective. “Working with CityJet, we developed a mobility solution that’s revolutionising operations at this dynamic company. The Electronic Flight Bag mobilises a critical function within the airline’s operations. The solution allows pilots to replace the traditional heavy flight bag with InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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a fully electronic version that’s accessible by iPad and integrates with key authorised systems.” It’s a simple but effective process which earned eir Business the Mobility Project of the Year award at the 2015 Tech Excellence Awards. It has also coincided with CityJet making its customers’ entire journey mobile, from the initial booking right through to checking in, boarding the flight and arriving at a destination, responding to the massive shift towards mobile in the travel industry. “Connectivity is everything and mobile is key to that,” says Murphy. “We can just look at the number of devices there are in the world, the number of applications that we use on our phone. I read yesterday that the use of data in the last two years is more than the entire amount of data in the world ever. The expectations of companies, of customers and of workers is that they have access to real-time information that they can access everywhere from any device – that’s all about mobility. “It’s where the world is going,” affirms Murphy as she holds up her iPhone. “It has infiltrated every single area of business operations and more and more this is their key device.” STAYING CONNECTED Murphy knows better than anyone how connectivity is shaping our future. She believes mobile and the growth of the Internet of Things is transforming everything we do, and that as a result, industries as we know them will look much different in the future. She also believes that data and analytics will be the differentiator between winners and losers; those with the ability to really understand their customer and market will flourish. Also, how quickly and effectively a business plans, develops and adapts to deliver a quality mobile experience will become a competitive advantage and those InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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not embracing mobile or utilising data science will struggle to be around in five to ten years’ time. So what about the future for eir Business? Murphy believes the company will be at the forefront of enabling organisations to fulfil their connected and mobility needs in the years ahead. “We’ve invested hugely in our fibre network the length and breadth of Ireland,” she says. “We have one of the best mobile networks as recently independently verified by RootMetrics. My job is to make sure that my customers get to leverage those assets.” What rings through loud and clear is that eir Business has a very clear focus and a very determined objective – to help businesses, regardless of size, maximise the many benefits that technology can bring not only to their indvidual businesses but to their customers too. Mobile is central to this strategy. Concluding, Murphy emphatically points out that, in her view, eir Business is the market leader when it comes to business communications. “We operate in a very dynamic and rapidly evolving market,” she says. “We cannot afford to stand still and we are firmly focused on bringing the most innovative, future proofed and relevant communications services to our customers. “eir Group is investing at scale in our network infrastructure and in the last three years alone we have invested a1bn in our network. No other operator in the market is investing to that level. No other operator in the market has the pedigree or experience that eir Business has. No other operator can provide a truly total communications offering to their customers on the scale that we can. We are uniquely positioned, when it comes to technology and expertise, to provide the level of connectivity expected by businesses in today’s competitive environment.”

EAVANN HAS HEADSPACE Murphy’s favourite mobile application is Headspace, a meditation app that’s bringing mindfulness to the masses. What began as a simple concept to help people take time out from the stresses and strains of everyday life has now become a global phenomenon worth more than a28 million. The app has been downloaded by people in 150 different countries and now has a cohort of celebrities who swear by the soothing 10-minute bites of daily timeout prescriptions.

“It’s ten minutes a day meditation and it’s wonderful,” says Murphy. “I do it first thing in the morning and it’s quite addictive. Every day it changes, so each day you’re looking forward to the next one. It sets you up for the day. Meditation is really like going to the gym for your brain.”

Asked if she is a big believer in mindfulness in the workplace, Murphy says: “I do believe that you should give your brain a workout every day. A little bit of down time never hurt anybody.”

To give it a go visit


14/10/2016 13:18


HISTORY Dundalk FC’s recent run of form in Europe has not only brought prestige, but vital funding that could secure the club’s long-term future, writes CONOR FORREST.


fter the final whistle blew, a huge roar rang out around Tallaght Stadium. Supporters of Dundalk FC had watched their side make Irish footballing history against Maccabi Tel Aviv – a 72nd minute goal courtesy of Ciaran Kilduff meant that his team are the first Irish side to win a group stage match in Europe. That famous win on September 29th is the latest in a streak of good fortune for the Lilywhites. Five years ago the club was on the brink of collapse; today they lead the League of Ireland Premier Division and look set to claim the top spot. European success has also come – having reached the play-off stages of the Champions League earlier this summer, a loss against Legia Warsaw still provided a berth in the Europa League, facing off against AZ Alkmaar, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Zenit St. Petersburg in Group D. So what’s behind the club’s recent successes? According to Gavin McLaughlin, sports editor at The Dundalk Democrat and a lifelong supporter of Dundalk, manager Stephen Kenny possesses the Midas touch and has worked wonders with his players, pushing them 24

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to greater heights. “It’s five years since Dundalk were beaten 7-0 by Shamrock Rovers up in Tallaght towards the end of the 2012 season. That was the season when the club was literally a couple of days from going bust,” he recalls. “This current team reminds people of the great teams of the ‘70s and the ‘80s. They’ll definitely be remembered, I think, as the greatest Dundalk team of all time.” FINANCIAL BOOST Players and staff are enjoying the prestige of playing in a competition featuring the likes of Manchester United, Ajax and Inter Milan. But the club is also reaping the financial rewards of their hard work. With their recent 1-0 win over Maccabi – preceded by a 1-1 draw with AZ Alkmaar – the club’s European earnings alone have risen to more than a6 million, including their run through the Champions League qualifying stages during the summer. Victory in a Europa League group stage match nets a360,000, while each draw provides a120,000. Alongside awards for finishing first (a500,000) and second (a250,000), teams which make it into the round of 32 enjoy a bonus of a500,000. To put those figures into context, the winner of the League of Ireland Premier Division will scoop a prize of a110,000. When considering the costs of running the club and attending

European matches beyond Ireland’s borders, general manager Martin Connolly expects that the club will have in the region of a3m for investment, a huge sum in a league that recently saw each club offered a a5,000 grant by the FAI – a100,000 spread across 20 clubs. “The costs are astronomical but we are playing at the top table now, which means costs are going to be higher,” he told The Dundalk Democrat before the game with Maccabi. “We’ve had four charter flights already, three getting to the group stages and then one to Holland last week, and we still have to go to Russia and Israel which are the big two and the most expensive. On top of that we’ve had severe accommodation costs as, due to the distance, a couple have been twonight stays.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Gerry Cunningham, Fyffes Ireland MD and Stephen Kenny, Dundalk FC manager

Dundalk FC manager Stephen Kenny celebrates victory over FC BATE Borisov in Tallaght stadium on August 2nd 2016

ENDURING SUCCESS The benefits are also extending to retailers within Dundalk town. “The recent success of Dundalk FC has had a huge impact on retail in the town of Dundalk, with the obvious reported increases in sales from the vintners, taxis and takeaways – the feelgood factor around the town has given everyone a lift. Local business CX+ Sport has seen a huge lift in its profile not only around the region but internationally; this new company could not have joined up with Dundalk FC at a better time,” explains David Minto, Vice-President of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce. “Speaking recently to the UEFA delegates they were telling us that a lot of people across Europe have started to take notice of Dundalk, especially after the recent draw in Holland against AZ Alkmaar, giving Dundalk the record of the first Irish club to earn a point in the group stages of a European competition. This success has put Dundalk on the European map and hopefully we will see an increase in InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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visitors to the region as a result of the Europa League campaign.” However, despite their rapid financial success in recent months, caution is being employed. Martin Connolly has got an eye on the club’s long-term future, including resolving the lease situation in Oriel Park, the club’s home ground – a dispute with former owner Gerry Matthews has yet to be resolved. “Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we will have an opportunity to sit down and put in place a short, medium and long-term plan but, from a personal point of view, there are a few areas that I would look at. The first is sorting out the lease. That’s the main priority, but it’s going to be difficult. The second is talking to Stephen Kenny about how we can maintain this terrific run that we’re on, and the third is putting a youth development plan in place for the future,” he told The Dundalk Democrat. “I would hope the money will be spent astutely, and we’ll make sure that it’s for the benefit of the future of the football club.”

Along with the supporters and the club, Fyffes – which has sponsored Dundalk for the past five years – is quite pleased with the club’s success. “Dundalk FC’s link with Fyffes traces back to the early 1960s. From providing bananas for the team’s training to becoming the club’s sponsor, Fyffes has been supporting Dundalk FC for over half a century,” Gerry Cunningham, Fyffes Ireland Managing Director, told InBUSINESS. “As a company whose roots and whose heart is in Dundalk, Fyffes has tremendous pride in the club and its recent achievements – winning back to back League of Ireland titles, an EA Sports Cup and the FAI Cup in the past two seasons alone. The Fyffes brand is huge in Europe and we are delighted in seeing Dundalk FC wear it on their shirts as they take on the challenge of the UEFA Europa League this season – their great early results in the competition have raised the flag over Oriel Park that little bit higher.”

Ciarán Culligan Photography



14/10/2016 13:16


The Business of Getting

Married As Ireland emerges from the grips of recession a number of industries, including wedding venues and suppliers, are beneďŹ ting from a boost in consumer spending. CONOR FORREST spoke with several businesses operating within Ireland’s wedding industry to discover more about their experience of the recession, the challenges they face, and their opinion on where the sector is headed.


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he Irish wedding industry is quite a diverse sector, from hotels and bakers to jewellers and honeymoon experts. It’s also quite lucrative – according to a survey by weddingsonline, the average budget for weddings has increased by 6 per cent to a22,531. Business is certainly booming for weddingsonline. Well established as experts within the Irish wedding sector, the site receives around 1,500 new registrations per month, with an active database of brides and grooms to be of between 12,000 and 15,000 at any point in time. “It’s been a really great year for the wedding industry. The number of people employed in Ireland is as good as it has been for a long time – there is a lot of positive sentiment out there,” explains Jonathan Bryans, Sales Manager with weddingsonline. “People spend on average a23,000 on their wedding. As a rule of thumb, approximately half of that would go towards the venue, and that doesn’t include the peripheral revenue, whether it be gifts, hotels, bedrooms and bar bills. There is more cash in people’s pockets, and that translates into people being prepared to make plans.” Stephen Belton, General Manager at the Garryvoe Hotel in Co Cork, agrees. “I think that after the recession, things have settled down a bit for people. I think that there are still people coming home from abroad. The economy in Ireland has settled down, so that means that people can plan a little more,” he says, noting that in his experience, couples are also going back to basics after some more extravagant affairs during the heady days of the Celtic Tiger. “What every couple wants is something a little bit different. They’ve gone back to the basics in relation to a good menu and a good band. They’ve gone away from adding loads of things to weddings, and they’re just concentrating on the key aspects – food, service and a band.” HONEYMOONERS Among the various niches that comprise Ireland’s wedding industry, the travel sector is one of those which is quite fluid in nature, constantly changing as certain destinations rise to the top of people’s wishlists, or events occur beyond anybody’s control. Take for example the recent Zika virus outbreak, propagated by the Aedes mosquito, which InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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originated in Brazil and has since spread in tropical countries around the globe. “For people going on honeymoons, the natural progression is that they are going to be planning a family. So we saw that Zika affected where they actually travelled on honeymoon, particularly the Carribbean, which would be a very popular and costeffective option, the likes of Mexico and Cancun, Jamaica, Barbados – they were all affected by Zika,” says Emer McDermott, founder of Westport-based travel agency McDermott Travel. “It resulted in people having to change their thought process and where they travelled to, and that affected their budget as well.” Instead, the Indian Ocean is a trending spot for couples on honeymoon, with a rise in visitors to Mauritius and the Seychelles; Asia, Dubai and the US are also trending destinations. McDermott Travel has been around for the past 15 years, but only focused on the honeymoon sector around six or seven years ago. Since then the company has continued to grow that aspect of its business, aided by the fact that while most people will now attempt to book a holiday themselves online, honeymooners still tend to favour professional advice on the best destination, and the best price. Undoubtedly that’s been a success – the agency was recently named as Honeymoon Supplier of the Year at the 2016 weddingsonline awards, a benchmark for success within the industry. “It was probably, throughout the recession, our stalwart in that it carried us through where other areas were weaker,” says McDermott. “We saw that the whole wedding industry in Ireland seemed to be going through a huge transition where people were focusing a huge amount more on the whole wedding event. Obviously as a result we tried to match that need in trying to develop honeymoons. We targeted that niche and from then on we’ve just grown that whole area.” PERSONAL TOUCH DIY weddings are certainly a popular option for those looking to save as much as possible. However, many Irish couples are opting to enlist the services of a wedding planner and/or wedding day coordinator to ensure things go smoothly on and before the big day. Take for example Pairs and Peaches, a wedding planning and coordination service based in the south-east and helmed by Tee Corkish, which offers services including

MARRIAGE EQUALITY AND THE WEDDING INDUSTRY The result of the marriage equality referendum last year was a landmark occasion in the history of the Irish State, with same-sex marriage allowed following the signing into law of the Marriage Act 2015 by President Higgins. A report in The Irish Examiner in May 2015 before the referendum noted that the wedding industry was predicting a multi-million euro impact in the event of a yes vote. But has this been realised? “It has had a significant impact on the wedding industry overall, and I have been lucky enough to plan and coordinate two same-sex marriages so far this year,” says Tee Corkish. “It’s such a positive move for Irish society; it’s truly amazing to see gay people having the acceptance and recognition from their peers, and it’s a joy to be a part of that. Naturally this has been good for business too, as we planners and industry professionals now have a new, eager market for our services.” Weddingsonline’s Jonathon Bryans, however, believes that the impact may not be quite as significant. “It has certainly impacted, but not in the way people thought it may have done. If we look back, I think there was a bigger change in the marketplace when the civil partnership [came in], because that was the first time that same sex couples could be recognised by the State,” he says. “There was a lot of media coverage for the marriage referendum, but it hasn’t translated into a huge amount of business. From the numbers we’re getting, it’s approximately just over 1 per cent of the industry. There is a market there, there are some businesses that specifically want to focus on it, but to be honest most businesses cater for everybody.”


14/10/2016 17:49



We dd €1, ing D 622 ress

ue Ven ,051 €10


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Honeymoon €4,717

Wedding band €1,406

venue research, budget setting, supplier research and coordination, guest list management, on the day coordination and much more. “For a long time now, most couples have not relied upon their parents to foot the bill for their wedding. This means that they have to work hard and save harder. This generally results in them not having the time to do some of the wedding planning, and that’s where I come in,” she explains. The personal touch, Corkish finds, is coming back as Ireland’s economy recovers and couples find themselves with more cash in their pockets, as well as a desire for something different. That can be challenging, as weddings tend to follow certain formats, and finding a way to provide something unique requires some thinking outside the box. “Couples are now trying to personalise the way in which their day runs by choosing alternative venues and also different ways to have their ceremony, meal and evening reception. How much more memorable would your day be if you had a ceremony in a forest, or a drinks reception with pints of Guinness and Tayto sandwiches in a shibeen, or a pig-on-a-spit barbecue dinner or an outdoor band? The demand for individually styled weddings isn’t just about the venue, but reaches across the board to all of the day itself.” Food and photography are two ways in particular which Corkish has noticed huge changes. Photography is being adapted into weddings days in ways beyond the traditional photography – professional and DIY photo booths, Instagram pages where guests can upload their photos of the day and Go Pro recordings of the ceremony are just some of the ways couples are getting creative. Quirky food is another rising trend, providing a more interesting alternative to the traditional beef or salmon. “Street food such as pulled pork baps or a fresh pizza slice for late night snacks, or traditional ham

Cak3e 7 €3

rolls instead of canapés, craft beer drinks receptions, dessert tables and cheese cakes – cakes made from wheels of cakes as opposed to cheesecake!” she adds. “Couples are moving even further away from the traditional to put a little bit of their own personality into the food elements of the day.” Personalisation is also the name of the game for Kerry Harvey, creative director of Kerry Harvey Designs in Donegal town, a perhaps unusual combination of bespoke wedding stationery and makeup services for bridal parties. Harvey founded the business during the recession and rebranded in April 2015, a move which has resulted in a boost for the business, recognised as the Stationery Designer of the Year in the 2016 weddingsonline awards. “People are no longer sending out DIY invitations – they want something more modern but yet with elegance – colour is more on trend now,” she says. “I speak to many people who feel the Irish wedding industry and suppliers can be somewhat dated, but

there is definitely a new wave of photographers, stylists, planners, cake artists and creatives like myself that are putting a modern stamp on the industry.” THE WAY AHEAD Clearly the wedding industry is in a strong position, having weathered the economic downturn better than other sectors, and presented with strong signs of growth across the various niches. Although brides and grooms to be are still cautious about how and where they spend their money, there are signs of greater personalisation as the industry moves forward, with couples willing to spend a little more across the board to achieve a memorable day. “This is not a price sensitive market. Couples don’t want a cheap wedding. Value is going to be five times more important than price – people will borrow money to have the wedding that they want,” says Bryans. “There is plenty of business out there, and with the economy going as well as it is, and people in work, that’s only going to increase.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

14/10/2016 17:52

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14/10/2016 09:58


As TG4 turns 20, JOSEPH O’CONNOR caught up with Pádhraic Ó Ciardha, Deputy Chief Executive and one of the founding members of the Irish language broadcaster to discover how súil eile has contributed to Irish life.


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ometimes it’s not the depth of your pocket but the breadth of your vision that determines your future. It’s a statement that could apply to most small businesses today, but it’s also one that was made by Pádhraic Ó Ciardha, Deputy Chief Executive of TG4, when he spoke at the station’s autumn schedule launch back in August. Of course he was referring to TG4’s need to box clever within a market that’s getting ever more competitive year on year but it’s also a principle to which the station has stuck since its formation two decades ago. Back then Ó Ciardha, a native speaker from the Galway Gaeltacht, was among the station’s founding members, having previously worked as a journalist and head of news for RTÉ. At that stage Ireland’s first Irish-speaking TV channel was a long time in the making. There had been much campaigning since the ’60s, with efforts gaining momentum in the ’70s thanks to Radio na Gaeltachta going on air, and later in the early ’80s when across the water Channel 4 – along with its sister

Welsh-speaking channel S4C – was launched. However, it wouldn’t be until the following decade that those plans would finally come to fruition with Michael D. Higgins, then Minister for Arts, playing a significant role it in getting the channel across the line. “It was a time of huge excitement,” recalls Ó Ciardha. “We came from different backgrounds, some people from the Gaeltacht, some people not from the Gaeltacht. People who had made TV programmes before, people who hadn’t. People who were used to making programmes in the RTÉ way, let’s just say. But we were determined from the outset that this would be something that’s for everybody, not an Irish speaker’s enclave and not something that would be old fashioned or in any way redolent to school. That was very important to us.” Those objectives were succinctly encapsulated in the slogan súil eile, which was coined several months before the channel first went on air as Teilifís na Gaeilge (or TnaG). “You’re looking at the creator of it,” Ó Ciardha tells me when we meet at TG4’s tiny Dublin office on Harcourt Street. “It’s something that I’m extremely proud of.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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He explains the meaning behind the motto. “It’s two words that a lot of Irish people know. The second thing is that there’s a play on words; obviously with television you’re seeing things and súil eile is an alternative way of looking at things. Then there’s also tá súil agam in Irish, which means I have a hope, an aspiration, and that’s something we had.” Those aspirations were big; a desire to draw in non-Irish speaking viewers as well as Irish speaking ones. “We obviously realised that there’s a core audience in the Gaeltacht whose daily language this is but for an awful lot of other people, they had the first opportunity to learn the language at school and for some that wasn’t the happiest first meeting. In a way we were trying to set up a second date, a re-visiting, just to give it another go. That was really the background into us setting up a new television station.” A NEW ERA Twenty years on and TG4 is a very different organisation. Today it invests over 20 million annually in original programming, it has 80 staff, and claims to sustain over 300 jobs in the independent production sector. It also has a new man at the helm, with the recent appointment of Alan Esslemont who succeeds Pól Ó Gallchóir as Director General. Esslemont – a Scotsman who speaks Irish – left his position of head of content with Scottish Gaelic television channel BBC ALBA to take up his new role. So as a new dawn emerges for TG4, what has the broadcaster achieved in its two decades? Has it managed to change attitudes towards the Irish language? “The first thing to note about TG4 is its success,” asserts Ó Ciardha. “The people who probably saw it in a slightly more negative light than neutral now see it, not necessarily as their daily channel of choice all evening, but as making a valuable contribution to what it does for the country. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it has significantly added to a repurposing of the language; the image of the language, the profile of the language. It’s seen as something that is young, vibrant and attractive. “The second thing is it gives Irish a place in the whole media landscape. People now see the TG4 microphone at a news conference and you’ll hear Michael Noonan or Enda Kenny or whoever answering a question in Irish. When I was a young journalist they might almost be apologetic for doing that. Now when it’s the European Commissioner beside you or the Queen – the Queen speaks Irish you know – it’s completely different. I’m not saying we did that on our own but there is a change and I think InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Pádhraic Ó Ciardha, Deputy Chief Executive, TG4

we’re at the heart of the change, and I do think inclusivity is an important thing.” A PUBLIC SERVICE As a public service broadcaster TG4 has plenty of critics too; those who feel that taxpayers’ money is not getting its just return. But the broadcaster’s access to State coffers has been curtailed in recent years, leaving TG4 increasingly reliant on its own commercial endeavours. In 2015 funding was cut by 500,000, which Communications Minister Denis Naughten described as leaving the channel with an “exceptionally challenging” budget. He told an Oireachtas committee that the cutback had affected TG4’s ability to deliver on its commitments for 2015, which meant that an additional 300,000 in funding was needed in 2016 to allow it to compete with national and international channels. Ó Ciardha concedes that working off tight budgets for a broadcaster has been a real challenge particularly within what he sees as

NEMETON TV One of the great business success stories to come out of TG4 is that of Dungarvan-based Nemeton TV. In 1995, soon after training himself up as a producer, Irial Mac Murchú approached TG4 with a view to filming a local football match. “We said ‘go on so’ but we really had no hopes,” recalls Ó Ciardha. He obviously did a decent job because 21 years later, Mac Murchú’s Nemeton TV produces all of TG4’s sports output along with supplying content to RTÉ and Sky Sports. “He’s not just delivering programming to us,” says Ó Ciardha, “he’s generating employment which is good for the local community and he has probably given his tiny Gaeltacht area in Waterford at least another generation of survival.”


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Ireland’s bid to find its strongest entry for the Eurovision Junior Song Contest taking place in Valletta, Malta in November will form part of TG4’s autumn schedule Weather presenters Caitlín Nic Aoidh, Irial Ó Ceallaigh and Fiona Ní Fhlaithearta, some of the young talent that TG4 continues to produce Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, Rugbaí Beo - TG4 will to continue to air exclusive live rugby matches

CONTENT IS KING In 2015, TG4 broadcast an average of 4.8 hours of new original Irish language content output per day. Here’s a glance at some of its most popular homegrown drama.

AN KLONDIKE An IFTA award-winning four-part Western drama series that tells the story of three Irish immigrants who travel from Montana to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s.

ROS NA RÚN Originally broadcast on RTÉ in the early ’90s with the intention to pass it over to TG4, Ros na Rún is the channel’s long-running soap, which broadcasts two episodes per week for 35 weeks of the year.

AN BRONNTANAS A five-part contemporary thriller set against the backdrop of the rugged Connemara coastline and the dramatic lives of a local lifeboat crew.

CORP + ANAM An award-winning gritty crime thriller that chronicles the difficult professional and intense personal life of a tenacious TV crime reporter.


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Micheál Ó Ciaraidh, presenter of children’s programme Cúla4

one of the most competitive TV markets in the world due to the fact that we speak English. But he says it has also worked to TG4’s advantage in forcing the station to be innovative and to keep that súil eile philosophy. He provides an insight into the kind of budget TG4 is working with. “Our annual budget is roughly the same as the BBC annual budget for taxis,” he says. “I’ll give you another figure; our 24/7 365-day operation has the same budget, year round, as the BBC would have for the 18 days of the Olympics, which comes around for 18 days every four years. Our Welsh equivalent would have, roughly speaking, three and a half times our budget. That’s not a promo, that’s a challenge!” This might be more a reflection of spending at the BBC than at TG4 but it certainly illustrates the challenges facing the latter. “Because we don’t have a whole pile of money we have to find a way of enticing viewers in through sports, through music,” he says. “The kids’ stuff is hugely important. People forget that every single day of the year we put on five hours of Irish language programmes for kids. That’s never reviewed; that service for those who are trying to raise their kids through the Irish language. It’s an onion; you’re trying to satisfy so many different layers but we are absolutely determined that this service belongs to everybody, everybody’s paying for it so it is our duty to try and make it appealing to everybody in some way.”

In order to remain appealing to the public TG4 – like any broadcaster – must evolve with the times and adapt to the trends and viewing habits of consumers. But that need for transition doesn’t appear to be a major problem to a station that, along with TV3, was Ireland’s first Ultra High Frequency (UHF) channel; was the first to have an online player; appeared on the Sky service the same time as RTÉ; and has been an early adopter of HD. As Ó Ciardha says, “if you’re not big you have to be flexible, and if you’re flexilbe you tend to take a chance and try something else.” Along with technology advancements, TG4 will continue to see ‘inclusivity’ as a core part of its strategy, enabling the Irish channel to remain relevant in the years ahead. Ó Ciardha uses golf clubs as an analogy. “In the time of plenty there were golf clubs all over the place and you’d turn up but they didn’t really want to see you because they had their existing members. Then things changed. Now a lot of these golf clubs are realising that it’s important to have new members, to make new people who visit feel at home. I think the Irish language community has grown to see that. For a long time the community was seen as being an establishment and those who were in were good and those who weren’t were to be kept out. I think that’s changed now, the language is a lot weaker in some respects but I think there’s an energy and a positivity that wasn’t there previously, and I don’t think it’s vain of me to say that we’re the main drivers of that.” The TG4 club turns 20 on October 31st 2016. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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CHAT John McGrane, Director General of The British Irish Chamber of Commerce

In the immediate aftermath it was inevitable that people would need a little bit of time to absorb the reality of what was happening.

We had reached a point of ‘Brexit fatigue’.

John McGrane is Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, a private sector organisation which he co-founded in 2011. The organisation is in a unique position in that it represents businesses with interests in the two islands and their economies. As you might expect, he’s been busy with Brexit.

In the very early hours of the morning, once we got past the islands, the highlands and Gibraltar, we began to realise that it was going the wrong way and inevitably there was a sense of being stunned, absorbing the shock followed by an immediate recognition that we had serious work to do. I did a conference with the Institute of International and European Affairs basically saying there was no point in crying about it. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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It was moving into public affairs holiday season when a lot of the players of influence and relevance in terms of policy-making were taking what would probably be the best earned breaks they had in a long time. The Brexit vote is now leading to inflation for businesses and consumers in the UK, which won’t be matched by wage increases because Britain doesn’t have the competitiveness to pay those wage increases. We are actively marketing Ireland as the best alternative location for UK business looking to guarantee their position within the EU.

We’ve always been close as neighbours and we enjoy many close relationships, not only across business but the social landscape as well.

That’s not going to change.

Similarly, we are facilitating a number of Irish businesses to think about protecting and Brexit-proofing their business by securing their position in the UK market. It’s important to emphasise that there’s no Brexit yet but business is pragmatic, it doesn’t wait around, it thinks ahead, looks at what might happen and questions how it can avoid being caught on the wrong side.


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of the

Dressing up for business is back in fashion, and it’s helping suit company Louis Copeland & Sons return to profit. InBUSINESS caught up with the man with the measuring tape.


hile coverage of the small business sector in Ireland has generally improved in recent years, it is still quite unusual for an SME to become a household name in this country. However, within certain sectors there are one or two small businesses that manage to stand out from the crowd, becoming synonymous with a particular product or service. When it comes to high-end suits, one name that immediately springs to mind is that of Louis Copeland & Sons. The men’s suit specialists are run by Louis and his younger brother Adrian, grandsons of Hyman Kaplan, a Jewish man who moved to Ireland from Lithuania in 1912 and who started out as a trousermaker on Dublin’s Capel Street. Hyman would later change his surname to Copeland and pass on the business to his son Louis. But it was under the stewardship of Louis of the third generation that


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the business would really take off and become an institution in its own right. He took over the company in his mid-20s when it was just the flagship Capel Street store. Today it’s a network of seven shops (and an online store), which includes an outlet in the CHQ building at the IFSC, two in Dundrum and one in Galway. Despite a few tough years during the recession – at a time when anything perceived as ‘luxury goods’ quickly got the chop – Louis Copeland & Sons is back on better footing, with the business returning to profit last year. According to Copeland, people are beginning to dress up again for business, perhaps a good bellweather for the economy in general. “It’s been okay so far this year,” he says. “We’re up seven or eight per cent, so that’s promising. Hopefully that’s going to continue for the year. A lot of people are going back to suits now, people are starting to dress up again, things are getting better. People are more serious

about their job and if you’re more serious about your job you dress up for it. It used to be all about casual Fridays but it’s come full circle.” What is being termed ‘the Conor McGregor effect’ along with a new wave of curly moustaches, man buns and hipster beards have all played their part too. In essence, the Irish male is becoming ever

more fashion-conscious and it’s contributing to a high footfall in the Louis Copeland & Sons stores once again. “Certainly among the younger, trendier lads, there’s definitely more interest in fashion,” says Copeland. “Even going to debs, before they would have just worn a suit but now they’re into their style, they’re into their dickieInBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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bows, they’re into their check suits. There’s so much information out there, when they see people well dressed on TV, it encourages them to up their game.” While Irish men are evidently much more fashionable than before, Copeland says we still have some way to go when compared to our Italian

weddings, which make up a huge part of our business as well.” So people are beginning to spend again but while there is a marked improvement in sales, Copeland says we’re still a long way off hitting the heady heights that retailers such as Louis Copeland & Sons experienced during

Louis the Third: Louis Copeland took over the business in his mid-20s when it was just the flagship Capel Street store

counterparts. He does say, however, that we are every bit as fashionable as our closest neighbours. “We’re getting there but we haven’t quite hit the Italian standard. There are pockets of people who are very much up to style. But along with that, a huge amount of our business comes from business people and executives. Then there’s InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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the good times. “In 2008, 2009 we would have dropped nearly 50 per cent in turnover, so it’s been a long hard road and we’re not back to those heights yet,” he says. “We’re starting to get back a bit but it’s a slow process. It does teach a lesson that you can’t be complacent in business, that you have to be on top of your game and that

you have to look after the customer. The customer is king as the old saying goes.” Indeed, Copeland says the company’s key to survival during the downturn was down to focusing on the customer and ensuring that the business never dropped its standards in service or quality. “Quality will always stay in fashion,” he asserts. Copeland adds that banks have been tough on a lot of small businesses during the recession, a time when many SMEs ran into debt. His advice to any business owner is to always maintain a close relationship with your bank and to keep them informed about what you’re doing. It’s something that stood to him. When asked what the Government could do to help small businesses, Copeland says he’d love the VAT rate to be reduced to below 20 per cent but acknowledges that that remains a bit of a pipe dream. He also believes that at 33 per cent, the capital gains tax remains too high. “When the previous Minister for Finance brought it down to 23 per cent, people began to trade, they bought and sold property,” he says. At 67, Copeland remains as passionate about the job as he was when he first took over the family business and shows no signs of hanging up his measuring tape any time soon. Having navigated the company through good times and bad, his son and namesake – who already works for the company – will have to wait a few years yet to take the reins. “I’ll keep at it until I drop,” he says. “For me, it’s all about meeting people and making people happy.”

SUITS YOU SIR Five famous men Copeland has fitted and kitted...

Brian O’Driscoll Former Irish rugby international

Pierce Brosnan Actor

Conor McGregor Mixed martial artist

Bill Clinton Former US President

Graeme McDowell Golfer


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t’s safe to say that Emily O’Reilly has come a long way since making work calls from public phone boxes. The Offaly native – who in her current post as European Ombudsman is responsible for making the EU more accountable to its citizens – did not always possess the confidence and selfassuredness that you’d associate with her job. It was back in the early ’80s when O’Reilly was starting her career in journalism and interning at Woman’s Way magazine that she was struggling to overcome a crippling shyness which was holding her back in her everyday life. “I was a very shy child, I had a speech problem when I was very young and had to spend three months in hospital trying to get that sorted so that didn’t help my shyness very much,” O’Reilly tells me by phone from her Strasbourg-based office. “I remember that when I got my first internship I had to make an awkward phone call one time and I was so shy

that I went out to the phone box to make it. So I wasn’t the world’s greatest door-stepper, I can tell you that! I realised though that I had to battle against this.” And that’s exactly what O’Reilly did, and she puts her ability to overcome her shyness down to good old fashioned willpower. “I remember saying to myself, ‘Emily, this isn’t going to get you anywhere’,” she recalls. “It was a case of consciously forcing myself to deal with it and I did. I mean it’s still part of my basic nature – not that many people might think so now – but it’s the way I was and I’ve battled against it.” O’Reilly says that it taught her a good lesson in life, and one that the 58-year old passes on to her five children; “you can complain to lots of people about this, that and the other, but ultimately the one person that you have to draw on is yourself and, if you can, you have to find it within your own resources to sort things out or at least be wise enough to know where to go for help. Ultimately, you are your own best resource.”

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Jen Murphy


InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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THE SPACE BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE O’Reilly went on to carve out a very successful career in journalism that would span over two decades and encompass roles such as political columnist with The Sunday Times, political correspondent for The Irish Press, political editor of The Sunday Business Post, Northern editor of The Sunday Tribune (where she broke the now infamous story of Ann Lovett), editor of Magill magazine and a broadcaster with RTÉ and Today FM. “After college and when I reflected back on what I was interested in and what my friends had gone into and the people that I was attracted to, it all pointed towards journalism,” she says. Over the course of her years as a journalist, O’Reilly wrote three books on Irish politics and media and her career attracted significant domestic and international recognition, including a Harvard University Fellowship in 1988 and multiple national awards. In 2003, O’Reilly made a significant career pivot when she became Ireland’s first female Ombudsman and Information Commissioner. As she explains, when she was offered the position it wasn’t something she jumped at initially. “I loved journalism and couldn’t see myself doing anything else other than writing. As well as Ombudsman, the post was also that of Information Commissioner and it meant I’d be a member of the Constituency Commission, the Referendum Commission and the Standards in Public Office Commission. My interest in politics and current affairs fed into all of that so that’s what encouraged me to make the move. I suppose I was still in the same space – between government and people – so apart from being able to be as vocal or as opinionated as I might have been, the transition wasn’t that difficult.” Indeed, many of the skills that O’Reilly had developed in journalism lent themselves well to the Ombudsman role, particularly the experience she gained as a political journalist. “I was far from an expert in public administration,” she admits. “I had a fairly good sense of how things worked and who people were and all of that. It was the investigative element that I really brought to the job because when you’re presented with a case somebody is making a particular claim – a complaint and allegation – and then perhaps the institution is saying something else. So you’re still digging around, you’re 40

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EMILY O’REILLY ON... THE WORK SHE’S MOST PROUD OF My journalism will always be my number one. That’s always been my passion – some of the stories I broke over the years and the books that I wrote. Also, my work in Northern Ireland in the ’80s and ’90s. ADVICE THAT HAS STOOD TO HER It sounds like a cliché but find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life. Few enough people are able to do that but if you can try and find something that will give you that passion, your work isn’t just a daily grind. OPPORTUNITIES IN EUROPE From working in the EU I have seen how there are fantastic career opportunities for young women and indeed young men in the institutions, but I think there is a problem with getting Irish kids interested. It just doesn’t seem to be on their radar.

still investigating, you’re still asking questions and you’re still trying to find out what the truth is.” Along with her investigative skills, O’Reilly’s trusted talent for writing has stood her in good stead. “I’m useless at sport and other things but thank God I can write,” she says. “That helped me with communicating and writing speeches and addresses. Of course, every time I wrote a good piece everyone thought I was doing it because I wanted to run for office but I was only doing it because it was like writing my columns again. I still enjoy the process of putting together a good, well-constructed, interesting piece.” O’Reilly spent ten years working as Ireland’s Ombudsman during which time she managed to get the Ombusman Act extended to cover all public bodies and have the Freedom of Information legislation reversed and liberalised. By the time the European Ombudsman position became available in 2013, O’Reilly had made herself the perfect candidate. THE SWITCH TO EUROPE Today, O’Reilly is three years in the role of European Ombudsman, which investigates InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union, and deals with anything from the safety of medicines authorised for use in the EU to the negotiations between the EU and the US on TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal. As Ombudsman, O’Reilly has been in the news of late, calling on European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to clarify the Commission’s position on former president José Manuel Barroso’s appointment as nonexecutive chairman and adviser at Goldman Sachs. Aside from addressing the issue of whether the appointment conforms with ethics obligations outlined in the EU Treaty, the coverage will be welcomed by O’Reilly given that one of her objectives as European InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Ombudsman from the outset was to raise the profile of her office. So how has life in Strasbourg as European Ombudsman been? “Great, very busy,” she enthuses. “I’m in the job nearly three years now and in relation to the EU it’s been a very interesting time due to the multiple challenges facing it. When I went over first the Greek financial crisis was the big one, followed by the refugee and migration crisis, which is ongoing, and then, of course, the big bang of Brexit. So it’s been a very interesting period to be involved in an EU institution.” In terms of the attributes needed for the job, O’Reilly says taking a common sense approach to matters has been crucial, while the ability to break down complex information has also been important. “When you’re in Europe, it’s all about the institutions, how they operate through the various treaties and the various rules and regulations, which can be terribly legalistic, and make it all quite impenetrable. I don’t come from that background but I do have the ability to communicate abstract or difficult content reasonably clearly. “I also think that an Ombudsman should have a sign above their desk which reads ‘Ah for God’s sake!’ In other words if you get a complaint and you think ‘ah for God’s sake’, then hopefully you find that the law supports your rationale. I’m speaking slightly facetiously but I’m just talking about bringing a common sense view to it. And then, of course, as a mother you are obviously experiencing the various public services in a very tangible way – with health, with education, with all those things. You’re still very grounded; you might be making a high falutin speech one minute and then five minutes later you’re in SuperValu scrapping for the last pint of milk that’s helps to be grounded.” When asked what advice she would give young women who are starting out in their career, O’Reilly says it is important that they take their lives and careers very seriously. “I know that sounds obvious but it’s a very big world out there with lots of problems and it needs intelligent, compassionate people to get out there and help sort them out. I’d advise them to take their lives seriously – I don’t mean not to have fun but if they are fortunate enough to be able to avail of a good education they should work hard. And also, see it as a very significant project, particularly in your 20s, and explore all the possibilities that you have.” 41

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igh powered entrepreneurs are praised for their ability to resolve problems using methods unthoughtof by others. It’s this ability to think differently and to challenge the status quo that makes them an asset. Surprisingly for many, some of the most successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders celebrated today are labelled with having learning difficulties, showing that such ‘disabilities’ can often be a hidden gift. A learning difficulty is a neurological disorder stemming from how a person’s brain is programmed to process information differently. Contrary to common belief, having a learning difficulty has no affect on actual intelligence. While a person may have trouble processing numbers or letters, their understanding of the information itself is unaffected. Two of the most common forms of learning difficulties affecting adults in Ireland are dyslexia and dyspraxia. While dyslexia can affect an individual’s ability to read or interpret words, dyspraxia causes issues in activities that require coordination and movement. Many notable entrepreneurs who possess an intellectual difficulty don’t see their so-called ‘disorder’ 42

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as a negative at all. “The way I look at dyslexia is that it’s not an issue or a disorder people have, it describes the style of brain people have,” says Ross O’Neill, Managing Director of R-GON Customer Insights. “Even saying that it’s a learning difficulty, I think is all wrong.” For O’Neill, an ambassador for the Dyslexia Association of Ireland and director of two enterprises, dyslexia is not a disorder that obstructs his performance. Like many others, he views dyslexia as a different style of thinking, one that isn’t catered for in traditional education. “I certainly have no problem learning, I just learn in my own way,” he says. “I call it a learning difference. That’s why I don’t say I have dyslexia, I say I’m dyslexic and for me it describes my style of brain. It’s like someone saying they’re musical or artistic.” This sentiment is echoed by numerous entrepreneurs who claim that their success isn’t in spite of their learning difficulty, but rather because of the character traits and advantages associated with their learning difference. For those with dyslexia or dyspraxia, early education presents countless issues. The most common complaint is that the school system exclusively caters for the traditional academic child, leaving creative minds or different learners to be labelled as intellectually deficient.

Having a learning difficulty often makes for a more visionary and innovative business leader. ORLA CONNOLLY chats to two entrepreneurs proving that very point.

Ross O’Neill, Managing Director of R-GON Customer Insights

“The school system is built for one type of mind and that’s the type of mind that works for an industrial world,” says Avril Murphy, a long time catering industry professional who has recently launched her own popup cooking school in Smithfield, Dublin. “If you don’t fit into that system you were considered defective. My thought process is not defective. To me it is a different way of taking in and processing InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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information.” Due to her dyspraxia, Murphy often experienced issues with balance, coordination and thought processing. “In school I was termed a daydreamer and was berated for staring out windows and not paying attention,” she says. TURNING A DIFFICULTY INTO AN ADVANTAGE Yet this adversity in education is believed to build strong problem-solving capabilities that are considered vital in the world of business. O’Neill notes: “Throughout school people that were dyslexic constantly had to think outside the box. They constantly had to come up with different ways to figure out things and deal with situations because being dyslexic, 99 per cent of the time you’re in a difficult situation.” Many dyslexic entrepreneurs credit their learning difficulty for making them adaptable to stressful situations along with being able to handle rejection and adversity early in their careers. For Murphy, one consequence of her dyspraxia is heightened sensory abilities, which became an asset when she moved into the food industry and progressed to a head chef position. “I loved the timing and the finesse involved, the flavours and how I could remember taste and recreate that along with the smells and the textures,” she explains. Other typical characteristics displayed by different learners include creativity and high quality social interaction. This combination of resourcefulness, creativity and

social skills are essential elements in the profile of any successful business person, according to O’Neill. “When you mix all of those into a pot, it kind of spits out a typical entrepreneur in many ways.” When it comes to the negative side of having a learning difficulty, such as issues with reading or writing, modern technology has filled the gap that many hindrances have created. Computers, laptops and iPads have become not just common practice, but necessary for the boardroom and their widespread use is making it significantly easier for people with dyslexia to operate at the highest level of industry. “Your eyesight is a non-issue as long as you have your glasses, and I like to look at my computer the same way,” says O’Neill. “So my weakness is definitely around spelling, reading and writing and I’m blessed that technology is able to give me a pair of glasses, if you will.” Murphy, meanwhile, who now holds a cooking class for the Dyspraxia Association of Ireland, overcame her initial difficulties

Avril Murphy, food entrepreneur

with coordination and handling cutlery through learning musical instruments and martial arts. She insists that a positive outlook and determination can compensate for any perceived shortcoming in business. “I believe with the right mind, attitude and support, dyspraxia can eventually be overcome.” When advising others on starting a business, O’Neill recommends against worrying about your weaknesses, especially if you have a learning difference, and focusing on the strengths of your business. “Dyslexic people have a huge amount of positive traits that will really help anyone in business. My advice is to forget about your weaknesses, focus on your strengths and just go for it and trust me when I tell you it’s going to be okay,” he advises. “For everything else there’s technology.”


The head of Virgin used to routinely fail standardised tests in school due to his dyslexia, but it didn’t hinder him in setting up what would become a billion dollar company.

Bram Cohen

Asperger’s syndrome kept Bram Cohen firmly rooted in a world of patterns, puzzles, and computers when he created leading software company BitTorrent.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Ingvar Kamprad

Swedish furniture giant IKEA is actually an acronym of founder Ingvar Kamprad’s initials, Elmtaryd, the farm where he grew up, and the nearby village of Agunnyard. Despite struggling with dyslexia, Kamprad is said to be the wealthiest man in Europe.

Tommy Hilfiger

Despite being deemed “stupid” at school due to his reading difficulties, it didn’t stop Tommy Hilfiger from designing one of the most popular clothing brands in the world.

Henry Ford

Carmaker Henry Ford was dyslexic and is quoted as saying: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”


14/10/2016 15:22



THEY WERE MAKING IT UP AS ” THEY WENT ALONG. In a book that takes its title from a BBC radio interview that the late finance minister Brian Lenihan gave two months before his death, Linehan and his colleagues tell the inside story of that doomed government in their own words. In this extract from Hell at the Gates: The Inside Story of Ireland’s Financial Downfall, former ministers reflect on the contentious decision to abolish the automatic entitlement to a medical card for those over 70.


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he bank guarantee legislation passed quickly through the Oireachtas and into law. The guarantee gave state protection to the six domestic banks, which helped insulate them from the vultures of the international markets. The banking crisis was put in temporary abeyance, but the national finances continued to deteriorate. It was hoped the early budget would have a similarly calming effect. It didn’t. Looking after the elderly had been for decades a foundation of Fianna Fáil policy. Brian Lenihan, in his emergency budget speech on Tuesday 14 October, undid that legacy when he announced to the Dáil that he was abolishing the

automatic entitlement to a medical card for those aged over 70. That move, Brian Cowen admits, was a major error. “It was a political mistake no doubt, and it cost us about 10 per cent in the polls, which we never really recovered from.” Within minutes of the speech ending, Fianna Fáil backbench TDs were telling political correspondents that the cut would have to be reversed, as phone calls had already started coming in to constituency offices. Cowen agrees that a rushed budget process had allowed a huge mistake to slip through. The minister for finance had pushed for the budget to be moved from December to October. “We had agreed to move the budget back a bit, Lenihan wanted to bring in an earlier budget than usual. I said fine, but it probably narrowed the time for discussion a bit.” Conor Lenihan says that his InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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brother believed the move would drive home to the public the gravity of affairs. “They decided to bring forward the budget to underline the seriousness of the situation facing the economy, and you can argue whether that was politically wise or not.” Pat Carey says the decision to bring forward the budget certainly didn’t do anything for confidence in the government. “It was as if there was an impression they were making it up as they went along, there was no strategic thinking.” With such draconian reductions in spending required, many unpalatable choices had been on the table. So difficult was the task of choosing where to wield the axe that ministers found themselves in an endless series of meetings. One of the most contentious measures put forward as a means of saving money was that decision to abolish the automatic entitlement to a medical card for those over 70. Everyone over the age of 70 had been entitled to free medical, dental and optical treatment. They also received free medicine. The benefit did not discriminate on the basis of income – the budget proposed to change this and introduce a meanstested system of benefits. Eamon Ryan supported the cut. He saw it as removing a universal entitlement to those people who could afford to do without it. “It was a social justice issue. Actually the way it was presented, and correctly, was that this was a provision we were giving to those on very high incomes and it actually could be adjusted in a way that allowed you to maintain a level of service. It was seen internally as a way to bring back some progressivity into the nature of the social card services, so that was the impetus.” Ryan doesn’t agree that the cut was a slipshod last-minute addition to the budget – it was thrashed out at Cabinet. “It’s not as if it wasn’t discussed. Maybe it should have been discussed more. I don’t know InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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how many meetings we had that month running up to the budget, my guess is about ten.” Ryan supported the proposal because 80 per cent of public funding goes to social welfare, health and education. “So if you’re looking at the start of the process where you’re going to have to make significant savings, those three areas are the key ones and all three are incredibly sensitive.” Ministers did realise that the reduced entitlement to medical cards would cause major controversy, but the Cabinet decided to plough on. “So it’s not as if they weren’t discussed maybe and I do remember the last kind of meeting where we signed off on it. There was a concern raised within Cabinet. ‘This thing’s gonna blow up,’ people were astute enough to realise, but it was decided, feck it,” says Ryan. The subsequent spin was that the government measure was some kind of error, although it is clear from what Ryan says that the Cabinet as a whole was made fully aware of the plan. Mary Harney, as health minister, says that the decision to cut the medical cards was made after discussions with Lenihan. “The minister for finance and I had a discussion and one of the things that was concerning him was the recurring expenditure. You know, that we were committed to things, bills that were going to get bigger and bigger and bigger.” Harney recalls that Lenihan raised the recurring cost of medical cards. “What he was interested in was the ongoing exposure of the medical card being available to everybody. That was the issue. But it wasn’t easy. “The issue with over-70s was that we were giving cards to people who were relatively well off, and we weren’t able to extend cards at the bottom. I think the mistake we made was that we should have said, anybody who has the card can keep it,” she says.

This is an extract taken from Hell at the Gates: The Inside Story of Ireland’s Financial Downfall by John Lee and Daniel McConnell, reprinted with permission from Mercier Press.










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MOTIVATOR Enda McNulty, Chief Performance Officer at McNulty Performance, tells VALERIE JORDAN that everybody is capable of changing their mindset and improving their performance.

confess, I’m looking for a bit of motivation when I speak to Enda McNulty, Chief Performance Officer of the newly rebranded McNulty Performance, and I’m not disappointed. His energy and enthusiasm is pretty palpable. Positivity is of course a competence of his job as a performance coach, but with McNulty it’s not just part of the job but a way of life, and he’d credit his success to this mindset. McNulty, an Armagh native, played Gaelic football for his county and in 2002 he played on the team that won the All Ireland. After completing his degree in psychology and masters in sports science, he learnt that a GAA team in Dublin was looking to recruit a coaching director. He landed that job in 2001 and says he was lucky in that the club had quite a bit of money at the time to invest in coaching and performance, meaning he had the opportunity to meet some of the world’s top coaches. Winning the All Ireland opened other doors for McNulty and he began working with individuals and teams around performance, from young golfers and tennis players to kids 46

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Enda McNulty during a seminar at Croke Park

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with Down Syndrome and autism – one of the most challenging and at the same time rewarding coaching environments McNulty says he has worked in. It was on the plane to Hong Kong with the GAA All Stars that McNulty decided he was ready to go it alone. “I made the decision that my ambitions were different to the ambitions of the club and I wanted to go out on my own. I wrote out on a moleskin diary what I was going to do: I was going to hand my notice in when I got off the flight and I was going to set up a company helping people in business and sport to unlock their potential.” True to his intentions, he handed in his notice when he landed and a few days later he went to the bank, who

laughed. He went to business advisors who told him there was no future in his idea. He wasn’t fazed. “I had the belief and ambition that we could do this. I had the right psychology so it didn’t matter how many times I got knocked back. So I started knocking on doors; I started meeting people for coffee; I started networking strategically and asking people who was head of HR in their company. I was doing sessions for free because I couldn’t get people to commit.

ENDA’S.. RECOMMENDED READ “The game-changing book I read was The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge – it’s a book about neuro science but very relevant to behaviour and transforms the psyche on potential. It’s a really unbelievable book.”

We said ‘we’ll do it for free and if you don’t like it, we’ll never work with you again’; then when they loved it they’d commit to more sessions and pay.” Over the last 12 years Motiv8 has worked with a varied portfolio of clients, from Leinster and Ireland rugby to global brands like Facebook, Microsoft, Intel and Digicel. The company specialises in performance coaching, team building, mental conditioning, energy and wellbeing and resilience training. Last Christmas, the team decided, in spite of a successful year, that it was time to overhaul the business and decide where it was going. Motiv8 is being rebranded as McNulty Performance, and McNulty says the business will fundamentally change. “First of all, we’re going to upgrade the products and we’re being relentless about recruiting the right people into our team,” he says of the overhaul. “We’re significantly enhancing our end-to-end customer experience; and our culture, which must align with our brand, which we believe is innovative, energetic and around that growth-winning mindset. “We don’t want to become a massive company, but we do want to scale the impact we have on our clients’ lives.” The day we speak, McNulty had spent the morning with the team of a fast-growing tech company. After InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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the interview, he has a session with a top Irish rugby player, followed by a session with a professional golfer, aimed at helping them achieve their best performance in and outside sport, each tailored to their specific needs. He’s worked with a number of teams and individuals across a variety of fields, industries and geographies, but among Irish professionals he says he sees a number of common performance issues. The number one issue he says is a lack of prioritisation among businesspeople. “Everybody says they are busy and doing a 60-hour week but if you ask them to tell you their priorities they can’t. We used to be surprised by the lack of clarity but we know now it is very prevalent. Number two, lack of energy management, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. About 60 per cent of the people we work with in the corporate world tell us they are regularly between very tired or exhausted. “Another trend we see is a lack of passion for their jobs – less than 10 per cent are passionate about what they do every day. What we are trying to do is get organisations to create an environment where people are more impassioned.” But how much can human performance be improved? Are we all capable of changing our behaviours, or are some of us more inclined to positive behaviour than others? “Everybody is capable, without question,” says McNulty. “We have worked with neuroscientists who have shown us that it is feasible for our brains to significantly develop in a 12 or 24-month long period. Everybody has the capability, depending on their mindset, their passion, drive and environment, they can transform their potential and performance. I say that with no reservation.” ‘Do you practise what you preach?’ – it might just be the most pointless question I could have posed to McNulty. There’s no question of his passion for and commitment to what he does. “If we don’t practise what we preach, then it’s time for us to get out of business. Helping people achieve their potential motivates us and seeing people make a breakthrough in their performance in sport, art, business or even adventure inspires us.” 47

14/10/2016 15:23

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14/10/2016 09:59





Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland with Niamh Boyle, President, Chambers Ireland


Galway Chamber has launched this year’s Food on the Edge programme, a two-day symposium that takes place annually in the county. The event is for chefs and food enthusiasts from all around the world who want to create a better global food network. The event was conceived by Galway chef JP McMahon of the Michelin starred Aniar Restaurant, a member of Galway Chamber. Now in its second year, Food on the Edge will take place from October 24th to 25th.

PRESIDENT OF CHAMBERS IRELAND NIAMH BOYLE, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE REPUTATIONS AGENCY, has been elected President of Chambers Ireland having joined the board in September 2015. In her role she will chair the Board of Chambers Ireland, the organisation’s governing body. The board’s functions are to provide strategic leadership and oversee the activities of the staff and volunteer structures at national level. Boyle is the founder and managing director of The Reputations Agency and the foremost expert on reputation measurement and strategy development in Ireland. She succeeds Clive Bellows, Country Head of Northern Trust who was President from 2014 to 2016. Newly elected directors to the Chambers Ireland board from the Chamber Network are: Allan Shine, Chief Executive, North Kildare Chamber, John Hurley, Chief Executive, Kilkenny Chamber with Helen Downes, Chief Executive, Shannon Chamber and Conor Healy, Chief Executive Cork Chamber, also continuing to serve. Also newly elected are: Stephen O’Leary, MD, Olytico, Margaret Brennan, AIB and Gerard O’Reilly, Corporate Finance, Crowe Horwath.

CHAMBER COMMENT “More affordable access to childcare will have positive implications for female labour market participation and benefit families and businesses across the country.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, commenting on the proposed introduction of subsidised childcare ahead of Budget 2017.

Full details of the Chambers Ireland board are available at InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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NORTH KILDARE LEADS BY EXAMPLE IN ENERGY SAVING CHAMBER COMMENT “The growth in employment is a positive indicator for the strength of the Irish economy but also signals the need for Government to invest in the infrastructure necessary to support an increased workforce.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, responding to the figures released in the Quarterly National Household Survey on August 23rd.

NAVAN NURTURES ITS NIGHT-TIME ECONOMY Navan Chamber of Commerce is encouraging local businesses to get involved in Navan’s night time economy by promoting activities coordinated under the Purple Flag initiative. Consisting of representatives from Navan’s evening and night-time business community, Navan Chamber of Commerce, Meath County Council and An Garda Síochána, the group has established a new Purple Flag Navan Facebook page to keep people up to date with the latest news relating to the town’s purple flag status, which it received in 2015. For further information go to NavanPurpleFlag.


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Alan Clarke, Business Development Manager, PINERGY with Allan Shine, North Kildare Chamber and Paul O’Connell, Shareholder and Brand Ambassador of PINERGY


orth Kildare Chamber has announced a new partnership with electricity provider PINERGY in a bid to enhance its offices and hub facilities in Naas. The Chamber HQ will now become an energy efficient office using Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting and associated fixtures that will be supplied and installed by PINERGY. Commenting on the partnership, Allan Shine, Chief Executive of the Chamber, said: “I am delighted to collaborate with PINERGY on this project. This announcement highlights the type of strategic investment we as the Chamber are actively embracing to ensure a clean energy and environmental future for our office. This initiative demonstrates our aim to become more energy efficient and it will also reduce our energy costs quite substantially.”

CHAMBER CAPTION Pictured celebrating Irish-German business connections at a Shannon Chamber seminar were John Bowe, Mazars Ireland, Ronan Harbison, German-Irish Chamber of Industry, Helen Downes, CEO, Shannon Chamber, Gerry Vahey, Mazars Ireland.

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CORK CONNECTS WITH LONDON ABOUT CONNECTING CORK Connecting Cork is an initiative, spearheaded by Cork Chamber, proactively working to position Cork internationally and build connections in key global cities and markets, promoting a positive message that ‘Cork means business’.

Cork Connects with London

Influential London-based business leaders attended an inaugural London Dinner, hosted by Cork Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, September 27th in the Bloomsbury Hotel, London where they discovered the unique and exciting opportunities that the Cork region offers investors and their employees. The event, which was being hosted as part of the ‘Connecting Cork’ initiative, saw 150 guests – the majority of whom are London-based decision makers, with select representatives of business, local government and education from Cork – come together to discuss the opportunities that exist in the Cork region. Earlier this month, Cork Chamber representatives met key business leaders and organisations in San Francisco; while the London dinner is being followed by a twin city trip to Shanghai, which is scheduled for November.


SKILLS IN SUPPLY AT SHANNON Following the success of Shannon Chamber’s first year running its Skillnet’s network, the Chamber has been allocated funding from Skillnets to continue the programme until year end 2016 and to apply for funding to run it again in 2017. Commenting on the news, Shannon Chamber’s CEO Helen Downes said: “Taking on a Skillnet was a completely new undertaking for the Chamber, albeit we had offered training previously but not on the same scale or frequency. Being a Skillnet has enabled us to put a framework on our training, appoint a steering group to assess the types of training needed and monitor the outcomes. In its first year of operation, Shannon Chamber Skillnet has delivered 40 training programmes to 318 executives in 113 member companies and has also provided training to 20 unemployed people.”

CHAMBER COMMENT Pictured launching the Waterford Business Awards were Laurent Borla, Waterford Chamber President, Frank O’Regan, Chair, judging panel, Mayor Cllr Adam Wyse and Teresanne O’Reilly, WLR


ominations are now being accepted for the 2016/17 Waterford Business Awards following the official launch of the 12 award categories at an event on September 13th at the Medieval Museum in Waterford city. The awards, which are organised by Waterford Chamber and supported by Waterford City & County Council and WLR FM, are designed to recognise the achievement of individual businesses and business leaders in Waterford across a variety of twelve different categories. The closing date for nominations and applications for the 2016/17 Waterford Business Awards is November 21st 2016.

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“Protecting and improving all aspects of our international competitiveness is vital to attract investment but it is particularly worrying, if not surprising, to see Ireland’s infrastructure score drop in ranking by two places this year.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, responding to the findings of the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 published on September 28th.


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CONCERNS REMAIN Budget 2017 contained some small measures to help the Irish business community but the reality is that major concerns remain.


udget 2017 was planned and drafted during a period of ongoing uncertainty about Brexit and the extent of the impact that it will have on the Irish economy. The details of Budget 2017 delivered by Minister Noonan and Minister Donohoe in the Dáil announced spending of a1.3 billion with a500 million delivered in tax cuts and increased tax revenue of approximately a195m. Chambers Ireland’s Pre-Budget 2017 Submission focused on the need to prepare for some degree of negative economic impact stemming from Brexit and global economic slowdown. The potential impact on our trading relationship with the UK and the impact of Brexit on other economies globally must be recognised by the Irish Government in planning for the future. In this regard we felt that Budget 2017 could have done more to assist the business community through the uncertainty caused by ongoing Brexit speculation. Due to the recent strength of Ireland’s economic growth, Budget 2017 was an opportunity for the Government to invest in key areas of the economy and to ensure that Ireland can weather the worst of any potential global economic downturn. In advance of Budget 2017 the Chambers Ireland Pre-Budget Submission focused on measures that can deliver progress for the future under three themes:


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SUPPORTING GROWTH Maintaining a broad tax base including user based taxes and charges is essential to securing revenue streams for the Government and protecting the national finances from any potential economic downturn. We called for the tax system to be more encouraging of entrepreneurship and ensure that innovators, investors and entrepreneurs are recognised as contributors to growth. Budget 2017 went a small way towards this through the increase of a400 to the Earned Income Tax Credit for the self employed which brings them a step closer (a950) to that of the PAYE tax credit of a1,650. However, this measure alone does not end the discrimination against the self employed in our taxation system and does not address the need for an opt-in social protection scheme to allow the self employed access to social welfare payments that are not currently available. Budget 2017 recognised the importance for Ireland’s international competitiveness to maintain the 12 per cent corporate tax rate and ensure that Ireland remains an attractive destination for continued inward investment, which is more important than ever in the context of a looming Brexit. The retention of the 9 per cent VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector also provides some ongoing protection to the sector in the face of post-Brexit uncertainty.

INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE Our Pre-Budget Submission called for a greater level of investment in badly needed capital infrastructure and for Government to take the opportunity to identify the priority areas for investment. The existing commitment to provide an extra a5.1bn in capital funding between 2017 and 2021 will go some way towards addressing infrastructural needs, and Budget 2017 reaffirmed the capital investment of a4.5bn for 2017, including small increases in spending such as on progressing procurement of the National Broadband Plan. Without a further commitment to capital spending Ireland will continue to have one of the lowest levels of infrastructure investment in the EU. The National Competitiveness Council has highlighted how potential infrastructural bottlenecks could undermine Ireland’s competitiveness in the future. While Budget 2017 has made positive steps, further investment in key areas such as housing, transport, broadband and water are essential to protect the competitiveness of the Irish economy. The severe lack of housing supply is a major issue threatening Ireland’s overall economic performance. Addressing the housing crisis in Ireland is going to take longer than one budgetary cycle. We welcome that Budget 2017 committed a1.2bn specifically for housing to the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to deliver the commitments announced in the recently launched

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Housing Action Plan. Ireland needs to rapidly increase the construction of the right mix of accommodation, in the right locations, at the right price. Chambers Ireland’s Pre-Budget Submission also called for improved transport links to enable regional networks to develop and to allow business have more options and opportunities for trade. To ensure our future competitiveness we must ensure connectivity within and between our economic hubs. We are disappointed not to see any further commitments to investment in transport infrastructure in Budget 2017.

SECURING OUR FUTURE Having one of the most open economies in the world, Ireland has much to gain from foreign direct investment opportunities but as such it is also particularly vulnerable to exogenous economic threats. We called on Government to commit funding in Budget 2017 to key policy areas that can help to ensure that our growth is sustainable. Investment in education, childcare and our young people, along a focus on with pension requirements and budget stability are areas where economic returns may not be immediate but will have consequences for Ireland well into the future if actions are not taken now. In the area of education and skills it is important that skills gaps and mismatches that threaten growth and risk future job creation are addressed. The recently published Action Plan for Education committed to establishing 100 apprenticeship schemes and 50 traineeship schemes by 2020. In Budget 2017 the Minister announced a 16 per cent increase in total education expenditure with a36.5m for funding higher and further education. With childcare, the long term priority is to ensure access to quality childcare is affordable which has positive implications for female

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Representatives of the Chamber Network launching the Chambers Ireland Pre-Budget Submission at Leinster House

labour market participation, the wellbeing of children, the gender pay gap, and even a potential increase to Exchequer revenues from higher labour participation rates. The announcement of subsidised childcare in Budget 2017 with both means tested and universal payments to be paid directly to providers is an important move towards Ireland’s very high childcare costs. We called on Government to announce the establishment of a budgetary stabilisation fund and we welcome the commitment in Budget 2017 that a portion of any revenue surplus, up to a1bn annually, will be invested to ensure that the State has a ‘rainy day fund’ to help cover services in the event of future economic downturn. Budget 2017 had something for everyone with some small measures that will help the Irish business community as they enter a potentially

challenging trading environment. However, the reality is that the major concerns for the business community go beyond Budget 2017. Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, commented on the Budget announcement by saying: “The big threats to Ireland’s economic development will need strategic level interventions on issues such as maintaining our relative competitiveness with the UK, rapidly expanding our investment in infrastructure and ensuring our export driven economy and Exchequer receipts can be sustained in the face of diminishing international demand. It is not possible to fully ‘Brexit-proof ’ the economy and as a nation we must stand ready to be as adaptable and flexible as we have been in the past to devise strategies to address forthcoming challenges as they become clearer.”


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BREXIT UNKNOWNS Emma Kerins, International Affairs Executive with Chambers Ireland, explores the possible implications of Brexit for Irish businesses and seeks expert opinion from Chamber leaders.


ollowing the UK’s vote to exit the European Union, there continues to be a large degree of uncertainty as to what will happen next. In the immediate term, there may continue be some market and currency volatility with knock-on consequences for investments and pensions and it is unclear how long this period of uncertainty will last. We have seen how this has played out since June, where the UK has lost its AAA rating, meaning that cost of government borrowing will now be higher. For the most part, however, the UK economy appears to have weathered the initial shock of the Brexit vote, although the value of the pound remains near a 30-year low. Politically, there has also been changes within the United Kingdom since the

referendum result with former home secretary, Theresa May, becoming Prime Minister following David Cameron’s resignation. While May campaigned against the United Kingdom leaving the EU she says she will respect the will of the people and that “Brexit means Brexit”. The UK’s vote to leave now requires the application of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will involve the UK notifying the European Council of its intention to leave. Article 50, when applied, provides that the EU will negotiate a new agreement with the withdrawing country over two years. While the two year period can be extended by unanimous agreement, Article 50 also specifies that, when agreeing a new deal the EU acts without the involvement of the country that is leaving, meaning Britain would have little or no say in the relationship it is offered by the remaining 27 member states. Brexit Secretary David Davis has suggested the country could formally sever its ties with the EU by December 2018. With regard to the impact of a Brexit on Ireland, nothing is certain.

Jennifer Forster, North Kildare Chamber, Ivan Keatley, County Mayor, Bernard Durkan, Fine Gael TD, Debra O’Callaghan, Mayor of Naas Municipal District, Vivian Cummins, Chamber President, Lucinda Creighton, Allan Shine, CEO, North Kildare Chamber at the North Kildare Chamber Brexit Breakfast Briefing


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Given the close economic and political ties between the countries and the uncertainty that a British exit will bring about, the Irish government took a strong public position throughout the referendum campaign, highlighting its preference for the UK staying within the EU. Since the result, the Government has acknowledged that major challenges lie ahead for the EU, the UK and for Ireland. with much attention required on preventing any adverse effects on our economy, with specific regard to the free movement of people, and goods and services on these islands. Additionally, Government has stressed the importance of ensuring that stability and progress in Northern Ireland is maintained. “Clarity on Britain’s future relationship with the EU will take some time and we encourage Chamber members to assess the impact of Brexit on their business activities and put in place strategies to mitigate risks identified where appropriate,” he said. Meanwhile, Chief Executive of North Kildare Chamber, Allan Shine, noted that Brexit may well create opportunities for business when it comes to investment. “Ireland now stands in the middle of a triumvirate of connections. We already act as the connector of Europe to the US and can now do likewise for the UK. We will be sitting in the midst of three of the largest economic zones in the world. This could be something special.” Businesses across Ireland have been grappling with adjusting to their new reality, and while putting mitigation plans in place has been stressed as the best way of preparing for Brexit, some business leaders have noted that it’s still

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Dr Barry Heavey, IDA Ireland, Terence O’Rourke, Chairman, Enterprise Ireland, Cork Chamber President Barrie O’Connell and Minister Dara Murphy TD, Department of European Affairs at the Cork Chamber Brexit Breakfast

too early to determine what impact it might have for Irish business. Business Manager of Penninsula and member of Newbridge Chamber of Commerce, Marc Ramsbottom, notes: “Until the UK clarifies exactly what Brexit actually means and whether the UK continues to have access to the single market or not and what restrictions might there be on the free movement of people, it’s impossible to know the long term impact. There certainly hasn’t been the immediate economic downturn that some people predicted, but as the UK and EU enter uncharted waters, who knows how the negotiations will unfold.” Group Development Manager with Dawn Meats and Deputy President of Waterford Chamber of Commerce, Paul Nolan, says: “Given Britain’s importance to our business, we share the concerns and inevitable challenges that Brexit will bring. In the short term currency exchange rates are the key issue because despite the fact that they have been a factor for many years, the current levels of volatility are challenging. In the medium to long term we will need to ensure that our Government and trade representation bodies monitor developments closely and keep us up to date at all times. Future trading terms and conditions may not prove ideal unless we keep our focus on maintaining conditions that allow the

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levels of interdependent trade that both nations enjoy to be sustained.” The impact of uncertainty on the business community is highlighted as one of the primary concerns among businesses in the aftermath of the referendum. “Until negotiations are nearing completion we will not know what Brexit means,” says Peter Byrne, Chief Executive of South Dublin Chamber of Commerce. “It may be very similar to what Norway has in relation to the EU or it may be more bilateral, until then speculation will be rife and

we will have to manage the uncertainty and all that brings with it.” Echoing these sentiments, Chief Executive of Letterkenny Chamber Toni Forrister, notes that the overwhelming feeling of shock and disappointment with the referendum result amongst businesses in Donegal has not gone away. “Since the Brexit vote we acknowledge that the sky didn’t fall in but there is still a long road ahead,” she says. “A vote over which we had no control may have implications for the north-west region for many years.” Chambers Ireland, as a member of the Brexit Working Group within the Department of the Taoiseach will continue to work on behalf of business to ensure that they are prepared for the consequences of our new economic and trading relationship with the UK. To keep up to date with our work, visit Since this article was written, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced her intention on October 2nd to trigger Article 50, no later than March 2017, which will then see the UK cease to be a member of the EU from 2019.

Pictured at the Galway Chamber Brexit Breakfast Briefing were President of Galway Chamber Conor O’Dowd, Brian Thornton, Partner, KPMG, Maeve Joyce, General Manager, Galway Chamber, John Concannon, Director, Ireland 2016 and Mayor of Galway Cllr Noel Larkin


14/10/2016 15:59

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Down to Business

at the Border

InBUSINESS spoke to Toni Forrester, Chief Executive of Letterkenny Chamber, to get her views on Brexit and business sentiment in Donegal. Q: You have been CEO of Letterkenny Chamber for over eight years now. How is Chamber life?

A: Letterkenny Chamber celebrated 50 years in business in 2015 and I am proud to have been a part of that. Letterkenny is the commercial centre of Donegal, it has the largest population and provides employment for people from all over the county. Our Chamber has always had a positive and proactive attitude to business and it punches well above its weight in terms of influence.

Q: The Brexit vote has created uncertainty for a lot of businesses in the border counties. What measures do you believe need to be taken to counter any resulting negative impact?

A: The main consequence of the Brexit vote is the uncertainty it brings to businesses that operate close to the only land border with the UK. We have no clarity about borders or indeed trade tariffs that may be imposed. Businesses thrive on certainty so we need to see our Government and

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its agencies working to deliver a robust strategy to deal with Brexit. While we are assured that there will not be a hard border, any barriers to trade or increased costs will be detrimental to businesses here. The UK is Ireland’s biggest trading partner and we need to ensure that this trade can continue efficiently and with no extra costs.

A: I have always stood by the advice that if you give a little you will get it back in return tenfold. I have always been an active networker and get great pleasure out of connecting people – not necessarily just for a business sale. I always tell people that you never know who you need to know until you need them and it is amazing what can come out of making a connection.

Q: In terms of leading the Chamber, where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: Over the years I have worked with many people who have inspired me. We have a small team here in the Chamber but within our board we have people who are passionate about business and about Letterkenny and the northwest and I will always ask for their advice and guidance. I like people and have always had a passion for small businesses so my leadership style tends to stem from my interest in the members that make up Letterkenny Chamber.

Q: Any up-and-coming Letterkenny-based companies to watch out for in the near future?

A: Over the years I have had great admiration for our larger employers without which Letterkenny may not have developed the way it has. It is, however, the SME sector that underpins the northwest economy. Companies such as 3D Issue, Gartan Technologies, Sendmode, Nvolve are all working in the technology sector and selling their products and services worldwide from their bases in Letterkenny.

Q: What are the key Q: What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given?

objectives of the Chamber for the latter part of 2016 and into 2017?

Toni Forrester, Chief Executive, Letterkenny Chamber

A: Some of our challenges will never change until we have investment and we as a Chamber will continue to lobby for improved infrastructure, primarily in roads, rural broadband and electricity. With the changes in Government and with the economy in recovery we are concerned that the region will once again get overlooked for development, so we will keep the pressure on.


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FORWARD Michael Alario, Boston College Policy Intern with Chambers Ireland, outlines the benefits for businesses of signing the Prompt Payment Code and how the initiative aims to foster an environment where cash flows smoothly through each part of the supply chain.


veryone has that one friend who takes forever to pay back. You find yourself always lending a bit of spare cash to this friend, but knowing their character you can rest assured you will eventually see your money again. In fact relying on their character is the key factor in deciding whether you will lend the money in the first place. When it comes to your friend you are probably just covering the cost of dinner, but when it comes to money owed to Irish businesses the financial stakes go beyond a tenner or two. The estimated total owed to Irish business is a staggering e4 billion, which has a significant negative impact on the economy. To put that figure in perspective, the sum averages to about â‚Ź23,000 per business operating in Ireland. These late payments constrain cashflow, require the burdensome and costly process of pursuing collections, and fuel unnecessary financial uncertainty for businesses. Untimely compensation can force companies to raise prices or cut costs resulting in reducing staff levels or in the worst case closing their doors. These adverse consequences of delayed payments weaken the ecosystem of the Irish economy but


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in reality they are entirely avoidable. Having said that, action must be taken on the part of all businesses to ensure payment is made on time and to ensure the integrity of their contracts. Here is where the Prompt Payment Code becomes important.

WHAT IS THE PROMPT PAYMENT CODE? The Prompt Payment Code was developed on the understanding that all companies could benefit from a prompter and more carefully outlined collection process. The code sets standards for the best practices in payment. All signatories to the Prompt Payment Code agree to follow three simple principles; pay suppliers on time, give clear guidance to suppliers and encourage good business practice in all negotiations. Administered by the Irish Institute of Credit Management (IICM), the online Prompt Payment Portal

The route towards a strong, sustainable economy is a strong indigenous business sector that trades with the rest of the EU and the world. is a collaborative endeavour from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, IICM, ISME, Ibec, the Small Firms Association (SFA), Chambers Ireland and the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI). The basic goal of the code is to foster a business environment in which cash flows smoothly through each part of the supply chain.

WHAT IT DOES AND DOES NOT DO The code does not alter any business contracts nor modify the legal position of late payments; rather it ensures that businesses are publically committed to honouring payments within the terms agreed at the outset of the contract or within 30 days, in accordance with legislation. By voluntarily signing the Prompt Payment Code, a company signals to other companies, suppliers and consumers a serious commitment to paying invoices as agreed upon in their contracts. The potential benefit for those that sign up is that making this commitment can boost your reputation as a prompt payer and may lead to securing new suppliers and customers. Simply put, an organisation is more attractive to do business with when it is committed to following through and paying on time. By becoming a signatory of the Prompt Pay Code you do not become liable to any increased legal scrutiny in any past, present or future contracts. The code does not change the framework through which your company can negotiate nor does it improve the legal standing of any creditor or debtor. The primary enforcement mechanism of the code is the desire of a business to uphold its convictions against an outlined code of conduct and therefore prove the integrity of its operations.

THE FUTURE OF IRISH BUSINESS As speculation about the impact of Brexit continues to dominate the headlines it would be remiss not to mention how prompt payment can play a role in mitigating the potential

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damage to Irish business by the UK’s decision. Considering the potential impact on the Irish economy and Irish business, the importance of integrity in negotiations has become paramount. The Prompt Payment Code presents businesses with an opportunity to bring a degree of certainty to the Irish payments system. As the Irish economy enters unknown territory, with the consequences of Brexit emerging gradually, signing the Prompt Payment Code shows that a business is committed to best practice and principled commerce.

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and trading relationships. The first step in changing the unfair practice of late payment is signing the Prompt Pay Code. Chambers Ireland is a signatory and encourages businesses to also take a stand to reverse this detrimental trend. Businesses committed to trading ethically should see no obstacle in adhering to the principles of the code and therefore we recommend all businesses to sign up.

No one wants to be that friend that is notorious for never paying up, and this problem becomes much worse when it comes to business

For more information or to sign the code please visit

As of today many Government agencies and a number of pioneering businesses have already signed the code and universal adherence is being actively promoted. Being a signatory of the code can give a business the edge in conducting commercial negotiations and it demonstrates its commitments to ethical trading practices.


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Apprentice Elisha Collier O’Brien, Policy and Research Executive, Chambers Ireland, makes the case for the apprenticeship model in offering education and training across a wide variety of sectors and helping to tackle the issue of youth unemployment.


his year Chambers Ireland introduced a new category in our national Corporate Social Responsibility Awards; Excellence in Promoting Youth Employment. This category is reflective of the fact that youth unemployment figures in Ireland, while recently declining somewhat, remain high. Upon completion of school or college courses young people are all too often met with difficult choices rather than opportunities. The peak unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 reached 31 per cent at the height of the economic crisis in 2012. The latest employment figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that progress has been made in reducing the youth unemployment rate, with the figure recently dropping from 17 per cent to 15.9 per cent. In spite of this positive reduction, the rate remains twice as high as the wider national unemployment rate of 7.9 per cent. Youth employment is a European wide problem, with recent figures showing that in the eurozone area one in six people aged between 20 and 24 are not in employment, education or training. This high rate of youth unemployment poses significant social and economic problems for not only the young people affected, but also their families and Irish society more broadly. Many parents are now faced with supporting


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adult children in ways they had not anticipated, while graduates and school leavers are unable to gain the experience and confidence in themselves which employment brings. Difficult decisions such as emigrating, taking unpaid internships, unemployment or working in areas outside of their skillset have become the norm for many of today’s young

Difficult decisions such as emigrating, taking unpaid internships, unemployment or working in areas outside of their skillset have become the norm for many of today’s young people. In addition to this, high youth unemployment figures are coupled with significant skills mismatches which are now becoming more pronounced.

people. Alongside this, high youth unemployment figures are coupled with significant skills mismatches which are now becoming more pronounced as our economy continues to grow.

SKILLS SHORTAGE There are widespread reports from employers that Ireland does not have

the numbers of people skilled in the right areas to deal with demand. This too has wider implications for the country; we cannot attract FDI if we cannot ensure that Irish people have the necessary range of skills that employers require, and likewise, we cannot advance home-grown Irish industry without a properly trained workforce. Skills mismatches, coupled with high youth unemployment are problems which will not be solved without action and a concerted effort to tackle both of these issues needs to be made by Government as soon as possible in conjunction with education, industry and young people. The effects of unemployment on the self-esteem, future employment prospects and a young person’s development are significant and it is now time to consider how Ireland’s education system can deal with the issues of both youth unemployment and skills mismatches. We need an education and training system which is responsive and flexible, capable of adapting in a timely manner to changing demands and circumstances. By encouraging and providing innovative education and training initiatives the Government can target areas in need of skilled employees while also addressing the social and economic challenges associated with a high rate of youth unemployment. One such training

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The effects of youth unemployment on self-esteem, future employment prospects and a young person’s development are significant and it is now time to consider how Ireland’s education system can deal with the issue of youth unemployment. measure which should be part of the future of Ireland’s education system is apprenticeships. An apprenticeship model of education offers young people and employers many benefits not found in other forms of training. For example, apprentices are guaranteed to gain ‘on-the-job’ experience as part of their course, making them more employable afterwards, while employers benefit from having an engaged young person on site to work with and help to shape their work habits. Recent years have seen a decrease in the number of apprenticeships in Ireland and they are now mostly associated with trades such as plumbing and mechanics. Another factor which highlights a problem with the current model is the lack of female participation in current apprenticeship schemes; there are currently about 7,500 apprentices in the system and only 34 of these are women. Yet this does not have to be the case; apprenticeships can offer education and training in a wide variety of sectors, from finance to hospitality to more traditional trades. Part of the process of increasing uptake in apprenticeships must be to seek to change attitudes and understanding of what apprenticeships can offer and increase awareness that they are not limited to construction and trade related fields. Apprenticeships must not be thought of as an alternative to traditional education – rather they must be viewed as viable and vibrant options within Ireland’s education system.

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INPUT FROM INDUSTRY In the National Skills Strategy 2025 and the recently launched Action Plan for Education 2016-2019 the Government has committed to increasing the number and scope of apprenticeships on offer. The National Skills Strategy also commits to a reform of the apprenticeship system in order to expand participation and industry input. This is a welcome move for Ireland’s education system as greater input from business and industry will be essential if we are to create an education system that can meet the needs of a modern economy and be capable of quickly responding to skills needs. An apprenticeship model, which is divided evenly between theoretical, classroom-based learning, and hands-on practical experience in the workplace, would offer best practice learning for

apprentices across a range of areas. The engagement of industry in the education of young people offers many benefits to both businesses and trainees and can go some way to addressing the issue of youth unemployment by ensuring that graduates of our education system are workplace ready and equipped with valued and practical skills learned on the job. By creating more options within the education system, such as through the provision of a varied and dynamic apprenticeship model, we can begin to tackle both the skills mismatches and youth employment problems Ireland is currently facing. We must act now to ensure that we are investing in the promotion of talent and ensuring that our young people are given the best opportunities which will set them on the path to vibrant careers.


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POLICY MEETS BUSINESS in Brussels In October the European Parliament gave the floor to entrepreneurs from all over the continent to discuss matters of relevance to them.


n October 13th, Eurochambres, in cooperation with Chambers Ireland and the European Parliament, hosted the fourth edition of the European Parliament of Enterprises (EPE), the largest exercise at European level in economic democracy. More than 800 entrepreneurs from 45 European countries and from all business sizes and sectors gathered in the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels and acted as MEPs for one day, debating and voting on crucial policy issues. The concept of the European Parliament of Enterprises originated from the belief that there is a democratic gap between European institutions and entrepreneurs, who are the drivers of economic growth. Businesses are largely unfamiliar with the work of the European Union and the significance that the decisions of European institutions can have on their business. The goal of the EPE is to recreate a parliamentary session and gives the floor to entrepreneurs to discuss matters of relevance to them. This year, 14 entrepreneurs formed part of the Irish delegation and the event was an exciting opportunity to showcase European and international opportunities available to Chamber members. It also provided policymakers with direct, bottom-up feedback on EU policies affecting the business community. Topics addressed included trade inside and outside the EU, energy and


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environment, skills and migration. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and JeanClaude Juncker, President of the European Commission, were invited to open the event while President of the European Council Donald Tusk closed it. Speaking in advance of the event, Richard Weber, Chairman of Eurochambres, said: “In these troubled times for the EU, the European Parliament of Enterprises will enhance mutual understanding between decision-makers and the real economy. Europe needs businesses, but equally, business needs Europe. The message that the 800 plus entrepreneurs will convey is ‘we want Europe to stay united and open and we are ready to contribute to its progress!’” Ian Talbot, CEO of Chambers Ireland and Deputy President of Eurochambres said: “Chambers Ireland is delighted that Irish

businesses will actively participate in this unique opportunity. Companies will have the chance to benefit from personal engagement with policymakers, numerous European companies, and international media. This is a great opportunity for Chamber members to make connections at a European level.” The European Parliament of Enterprises is organised every two years by Eurochambres, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with its network of national Chambers. Ireland must remain at the heart of Europe and now, in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, it is more important than ever for Irish business to have its voice heard in Brussels. For more information on the European Parliament of Enterprises, visit

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ASK US! Chamber HR makes sure that small businesses’ HR needs are covered, and at a fraction of what it would cost to retain expertise in-house. Marc Ramsbottom, Business Manager of Peninsula, explains.


hen you run a business, the most valuable commodity of all is the hardest one to find: time. Time to concentrate on doing the things you do best. The things that made you set up in the first place. The things that make your business grow. Because nobody sets up a business to spend their time learning about employment law or making sure they are up to date with their health and safety. Nobody except Chamber HR, that is.. Businesses are vulnerable because they often don’t have the time or resources to make sure that they are complying with the demands of employment law. These are increasingly complex areas, and even unintentional breaches can lead to a legal action that is enough to finish off a small company. The number one thing that Chamber HR offers is peace of mind. Our experts make sure that a small business is covered at a fraction of what it would cost to retain expertise in-house. We free up time for business owners to concentrate on doing what they do best, and we provide ongoing support for when the unexpected inevitably happens. Chamber HR understands that

every business is different, but all businesses can have similar issues. An example: One of your employees comes to you and tells you that some of her colleagues have been ‘bullying’ her – leaving her out of conversations, sending derogatory emails to each other about her, stealing things from her desk and whispering in her presence. You may decide to tell her to pull herself together and just get on with her job. Making a phone call and getting some legal advice, on the other hand, would inform you that what your employee has actually done is raise a grievance with you. The bullying and harassment Codes of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures tell us how employers should deal with grievances that the

Businesses are vulnerable because they often don’t have the time or resources to make sure that they are complying with the demands of employment law. employee wishes to resolve formally. Getting advice would inform you that you need to invite the employee to a hearing, allowing the employee to bring a companion, investigate the complaint, decide on appropriate action, let the employee know what you have decided and allow the employee to appeal. A successful result on her behalf may well see her moved to another team where she can

Marc Ramsbottom, Business Manager, Peninsula

once again work to her full potential. Neglecting to seek advice may well see your employee continue to suffer at the hands of her colleagues, and feel that she can no longer work for you because of the bullying and your failure to deal with her complaint. Under these circumstances she could leave and be entitled to claim constructive dismissal at tribunal with an award of over two years’ pay, and if it was an equality issue you could be looking at up to four years’ pay for harassment and victimisation. Add this to the legal costs that can be associated with these claims, coupled with the negative publicity that may occur, the impact on staff morale and much more. Now really is the time to be taking advice from us.

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TO INNOVATE Working on industry generated challenges, international teams of students from top ranked universities in Ireland and Brazil have been learning to develop highly innovative design solutions.


roduct design innovation is recognised as having a strong impact on companies’ growth and profitability, and increasing overall competitiveness. Considering the potential of design innovation, the key questions are how to foster it in companies and how to better prepare young professionals to be creative and innovative. At Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the Brazilian University of São Paulo (USP), part of the answer has been to engage in active participation in an international network of top ranked universities focused on design innovation working in close cooperation with industry. Currently, around 25 universities worldwide are active participants in this network. Within the network, universities pair with a counterpart institution from a different country to work on a specific design challenge during one academic year. Design challenges are presented by participating sponsoring companies. The aim is to come up with novel solutions. While taking part, companies leverage not only the solutions, but also the design innovation process. Project teams are formed with masters level students from two universities. Team members typically carry a disciplinary mix of skills and knowledge relevant to the project area from various backgrounds – including design, electronics, computing, manufacturing and business. Teams also follow a user-centred design process with numerous prototyping


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As two participants of the design innovation network, TCD professor Kevin Kelly and USP professor Eduardo Zancul found that they shared similar interests, backgrounds and proposals on innovation and design teaching.

cycles to generate alternative concepts. These concepts are tested early with users in order to obtain feedback for the following prototyping cycles. This design approach emphasises the combined consideration of the usability, the business viability and the technical feasibility of each project. The teams then generate a solution that balances the requirements and trade-offs from these three dimensions. The combined international team meets face-to-face at the beginning of the academic year for an intensive kickoff/bootcamp. Additional face-to-face meetings (typically one to two) at the host locations are scheduled during the project cycle. At the final presentation, all teams meet at Stanford University in the US for a final design exhibition. Most of the work is done by the team collaborating remotely. Working in a diverse team and in an international context poses many challenges. Students are supervised and guided to meet the challenges and deliver the benefits of this diversity.

As two participants of the design innovation network, TCD professor Kevin Kelly and USP professor Eduardo Zancul found that they shared similar interests, backgrounds and proposals on innovation and design teaching. They also considered that their universities could mutually benefit from the cultural interaction. Brazil and Ireland are very distinct countries in many aspects. However, those who have travelled across the Atlantic from one country to the other will often note similar traits such as flexibility, willingness to work hard, and a general sense of optimism. Moreover, there are many potential opportunities marketwise, and synergies in science and technology, exploiting the strengths of each country. It was evident for the TCD and USP professors that collaboration would be beneficial – especially in the formation of young professionals better prepared to continue nurturing further cooperation and exchange between Ireland and Brazil, an existing demand due to the growing company internationalisation taking place in both countries. That collaboration came to fruition in 2015 when TCD and USP undertook a joint innovation project in the area of human-robot interaction. The aim of the project was to create a social interaction interface for robots of the future. One specific robot application of consideration was assistance to the elderly. The need for this kind of application will increase as most countries populations’ include an

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About USP

Researchers from Ireland and Brazil joined forces in a revolutionary project that could help change the lives of elderly people around the world

increasing proportion of elderly people. The proposed solution involved knowledge from multiple areas, from psychology and anthropology to knowledge on the state-of-the-art technological components needed to provide better human-robot interaction. The developed interaction interface complements a domestic robot for personal assistance that has been part of ongoing research at TCD for many years. This pre-existing project has gained new perspectives from the design team focusing on the humanrobot interaction. The project was considered highly successful, with students from each institution visiting the other and demonstrating their final results at the exhibition fair at Stanford University in June 2016. July 2016 saw an additional step in the collaboration – highlighting the

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strengthened relationship resulting from the initiative – when USP Professor Eduardo Zancul was invited to TCD to work more closely with Professor Kevin Kelly. The main focus of the visit was to explore further opportunities for student exchange between the institutions and to share best practices in design education. The human-robot interaction project came to an end, but the collaboration work behind it did not end there – the two leading professors have several concrete plans in place. Kevin Kelly said: “I hope this is only the start. There are many good reasons for continuing the work we’ve done and I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made so far.” Eduardo Zancul added: “The visit to TCD has opened up a number of potential joint activities for the future in different fields. Our discussions included knowledge

The University of São Paulo (USP) is a major higher education and research institution in Brazil. It develops a large number of Brazilian masters and doctors who work in higher education and research institutes. It is a public and free university, with open access for students selected by an entrance exam. Many of these students, after graduation, hold strategic and leading functions in different segments of public and private industries.

sharing on implementation of teaching and innovation spaces on schools of engineering and alternatives to increase the exchange of students.” During the next few months, the professors will work to support student exchange. They hope to see an increased number of student exchange opportunities as part of the goal to prepare undergraduates to work in an increasingly globalised world. The possibility of conducting additional bilateral design innovation projects involving the industry is also being explored. This collaboration will certainly continue and the future for Ireland-Brazil cooperation looks very promising. For further information or to contact Professor Kevin Kelly at TCD, please visit global-innovation/index.php.


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Enhancing Ireland’s

Infrastructure Ervia is working to secure national gas and water services for the 21st century.


1,500 direct employees


aving evolved from Bord Gáis Eireann in 2014, Ervia is the state-owned multi-utility company responsible for Ireland’s national gas and water infrastructure but perhaps not a company you’d readily think of. As one of our largest indigenous companies with 1,500 direct and 5,700 indirect employees in partner organisations providing services to 2.4 million customers, Ervia contributed a1.8 billion to the Irish economy in 2015, a1.3bn of this to Irish suppliers. For a major state company with a 40 year legacy, the past three years have been transformative for Ervia. Bord Gáis Eireann (BGE) was formed in 1976 to maximise the potential of the natural gas discovered in Kinsale Head and over the following decades the company rehabilitated the old city and town gas networks and built a modern one, which is among the safest and most reliable in the world. By 2013, change was on the horizon. Bord Gáis Energy, BGE’s retail energy subsidiary was sold, Bord Gáis Networks was rebranded to Gas Networks Ireland, the parent Bord Gáis Éireann became Ervia, and a brand new national water utility, Irish Water, was established from scratch as part of Ervia. The new company would take over the delivery of water services from 31 local authorities and oversee the rehabilitation of Ireland’s water infrastructure.


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+ 5,700 indirect employees

+ 2.4m customers


a1.8bn contributed to the Irish economy in 2015

Today Ervia delivers gas and water services through its two operating companies, Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water. Every major sector in the Irish economy depends on the services it provides to run their business supporting vital employment across the country. Ervia is committed to enhancing the health and the quality of life of the people of Ireland, protecting our environment and enabling economic growth by delivering reliable, quality water and gas services. Ervia continues to invest in order to enhance and expand the national gas network and

has started to address the massive underinvestment in Ireland’s water and wastewater infrastructure. In 2015 Gas Networks Ireland invested a109m in its network and secured approval to build a a94m 50km gas pipeline in Scotland enhancing Ireland’s energy security. It brought gas to Nenagh and began work to deliver gas to Wexford. The completion of the Corrib project brought about the first flow of indigenous gas since 1976. Through Gas Networks Ireland Ervia continues to build advocacy for natural gas as a transition fuel to a low carbon economy.

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Ervia is responsibile for the delivery of gas and water infrastructure and services in Ireland

Water services in Ireland have suffered from a lack of investment and appropriate maintenance for decades generating a huge requirement for certain shortfalls to be addressed. Irish Water has had a turbulent start but in less than three years it has delivered the first 25-year strategic plan for water services and the first national plan to deal with lead pipes and drinking water quality. It has upgraded 100 water treatment plants and begun work on more than 300 new projects to improve water supply and wastewater treatment around the country. More than 600km of old leaking water mains have been replaced and 50 million litres of water is being saved every day (enough to supply two counties) through the First Fix leak repair programme. Additionally, 300,000 water customers are no longer on the EPA’s “at risk” drinking water register and 30,000 people no longer have to boil

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their drinking water as they did for many years. All of this was done while delivering operational efficiencies of a70m and capital efficiencies of a149m, more than the set up cost of the utility. For our water and wastewater services, the challenge is enormous. a5.5bn will be invested by 2021 but up to a13bn will be needed over several investment cycles to bring Ireland’s water services and infrastructure to an acceptable standard. Ervia is committed to delivering the investment and transformation necessary to ensure safe and reliable water and wastewater infrastructure and services for Ireland and to ensure continued safe and reliable gas infrastructure and services. We recognise the importance of this to support and facilitate economic growth and to meet the needs of communities and society more broadly in Ireland.

ERVIA’S CSR ACTIVITIES Ervia is committed to conducting its business in a responsible manner and having respect for the people we work for and with, the wider community and the environment. Part of the Ervia ethos is to be mindful of the impact of our activities and maintain our reputation and the trust of those who interact with us. Our Corporate Social Responsibility activity can be divided into four categories; the marketplace, the community, our workplace and the environment.


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The Perfect Gift

THIS SEASON The House of Waterford Crystal has the largest collection of Waterford Crystal products in the world to provide the ideal gift for someone special.


t this time of the year individuals and companies start considering the ideal gifts for family, friends and best customers within their business. The House of Waterford Crystal has the largest collection of Waterford Crystal products in the world to provide the perfect gift this season. At its factory and brand experience in Waterford it has many collections to suit any occasion, your preferred customer or even an employee award.

OUR LISMORE POPS Waterford’s Lismore is the most endearing crystal-cut pattern in its history. Its beauty and elegance has made it Waterford’s most popular and loved collection. It graces the tables of presidents, Hollywood stars and royalty. Lismore will add grace and beauty to any home. Its new collection, Lismore Pops, introduces fresh and bright colours, which bring a chic and contemporary edge to the classic Lismore pattern. The colour really adds a new dimension to these beautiful products. The range includes champagne glasses in five striking colours; purple, emerald, aqua, orange and hot pink. They are priced at a165 per pair.


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THE PERFECT GIFT ASSORTMENT The beauty of giftology lies in its ease and convenience. Waterford has a wide choice of products that are ideal gifts to say thank you to a friend or customer. Giftology’s signature cylindrical tubes – in eye popping colours with gold accents and the prominent Waterford logo – make for elegant gifts, ones which are ready for immediate presentation and instant delight. The collection includes a clock, vase, butterfly, shot glasses, tumblers, votive and other timeless items. The ideal gift for any occasion, they are available from a45.

MAKE IT PERSONAL There is nothing better than receiving the gift of Waterford with your name, the occasion or company logo etched onto the crystal. At Waterford they take great pride in providing that individual touch for your gifts.

AT YOU SERVICE Why not take advantage of Waterford’s gift card, wrapping and global shipping service. Many clients enjoy the service that Tom Walsh and his team can provide to corporate clients and consumers at Waterford.

HOW TO GET IN TOUCH Contact Tom as follows: Office: +353 51 317043 Mobile: +353 87 1209143 Email: Web: Facebook: House of Waterford Crystal Twitter: @WaterfordCrystl Instagram: waterfordcrystalfactory

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Trade Sales

Growth Funding

Debt Advisory


Mazars Corporate Finance Looking at Funding Options - A partner who delivers Funding options in Ireland have increased significantly and understanding the best option for your business is critical when funding the deal. At Mazars Corporate Finance we know the funding market and don’t just take our word for it ask our clients. For more information, contact John Bowe, Managing Director of Mazars Corporate Finance John Bowe Tel: 01 449 6400 Email: corporate-finance-advert.indd 1 240504_1C_Mazars_IB_Chambers.indd 1

02/06/2016 16:06:36 14/10/2016 10:03

Are you interested in working with a leading national charity which makes a real difference in the lives of individuals and families throughout Ireland, every day of every year? Aware has CSR opportunities across:  Charity Partnerships  Sponsorship of Events or Programmes  Staff Engagement  Fundraising To talk through opportunities, please contact us now. We would love to hear from you! Contact: Gerry O’Brien Head of Fundraising and Business Development, Aware T: 01 237 4920 | e: | m: 087 675 8109 Aware relies on corporate/public donations and fundraising for 85% of its annual funding, so your company’s support really will make a difference. Thank You.

Changing Lives. Saving Lives. 240768_2L_Aware_IB_Chambers 9.03.indd 1 Rehab-Case Study-Mollys Story-Press Ad-2.pdf




The Meadows

Our daughter, Molly is 12 years old and she has autism and is non-verbal. She has attended the Meadows in Navan since 2013, and it is a little lifeline for us. Sometimes she goes on day trips during the week and other times she goes for a night at the weekend.







19/09/2016 13:51


She has her own room. It’s a good step for her as she enters into her teenage years. The service gives Molly a place to be independent, away from me and her dad, Mick and her sister, Hannah. The staff members are fantastic. They are kind and offer reassurance, a hug if it’s needed and they are always in contact, letting us know how Molly is getting on. It can be hard to let go as a parent but the staff are always so nice and nothing is too much trouble. They make you feel comfortable and Molly is content going there. It also gives Hannah an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with her dad and me, which can be difficult.

y r o t S s Molly



The Meadows respite service is a massive support to our family – they are an “A1 team”.

Deirdre Rafferty whose daughter Molly attends RehabCare’s The Meadows Respite Service in Co. Meath

Tel: 00353 (0) 1 2057200 | Email: | Rehab Group, Beach Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4 |

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ESB, Winner of the Outstanding Achievement in CSR Award

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Pat McDonagh, Owner Supermac’s, Trócaire Supporter.

“ my business has helped children children go go to to

school and and provided provided

water to

vulnerable villages in in

zimbabwe “

Find out what your business can do by partnering with Trócaire: Please contact us on 00 353 1 629 3333 or visit Trócaire Head Office, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland Irish Charity No. CHY 5883

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BEST IN CLASS IN CSR The 13th Chambers Ireland CSR Awards highlighted the level of dedication and creativity shown by Irish businesses in carrying out their CSR strategies.


SB was the winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award at the 2016 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards held in the DoubleTree Hilton in Dublin on September 1st 2016. ESB was selected by the judging panel for having CSR practices embedded at the company’s core and for the organisation’s ongoing dedication to community engagement and responsible business practices. The 13th annual awards was run in association with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, partnered with Business in the Community Ireland and sponsored by BAM Ireland, with the Environmental Protection Agency

sponsoring the Excellence in Environment Award. Each winner was presented with a specially commissioned trophy designed by Waterford Crystal. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, said: “The business community plays an important role in Irish society and each year the CSR Awards recognise the level of commitment to corporate responsibility displayed across the Irish business community. Tonight, we are delighted to celebrate the contribution made by Irish companies not just for the benefit of the company itself but also to the wider community and to the many beneficiaries of charity partners.”

OTHER AWARDS PRESENTED ON THE NIGHT EXCELLENCE IN CSR COMMUNICATIONS ■ Three Ireland for Together We Can Tackle Homelessness EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – PARTNERSHIP WITH CHARITY – LIC ■ Bon Secours Hospital Cork for its support of the Social Skills App for children with autism EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – PARTNERSHIP WITH CHARITY – MNC ■ Three Ireland for its charity partnership with An Cosán Virtual Community College EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT – LIC ■ Dawn Meats for implementation of Carroll’s Cross Resource Management Excellence. EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT – MNC ■ Abbott Ireland for its project Abbott’s Journey to Achieving 2020 Environment Goal EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – VOLUNTEERING – LIC ■ Trinity College Dublin for its Trinity Access 21 programme EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – VOLUNTEERING – MNC ■ Oracle for Sales Skills Community and Voluntary Sector

ESB, winner of the Outstanding Achievement in CSR Award

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EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY PROGRAMME – LIC ■ Laya Healthcare for the project Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY PROGRAMME – MNC ■ Microsoft for implementing the Tech4Good programme. EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE CSR - LIC ■ Bank of Ireland for the initiative Be at your Best EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE CSR – MNC ■ PayPal for its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy EXCELLENCE IN MARKETPLACE CSR ■ Arthur Cox for helping to change Irish legislation on human rights around immigration EXCELLENCE IN SUPPORTING YOUTH EMPLOYMENT ■ Diageo Ireland for Diageo Learning For Life EXCELLENCE IN CSR BY AN SME ■ Carey Building Contractors for implementation of resource efficiency strategies

*LIC: Large Indigenous Company | *MNC: Multinational Company


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


SB’s position as Ireland’s foremost energy company makes it a vital cog in building a brighter, more sustainable future. CSR is at the heart of the firm’s business vision, and ESB invests significantly in its people and communities to help it reach its full potential, for which it was recently awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the 2016 Chambers Ireland CSR awards. For generations, ESB’s Apprenticeship Programme has been part of this ethos, and thousands of staff have undertaken training – both practical and academic – since the establishment of the ESB Networks Training Centre in Portlaoise in 1969. Youth unemployment remains a huge

social and economic issue in Ireland, but ESB’s Apprenticeship Programme actively works to assist young people in getting started along their career path. The programme, nominated for the CSR award for Excellence in Supporting Youth Employment, is open to young people who have successfully completed their Junior Certificate, offering an alternative

path to further education and employment that is a better fit for many young people. At the end of the four-year programme, participants exit as fully qualified network technicians. With continued investment even throughout the economic recession, the programme remains a critical facet of the ongoing development and transformation of ESB. “ESB’s Apprenticeship Programme is a core part of how ESB ensures its longterm future and ability to successfully compete in the Irish energy market and serve electricity customers,” says Michael Conry, Training and Development Manager at ESB Networks. “ESB invests four years in the development of each apprentice, during which their first priority is to learn; from on-job rotations, from training in the ESB Networks Training Centre, and from external training delivery by external training partners.” Last year the company announced plans to recruit 300 new apprentices over the next five years, as part of a large scale recruitment and development programme. The desire to empower communities and enable people to reach their full potential has always been the central purpose of ESB and the programme enables young people in these communities to do just that.


People of all ages across the country took part in Tree Week 2016


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Alongside a focus on empowering individuals and communities, ESB is committed to sustainability and community engagement, highlighted by its development of a decarbonised electricity system for Ireland. As part of this drive, ESB took over the title sponsorship of Tree Week in 2015, InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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an annual event organised by the Tree Council of Ireland (TCOI) and supported by Coillte, which aims to promote the planting, care and conservation of trees. In the sixmonth period preceding Tree Week 2016 (March 6th-13th), ESB worked with the TCOI to create innovative and engaging experiences. The firm also developed a creative communications campaign which combined traditional activities such as tree planting events and talks with unique and engaging content to drive PR and social media coverage. The campaign included successful staff mobilisation, membership support, innovative partnerships with Spar and several independent coffee outlets, and staff-led events such as school visits, wind farm open days and other local events. According to the TCOI, 2016 was the most successful Tree Week in its 32-year history, thanks to ESB’s modernisation efforts, which widened the audience and boosted participation. The highest ever level of member led events (198) was recorded, with over 20,000 trees planted and 15,000 seed packs given away, alongside excellent levels of engagement by ESB staff. “National Tree Week is a great fit for ESB as we share common values around sustainability and teamwork and, most importantly, being part of the community. Trees play a vital role in enhancing public health and wellbeing, but Ireland has very low levels of forestation compared to the rest of Europe,” explains ESB’s Bevin Cody. “Through our partnership with the Tree Council of Ireland, we wanted to highlight ESB’s commitment to a low carbon energy future while also encouraging communities around Ireland to get outdoors to learn about, grow and enjoy trees.”

SUPPORTIVE WORKPLACE ESB’s CSR initiatives also seek improvements within the company, with investment in its people a key priority. Constantly striving to create a happy and supportive environment for employees, ESB InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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The winning team from ESB collect their award for Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility

remains committed to working towards an engaged, diverse and inclusive workplace, strengthened by its Diversity Strategy. Recognition of the challenges that employees face when they go on maternity leave and the difficulties in reintegrating back into the workforce has led to the development of the ESB Maternity Positive Programme, which was nominated for the CSR Excellence in Workplace (LIC) award. Developed in conjunction with coaching consultancy Talking Talent, the programme consists of a series of workshops for employees going through maternity or adoption. To date, almost 100 participants from across the country have taken part. The programme has been endorsed by ESB’s Executive Director team, and a senior manager has been appointed as programme sponsor to ensure its continued success, highlighting its important role within the company. Since its official launch in 2015, the programme has had a positive impact, leading to an increased awareness of the importance of inclusion across the company, while a New Dads module is a recent addition to support all working parents. Effectively communicating such CSR endeavours is essential – it enables the firm to prove its commitment and multiply its

impact. A great example is the work undertaken to highlight the impact and importance of the Energy for Generations Fund, which invests over a2 million annually across a range of community and issue-based initiatives, and which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2015. ESB celebrated this momentous occasion by engaging its staff, CEO, partners and other key stakeholders through a range of activities and events including CSR thought leadership panel discussions, media outreach, internal communications and much more. Such efforts have initiated a wider dialogue both internally and externally, copperfastening ESB’s position as Ireland’s foremost energy company and the role it plays in building a brighter, more sustainable future. “For ESB, communicating our CSR is essential, as it enables us to prove our commitment,” says Anne Cooney, ESB’s Group CSR Coordinator. “I would strongly encourage other companies to adopt strong CSR practices. The direct benefits of CSR are limitless – it drives innovation, trust and transparency, ensures competitiveness and engages the workforce. Strong CSR practices can bring great positivity and enthusiasm to our workplace – and we all benefit from that.”


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A Workplace

AT ITS BEST We spoke with Julie Sharp, Head of Group Human Resources at Bank of Ireland, to discover more about the bank’s approach to workplace excellence and CSR.


s a business that has been serving Irish communities for more than 230 years, Bank of Ireland strives to continually improve its business and the impact on all stakeholders, including colleagues, customers and the wider community. CSR is firmly embedded in the bank’s operations. Bank of Ireland publishes an annual Responsible Business Report that presents a comprehensive picture of what happened across the group throughout the previous year, through the lens of customers, communities, colleagues, and the environment. The report has become a catalyst for creating strategic engagement, and improving programmes across the bank.

Head sheds were introduced in large buildings to drive awareness of positive mental health


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WORKPLACE WELLBEING A core aspect of Bank of Ireland’s CSR strategy revolves around the creation of a sustainable workplace that provides the opportunity for learning and professional development, and supports the physical and mental wellbeing of bank employees. With this objective in mind, Bank of Ireland formally launched its Be At Your Best (BAYB) programme in January 2014, a wellbeing programme that helps colleagues support their physical health and mental wellbeing while taking positive steps in their careers. BAYB was awarded the Excellence in Workplace CSR award at the recent 2016 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. “We wanted to create a culture for colleagues to increase their physical and mental wellbeing. The programme encourages our colleagues to actively take control of their wellbeing and to build personal resilience,” explains Julie Sharp, Head of Group Human Resources at Bank of Ireland. “The initiative combines supportive exercise, nutritional advice, and mindfulness programmes. These include seminars and an extensive range of activities which aim to change lifetime habits, improve health and exercise, and increase resilience.” The programme is underpinned by a Be At Your Best champion structure across every business unit in the company. There are over 150 champions, who have been actively engaged in promoting and encouraging participation. This has been an important factor in ensuring the initiative is properly communicated and supported throughout the company. The continued success of the programme is owed to strong staff engagement and a comprehensive communications

Julie Sharp, Head of Group Human Resources

programme and, now in its third year of existence, BAYB is firmly embedded within Bank of Ireland’s culture. “Wellbeing initiatives are on the increase and businesses are responding to the need to create value and meaning for employees in the workplace beyond the job description. Across the bank we see our colleagues actively participating in a whole array of initiatives such as fundraising for one of our five flagship charities, running in our Couch to 5k, or participating in one of our lunchtime mindfulness meditation sessions,” says Sharp. “In designing our Be At Your Best programme the bank worked with Dr Maureen Gaffney, a psychologist, writer, and broadcaster who acted as a consultant for the programme. Our programme is broadly based on her book Flourishing, where Dr Gaffney outlines how people can utilise the concept of stress related growth to overcome adversity, maximise potential, and enjoy life.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Bank colleagues participating in a couch to 5k physical wellbeing programme which culminated in a 5k event in Leopardstown, Dublin

EMBRACING CSR Sharp believes that embracing CSR is an important step in balancing the needs of a business with its wider responsibilities to the communities in which people live and work. “We’re a business and like any business it is important to behave commercially. Bank of Ireland has the largest community footprint across Ireland. Our business is very much embedded in communities; for example, our Enterprise Town programme, which represents the bank’s largest community engagement initiative,” she says. This year over a1 million will be invested by the bank in 100 individual Enterprise Town events. The two day expos connect local business and community groups, help people grow their local economies, and foster a renewed sense of purpose for the whole community. “It’s a win-win initiative because it helps communities to thrive, enables us to maintain a local presence, and in turn finance local businesses. Through having a well developed CSR strategy we acknowledge our wider responsibilities to society,” Sharp adds. “It allows us to connect with our key stakeholders on a number of different levels about the areas that are important to them. As a result, our stakeholders increasingly seek InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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greater transparency about what’s happening across the bank.”

MAKING A DIFFERENCE Over the past year Bank of Ireland has continued to develop its corporate social responsibility programme. Sharp explains that the bank leverages its local presence across Ireland to support a wide range of other initiatives and programmes. “Through the bank’s partnership with CoderDojo we support young people in developing their coding skills. To date, we’ve helped to start 25 separate dojos in our branches around the country, as well as facilitating pop-up dojos at major events such as Enterprise Town and the National Ploughing Championships,” she says. “Additionally, we’re helping to develop entrepreneurial skills in primary school children through our collaboration with BizWorld Ireland. This is a business skills development and entrepreneurship programme for 11-12 year olds that takes place in the classroom, aiming to provide children with tools and inspiration through practical business workshops. The bank’s collaboration has already delivered 100 new BizWorld workshops this year.” The bank also holds regular ‘Tea and Teach’ sessions in its branches,

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to educate customers on digital technology. Employees volunteer with retirement groups to provide reassurance and help people to get comfortable with their digital devices, not just in terms of banking, but also general internet tips and usage. Together these initiatives add up to a comprehensive CSR strategy, highlighting Bank of Ireland’s active embracement of CSR to promote change in Irish communities. “This year Bank of Ireland received the CSR Excellence in Workplace award. This award is one that is shared by all our colleagues, from the core team who designed the BAYB initiative, to hundreds of champions across the bank,” says Sharp. “As a company, it is rewarding to activate programmes from the ground, and have thousands of colleagues who actively participate in them. We know from talking to our colleagues that everyone has participated in at least one activity and there is something in it for everyone. Bank of Ireland takes great heart in the external validation of these collective efforts.”

Bank staff were trained by Pieta House to help introduce a Mind ur Buddy initiative to support fellow colleagues


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TO COMMUNITIES Three Ireland was recognised at the recent Chambers Ireland CSR Awards for its strong and visible commitment to communities across Ireland.


t Three Ireland, corporate responsibility is about showing a strong and visible commitment to the communities in which it operates across the country. The company’s focus on corporate responsibility begins with a simple commitment to principled decision making in all that it does, and its corporate responsibility activities help

Three to meet its customers’ needs, enhance employee engagement, reduce its environmental impact, grow community support and ultimately build a stronger company.

FINDING THE RIGHT PARTNER Following Three’s acquisition of O2 Ireland in 2014, and recognising the important role of CSR engagement, the organisation commenced a process to find a new corporate charity partner for a three-year period. Following a detailed, employee-led process, which highlighted the importance of education and learning among disadvantaged young people to Three employees, An Cosán Virtual

Community College (VCC) was chosen. VCC is a start-up education initiative established by An Cosán with a unique vision – to eliminate poverty and social inequality using online and mobile technology. VCC provides online education to people from marginalised communities, empowering them to achieve their potential through virtual technologies, and Three’s work with the charity led to the CSR Excellence in Community (Partnership with Charity) award at the 2016 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. The relationship is ongoing; a holistic partnership approach whereby VCC is completely embedded within Three as its strategic charity partner. Two senior managers from Three

Three employees at the Docklands 5k challenge for VCC


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sit on the VCC Advisory Council, monthly strategic planning meetings are held with VCC, and an annual donation is bolstered by fundraising events, an employee skills volunteering programme, e-mentoring and more. Having assisted in getting the programme off the ground, Three’s partnership with VCC continues to yield dividends. With the assistance of Three’s skills and consultancy based volunteering, VCC is on track to reach 1,000 students by the end of 2018. Last year, employee fundraising helped establish the Student Education Fund, benefiting 50 students to date. Research indicates that for every one student achieving an educational award it will have a positive impact on eight associates. Each student becomes an ambassador for the power of education, thus breaking the cycle of intergenerational educational disadvantage and resultant poverty in communities. “Being a small start-up charity working to tackle the issue of poverty at a grassroots level through education is never an easy thing, but the partnership with Three has given us so much inspiration to keep on pushing forward and reaching for what has sometimes felt like the unreachable. To say I’m grateful is an understatement,” said Liz Waters, Director, VCC.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT Skills volunteering by Three’s employees has proved critical in the success of the partnership thus far, facilitated by Three’s provision of 15 hours annually for volunteering purposes. Employees have volunteered their time and skills in numerous areas to support VCC to date, including website design and build, social media training, virtual learning consultancy, copywriting, communications and marketing consultancy, legal and data protection advice, m-Learning advice and strategic support. The e-Mentor programme to support VCC students in achieving their educational goals is a great example of how Three’s employee skills are making a real and lasting InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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MAKING A REAL DIFFERENCE For its final RBS 6 Nations championship as sponsor of the national Irish rugby team, Three wanted to challenge itself to devise an innovative campaign that would give back to society and create a lasting legacy. The company focused on the issue of homelessness, one of the major issues currently faced by Irish society. Noting the incredible work undertaken by Focus Ireland on a daily basis, Three leveraged its sponsorship of the Irish rugby team before and during the RBS 6 Nations championship to harness the goodwill, enthusiasm and passion of rugby fans, providing Focus Ireland with a a1 million marketing campaign comprising of advertising, digital, PR activity and a fundraising drive. Awareness was the main focus of the ‘Together We Can Tackle Homelessness’ campaign, which won the CSR Excellence in Communication award, and to date over 6.5 million people have had an opportunity to learn more about the issue of hidden homelessness. The resulting shift in the public’s understanding of the issue has generated a marked increase in support for Focus Ireland, prompting over 47,400 donations. “We do not have the resources to launch a campaign anywhere near this scale, so Three’s generosity has gone a long way in helping us to achieve a new awareness of homelessness in Ireland,” said Ashley Balbirnie, CEO, Focus Ireland. “This was a very welcome opportunity to create an impactful campaign and raise funds that will ultimately change lives.”

difference. In November 2015, Three launched the first round of e-mentoring with a group of students based around Dublin, which has since expanded to include a group of students in Wexford. Through the e-Mentor programme, mentors and students discuss and agree a number of learning goals based on the students’ needs. Weekly sessions are set up during the course term and the mentor supports, encourages and advises their mentee to reach their learning goals. Skills for Volunteering for VCC also provides employees with a meaningful opportunity to give back to the community, and to develop their own skills and learn new skills in a positive and supportive environment. The VCC model is very relevant to Three’s business, and gives Three the opportunity to really support VCC by using its own services and employee expertise for social good. The firm believes that over a three-year period it can really make a difference in terms of helping to turn VCC into a sustainable educational entity, thus making education more

accessible to disadvantaged communities and helping people from marginalised communities to escape the poverty trap. Three’s hard work and commitment to communities across the country was recognised at the recent Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. “We were delighted to win both the Excellence in CSR Communication and the Partnership with Charity Awards at this year’s event. Not only is it great recognition for Three and our employees’ volunteering efforts, but it also showcases the really important work that our charity partners are doing in the area of homelessness and social disadvantage,” says Jill Johnston, CSR Manager, Three Ireland. “Engaging in a business practice that involves initiatives that benefit society whilst managing your social and environmental impacts can only be good for your business. Not only is this what customers expect, but it’s also an important factor in recruiting new employees, especially those from the millennial generation who enjoy working for organisations that are focused on giving back to their communities.”


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ABBOTT: 70 years of innovation in Ireland Abbott continues to place an emphasis on global citizenship, striving to drive sustainability in all that it does.


oday, with almost 3,000 colleagues at ten sites across the country, Abbott is one of the largest healthcare companies in Ireland, celebrating our 70th anniversary this year. In addition to commercial operations in Dublin and business service centres in Dublin and Westport, we have manufacturing facilities for our diabetes care business in Donegal, for nutrition in Cootehill and Sligo, for diagnostics in Sligo and Longford, and for vascular devices in Clonmel. Abbott is in the business of life, believing that good health is the starting point for all of life’s possibilities. We look at health from all sides, working to create solutions that make life better for people of all ages, in all aspects and stages of life, wherever they are in the world. And this belief in the power of health informs our approach to global citizenship. The goal of our global citizenship strategy


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is to achieve sustainable growth, deliver innovative solutions and build stronger communities around the world to help more people live their best lives.

OUR PRIORITIES We have focused our global citizenship efforts around three areas that are fundamental to our sustainability as a business – and support us in helping more people live full, healthy lives. Safeguarding the Environment: At Abbott, we are committed to reducing our global environmental impact, from the sourcing of raw materials and the manufacturing and distribution of our products, to their use and disposal by their end users. Globally we have set ambitious goals for the year 2020 that include 40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, 30 per cent reduction in total water intake and 50 per cent reduction in total waste generated. Abbott in Ireland has a deep commitment to contributing to the worldwide environmental goals. Ireland is a major manufacturing base for Abbott, with six manufacturing sites across the four provinces. The environmental, health and safety (EHS) teams across Abbott sites lead projects that positively impact our business, communities, and employees. The environment is a key strategic resource, and it must be protected so it can continue to be the basis for our health, wellbeing, and a sustainable economy. In Ireland, local teams lead projects that positively impact our business, communities, and employees. Examples include eliminating landfill waste at all six Abbott manufacturing sites

Globally we have set ambitious goals for the year 2020 that include 40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. in Ireland, ISO 50001 accreditation, waste recycling as part of ISO 14001, and energy and CO2 reduction programmes that include projects such as steam boiler conversions, LED lighting projects, chilled water and hot water energy compressors and e-car charging stations. In 2016, Abbott in Ireland was awarded the ‘Excellence in Environment’ at the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. “At Abbott we are committed to reducing our global environmental impacts across our business. We have three environmental priorities – climate change, water usage and waste management – and are focused on achieving ambitious environmental goals in these areas by 2020,” said John Kilcoyne, director at Abbott. “Abbott employees across Ireland are fully engaged in supporting our environmental goals and ambitions, and this is reflected in the achievements of our six manufacturing sites in implementing a range of innovative environmental solutions. This award is a tribute to the efforts of all our employees.” Delivering Product Excellence: Everywhere we operate and in everything we do, we are committed to innovation consistent with the highest standards of quality and safety. This will ensure we deliver leading products that help people get InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Safeguarding the environment is a key priority for Abbott

healthy and stay healthy, at all stages of life. Our products and services play a vital role in improving health around the world. We work with a range of partners to increase access and empower people to make wellinformed choices about their health. We do this through a combination of educational and infrastructure development programmes, supporting healthcare professionals, governments, patients, and consumers. Two of our plants, Clonmel and Longford, have received the prestigious Shingo Prize, which recognises organisations that have achieved world class operational excellence. Improving Access: Much of the world lacks basic healthcare infrastructure, with critical shortages of professionals trained in modern diagnosis and treatment protocols, as well as insufficient numbers of facilities and healthcare services. In addition, healthcare practitioners in developing nations often lack access to the latest information about chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, all of which are increasingly prevalent. Despite such challenges, Abbott is successfully boosting access to a wide range of healthcare services and products, working in partnership with numerous government agencies, healthcare professional societies, nongovernmental organisations and other key stakeholders. One such example InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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is the Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home Programme that won ‘Excellence in Marketplace’ at the 2014 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards.

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS PRACTICES Abbott wants to be known as a great place to work. We offer innovative employee programmes that help our people reach their full potential and live healthy, well-balanced lives. In 2016, Abbott was awarded the Top Employers Ireland 2016 and Top Employers Europe 2016 certification. The comprehensive, independent research from Top Employer confirmed that Abbott provides a forward thinking environment that is continuously working to optimise its employee conditions and is leading the way in the development of its people.

Our citizenship approach allows us to place sustainability and inclusiveness at the core of what we do

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Employee Development and Talent: In 2016, Abbott won the Best Internship Programme at the gradIreland Graduate Recruitment Awards. Our award winning Professional Development Programme (PDP) is open to entry-level employees and gives new talent the opportunity to rotate through key positions in different Abbott businesses and locations around the world. PDP participants work side-by-side with Abbott professionals, learning and growing from their mentors and benefiting from hands-on experience in a range of areas over the course of the two-year programme. Depending on their career track, participants might work in engineering, environmental health and safety, finance, IT, manufacturing, regulatory affairs or quality assurance. Talent Management: Development planning provides every employee with the opportunity to improve in their current role, anticipate challenges and prepare to compete for future roles. Abbott’s robust approach to talent management incorporates skills assessments, performance appraisals, succession and development planning and career pathing. Our integrated talent management process gives increased visibility to talent within our organisation, enhances the accuracy of our assessments and drives consistency in skills mapping. LiveLifeWell: At Abbott, our LiveLifeWell programme supports and inspires employees to be well, live their healthiest life and achieve their best. The programmes ensure our employees across our ten sites embrace a holistic approach to their physical and mental wellbeing. LiveLifeWell helps our employees to learn about their health risks and encourages them to make healthy choices. LiveLifeWell includes on-site health screenings, mental health first aiders training, health awareness talks on cancer, nutrition and mental health, money skills advice, smoking cessation advice and much more.


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A lasting CSR LEGACY A positive pro bono culture is nurtured and developed within law firm Arthur Cox, honouring the legacy of its founder. The firm was recently recognised for its tireless work at the 2016 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards.


his year law firm Arthur Cox won the Excellence in Marketplace award at the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards for its work with the Immigrant Council of Ireland. This relationship is part of the firm’s commitment to providing pro bono legal services which is one of the four main pillars of the firm’s CSR policy. The firm’s founder, Arthur Cox, was a well-known philanthropist. From its beginnings nearly 100 years ago, this ethos has been incorporated into the running of the firm. Arthur Cox’s legacy continues with CSR endeavours that go from strength to strength each year. The firm has put a great deal of effort into the design and implementation of its CSR policy and programme. The CSR aspect of its practice is one of the key components of the way that Arthur Cox does business.

ON THE FRONT LINE Pro bono work is an opportunity for staff from the firm to exercise their professional services free of charge, or for a substantially reduced fee, to disadvantaged or marginalised people who cannot afford legal services. Arthur Cox has had a series of secondments at the Immigrant Council of Ireland since 2013 whereby trainees spend a number of months working at the Council. The results are of huge benefit to the many migrant families that access the Council’s legal services annually. The Immigrant Council of Ireland was established by Sister Stanislaus


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Kenney in 2001 to develop innovative responses to Ireland’s changing society. Demand for the Council’s services has grown significantly since then, with more than 5,000 enquiries being dealt with each year. Since 2013, six members of staff from Arthur Cox have been seconded to the Council. Each secondee has worked exclusively for the law centre at the Council’s offices for the duration of their three to six month individual placement. These Arthur Cox secondees were trainees and paralegals, selected for the placements based on their personal interest in human rights issues.

The Council selects strategic cases where it is hoped a longterm impact can be made, particularly in the areas of human trafficking, domestic violence and recognition of de facto couples. The Council selects strategic cases where it is hoped a long-term impact can be made, particularly in the areas of human trafficking, domestic violence and recognition of de facto couples. One of the more high profile campaigns that the Council has been involved in with the help of Arthur Cox secondees is the Turn off the Red Light campaign, working with the survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking to demand change in legislation.

POSITIVE CULTURE As the Council has very limited resources, the decision by Arthur Cox to second members of staff on a pro bono basis has proved invaluable. But the benefits of this relationship are not just one sided. Time at the Council has exposed Arthur Cox staff to court experience related to human rights issues to which they would not usually be exposed as part of life in a commercial law firm. Arthur Cox encourages and promotes the pro bono culture within the firm. The firm is delighted to be able to work with the Council to assist in changing Irish legislation on key human rights issues around immigration. Describing his time at the Council Shane McCarthy, an Arthur Cox trainee recently returned from his placement, says: “Resources at the Council are limited so everyone there is very hands on, not just on day to day legal work, but also having input into areas like marketing and advertising campaigns for social change on issues like racism and prostitution.” The firm’s commitment to its pro bono programme has mutual benefits for both staff and its partner organisations. Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, comments: “The Arthur Cox secondees have increased our capacity to represent clients and carry out advocacy and policy work on behalf of migrants and their families. This is of huge benefit to the many Irish and migrant families accessing our legal services annually.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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The winning team from Arthur Cox and the Immigrant Council of Ireland collect their CSR award

The Council has benefited by the significant addition of a 30 to 50 per cent increase in staffing of the Council’s legal services as a result of this project. Arthur Cox plans to continue with the project for the foreseeable future as it believes that the relationship is of mutual benefit to both parties involved.

INSPIRED WORK In addition to winning this year’s Excellence in Marketplace award at the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards, Arthur Cox was also shortlisted and commended for three other categories: Excellence in Volunteering for its Zambia project, Excellence in the Workplace for its Shared Parenting Leave Policy and for the Overall Excellence in CSR Award. The Arthur Cox Zambia project, now in its ninth year, was inspired InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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by the firm’s founder who travelled to Zambia over 50 years ago. The project is a trainee-developed initiative raising standards of living in the most rural regions of

Arthur Cox also launched the first shared parenting leave policy in Ireland in 2015. Zambia, by developing sustainable health, education and agricultural infrastructure, hand-in-hand with local communities. Arthur Cox also launched the first shared parenting leave policy in Ireland in 2015. The policy allows an Arthur Cox employee who is a father, adopting parent, foster parent or same sex parent the opportunity to apply for fully paid leave after the

birth of a child upon satisfaction of a number of eligibility factors. The purpose of the policy is to enable fathers to spend more time with their children when they are young, while also making it clear to female employees that the firm regards parenting as a shared responsibility. Commenting on this year’s CSR awards, Brian O’Gorman, Managing Partner at Arthur Cox, said: “Receiving the Excellence in Marketplace award, and being shortlisted for so many others, is great recognition of the wonderful CSR work that is done across the board in the firm on so many projects. CSR is one of the key components of the way we do business. We are proud of our achievements to date and we will continue to move forward in the development of our CSR programme.”


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Powering Payments and

PROMOTING INCLUSION PayPal’s commitment to inclusion, respect and diversity has earned them the award for Excellence in Workplace (Multinational Company) at the 2016 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards.


ayPal picked up the Excellence in the Workplace award at the recent 2016 Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Awards held in Dublin on September 1st. This prestigious national award was given to PayPal in recognition of its highly successful diversity and inclusion programme in Ireland. Now in its 13th year, the annual awards ceremony recognises and celebrates the important contribution that CSR practices make to the local economy and society. PayPal was a winner for the second year in a row in the Excellence in the Workplace category. This year, PayPal gained the highest recognition for its diversity and inclusion strategy, which is delivered across five key areas. These are inclusion training, women in business support, LGBT

initiatives, a commitment to hire from the live register, and inclusivity in a multicultural workforce. The award recognises that PayPal puts its values into action, enabling an inclusive workplace environment of involvement, respect and connection. PayPal embraces diverse backgrounds, perspectives and ideas to create a better working environment and make a real business impact. PayPal employs 2,600 people at its European operations centres in Ballycoolin and Dundalk. Its talented workforce is integral to PayPal’s international business, which serves 188 million active accounts across the world. PayPal also plays a major role in the local community by supporting many businesses and charities in both areas.

PayPal’s winning team collect their CSR Award


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Maeve Dorman, Head of Global Operations EMEA

Speaking about the award win, Maeve Dorman, Head of Global Operations EMEA, said: “We’re thrilled that the dedication and hard work of our teammates has been recognised at the highest level in Ireland through this award win. Inclusion and equality are the foundations of everything we do at PayPal. We are fully committed to advancing, cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and diversity because it is the right thing to do for employees, our company and the communities we serve. This strategy also makes PayPal a better and more fulfilling place to work and build a career.”

PayPal staff supporting Pride

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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CANCER RESEARCH Megan O’Keeffe, Voxpro, talks about the Voxpro Sailing Challenge, a fundraising event with charity partner Breakthrough Cancer Research.


he Voxpro Sailing Challenge was exciting and unique, just like Voxpro – 40 people learning to sail over eight weeks, all in aid of Breakthrough. Our training consisted of a weekly three hour session after work and concluded in the Voxpro Sailing Challenge – five

The Voxpro yacht

teams competing to win a week off work to sail in Volvo Cork Week. Before the event the vast majority of us had never met, working in a company of over 1,700 people. Over eight weeks any initial shyness quickly faded, friendships were formed and we slowly but surely learned how to sail a 1720 boat. The whole experience was amazing. We learned to sail, an opportunity that not many of us are ever given, we learned how to truly function as a team, and we raised funds for cancer research which will ultimately save

lives. One of Voxpro’s core values is ‘Learn, Share, Grow’, which definitely translated through to this experience. The event also mirrored the work of Breakthrough as their scientists focus on collaboration and teamwork with clinicians to create innovative results. We had so much fun over the eight weeks, the fact that it was all for cancer research made the experience even better. We can’t wait to see what the next partnership opportunity will be because in Voxpro and Breakthrough there is no such thing as a normal day!

It takes the brightest & the best researchers to find better treatments and cures for cancer…… And it takes YOU! Over 36,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland each year, 8,800 of whom die, because the treatment to save their lives have not been discovered, yet! Breakthrough Cancer Research scientists are internationally renowned for their cutting edge research into the most effective treatments for poor prognosis cancers such as ovarian, lung and pancreatic. We collaborate with clinicians to ensure that our family, friends, colleagues and communities across Ireland never have to hear the words, there is no hope.

Help shape the future of cancer research and talk to us about our partnership options. Contact Eoghan O’Sullivan at 021 4226655 /

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IRELAND eir’s CSR strategy not only benefits partner organisations and communities across the country, but builds the firm’s reputation among customers and potential employees.


ir has a long history of corporate social responsibility and community support in Ireland, embedding this ethos within everything that it does. Take for example its relationship with Special Olympics Ireland, the longest CSR partnership of its type in the country. Last year, eir marked its 30th anniversary of this partnership with a year-long campaign, raising almost a270,000 in vital funding for its partner. Alongside providing numerous volunteers for sporting events, including the Special Olympics World Games every two years, eir is providing Special Olympics Ireland with technological platforms which it can use to drive the organisation forward, from next generation networks to an eir data centre to improve security and organisation uptime. “It has been a phenomenal impact. eir has kept us up-to-date and improved our efficiency greatly in that way, but the relationship is much more than that,” explains Matt English, CEO, Special Olympics Ireland. “Obviously there is a very important sponsorship aspect, and eir go way beyond any agreement that they sign with us. While they provide cash and technology benefits to us, they have also provided volunteers, and volunteers are the bedrock of what Special Olympics is all about. It’s a partnership that really


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feels right, and one I would like to think we’ll strive for, for many years to come.”

FOCUS eir’s CSR strategy incorporates three main areas of focus – community, diversity and inclusion. Within Irish communities, eir supports approximately 16 Irish charities on an on-going basis, alongside innovative programmes including the eir Spiders and Junior Spiders to foster support for SMEs and entrepreneurs, and boost technology and innovation in Ireland. Within the company, eir’s diversity and inclusion programme ensures that every person – regardless of gender, race, physical ability or sexuality – is valued and treated equally. Energy efficiency and conservation also remain a key priority – eir’s SURe energy campaign provides employees with tips on how to reduce energy usage at home and in the workplace, while eir’s head

office in Heuston South Quarter is an award-winning green building. There’s no doubting the success of these programmes. Having recently put themselves forward for the Business Working Responsibly Mark as a means of measuring their achievements thus far, just 12 months after the launch of their LGBT programme eir was also named among the best places to work on the Workplace Equality Index, a national measurement of an organisation’s efforts to tackle discrimination and create an inclusive workplace. Alice Tolan, account director with eir Business, was also recognised for her work in supporting her LGBT colleagues, and was awarded the prestigious Ally of the Year award. “We have put all of our energy and focus into achieving external recognition and certification on what we’re doing, to make sure we are in line with best practice, and that we’re up there among the best organisations

The annual eir Race raised more than a60,000 for Special Olympics Ireland. Pictured are Keith Mulvey and Raymond Buchan, eir employees who ran from Dublin to Kilkenny over 23 hours to raise funds for the charity.

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in Ireland when it comes to corporate social responsibility,” says Michelle Toner, Head of CSR with eir. “Over the course of six months we put in place a detailed programme examining all of our policies and programmes throughout the business in terms of marketplace, workplace, environment, sustainability, governance and community support, to see if what we are doing is best practice, if we are actually making a difference. We want to be benchmarked against the best.”

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT Employees at eir are the driving force behind eir’s CSR work – volunteering, fundraising and engaging in benchmark exercises such as the Workplace Equality Index and the Business Working Responsibly Mark. To help propel their CSR work and to drive employee engagement eir has also recently launched the eir Fund – Connecting Communities. The new programme is a key element of the firm’s CSR strategy, allowing eir employees to make a positive impact in their community, and enables the company to support more local causes throughout Ireland. Through the fund a160,000 will be invested each year across a range of charity initiatives in line with eir’s CSR strategy, with regional CSR teams put in place to ensure that worthy causes across the four provinces receive support. “eir is known as a company that is extraordinarily supportive of charitable causes. Our employees are incredibly generous, with their time, their creative fundraising ideas and indeed their financial contributions. It’s rare to have a week without a fundraiser taking place. Every day we receive requests for more support, from employees, charities, from community groups and schools. We can’t say yes to everything, but we can do more, in a structured and transparent way. To do this we conducted an audit of current activity; we followed this with a new CSR strategy to enable us to select projects that are aligned with our current business objectives,” says Carolan Lennon, Managing Director, Open eir. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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eir’s Workplace Equality Index team

Alice Tolan, Account Director with eir Business, took home the prestigious Ally of the Year Award, pictured here with Brian Sheehan, Executive Director of GLEN Matt English, CEO, Special Olympics Ireland

THE CASE FOR CSR So why does eir engage in these endeavours? Alongside the firm’s commitment to communities across the country, Lennon believes that a strong CSR strategy makes good business sense, attracting employees and customers who believe that companies such as eir should give something tangible back to the community and their employees. “I genuinely believe that we need a social licence to be in business – you have to stand for something more than just generating profits, you need to give back to your community, you need to have a sustainable business, you need to be able to attract employees and they need to know they can be their whole selves

in work,” she asserts. “I think that for Irish people and Irish brands, community is really important. Our CSR strategy helps us build a rapport within those communities, and I think that features when people are making buying decisions and deciding what companies they want to work for.” Having built a solid foundation, the only way is up for eir – developing more partnerships, funding more good causes, driving employee engagement and ensuring that best practice underpins their CSR strategy. “We are committed to a corporate social responsibility agenda which shapes a responsible and sustainable business and which is part of the fabric of Irish life,” Lennon adds. “It’s an amazing journey and we’re really delighted with the progress that we’re making.”


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The Port with

A CSR PLAN Alongside impressive recent growth, Dublin Port Company’s CSR programme is making a real difference to people across the capital.


stablished in 1997, Dublin Port Company (DPC) manages, controls, and operates the Port of Dublin, which receives approximately two-thirds of port traffic in the Republic of Ireland. In recent years, cargo volumes, throughput and the port’s tourism business have all continued to grow, driven at least in part by Dublin Port’s Masterplan, which presents a vision for future operations at the port from 2012 to 2040. DPC’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is part of its wider strategy to contribute to sustainable economic and social development throughout the city, and it dedicates 1 per cent of pre-tax profits to its CSR policy. Last year, the port received the European Sea

Ports Organisation Award on Societal Integration of Ports as well as the Chambers Ireland CSR Award for Excellence in the Community in recognition of its CSR endeavours. “Our CSR programme is made up of three pillars – education, sports, and community. We recognise our role in the community and how each pillar plays a part in our CSR programme,” explains Charlie Murphy, Communications Manager at DPC. “The education pillar was set in place to encourage inner city kids to continue their education. We work with our local primary schools with the National College of Ireland on the Early Learning Initiative. The Early Learning Initiative programme works to boost kids’ reading and

talking abilities. The programme connects parents, educators, and the community as a whole to encourage education for young kids and to prepare them for later success in school.” In addition, the company also offers a scholarship programme that provides financial support for students for their third level educational choices. It is expected that 105 students will take part in the scholarship programme this year. Both initiatives reiterate DPC’s recognition of the need to promote education from a young age in order to achieve their educational, career, and life goals. “In addition, as part of our sports pillar, DPC provides port communities with a place to host sport and recreation programmes. Throughout the community there’s a lot of activity on the river. We sponsor rowing regattas, sailing regattas, and other water activities,” Murphy adds. “We want to facilitate social capital through physical activity and sports participation. Dublin Port’s CSR programme works locally on a whole range of different initiatives to improve the community and the company.”


The port sponsors a variety of water-based activities


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Employee engagement is an important factor in the port’s CSR programme, and the company encourages each member of staff to get out there and get involved in terms of volunteering their time or helping out in sponsorship and/or fundraising programmes. Employee feedback is used to streamline the process, and to discover what is and isn’t working. There’s a twofold benefit – communities benefit from the added pair of hands, and DPC InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Raising funds for the Beaumont Hospital Foundation as part of the Dublin Port Riverfest

employees receive a boost in morale. “When employees reach out and work with children we find that it’s a rewarding feeling that increases company morale,” says Murphy. “The CSR programmes are well accepted by staff because they see the benefits to the local community. DPC has always recognised that not only is the port part of the local community but the community is part of the port. We work to give back to the community and do not overly exploit our involvements. Trying to measure our CSR activities is not something that we do. It’s just something we think we should be doing anyway.” Despite a reluctance to publicise its CSR endeavours, the team at DPC is constantly looking for new ways in which it can make a difference, including on home turf. For example, the port hosted the Starboard Home music programme in the National Concert Hall earlier this year, which commissioned 12 pieces of music over the course of two nights and was aimed at connecting local people and businesses. One recent initiative has seen the placement of art installations around the port in a bid to “soften” what can sometimes be a overly industrial environment. Port Perspectives will feature sitespecific artwork in various locations around the port, including Poolbeg InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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notified in early 2017 and artwork will be released throughout the year,” says Murphy.


Dublin Port Company supports Ringsend and District Response to Drugs (RDRD)

Lighthouse, Half Moon Battery, the North Quay Extension and DPC corporate headquarters. Port Perspectives will also include an exhibition early next year headed by Belgian artist Eugeen Van Miegham from Rotterdam. Works will be on display in the Hugh Lane Gallery, highlighting artwork depicting ports and those who live in their environs. As part of this exhibition a number of artists will be commissioned to provide their perspectives on the port environment. “Our hope with this project is that it will renew historical links between the port and the city. The commissioned artists will be

With CSR a cornerstone of the organisation’s overall strategy, as Dublin Port Company continues to grow and expand its operations the opportunity to develop and build on its CSR programmes will undoubtedly increase, working with employees, the local community and society at large to improve the quality of life, in ways that are good for the business of the port and for Dublin city, its citizens and visitors. “Dublin Port Company is growing and as a result our opportunity to impact the local community increases. We continually work to better our community by dedicating 1 per cent of our pre-tax profits to our CSR programme. It is a part of our corporate policy and we feel lucky to give back to the community through donations and sponsorships,” concludes Murphy.


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DHL in the

COMMUNITY DHL Express is utilising its logistics expertise and leveraging its employees’ enthusiasm to have a positive impact on its local communities, writes Brand, Communication and Marketing Manager Alison Moore.


t DHL Express Ireland, corporate responsibilty is an integral component of our corporate strategy, which is specifically called ‘Living Responsibility’ within our group. In particular, we work closely with our nominated charity, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, to help lighten the financial burden on the families who are battling childhood cancer. So far this year, DHL employees have taken part in close to 20 CSR initiatives by fundraising, offering corporate gifts, throwing parties, volunteering and visiting sick children on St. John’s ward in Our Lady’s Children’s Crumlin Hospital. These initiatives include weekly lotto draws, raffles, hospital visits, hospice painting, delivery of care packages, bake-offs, climbing mountains, running marathons, providing support vehicles and some larger events such as the DHL Plane Pull in July and most recently the Race Around Ireland in August and September. The Race Around Ireland is one of Europe’s toughest endurance tests where cyclists partake in a 2,150km route around Ireland, unsupported, over four days. Despite battling the elements, exhaustion and an abundance of blisters, our UK and Ireland team, Speed of Yellow, successfully completed the race in a fraction over 84 hours! Thanks to their determined efforts, they managed to


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DHL staff help support the company’s nominated charity, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie

raise over d20,000 for Aoibheann’s Pink Tie from this event alone. The staff of DHL has demonstrated time and again how they can overcome the odds to achieve something special. At DHL, we are dedicated to making a difference in a variety of ways: • Every year, over 5,000 charity initiatives take place across the DHL global network. • Last year, as part of our Global Volunteer Day initiative, over 110,000 employees provided support to nonprofit projects in their communities. This amounted to more than 260,000 volunteer hours in more than 2,000 projects. • Funded entirely by employee donations, our internal relief fund, ‘WE HELP EACH OTHER’, provides financial support to colleagues who are victims of natural disaster. When called upon by the UN, DHL has a disaster response team who can be on the ground and operational within 72 hours anywhere in the world. “As a business we can really make a positive impact on our local communities by utilising our logistics expertise and leveraging our

employees’ experience and enthusiasm, so it’s great to see so many colleagues getting involved and taking advantage of the support we offer them through the DHL Corporate Responsibility Programmes,” says Bernard McCarthy, Managing Director, DHL Ireland. Some of the other initiatives as part of the ‘Living Responsibility’ initiative include ‘GoTeach’, which aims to improve educational opportunity and employability of young people. When it comes to our GoTeach activities, our employees share not only their time but their own individual skills and experiences. Some of the local projects DHL are involved in include interview skills workshops, postgraduate workshops and transition year student work experiences. Our environment protection programme, GoGreen, calls for us to improve our carbon efficiency by 30 per cent by the year 2020. In an effort to reach this target, we develop and implement measures to improve the carbon efficiency of our air and ground operations as well as that of our buildings and facilities. This approach allows us to uphold our responsibility to the environment and strengthen our own market position at the same time. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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A Witness

OF IMPACT Founder of fast food franchise Supermac’s, Pat McDonagh, recently visited Zimbabwe with Irish charity Trócaire. InBUSINESS caught up with him to hear about the experience. Q: What first attracted you to the work of Trócaire?

A: I was first introduced to the work of Trócaire by Bishop John Kirby, former Chairperson of the charity, who was my manager during my early teaching career. It has been more than 18 years since then, and I have been an ardent supporter of the great work the organisation does ever since.

Q: You recently saw their work in Zimbabwe. What was that like?

A: I visited Zimbabwe with Trócaire last year to see what impact they were making in a country

that was once the ‘bread basket’ of Africa but unfortunately is now very much a third world country where the average annual income is a325 and life expectancy is just 52 years of age. The economy of Zimbabwe is extremely weak and over 70 per cent of the population live below the national poverty line. In spite of being aware of this, I was still shocked to see how little the people had, and how most families were surviving on only one meal a day or in some cases less.

Q: Was there a standout moment during your visit?

Pat McDonagh meets students at the Hopely Farm School supported by Trócaire in the Bulawayu district during his trip to Zimbabwe

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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A: One of Trócaire’s

Q: Did these experiences

programmes in Zimbabwe is aimed at making improvements to the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS. Zimbabwe, at 14 per cent, has one of the highest HIV rates in the world and 60,000 people die every year from AIDS-related illnesses. The most harrowing memory for me was at a Trócaire supported HIV clinic where I saw a man reduced to five stone, dying with the disease. That was unbearable.

further strengthen your support for Trócaire?

Q: As a long-time supporter, what new facts did you learn about Trócaire’s work on the ground?

A: Having visited those Trócaire projects and witnessed such shocking levels of poverty, I want Supermac’s to continue making a positive impact on the lives of people in developing countries. This year members of the Supermacs team visited Uganda to see some more of the programmes that Trócaire run there. This has had an indelible impact on the team and it is a real motivator for them to continue to fundraise for Trócaire. It was an experience they will never forget.

A: I wanted to see

Q: Do you believe other

first-hand where the money raised is going, to meet the people who are benefitting from it and to see the effect it is having on their lives. I visited a school of 2,000 children and an irrigation project that is helping 65 families to farm in the face of almost constant drought. I saw the vital impact the gift of animals can have on a family and provides hope for families that otherwise have little. Yet, it also gave me hope and I was surprised with the positivity of the Zimbabweans who, in spite of having so little, are grateful for what little they have.

businesses should get involved and if so, why?

A: Most definitely. The suffering and deprivation of the people of Zimbabwe make the challenges we face in business seem insignificant. All companies should consider getting involved with a charity like Trócaire. For us there is a natural fit between Trócaire’s work and the Supermac’s business and we can see how our support can make a lasting difference. For more information on your business partnering with Trócaire visit or phone 01 6293333


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Nationwide SUPPORT The Alzheimer Society of Ireland provides a nationwide support network for all affected by dementia.


he Alzheimer Society of Ireland is the leading dementia specific service provider in Ireland. We work in the heart of local communities providing dementia specific services and supports and advocating for the rights and needs of all people living with dementia and their carers. Our vision is an Ireland where no one goes through dementia alone and where policies and services respond appropriately to the person with dementia and their carers. As a national non-profit

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organisation, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is person-centred, rightsbased and grassroots-led with the voice of the person with dementia and their carer at its core. Our range of services include day care, home care and respite centres, family carer training, support groups, social clubs, dementia advisors and Alzheimer cafés. We also operate our national helpline – 1800 341 341 – which offers information and support six days a week. Through national and local fundraising campaigns, as well as through the generosity of our corporate partners, we strive to raise g5 million annually to ensure our supports and services can continue. As an organisation we are also striving to create dementia friendly communities across the country.

Our vision is an Ireland where no one goes through dementia alone and where policies and services respond appropriately. We offer training to those who partner with us and can help your organisation become a dementia friendly environment. We always welcome new corporate partners who share our person-centred approach and are interested in engaging their staff in making a real difference in their local community. If you think The Alzheimer Society of Ireland could work with you towards your CSR goals, then please contact a member of our corporate fundraising team at 01 207 3815.

02/02/2016 15:52

14/10/2016 16:06

ACCESS TO FINANCE P.94 Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland


P.95 Mazars

GIVE THEM CREDIT Depsite figures showing a rise in new lending to SMEs in Ireland, further availability of funding and supports is needed to allow businesses to start up, flourish, innovate and expand.


ata released from the Central Bank in July shows that new lending to Ireland’s SMEs has grown strongly since the start of 2014. The bank’s latest SME Market Report says that loans to small and medium-sized enterprises in the first quarter of this year rose by 4.8 per cent compared the same time last year to a total of a2.7 billion. Meanwhile, rejection rates for loans among SMEs have declined from 15 per cent in September 2015 to 11 per cent in March of this year and are now in line with the euro area average. While the figures are positive and show signs that we are moving in the right direction, there remains concerns among businesses on the ground that further availability of funding and supports is needed in order for them to flourish, innovate and expand. A recent report published by the Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation identified some of the areas that Ireland needs to improve on when InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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it comes to access to finance. They include the need for independent verification of lending rates as well as a need to address the over-reliance on bank loans and overdrafts, calling for the development of more non-banking sector funding initiatives for firms. Additionally, it said mechanisms to restrict requests for personal guarantees should be considered. Other recommendations include a call to make it mandatory for banks to provide written explanations on why applications for credit have been rejected, the introduction of a guaranteed timeframe for dealing with loan applications and greater support for small businesses to improve their financial literacy. Such measures coupled with the arrival of new lenders, over time, should help bring significant change to the market. In the following pages we profile a number of organisations doing their bit to improve the lending landscape for small businesses in Ireland.


P.96 Russell Brennan Keane


P.97 LinkedFinance


P.98 SME Finance & Leasing Solutions


P.99 Permanent TSB


P.100 Bluestone Asset Management


P.102 Independent Finance Providers Ireland


P.103 Bibby Financial Services




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ACCESSING LOWER COST FINANCE Nick Ashmore, CEO, Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), outlines how Irish SMES can benefit from an SBCI loan.


roviding access to lower cost finance lies at the heart of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) mission. The SBCI was set up in late 2014 to address issues SMEs were facing in the credit market in Ireland following the banking crisis. Specifically, the SBCI was put in place to secure sources of long-term lower cost funding for SMEs. An initial a800m of funding from the German development bank, KFW, the European Investment Bank and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund has been fully allocated to our current lending partners. So far (up to the end of June 2016), the SBCI has supported 8,619 Irish SMEs with loans totalling a347 million. Between them these SMEs employ over 43,000 people. SMEs were borrowing funds at an average of 1.5 per cent less than they could source elsewhere. Loan sizes have

varied from a1,200 to a5m with a good geographic spread throughout Ireland. Almost a quarter of all our loans have so far been drawn down by agri-businesses, while the accommodation and food trade (hotels, restaurants), wholesale and retail trade (shops, distributors) and the administration and support sector have also featured strongly.

BENEFITS SBCI finance is available to businesses in almost every sector of the Irish economy, and we encourage any SME that has not thought about an SBCI loan to consider the benefits our finance can bring. The benefits for businesses who secure loans through SBCI include a lower cost and longer repayment periods, delivering cashflow advantages to SMEs. So far, 87 per cent of SBCI loans have been used by

SMEs for investing in growing their business, with the remaining 13 per cent split between working capital and refinancing loans from banks that have exited the Irish market.

LOWDOWN ON LENDERS SBCI is not a retail bank lending directly to businesses; rather it acts as a channel for lower cost funding from European and domestic sources to financial institutions, with the cost and flexibility benefits passed along to SME borrowers. Along with traditional banks, the SBCI has to-date brought on board four non-bank lenders. The successful rollout of SBCI loans owes much to the commitment and SME focus of our on-lending banking partners AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank along with non-banking partners Finance Ireland, Merrion Fleet, First Citizen Finance and Bibby Financial Services Ireland. Bringing non-bank lenders into the market is a way of driving competition along with providing more niche loan products including leasing, hire purchase and fleet finance, agri-equipment finance and invoice finance.

WHAT’S NEXT? The SBCI is preparing for exciting new developments that will allow us to play an even bigger role in supporting Irish business. These are challenging times for Irish SMEs and, given the SBCI is here to make some of these difficulties easier to overcome, we encourage you to get in touch and share your business experiences and ideas with us.

Nick Ashmore, CEO, Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI)


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You can find further information on how to apply for SBCI loans and our contact details at InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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GROWTH John Bowe, Managing Director at Mazars Corporate Finance Ireland, outlines the sources of funding in the Irish market.


he Irish market today has probably more funding options with more providers of finance/equity active than at any time over the last ten years. Some funding options include traditional banking products (term debt, invoice discounting, finance leasing), alternative debt providers and equity providers (private equity, employment and investment incentive scheme funds, angel investor and high net worth individuals). Understanding the right funding options for your growth plan is really important and aligning your funding sources to their uses will ensure you don’t put the cashflows of your business under strain as you finance your growth.

TRADITIONAL BANKING If a business qualifies for a bank loan then term debt will be your cheapest source of finance. Banks simply have the cheapest money to loan because of their access to low yielding deposits and money/ bond markets. While much is written about availability of bank debt, Irish banks are open for business and are lending. Key for a business is to lay out your business plan, your funding requirements and debt repayment capacity in a clear manner. Banks generally lend on a multiple of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) for trading businesses, typically between c. 3.0x – 3.5x EBITDA. That EBITDA will be stress tested by InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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the banks. Current senior term debt is priced at circa 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent plus, with arrangement fees. Bank debt comes with conditions, debt covenants and security arrangements which can reduce flexibility so the T&Cs are important. The key banking institutions active in lending to Irish businesses are AIB, BOI and Ulster Bank, while there are also other providers (Close Brothers, Finance Ireland and Bibby Financial Services to name a few) which focus on invoice discounting and finance leasing. In addition the SBCI, through its funding partners, is becoming more active in the market.

ALTERNATIVE DEBT Alternative debt providers are more expensive but are often more flexible than traditional banks and will also offer business owners quicker decisions/access to capital. Debt repayments can be structured to facilitate further capital expenditure requirements and debt availability can be up to 5.0x EBITDA. Alternative debt pricing varies with coupons of 6.5 per cent to 10 per cent plus, with arrangement fees the norm. Some of those active in the nonproperty Irish SME market include BlueBay, Broadhaven, Proventus, BMS Finance and Harbert Management Corporation.

John Bowe, Managing Director, Mazars Corporate Finance Ireland

allowing owners the opportunity to de-risk their own personal balance sheet, taking some cash off the table. For those considering private equity it is important to view it more as a partnership rather than just a cash investment. The added benefit is access to the private equity contacts, network, experience and portfolio companies that can really help your business grow. While private equity are not managers they will want a seat on the board, so it is important to pick the partner which is a fit for you. Some of those active in the Irish market include Carlyle Cardinal, MML, Development Capital, Broadlake, Renatus, CauseWay Capital, LionCourt, FL Partners and Kish Capital.

EQUITY Having dedicated Irish private equity funds focused on the Irish market is really a new and very positive occurrence for Ireland. While we have always seen private equity investment in Irish businesses we haven’t had funds in place that need to deploy capital. Private equity can be a good option for funding growth (organic or acquisitive) while also

While financing options are available, if you are considering a funding process it is important to be prepared. Picking an adviser who understands the funding market and can outline the options available will help enormously. The more prepared you are the better chance of securing the right deal for your business.


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Appetite for FINANCE Russell Brennan Keane assists businesses in securing finance which is most suited to their needs.


btaining finance in a timely and cost effective manner has been an extremely difficult challenge over the last five years. However, we have experienced an improved appetite for lending over the past 18 months, with a wider range of funding options, and an increased number of active lenders. There is also a growing demand for finance, albeit from a low base, with a focus on working capital facilities and longer term finance to support growth, be it in people, plant or premises. We are assisting a lot of borrowers seeking refinance to settle

legacy debts where their loans have been sold by banks, with a high success rate to date. Key to our success is using our experience and reaching out to our extensive network of contacts across the main banks and alternative finance providers to quickly assess the potential types and levels of finance that can be raised. This avoids the ‘long no’ scenario which is frustrating for all concerned. Our team is practical and solutionfocussed, with the aim of quickly establishing the most suitable, viable sources of finance. We understand that each business is unique, and so we work closely with our clients to tailor our services to match the requirements and circumstances of that business. For example, we recently worked on a refinancing

There is also a growing demand for finance, albeit from a low base, with a focus on working capital facilities and longer term finance to support growth project where the senior debt provider was unable to provide all of the finance required. We split the business assets into three segments, raising debt against each segment from different providers. The business secured a large debt write down, and is on sustainable repayments with a banking partner that will support future growth. For more information or advice, phone 01 644 0100, email or visit

Sourcing Funding. Securing your Future.

Discuss your financing requirements with us in confidence. We will: - Tailor the source of funds to match your requirements - Access a wide range of funders - Secure competitive terms For more information on our services, please contact: Chris Ball, Corporate Finance Partner T: (01) 644 0112 E:

Dublin Athlone Roscommon

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14/10/2016 16:27


A Better Way


Linked Finance offers Irish businesses a strong alternative to traditional credit sources.


ccess to finance and funding from banking institutions remains a major stumbling block for many Irish businesses. The Credit Review Office, which provides an independent and impartial credit appeals process, has recommended that credit be provided to more than 50 per cent of businesses who have had their loan application rejected and have subsequently appealed. In the wake of such difficulties, peer-to-peer lending (P2P) has emerged as a strong alternative to traditional avenues of finance. The firm behind the continued success and growth of this model of business lending in Ireland is Linked Finance, which offers its lenders (comprising members of the public, institutions and other investors) the opportunity to make attractive returns by lending directly to local businesses via the Linked Finance online platform. With a minimum loan amount of just a50, the model provides an attractive, hassle-free and quick funding option for businesses that are growing and seek to take advantage of opportunities in their markets. From a standing start in 2013, Linked Finance has already provided over 500 loans, with plans to lend over a350m to SMEs by the end of 2019. As of August 2016, loans on Linked Finance have supported over 3,200 Irish jobs nationwide. “When Linked Finance was launched, it aimed to solve a major problem facing small businesses in Ireland. As a result of the economic crash, interest rates for savers hit an all-time low, while access to funds for businesses from banks virtually

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froze, forcing savers and businesses to seek out alternatives,” explains Niall Dorrian, CEO, Linked Finance. “While we are experiencing an economic recovery, many businesses have a sour taste in their mouth when it comes to seeking finance from traditional lenders, and these are the businesses that are becoming loyal customers for us. Companies that have had a successful experience with Linked Finance are returning to use the platform again rather than looking at the traditional borrowing routes available.”

While we are experiencing an economic recovery, many businesses have a sour taste in their mouth when it comes to seeking finance from traditional lenders, and these are the businesses that are becoming loyal customers for us. STRONG ALTERNATIVE Businesses of all types across the 26 counties have successfully secured loans from Linked Finance lenders, ranging from small food producers with a local customer base to larger manufacturers targeting international markets, from Leo Burdock and Viking Splash to Cornucopia and Killowen Farm. With more than 13,000 registered users, one of the key advantages of the Linked Finance platform is that applications can be processed very

quickly. Applicants are assessed within eight business hours and once the required documentation is received and approved, the loan goes live and funds raised on the platform can be provided within 24 hours. One recent loan for, Dorrian tells us, was funded in less than 90 minutes. Recent changes to the platform have made it an even smoother experience – Linked Finance has since moved entirely to fixed-rate loans to remove any interest rate uncertainty, with loans funding on average in less than 30 hours. “P2P lending is a mainstream funding option, over $10 billion was loaned via P2P lending platforms worldwide in 2015. We do not see ourselves as a last resort in terms of funding; we are becoming the preferred funding option for SMEs all over the country, who are no longer properly catered for by a banking sector that still hasn’t recovered from the economic crisis,” Dorrian explains. “It is clear that there is strong appetite from both domestic and international institutions to lend into our sector, which would help us to fulfil the demand among Irish SMEs to borrow funds – while SME lending in Ireland is starting to increase, the total loan to SMEs continues to fall. A large percentage of SMEs have become ‘discouraged’ borrowers and Linked Finance offers a real alternative.” With access to finance an often tricky process and proposition, entrepreneurs seeking to expand their business horizons should be aware of all of the options available to them. “With Linked Finance you can apply online in two minutes and get credit approval within eight hours,” says Dorrian. “If you are considering a business loan for any purpose, always weigh up the various alternatives. There’s nothing to lose.”


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FILLING THE FUNDING GAP SME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd caters exclusively to SMEs impacted by the exit of a number of providers of credit in Ireland.


ME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd satisfies a clearly identified market need in a defined segment of the leasing market in Ireland. It provides leasing for smaller ticket assets (1,000 - 15,000), thus facilitating the capital expenditure requirements of small to medium enterprises (SMEs). SME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd provides its services to suppliers of capital goods (vendors) and offers a streamlined and highly automated application process that will significantly reduce their cost of achieving sales whilst maintaining a sound credit risk assessment process. SME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd does not offer lease services directly

to lessees. It primarily provides finance through a nationwide network of independent equipment vendors, sales organisations and other dealer-based origination networks. While SME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd has initially focused on a number of key market segments and key customers, it remains flexible and plans to expand the areas of its service over time. There is a clear and unmet need for the provision of finance to SMEs in Ireland and SME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd is helping to fill this funding gap.

underserviced portion of the market which has been impacted greatest by the exit of a number of providers of credit, clearing a space for a specialist new entrant. • The SME market represents around 99 per cent of Irish enterprises. • The company’s founders have a combined 60 years of experience with asset finance, Irish SMEs and growing start-up businesses. • SME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd offers a streamlined approval process, facilitated by smaller advance amounts, highly automated processes and clear credit-checking procedures.

• SME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd caters exclusively to SMEs, the

For more information visit

SME Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd is an independent Finance Company that provides funding to the SME sector.


SME Finance & Leasing Solutions LTD will provide funding for a variety of assets over their useful economic life and thereby protect valuable working capital for more productive purposes.

WHY USE SME FINANCE & LEASING SOLUTIONS LIMITED: • Professional & Reliable • Flexible Underwriting • Attentive Service • One Stop Shop WHY USE FINANCE: • Preserve Other Credit Lines • Unsecured Facilities • Ease Cash Flow Worries • Tax Efficient • Buy Now – Increase Profitability • Makes Quality More Affordable BENEFITS OF SME FINANCE & LEASING SOLUTIONS: • Fund 100% of Purchase Cost • Finance Range From €1k - €15k + vat • Fast and Efficient Credit Risk Assesment on all Applications • Fixed Rentals • New and Used Equipment Funded • Nationwide Coverage

If you require more information please do not hesitate to contact any of the following: Aisling O’Brien 056 7706551 | Deirdre Rohan 01 6909770 | Declan Roche 086 1407733

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Sme Finance & Leasing Solutions Ltd Clashcollaire, Callan, Co Kilkenny, Ireland P 056 770 6551 | E | W

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PERMANENT TSB: The personal approach Permanent TSB offers simple solutions with a personal touch, working with and for small business owners.


new banking proposition for small business owners was launched by Permanent TSB earlier this year, under the leadership of Killian O’Flynn, Head of SME Banking. The bank recently reported a return to profitability and the business banking service has made a positive contribution to this success. “We offer simple banking solutions for small business customers, delivered locally with a personal touch. We have 77 branches nationwide through which we provide current accounts, overdrafts and loans for investment and working capital purposes,” O’Flynn explains. The Central Bank has reported a sharp reduction in bank debt provided to Irish SMEs over the last five years, but gross new lending has increased since 2014. This reflects a desire among SMEs to reduce debt but a simultaneous need to reinvest in business assets. Business lending is still dominated by two banks, offering little choice to borrowers. There have been some new entrants, typically single product specialists, but none can offer the same accessibility or understanding as PTSB, given its established presence in local communities. “We respect small business owners and work hard to satisfy their banking needs. Most want a bank that is responsive and makes it easy to transact but they most value knowledgeable advisors who display genuine interest in the business,” he adds.

OPEN APPROACH On a recent visit to the midlands, InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Killian O’Flynn, Head of SME Banking, Permanent TSB

O’Flynn was introduced to a wholesale/retail business that had been brought to its knees by recession before managing to adapt and survive. It has recently returned to profitable growth and is now looking to the future with increased confidence. “This business is looking for a bank that will take the time to understand, challenge and help shape its future plans,” he explains. “They feel isolated by the impersonal approach of their current bank, which acts as a barrier to securing appropriate funding.” They are not alone in this regard. To demonstrate its commitment to providing a professional SME lending service, the bank has voluntarily joined the Credit Review Office, which offers an independent review of decisions to refuse or withdraw lending facilities up to j3m. PTSB encourages open and active dialogue. Nobody knows the importance of timely and informed decisions better than small business owners. Most lending decisions will be made within one week of receiving

a signed application form and the standard supporting documentation.

POSITIVE OUTLOOK A recent investor presentation reported that Ireland’s strong economic growth is ‘undeniable’, despite the uncertainty caused by issues such as BREXIT and low housing supply. These factors will affect some SMEs more than others, with the retail and services sectors seemingly best positioned for short-term growth. “We assess each lending application on its own merits and, while industry risk is an important consideration, we find there are many good businesses in weak sectors and vice-versa. We look first to the experience of the management and the recent trading record of the business,” says O’Flynn. Timely access to appropriate funding is a need shared by many, if not most, small business owners and there are many supports available to help satisfy this need. Permanent TSB, for one, offers simple banking solutions for small business owners and delivers them locally with a personal touch.


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SIMPLE, SECURE SOLUTIONS InBUSINESS spoke with Donal Murphy, Managing Director at Bluestone Ireland, to discover more about their role within the Irish market. Q: Can you tell us about the background to Bluestone Asset Finance as a specialist lending platform?

non-consumers, SMEs, self-employed, start-up enterprises with some adverse credit history, or indeed no credit history.

Donal Murphy, Managing Director at Bluestone Ireland

A: Bluestone is a successful and growing international financial services group operating in several markets including Australia, Ireland and the UK. The group operates a portfolio of businesses that have originated in excess of $5 billion worth of loans and helped more than 22,000 customers. Bluestone has been present in Ireland since 2012, initially as a credit servicer of asset finance portfolios. Over the last two years, Bluestone Asset Finance has built a successful motor finance franchise in Ireland and now has dealer partnerships with the country’s top 500 motor dealers to provide specialist finance to consumers. Loans in excess of a45 million to over 4,000 customers have been committed since Bluestone entered the lending market in late 2014. Bluestone’s vision is to expand its offering to provide similar specialist finance to a range of customers including


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Q: What is your assessment of the SME lending environment at present?

A: The SME lending environment in Ireland remains constrained. A range of surveys this year, including from ISME and the Red C Credit Demand Survey, highlight a very mixed environment with many SMEs still reporting limited access to finance and restrictive terms. We believe the lending market in Ireland and internationally is undergoing fundamental change. Following the global financial crash there are fewer banks operating in Ireland, while the pillar banks have been deleveraging and are risk adverse. This has resulted in a credit gap. This gap is now being filled by the likes of Bluestone. Earlier this year, Bluestone Ireland successfully completed with international investors a securitisation of a25 million of consumer and SME loans. It gave us another a25 million to

lend and we are targeting a significant expansion of our loan book in the SME sector in 2016 and 2017.

Q: What products are Bluestone offering the SME market?

A: Bluestone offers asset finance solutions using both hire purchase and leasing agreements within three core product areas in the SME space – agriculture, construction and general self-employed. Q: Who are your typical customers?

A: Our typical customers are: self-employed; early stage companies; borrowers with some adverse credit history; and people returning from abroad with trades.

Q: What are your competitive advantages?

A: Bluestone is now offering commercial asset finance to SMEs with 12 months trading history

and upwards. We believe we are the only lender in the Irish market who is prepared to look at young businesses in just their second year of trading. In addition, we successfully lend to a range of customers that other providers are not catering for, such as the self-employed, contractors, first-time borrowers, credit impaired clients and young SMEs. We also believe that our lending process gives us an advantage over our competitors. We adopt a very personal and detailed approach to the loan application and insist on a minimum deposit. By applying our proven criteria, based on an ability to repay the loan, we believe we are supporting individuals and businesses in the correct way to help them to succeed. We are not saying that we will lend to every SME with just 12 months of trading history, but we will give you a fair hearing. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Open for Business Building on the back of our reputation for providing innovative funding solutions for consumers we’ve opened our doors to commercial customers. Our new commercial product range is perfect for SME’S looking to grow their business with a partner they can trust. Call us today to find out more.

01 6448 999 Finance is provided by way of a Hire Purchase or Lease Agreement. Credit facilities are subject to lending criteria and available to entities operating in the Republic of Ireland. Security may be required. Terms and conditions apply. The credit provider is Bluestone Asset Finance Ireland Limited. Further information can be found on

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14/10/2016 10:07


Solving Financing Requirements IFP Ireland strives to promote and represent Irish businesses that are not already a part of the domestic banking industry.


ince 2008, non-bank finance in the Irish economy has emerged and continues to develop. It is relatively new to the Irish market, with hopes of expanding beyond the 30 current providers in the coming months to drive competition for the benefit of borrowers. Independent Finance Providers Ireland (IFPI) is an umbrella organisation that was established to promote and represent providers of finance to Irish businesses that are not a part of the domestic banking industry. Operating in the Irish market, the services offered by IFP Ireland members are comprehensive and flexible

Operating in the Irish market, the services offered by IFP Ireland members are comprehensive and flexible compared to traditional finance facilities in the market. compared to traditional finance facilities. IFP Ireland members cover multiple areas of finance including leasing and finance, trade finance, invoice finance, invoice trading, term lending and commercial mortgages and equity. After the initial application is made, the typical time it takes for a firm to get funds can vary in terms


of size, type, risk, and complexity. Members of IFP Ireland pride themselves on how innovative, flexible and efficient the facilities operate. Many member organisations can offer decisions in as little as one day. This is crucial for SMEs and is only made possible by the flexible approach of each company to applications. The success of non-bank finance lies in the fact that providers are flexible in the type of finance that they can offer and in the speed of decisions delivered to individual firms. IFP Ireland members can provide a solution to most company’s financing requirements where traditional providers cannot.


Representing providers of Finance who support Business Growth and Employment in Ireland The types of finance that IFPI members can offer include: u Leasing & Finance u Invoice Trading u Trade Finance u Term Lending u Invoice Finance u Equity IFPI, Unit 34, Tower Design Center, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2 Rep. of Ireland | 240742_2L_IFP_IB_Chambers.indd 1

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AND CHOICE Bibby Financial Services Ireland is offering a new lower-cost invoice financing for SMEs.


ibby Financial Services Ireland (BFSI), in partnership with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), has launched a h45m invoice financing fund for Irish small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). BFSI is the first invoice finance partner of SBCI, and will provide invoice finance funds with a discount of up to 1.5 per cent on existing BFSI facility rates, available immediately. The fund is an extension of SBCI’s ongoing efforts to drive competition and choice in the Irish lending market and will enable businesses to access favourable rates for BFSI’s invoice finance facilities.

BENEFITS Invoice financing, a business-tobusiness solution, offers immediate access to cash tied up in invoices by providing businesses with an upfront payment against the value of the outstanding invoice. It is simple and speedy to set up and, because it is linked directly to the value of trade debtors, it grows in line with the SME requirement. This is a huge advantage over other forms of finance as the visibility of debt being funded allows us to tailor funding to individual needs, often providing greater levels of funding than an overdraft or loan, for instance. The benefits include: • I mmediate access to cash tied up in trade debtors – up to 90 per cent cash release; • F inance that grows in line with a business’s sales growth. The sales InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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L-R: BFSI MD, Bernard O’Hare; Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD and SBCI CEO, Nick Ashmore

ledger is used to secure access to funds, so as your business grows, so does the amount of funds that can be made available; • E ligible debt includes domestic and export sales; •B ad debt protection; •D isclosed and confidential facilities including the option of full service credit control and sales ledger management tailored to suit a business; • F unding of up to w5m with minimum facility period of 24 months to avail of lower rates. To avail of the lower-cost funding, companies must be independent enterprises employing fewer than 250 persons, with an annual turnover not exceeding h50m and/or an annual balance sheet under h43m.

MEETING NEEDS Invoice finance is now a truly mainstream funding product and a vital source of funding. Last year, Irish SMEs availed of h52m in invoice finance provided by BFSI, an increase of almost 28 per cent on approval levels in 2014. BFSI is committed to keeping the ambitions of Irish

businesses moving, ensuring that viable businesses of all sizes have certainty with access to the necessary finance to grow and expand. “We are delighted to partner with SBCI to deliver lower cost and more flexible and competitive funding solutions to SMEs throughout Ireland. We pride ourselves on providing responsive and flexible funding,” said Bernard O’Hare, Managing Director for BFS Ireland. “It’s here that we can add real value, particularly at a time where immediate access to finance is more important than ever for Irish SMEs. We look forward to helping businesses to thrive and grow, both domestically and internationally.” Minister for Finance Michael Noonan welcomed Bibby to the SBCI’s stable of on-lenders. “SMEs are the lifeblood of the Irish economy, so ensuring the finance needs of these businesses are met in today’s economic environment is therefore a priority,” he said. “This new e45 million package further diversifies the funding available to SMEs at a critical time for Irish businesses, especially those who include exports to the UK as part of their sales.” For more information, see


14/10/2016 16:53


Staying Ahead of the Competition GRENKE provides an innovative, local service backed by global experience.


global finance and leasing company established in Germany in 1978, GRENKE has been trading in Ireland since 2004. The firm’s reputation is built on the innovative and tailored finance models it has consistently provided to enterprises in over 30 countries around the world, offering tailored leasing and invoice packages for all types of businesses and industries. The past five years have seen a very challenging yet rewarding lending environment in Ireland, and confidence is returning to the Irish market. Businesses are realising the immediate impact of finance leasing – greater flexibility, access to state-of-the-art technology and simple contract arrangements allowing for

greater transparency on costs and planning. Leasing allows companies to attain the latest equipment and technology, allowing them to maintain their competitive advantage with minimum fuss. Partnering with GRENKE is a beneficial move for a number of reasons. The company’s local offices have local people who understand the needs of their clients and can provide advice and expertise as required. GRENKE also prides itself on the core values of speed, efficiency and personal service and the use of technology to stay ahead of the curve, alongside operating independently of vendors and banks. Fast decision-making and flexibility are also key strengths – decisions are turned around in 20 minutes and suppliers

Justin Twiddy, Ireland MD

paid within 24 hours, while contracts can be arranged from a one-off laptop purchase to a masterlease arrangement for all of your IT needs. GRENKE also enjoys an excellent reputation among partners and customers – many of whom have been with the company from the start – who recognise that the ease, speed and transparency allow them to get on with their business.


GRENKE offers you everything under one roof: from tailored leasing of your machinery and IT systems, to fast financing and transparent invoice management. We are here for you whenever you need us.

Talk to us about your business asset investments


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14/10/2016 16:52


KNOW THE SCORE The Credit Review Office is advising businesses to be aware of their credit record in order to improve their chances of getting credit – timely advice ahead of the introduction of a new Central Credit Register

currently being established by the Central Bank of Ireland, which is expected to commence operations in 2017.



ncreasingly in recent years there has been a move towards faster credit approval and automated decision making. In many cases, this means that a poor credit record can lead to a speedy ‘no’ when applying for credit. A bad credit rating can mean a credit refusal, even if the individual or business can repay the loan. Irish businesses and individuals are often unaware of what credit records are held about them, whether they are accurate and how they can be improved, corrected or amended to ensure a better chance of getting credit. Banks assess each business application for credit on a case-by-case

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basis and each bank operates its own credit policy. Often, when considering a credit application, a lender will check the credit history or credit score of the business and its owners/promoters, using a credit reference agency or credit register. At present, the main credit reference agency in Ireland is the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB). Their database includes information on a wide range of loans, including personal loans, mortgages and credit card loans. The ICB does not decide whether or not credit is provided but financial institutions may use ICB information to help make the decision to lend. A new Central Credit Register is

•K nowledge is key – businesses and individuals should be aware of their own credit record before applying for credit. • If the credit track record is poor, address the reasons why with your lender. • Seek to repair any inaccuracies that may be held on the record – you will have to request the lender to get the record changed. If there are any problems or delays, a formal complaint can be made to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

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POST-BREXIT FUTURE PROOFING Irish businesses are considering actions to protect themselves against the potential negative repercussions of Brexit.


hile many of us are already suffering from Brexit-fatigue it will be months and even years before we realise the true impact of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. As challenges – both known and unknown – are yet to be faced, Irish business continues to see trade with the UK as key to our economy. A survey conducted by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, carried out over the weeks following the referendum, confirmed that firms are already considering actions to protect themselves against the potential negative repercussions of Brexit by focusing on sourcing new suppliers; seeking new sales opportunities not only in the UK but elsewhere; reviewing their currency strategies; getting advice to help them steer a path through the new trading environment; InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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becoming even more competitive to meet the challenges ahead; and maintaining strong trading partner relationships. In October’s Budget, the Government introduced a number of Brexit-proof measures, committing to a ‘rainy day fund’ from 2018 and a new medium-term debt-to-GDP ratio of 45 per cent by the late 2020s; moves designed to ensure that the public finances can withstand any Brexit-related shocks in the years ahead. It also published the Department of Finance paper, ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’, which outlines a strategic long-term plan to mitigate any potential economic fallout. Alongside these protectionist measures, Ireland must focus on getting as much business as possible from the Brexit changes and consider its unique position within the EU and how it can facilitate trade between Britain and Europe in a post-Brexit landscape.

In the following pages we hear from a number of industry leaders about how Brexit might impact their sectors and how businesses can prepare.

P.109 Eversheds


P.110 Talent Partners


P.113 Crowe Horwath


P.114 NSAI


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A world of expertise The Irish law firm with a fresh global vision With scale comes innovation. Thinking without boundaries, we offer you a unique approach that controls time, cost and risk. With offices in 28 jurisdictions, we connect our clients to the world. Ireland’s only full service international law firm (and one with a new look), we combine local expertise with access to a worldwide resource. To find out how we can serve your business, contact: Alan Murphy Managing Partner & Chairman, Eversheds International Corporate Law Firm of the Year +353 1 6644B2B 289 Business & Finance Awards 2016 Public Sector Law Team of the Year Irish Law Awards 2016

European Pensions Law Firm of the Year European Pensions Awards 2016

Corporate Law Firm of the Year Business & Finance B2B Awards 2016 Public Sector Law Team of the Year Irish Law Awards 2016 European Pensions Law Firm of the Year European Pensions Awards 2016

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Location Location, Location As the debate surrounding the economic impact of Brexit continues, Eversheds Partner Sean Ryan asks if Dublin can be the new London.


hen the UK voted to leave the EU it was the first step in what is expected to be a lengthy, somewhat uncertain and complex process. Since then, Theresa May has expressly stated that “Brexit means Brexit”. One of the questions asked in the immediate aftermath of that historic vote was whether businesses, and in particular financial institutions, will have to relocate to a city that will remain in the EU? As James Stewart of The New York Times put it, “the race is on to be the new London”. Many of the world’s leading financial institutions already have offices in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), while what has become known as Silicon Docks has become home to some of the world’s most famous technology companies. So, what does Dublin have to offer?

MODERN OFFICE SPACE AND CHEAPER RENTS When choosing to relocate, the availability of prime office space will be a key consideration for any business. At present, there is an estimated vacancy rate of 7.8 per cent in Dublin in terms of prime office space, compared to just 5.2 per cent in London. Similarly, at an average rent of between d55 and d60 per square foot, office space in Dublin is considerably cheaper than the £65 (d77) per square foot currently charged in London and in other major European cities. A business relocating from the UK to Ireland can InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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same types of lending structures commonly utilised in the UK are found in Ireland, and UK lenders and borrowers will find that similar types of guarantees and security can be taken in an Irish context.


Eversheds Partner Sean Ryan

take some comfort in the fact that the mechanisms, legal concepts and systems are somewhat similar in terms of property acquisitions.

YOUNG WORKFORCE AND QUALITY EDUCATION With 40 per cent of the population under 29 years old, Ireland has a young, well-educated workforce. Ireland’s education system ranks in the top ten in the world.

BUSINESS FRIENDLY Ranked as the most business friendly country in the Eurozone, and third most business friendly in the EEA by Forbes in 2015, Ireland has a business friendly environment. As such, Dublin represents an attractive location for UK institutions looking to establish subsidiaries for access to the EU/EEA.

Ireland is also recognised as a wellregulated jurisdiction internationally, with a strong regulatory background and supervision by the Central Bank. The Irish Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 (as amended) govern the processing of personal data in Ireland and are very similar to the UK Data Protection Acts 1998. In May 2018, this legislation will be superseded by the General Data Protection Regulation.

INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT LINKS In terms of international transport links, Dublin Airport was the fastest growing airport in Europe in the first six months of 2016, making it the leading performer among top European airports. The airport has daily and weekly flights to all major cities including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Zurich, New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, Los Angeles, Dubai and Toronto.


Therefore, leaving aside favourable corporation tax rates, there are several compelling factors for Dublin to be the ‘new London’, and a credible alternative for relocation. Eversheds has recently published a booklet entitled ‘BREXIT – Relocating to Ireland?’.

The banking and financial services landscape in Ireland has many similarities with that in the UK. The

For a copy please contact


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Challenges Offset BY OPPORTUNITIES Stephen Kennedy, Managing Director, Talent Partners, looks at the impact of Brexit on recruitment in Ireland.


hile Brexit has been described as Ireland’s biggest foreign policy challenge to date, there are also opportunities to attract foreign investment away from the uncertain future of the UK and to promote Dublin as a stable alternative to London. Once the UK exits the EU, Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the EU with access to the common market and with strong ties to the US. This presents conceivable advantages for Ireland as a potential alternative location within the EU for UK-based organisations, and for US businesses seeking an English-speaking EU base. Similar opportunities exist for the recruitment and contract staffing markets. Ireland and the UK share similarities across language, culture and law. These similarities combined with close geographic proximity have led to the development of a strong corporate relationship between the two regions, at the centre of which are UK and Irish employees. Brexit will have a significant impact on this relationship and will introduce many HR challenges for the organisations involved. Restrictions on freedom of movement between the UK and Ireland will also mean less scope to fill shortages of skilled workers. This could result in a significant increase in interim management and contract staffing for highly skilled professionals, some of whom will relocate from the UK for these opportunities. In the unchartered waters of Brexit it is highly probable that businesses will delay decisions on permanent hires and instead look at shorter term


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appointments. This opens up more interim management opportunities that will allow experienced and talented professionals to manage and lead in this time of change. The market for contract employees was rapidly growing even before Brexit, and demand was already outstripping supply. As a result, companies would often source outside of Ireland, within Europe, to bring contractors into Ireland. Post-Brexit, there is a big opportunity to bring contractors back to Ireland, particularly in the financial services arena, where demand for contractors has intensified.

Post-Brexit, there is a big opportunity to bring contractors back to Ireland, particularly in the financial services arena, where demand for contractors has intensified. UK employers have historically benefitted from the ability to recruit talent from overseas. Now there is growing engagement from experienced Irish professionals who have been living and working in the UK for many years, but who are now of the opinion that it may be the right time to return home due to the uncertainty in the UK marketplace. Other EU citizens will also be looking at Ireland as opposed to the UK as a destination of choice due to less bureaucracy and red tape. Clearly if Brexit is allowed to interrupt the flow of talent to the UK, Ireland will benefit as desirable candidates are lured to its dynamic, English-speaking labour market. Major UK businesses in the technology arena, for example, have a demand for skilled labour that is well

Stephen Kennedy, Managing Director, Talent Partners

in excess of supply, and any restriction on the free movement of labour will hinder its ability to hire key talent, creating more opportunities in Ireland. Brexit is a process that will take years. The levels of integration are so deep that the departure of the UK will have profound legal, economic, social and political implications. However, it also presents an opportunity that should allow Ireland to retain its distinction as one of the fastest growing economies in the developed world. Stephen Kennedy is managing director of Dublin-based Talent Partners, president of North Dublin Chamber of Commerce, and a Council Member of Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Talent Partners specialises in the recruitment of professionals in ICT, financial services and contract staffing. Contact Stephen at or learn more about Talent Partners, by visiting InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Talent Partners is a successful Irish recruitment company that has developed an outstanding reputation in identifying and recruiting top performing professionals for our client companies across industry sectors that include ICT, Financial Services, Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices and Facilities Management. In 2015 we established our Interim Management/Contract Staffing division which has enjoyed tremendous growth since its launch. As part of MRINetwork we are a global organisation that delivers successful recruitment solutions worldwide. Roles we have successfully recruited for Include:       

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Smart decisions. Lasting value. At Crowe Horwath we’ve been supporting and growing Irish business for over 75 years, giving us an unrivalled understanding of the local and international business environment. Our success comes from building lasting relationships with our clients, developing a deep understanding of their business, as well as the challenges and opportunities they face. Together we work to optimise the present and maximise the future, tirelessly exploring all possibilities until we find the right solution. We help clients make smarter decisions today that create lasting value for tomorrow. To find out how we can help maximise the potential of your business, contact: Naoise Cosgrove, Managing Partner T: 01 448 2200


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FOR TOURISM Naoise Cosgrove, Managing Partner at Crowe Horwath, discusses the potential impact of Brexit on the Irish tourism sector.


he global economic recession had a real impact on UK visitors to Ireland, with a drop from 2006 to 2012 of almost 50 per cent. Declining revenue resulted in reduced employment and many hotels and businesses reliant on tourism closed. Since 2012 we have seen a recovery in the tourism sector, with 2015 recording our strongest visitor numbers at 8.6 million. While the UK is still our most dominant source market, its importance has reduced, from a 58 per cent share of total visitors in 1985 to 41 per cent in 2015. This gap has been filled by visitors from the rest of Europe and the US. Based on current trends, we would expect the continued positive growth from other geographical areas to offset any potential losses from the UK as a result of Brexit.

IMPLICATION OF SUSTAINED CURRENCY WEAKNESS The value of Sterling against Euro has fallen sharply since the UK’s Brexit decision. At the end of August 2016, Euro was 12 per cent stronger against Sterling than before the vote. In light of the uncertainty, there is likely to be continued weakness and volatility in the value of Sterling against other major currencies. This is likely to impact UK visitors to Ireland, with visitors choosing to stay in the UK rather than travel abroad. However, the reason for the journey may be an influencing factor on future travel habits. Approximately 40 per cent InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Naoise Cosgrove, Managing Partner, Crowe Horwath

of British visitors to Ireland in 2015 were visiting family or friends and a further 20 per cent were on business. The exchange rate may be less of an influencing factor on these groups than purely recreational travellers.

SPEND AND HOTEL ACCOMMODATION The market in Great Britain (GB) accounts for only 25 per cent of total international bed nights spent in Ireland in 2015 (compared with 41 per cent of visitors). A higher proportion of GB visitors stay with friends and family and have shorter lengths of stay. Because of these factors the average spend by a GB visitor is h274 compared to h791 by the US visitor and h898 from the rest of the world. To put this in perspective, in 2015 the total expenditure by the 3.5m GB visitors represented 23 per cent of the h4 billion international tourism expenditure in Ireland, compared to 28 per cent contribution from the 1.5m US visitors. At a national and regional level it is important that tourism businesses come together to collectively market

Ireland. It is also important that hotels understand where their customers originate from and devise appropriate sales and marketing strategies to target growing markets. Crowe Horwath’s Hotel, Tourism and Leisure consulting team are working with a number of county councils, business groups and individual tourism businesses to devise and implement appropriate marketing strategies.

OTHER RISKS A significant issue in the short-term is the hotel capacity constraint in Dublin – the access point for the vast majority of visitors. Occupancies in Dublin are the highest of all major European cities. Rising demand and insufficient capacity is causing rapidly rising room rates in Dublin, which is not good for the long-term value for money positioning of the Irish tourism sector. We are working with a range of hoteliers, developers and funders on new hotel projects in Dublin. While there is strong potential development pipeline, projects are constrained in the short-term by the lack of development finance and capacity within the construction sector.


14/10/2016 16:42


Being Standards Smart The NSAI is advising Irish businesses on the importance of certification to international standards in a post-Brexit environment.


he National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) is advising Irish businesses, particularly those trading with Britain, that certification to international standards will be crucial and “an absolute must” when Britain leaves the European Union. The most popular international business standards are Quality Management (ISO 9001) and Environmental Management (ISO 14001) with over 1.5 million organisations certified worldwide.

In Ireland over 2,500 organisations are certified to these two key international standards. Head of Business Excellence Certification at NSAI, Fergal O’Byrne, said he expects more Irish organisations will seek certification to these two international standards in the coming year, as certification is a requirement for thousands of Irish firms that tender for contracts in Britain. “If you’re trying to get into new markets and you don’t

have certification to the quality management system standard, in particular, you simply won’t get on the tender list,” says O’Byrne. “With Brexit looming, it appears that British pre-qualification requirements for tendering may demand certification to ISO international standards as a prerequisite. With this in mind, now more than ever, certification to the Quality Management standard ISO 9001 and Environmental Management standard, ISO 14001, will become crucial, especially if you are exporting into Britain or tendering for British contracts,” he adds. According to a recent Behaviour and Attitutes study of over 250

Fergal O’Byrne, Head of Business Excellence, NSAI and Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI


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business leaders in Ireland, 83 per cent said they believe the application of standards has enabled them to get easier access to international markets, while 85 per cent agreed that multinational firms are more likely to do business with an Irish company that adheres to internationally recognised standards. “For many Irish organisations, achieving certification to international standards offers a real boost but for those seeking business abroad, certification is an absolute must,” says Maurice Buckley, CEO of NSAI. “Achieving certification will not only bolster your chances of winning public contracts but will also make bidding for contracts quicker, easier and cheaper. Certification automatically proves to the contracting authority that you meet certain quality assurance standards. This therefore removes the requirement for you to answer lengthy questionnaires about your business processes or compile realms of paperwork.” NSAI has established a free online self-assessment tool for organisations that may be considering certification to the Quality Management and Environmental Management standards. This questionnaire allows organisations to test themselves and see if they are ready for certification to the new versions of the standards. The NSAI self-assessment tool is available on the website All organisations that are currently certified to these key international business standards must transition and be certified to the new versions of the standards by September 15th 2018. The new versions of the standards will make it easier for organisations to apply the management systems to their existing business practices. “The original versions of the standards may have been seen as somewhat of a strait jacket, as organisations had to change their practices to the requirements of the standard. But the new versions of the InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Fergal O’Byrne, Head of Business Excellence, NSAI

standards are much more business friendly,” says Fergal O’Byrne, Head of Business Excellence at NSAI. “For instance an IT organisation will be largely cloud based and will therefore have no paper in their organisation. Why should this kind of

organisation have to go off and write a quality manual, if all their systems are there on the cloud? Provided they can show that their business processes are compliant with the new version of the standard, and there are safe back-up systems in place, then they could very easily and readily comply with the new standard without having to write the classic quality manual which would have been a requirement in the past. So that’s one of the big changes and it’s a big help for organisations,” he adds. However, organisations that have very prescriptive procedures can still maintain those prescriptive procedures, if that works best for them. NSAI will be holding a series of free half day information seminars in the New Year, for organisations that wish to find out more about how they can achieve certification to these two key international business standards in Quality Management and Environmental Management. More details on these events will be available soon on or on Twitter @NSAI_Standards.

Fergal O’Byrne presenting at an NSAI roadshow


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TECHNOLOGY GATEWAY NETWORK THE TECHNOLOGY GATEWAYS ATHLONE IT APT - Applied Polymer Technologies COMAND Connected Media CARLOW IT Design+Applied Design CORK IT CAPPA - Light Technologies TEC Embedded Systems


DUBLIN IT CREST Coatings Innovation GALWAY-MAYO IT MET - Medical & Engineering Technology


LETTERKENNY IT WiSAR Wireless Solutions LIMERICK IT Shannon ABC - Applied Biotechnology IT SLIGO PEM - Precision Engineering & Manufacturing IT TALLAGHT MiCRA Biodiagnostics IT TRALEE IMaR - Intelligent Mechatronics & RFID Shannon ABC - Applied Biotechnology WATERFORD IT MSTG Mobile Services PMBrc Pharmaceutical & Healthcare SEAM - Engineered Material Technologies

The Technology Gateway Network is delivering innovation expertise to industry across Ireland.


nterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway Programme represents a significant investment by Government in creating conditions where enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation can flourish and quality employment opportunities can be grown and maintained. Through funding of 23 million over the five years to December 2017, the programme enables the innovation and technological expertise present in the Institutes of Technology to be harnessed for the benefit of Irish based industry on a regional and national basis. Since 2008, over 600 Irish companies have used the Technology Gateway Network to complete more than 1,500 innovation projects. The gateways are used by companies of all sizes, particularly SMEs. Typical projects focus on the development of a new product or service or the optimisation of a process. About 90


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per cent of the projects undertaken by Technology Gateways are small, involving a total spend in the region of 5,000 to 10,000. Enterprise Ireland has a nationwide network of 15 Technology Gateways which: • Deliver technology solutions for Irish industry close to their market needs. • Are open access points for industry of all sizes. • Act as local access points to the wider resources in the Irish research infrastructure. • Have a proven track record of delivering for industry. • Completed more than 800 industrial projects since 2013. For more information on the gateways visit InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

14/10/2016 16:41


BIOTECH FOR BUSINESS Dr Tim Yeomans, Shannon ABC Centre Manager, explains how collaboration can deliver R&D results for your company.


hannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (Shannon ABC) is one of Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateways , working with companies in the food, life science and biotechnology sectors. We work with companies to add value to their bioresource based products; Shannon ABC has developed significant expertise in bioresources – detection, identification, characterisation and valorisation – and collaborates with industry and other research centres in order to deliver this expertise in applied settings. These bioresources are from a variety of sources including terrestrial plants, marine sources, microbial sources, byproducts and waste products. During the course of the past year we have worked with companies from a range of sectors, including food, cosmetics, biopharmaceutical, agriculture, nutraceutical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical. These projects have included: • Food product development and shelf life studies. • Adding value to pharmaceutical side streams. • Bioavailability and mode of action of nutraceutical compounds. • Antimicrobial testing of surface coating. • New product development of testing standards for the food industry. • Bioactivity profiling and cell culture analysis of skin care cosmetics. • Development of seaweed InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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biostimulant plant signal induction platform. • Production and screening of natural sunscreen molecules. • Comparative analysis of enzyme mixtures. • Screening model for bioactives of commercial interest. Shannon ABC is a collaboration between the Institute of Technology Tralee and Limerick Institute of Technology and we have state-ofthe-art laboratories and highly skilled researchers in each location. We have a very flexible approach to working with companies and this can range from simply providing access to our facilities and instrumentation to full collaborative research projects; companies can fund their bespoke research needs through contract research, state funding or European funding, and Shannon ABC can assist in all of these mechanisms.

Our focus is very much on the company need, and how we can help the company address this, either through Shannon ABC directly or through our excellent scientific and commercial network within Ireland and internationally. Please also visit our website www. or contact Shannon ABC’s centre manager, Dr Tim Yeomans (

What our clients say “The partnership [with Shannon ABC]… is proving to be an excellent way to enhance and accelerate our research and development efforts in the development of new standards for the analysis of important food and feed components.” “Over the last two and a half years [working with Shannon ABC] we have achieved substantial results in understanding the nature and biological impact of our product and have now built up a significant knowledge bank on our product. Results from this work has led to further, more in-depth analysis to focus on the creation of a cell culture model to demonstrate cause and effect of the product on the relevant cells in the body. Shannon ABC has greatly assisted in enhancing our scientific and technical capability while offering us access to state of the art facilities and resources and people with the expertise and knowledge to provide real value added solutions.” “Shannon ABC provided a very professional service during the Innovation Voucher and at reporting stages. We were regularly appraised of the situation as the project developed, we found Shannon ABC to be accommodating and flexible to work with and it was clear that they understand the constraints of SMEs. The final report was very thorough and focused on the question which we had posed. The report presentation by Shannon ABC staff members was clear and well structured. We hope to use the results to further develop a series of new products to the Irish and international marketplace. We hope to return to Shannon ABC for the next phase of the project, and look forward to working with them in developing a new range of products.”


14/10/2016 16:41



MOVING Dublin Chamber of Commerce has called for an increase in funding to support transport projects coming down the tracks.


he Government must allocate the funding that will allow for Metro North and Dart Underground to be built as soon as possible, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Dublin Chamber issued the call after Minister for Transport Shane Ross committed to ensuring the construction of both projects. At present, there is no commencement date for either project. Metro North is not scheduled to be completed until 2026 at the earliest, while no date has been given for the completion of Dart Underground. Dublin Chamber said that both projects are urgently needed to address everworsening congestion – one of the biggest issues currently facing businesses in the Dublin region. According to Dublin Chamber’s Public


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Affairs Manager Graeme McQueen: “Without proper action, there is a real danger that we are about to sleep-walk into a prolonged infrastructure crisis. The problems we’re seeing in Dublin today are the result of significant under-investment in transport infrastructure over the past decade. This under-investment means our transport system is considerably behind where it needs to be for a fast-growing city. When it comes to transport, it is time that we started favouring more ambitious, integrated, long-term solutions.” Dublin Chamber said that the construction of Metro North – which will link Dublin city centre with Dublin Airport and the fast-growing North County Dublin region – and Dart Underground is key to easing congestion and maintaining Dublin’s attractiveness as a place to work, locate a business, live and visit.

The Chamber pointed to successive global indices – including the recent World Economic Forum report – which have highlighted the lack of infrastructure investment as a threat to Ireland’s competitiveness. McQueen added: “Dart Underground and Metro North have the potential to transform public transport in Dublin. Together, they can provide the cornerstone of a public transport network that will set Dublin up for the next 100+ years. The Transport Minister’s commitment to making both projects happen is very welcome and must now be supported by a commitment by Government and the transport authorities to secure the required funding to deliver Metro North and Dart Underground much quicker than previously intimated.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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SUSTAINABLE CITY Dublin City Council strives to create a sustainable city to accommodate growing traffic patterns.


ince the late nineties, Dublin City Council has proactively promoted a shift to sustainable transport, focusing on public transport, walking and cycling for environmental, economic, social and health reasons. Since then, the mode share of private cars entering the city has dropped from 50 per cent to 33 per cent. By 2023, an expected 40,000+ additional trips to the growing city will make it necessary to accommodate the majority of people on public transport, bicycle and on foot. The long term target for the city centre is for 80 per cent of all trips by sustainable transport.

The Luas Cross City (LCC) project is one of the largest capital investment projects being undertaken by the Government and will positively impact travel in the city. LCC connects the existing two tram lines and therefore serves a wider area to provide a cross city service. The new connected service will bring a greater number of people to the heart of the Docklands area and also serve 20,000 students on the new Grangegorman Campus. The project is expected to finish by the end of 2017, and will provide a greatly improved

public realm for Dublin’s travelling and business communities. The greatest challenge facing the city is the level of capital funding to provide real sustainable transport solutions. The layout and historic nature of the city means that there is limited space and opportunities for retrofitting infrastructure. However, DCC is committed to a vision of the city where the majority of the people travel on foot, by bike and on public transport, balancing the needs of all road users.

Dublin City Council making traďŹƒc work in the city

Photomontage: Dublin City Council

Declan Wallace, Director of Traffic

Proud to be playing our part in keeping the city moving

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Unleash the power OF DATA An Post’s AdMailer service is changing the game for self-service marketing. InBUSINESS spoke with Fiona Heffernan, Head of Post Media, to discover more about AdMailer 2.0.


dMailer 2.0 offers direct marketing like you’ve never seen it before. Designed to disrupt and transform the way businesses market their products, AdMailer allows companies to pinpoint target audiences through enhanced customer selection using enriched data, and to market directly in one transaction. The marketing platform combines the ease of digital with the power of physical to deliver the flexibility and ability to reach out to target audiences quickly and efficiently. “You’re doing everything online. You select a target audience, you enrich that data with information around lifestyle or industry, while you can also select from pre-designed templates and upload your own artwork. Simply pay and three days later your campaign is delivered,” says Fiona Heffernan, Head of Post Media with An Post.

OPEN APPROACH Ease of use and the power of AdMailer’s data are the main attractions of the updated service, which has been rebuilt over the past year to provide accessibility for businesses of all shapes and sizes, from sole traders to large corporations, across mobile, tablet and desktop platforms. A corner shop can target every household within a 5km radius; a large corporation can focus a campaign on people with two cars in the driveway, or those with three InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Fiona Heffernan, Head of Post Media

kids. And, as the data is managed by AdMailer, the risks and challenges associated with data management are removed from the equation. “We believe that the power is in the data. AdMailer provides access to segmented data but it also cleans, stores, refreshes and segments data online so that the users don’t have to be concerned about any of the risks involved in data management,” Heffernan explains. “It’s all done for them on the AdMailer system. Users also have access to all of their previous campaigns – who they’ve targeted, where, and what artwork they have used. Ireland is their target audience, and they can choose when and how they want to talk to their customers. It’s just a matter of clicks.”

BOTTOM LINE The updated system also offers a way in which businesses can manage their marketing spend. Alongside a fixed price to design, print and deliver campaigns, AdMailer cuts out the waste as campaigns can be tailored to target very specific demographics. Heffernan gives the example of a

gym which used AdMailer’s audience selection tool to target stay at home parents in a bid to boost their trade during off-peak hours. It also eases marketing fears when considering a new product or service offering. AdMailer allows businesses to quietly test a small segment of the target market, which can then be quickly scaled if successful. Heffernan notes that some businesses are also using AdMailer to drive consumers online – 54 per cent of Irish consumers will go online following the receipt of relevant direct mail, driving online traffic and providing e-commerce brands with another route to their targeted market. The redesigned service was launched in July, and the response thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. “This is next generation marketing, accessible 24/7 across online devices. Nowhere else can you find that level of data in real time, online,” says Heffernan. “Businesses are in control every step of the way, and its pinpoint accuracy ensures there is no wastage – www. is an incredibly powerful marketing tool.”


14/10/2016 16:39


Down to the

BUSINESS OF DATA DataCentres Ireland, the country’s largest and most complete data event, returns for the fifth year running focusing on infrastructure, services and solutions.


n recent years, data centres have become a profitable business in Ireland. Multinationals like Microsoft, Google and Amazon have rooted their data storage sites across the country leaving Ireland in the unique position of having all of the top five international IT cloud providers and the top ten IT companies based in the country. Taking place on November 8th and 9th this year, at the RDS, Dublin, DataCentres Ireland is a free two-day conference and exhibition attracting an audience of over 1,000 people each year, and is Ireland’s premier business forum for data industry professionals. Combining a dedicated exhibition with a world class multi-streamed conference, DataCentres Ireland will again address the data needs of companies – both large and small. It is a must attend event for any company that owns or is investing in its digital assets, either by operating its own data centre, server or comms room, or is looking to outsource some or all of its IT and storage needs to a third party or in the cloud. The growth in the number and size of data centres, particularly in Ireland, will be driven by many factors including the IOT (Internet of Things), M2M (Machine to Machine) communications, new 5G services, and the continued growth of streamed video. So why should you attend the event? DataCentres Ireland will feature leading companies and


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experts showcasing the latest tools, technologies, equipment, services and ideas for your data centre server or comms room. The multi-streamed conference benefits from the active involvement of industry organisations such as Data Centre Alliance, the Green Grid and Host In Ireland. Featuring an international line-up of expert speakers, the conference will deliver the latest in practical information, thought leadership and case studies within the sector. On November 9th, sponsored by Host In Ireland, a dedicated conference stream entitled, ‘For Ireland the data is the why, the centre is the how’ will include Host In Ireland executive and

advisory Council members along with selected global industry leaders. With numerous keynote speeches and panel discussions taking place, among the issues being addressed are: data sovereignty - protection and compliance; financing of data/hosting infrastructure developments; global megatrends and what they mean for Ireland; creation, retention and attraction of talent; and much more besides. Registration is free. Simply visit To exhibit call the DataCentres team on +44(0) 1 892 518877 or email InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Fully fi ed, innovative workspace offering maximum flexibili in Dublin & Belfast Come & grow with Glandore Virtual offices, coworking, private offices, conferencing & Glandore’s members network For more information, please contact:

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Creating Space

For Business To Grow Glandore is an Irish, family owned and managed company offering innovative, flexible office, co-working and meeting space in Dublin and Belfast.


ounded by the Kelly family in 2001, Glandore offers flexible workspace in the central business and technology hubs of Dublin and Belfast. With six properties and capacity for over 2,000 workstations, the firm is renowned for the level of service and attention provided to its members. From the beginning, Glandore has strived to create environments that encourage, inspire and support the growth of the companies they house, who range from freelancers and scaling start-ups to SMEs and larger enterprises. Previous Glandore Dublin members include Facebook, Twitter, Bank of Ireland, EY and many more.

DIFFERENT TACK Over the past two years there has been an exceptional recovery in the commercial office market, with prime rental value of e619 per square metre achieved by the mid-year point according to CBRE’s bi-monthly research report. However, there continues to be a shortage of Grade A office space to meeting existing demand, in particular for scaling companies and those requiring up to 5,000 square feet. Furthermore, as a result of Brexit, there is evidence of increased interest and demand for Dublin office space as firms seek to relocate from London to eurozone capitals. With so much uncertainty, companies are looking for increased flexibility and to minimise risk, making InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Glandore head office, Fitzwilliam Hall, Dublin

serviced office space an even more attractive option for any company. Glandore offers a high quality, flexible alternative to the traditional lease. Without onerous lease terms, costly fit-outs and time-consuming office management activities, companies are free to concentrate on their core business and their team. Glandore offers companies an immediate set up on flexible terms with virtual offices, co-working space, meeting and event facilities, and fully furnished private office space. Glandore’s properties are more considered in terms of design and available amenities, incorporating bright, spacious offices, comfortable breakout areas and contemporary meeting rooms, bike racks, shower facilities and much more. Onsite catering and private dining is provided via its in-house restaurant Suesey Street and event venue No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place. Members also have access to Glandore’s large and experienced team, from operations and community managers to event coordinators and on-site IT managers.

makes its offering so unique. Home to a wonderfully diverse group of companies, Glandore launched the Members Network in February 2016, offering these companies a chance to network, share ideas and experiences and hopefully drive business in each other’s direction. The firm hosts regular Member Network events including breakfast and lunchtime speaker events fuelled by their members’ feedback and interests, bringing the community together in a relaxed, informal setting. This year has been a busy period for Glandore, having doubled workstation capacity in Dublin and Belfast, introduced co-working space and upgraded their meeting rooms and event space. The firm aims to continue its investment in its properties and people, and will soon be launching a bespoke, members-only web portal and app, through which members will be able to book workspace and meeting rooms online, communicate with other members and the Glandore team, and access exclusive perks and discounts. Watch this space.


For more information phone 01 669 4700, visit or email

Glandore’s focus on community and inspirational environments is what


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Open to BUSINESS Liam Lynch, President, Chartered Accountants Ireland, warns of a need to continue supporting indigenous private enterprise across the board.

Liam Lynch, President, Chartered Accountants Ireland


rivate enterprise is the lifeblood of our economy and our society. The economy underpins society and private enterprise drives the economy. Therefore it in turn deserves support and recognition for the role it plays. On the other hand it is up to businesspeople to explain and champion this role. To do otherwise leaves the field open to the naysayers, cynics and the downright hostile. In my role as President of Chartered Accountants Ireland I represent nearly 25,000 members across Ireland and around the world. Over 60 per cent work in industry roles, with about 30 per cent working in or owning accountancy firms. Many are themselves entrepreneurs, using the training they received to succeed in many different facets of business and managerial life. Given that background, I have started my year as President with a few things I want to say and do, because I think they are important and are worth saying. In particular I want to see Chartered Accountants Ireland speaking up for private enterprise, and to resolutely support the people who really make things happen in business and for society. Of course, as so often happens to the best laid plans, events intervene and drown out almost every other narrative. In this instance, Brexit happened, or was instigated. How it will happen remains to be seen. As we get so wound up in this new and compelling Brexit narrative, we forget to focus on all those other things. Things like real societal and InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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governmental support for private enterprise. Sure, they will be impacted by Brexit, but they also remain important matters in themselves. Here in the Republic there is a danger that we become so focused on the inward investment opportunities afforded by the imminent exit of the UK from the EU, that we do not focus sufficiently on indigenous Irish business and encouraging Irish entrepreneurs. In Northern Ireland, the focus could easily become an obsession with how EU funds can be replaced by central UK funding, rather than on transforming the basis of the economy away from government dependency. The route towards a strong, sustainable economy is a strong indigenous business sector that trades with the rest of the EU and the world. Britain will remain this island’s biggest trading partner simply because it is a huge market and it is right beside us. Proximity to market does matter and will not be easily replaced by far flung locations. It is therefore vitally important for the entire island that we retain full access to that market. But it is also vital that private

enterprise is encouraged so we have nimble indigenous businesses capable of competing globally. This means real encouragement from Government, and not just lip service. It means real support in terms of effective regulation that is workable and encourages trade, a decent tax regime for growing businesses and entrepreneurs, and the implementation of legislation that is on time and supportive. It means real respect for private enterprise by Government at all levels. But it also means strong positive voices speaking up for private enterprise, both within and outside of Government. We are currently facing new political, business and trading realities. But the world hasn’t ended – it continues to revolve and we are cursed or blessed (take your pick) to live in interesting times. The great ability of private enterprise is to nimbly embrace interesting times and prosper, for the benefit of society at large. I believe it is the job of Government to embrace this nimbleness, embrace the indigenous entrepreneur and be open to business.


14/10/2016 16:38


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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • ULSTER Louth gets tidy, Chinese delegation visits Fingal and Athenaeum Theatre opens in Wexford.

Ludgate Hub opens in Cork, Limerick festival secures award and STEM initiative launched.

Sligo libraries to remain open, filmmakers arrive in Galway and Leitrim shortlisted for Pakman award.

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Taste of Cavan event exceeds expectations, funding granted for Monaghan park and Molloy named Donegal Chowder Champion.

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As the Irish film industry continues to develop, attracting critical and financial success, the Irish Film Board has welcomed an increase in funding levels in Budget 2017 to capitalise on the sector’s achievements.


GeoDirectory offers businesses the chance to fully utilise the data in their possession.

Page 15

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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In Association with

We examine what businesses can expect from the upcoming MeetWest event in Mayo.


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REGISTRATION €175 INC VAT Includes full attendance on both days, Networking Dinner on Day 1 & lunch on Day 2.

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COUNTY DUBLIN Fingal delegates hosting visitors from Fujan


26TH OCTOBER - 6TH NOVEMBER Wexford Festival Opera Co Wexford 10TH - 13TH NOVEMBER Dublin Book Festival Smock Alley Theatre, Co Dublin 12TH - 13TH NOVEMBER Birr Vintage Week and Arts festival Birr, Co Offaly 18TH - 20TH NOVEMBER The Ardee Baroque Festival Ardee, Co Louth

CHINESE DELEGATION VISITS FINGAL Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eithne Loftus and Chair of the Fingal County Council’s Economic Strategic Policy Committee, Cllr Kieran Dennison, welcomed a delegation from Fujian Province in South East China to County Hall, Swords in August. The delegation received presentations on Fingal’s tourism strategy, the Dublin Enterprise Zone and a talk in the Chapel on the conservation plans for Swords Castle. The trip concluded with a visit to Malahide village including a tour of Malahide Castle and Gardens followed by a coastal drive to Howth before they returned to Dublin city centre.


TOURISM POTENTIAL FOR WICKLOW PORT Wicklow County Council has welcomed the transfer of ownership of Wicklow Port to the County Council, believing that the move will result in the potential for greater commercial and tourism development. Commenting on the news, Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, said: “I believe the transfer of Wicklow Port to Wicklow County Council is an excellent opportunity for the port to further develop and grow both marine, marine leisure and regional freight activities.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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ATHENAEUM THEATRE OPENS IN WEXFORD Wexford County Council has received praise for its contribution to the opening of the newly refurbished Athenaeum Theatre in Enniscorthy Town, while bringing its 2016 centenary celebrations to a close. At the opening of the community and arts venue, Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe concluded that the investment of almost a950,000 from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Wexford County Council has safeguarded public access to this historic site for generations to come. He also praised the council’s efforts in encouraging community participation during their centenary celebrations.


LOUTH GETS TIDY Louth County Council was delighted to announce its recent success in the 2016 Tidy Towns competition. It was revealed that gold medals were achieved by Dundalk, Tallanstown, Blackrock and Drogheda, while Ardee and Knockbridge also picked up bronze medals. Louth County Council Cathaoirleach Paul Bell congratulated all involved in securing the six coveted medals.


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MUNSTER 7TH - 13TH NOVEMBER Cork Film Festival Emmet House, Co Cork 10TH - 14TH NOVEMBER Ennis Trad Festival Ennis, Co Clare 26TH - 29TH DECEMBER Shannon Airport Christmas Racing Festival Limerick Racecourse, Greenmount Park, Patrickswell 27TH - 29TH DECEMBER Glen of Aherlow Winter Walking Festival Aherlow House Hotel

STEM INITIATIVE LAUNCHED I WISH founders Gillian Keating, Caroline O’Driscoll and Ruth Buckley with students from St. Finian’s Community College, Swords at the launch of I WISH 2017

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton officially launched I WISH 2017, a successful partnership initiative encouraging young women to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). The programme will spread nationwide next year with events in Cork on February 9th and 10th 2017 and in Dublin on February 13th and 14th. Established in 2014 by three Cork businesswomen – Gillian Keating, Partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn, Ruth Buckley, Head of ICT & Business Services at Cork City Council and Caroline O’Driscoll, Partner at KPMG – the next I WISH conference and exhibition will engage more than 4,000 secondary school girls with the purpose of encouraging and motivating them to pursue careers in STEM.


LIMERICK FESTIVAL SECURES AWARD Limerick festival Elemental has secured a Pinnacle Award – an international recognition of excellence – from the International Festival and Events Association (IFEA). Elemental was presented with the gold award in the Best Promotional Brochure category. Alan Hogan of Elemental Arts and Culture Festival Limerick said: “It is great to see the work which has gone into the festival and the brochure being recognised on such a significant, international scale. For a festival, there is no higher recognition.


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LUDGATE HUB OPENS IN CORK Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor officially opened a one Gigabit digital hub in Skibbereen on July 29th. The Ludgate Hub is part of an initiative which aims to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the west Cork region and seeks to create 500 jobs in five years with an initial 75 plus jobs in the start-up phase. The hub is now fully operational with over 30 people signed up and working from the premises. The broadband infrastructure is three times as powerful as the market leading service in Dublin.

LUDGATE SUPPORTERS Supporters of the Ludgate Hub include:



• Vodafone

• Cork County Council

• Ronan Daly Jermyn

• Google

• Moore Nathan • SIRO Stephens


AGRI CONFERENCE SHOWCASES RENEWABLE ENERGY Tipperary County Council’s planning section sought to engage the agri-sector this September by hosting an Energy in Agriculture conference, where it showcased the opportunities for farmers to invest in renewable energy production for improvement of profitability on their farms. The conference demonstrations and talks covered several key technology areas of solar photovoltaics, wind energy, biogas production, biomass heating, zero energy pumps and water power. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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LEITRIM SHORTLISTED FOR PAKMAN AWARD Leitrim County Council has been announced as a shortlisted finalist for the Community Recycling Project of the Year category at the 2016 Pakman Awards. In order to be eligible for the award, Leitrim County Council demonstrated numerous ways in which it has raised awareness in its local community about issues such as composting, re-use, recycling, waste minimisation and through educational talks. This year’s Pakman Awards will be held on the evening of Thursday October 27th in Dublin.


SLIGO LIBRARIES TO REMAIN OPEN Ciaran Hayes, CEO of Sligo County Council, has announced that the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has granted his request to employ six staff for the library services in Co Sligo. Due to the new funding, public libraries which were previously scheduled for closure will remain open and functioning for the local community.

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5TH NOVEMBER Gaelforce Turf Warrior Challenge Killary Harbour, Co Galway 17TH - 19TH NOVEMBER Western Drama Festival of One Act Tubbercurry, Co Sligo 26TH NOVEMBER - 22ND DECEMBER Winter Wonderland at Westport House Westport, Co Mayo 3RD - 4TH DECEMBER The Winter Market at the Dock Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim



FILMMAKERS ARRIVE IN GALWAY Galway County Council, City Council and Galway 2020 have welcomed young filmmakers from across Europe to the county during the month of October as Galway UNESCO City of Film hosts ‘Galway Stories’. Notable figures and filmmakers came from France, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Faroe Islands, Germany and Denmark to collaborate on four individual documentaries based on Galway. For more on the film landscape in Ireland go to page 8. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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ABOUT GALWAY STORIES The Galway Stories Talent Camp is part of an initiative by Screen Talent Europe, a network of 15 support organisations located across Northern Europe with the aim of nurturing new talent and enabling producers from across the region to work together.

Mayo County Council will host MeetWest 2016 for its sixth year running this November 24th and 25th. The two day business networking event will host David McWilliams, renowned global economist, journalist, lecturer, broadcaster and documentary maker, as a key speaker. Other notable speakers will include Niall O’Donnellan, Enterprise Ireland; Jo Collins, Managing Director of; and Fergal O’Connor, CEO and Founder at Happy Marketing & Media.

For more on the event turn to page 7.


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CHRIS MOLLOY NAMED DONEGAL CHOWDER CHAMPION Donegal County Council welcomed the news that local chef Chris Molloy has been named Donegal Chowder Champion at the recent county Chowder Cook-Off hosted by The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative. Eve-Anne McCarron of Donegal County Council said: “We wish Chris and everyone at The Lemon Tree the very best of luck in the next stage of the All-Ireland Chowder Competition.” Chris will now represent Donegal at the 7th annual All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off competition in Kinsale early next year.


1ST - 3RD NOVEMBER Cavan One Act Drama Festival Cavan Town 13TH NOVEMBER Cavan Craft & Food Fair Hotel Kilmore, Co Cavan 21ST AUGUST Allingham Festival Ballyshannon, Co Donegal



3RD DECEMBER Clones Christmas Festival Clones, Co Monaghan

Monaghan County Council has been allocated a115,935 in funds in an effort to improve the development of works in Rossmore Forest Park in Monaghan. Commenting on the news, Minister Heather Humphreys said: “Monaghan County Council will be working with Coillte to upgrade the existing Lake Walk, install new heritage interpretation signage, and develop a new trail which will facilitate access to the original site of Rossmore Castle. These works will greatly enhance what is already a very popular local amenity.”





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TASTE OF CAVAN EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS The Taste of Cavan food event returned last August with unprecedented attendance levels of around 40,000 people. Conor Harrington of Cavan County Council said the annual event had once again exceeded all expectations. “It’s incredible the interest that is there for local food, Cavan produce, and also produce from the surrounding areas. It’s a festival that has taken on regional and even national significance at this stage.” InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Go West for

MEETWEST John Magee of the Mayo Local Enterprise Office speaks to InBUSINESS about the upcoming MeetWest event and what businesses can get out of attending.


usinesses in the west of Ireland are once again gearing up for the largest business networking event in the region. On November 24th and 25th at the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co Mayo, MeetWest 2016 will bring a wide range of companies from the west of Ireland and further afield together to network and to do business. Now in its sixth year, MeetWest – which is a collaboration between the local authorities and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon, along with the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, the Western Development Commission, SCCUL Enterprises Ltd and Údarás na Gaeltachta – offers participating companies a full day of tailored one-to-one networking meetings complimented by a conference and networking dinner. John Magee, Acting Head of Mayo Enterprise at Mayo Local Enterprise Office, provides some background


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on the event. “It has been rotated between three counties over the past six years and we continue to reinvent it each year to make it relevant to small businesses,” he says. “It’s based on a business networking event that utilises a clever piece of software that ensures that all participants receive a tailored meeting schedule. From a list of attendees you organise who you’d like to meet at the event. It means that there is no such thing as an irrelevant meeting of any description.” The software is used throughout Europe for various business networking events and has proved to be a great success. In terms of the companies that attend, it is predominantly small businesses but there is a presence of some larger companies as well as multinationals. “We are selling the event to companies across a spectrum of sizes,” explains Magee. “It is important to us to have companies that represent the dynamic and mix of the west of Ireland businesses. We work hard to secure the participation of local FDIs and MNCs as well as larger indigenous companies. Combined with smaller businesses from across a spectrum of sectors, the participant mix is very reflective of the business ecosystem in the region.” The theme for this year’s event is ‘finding opportunities to grow’ and that will encompass everything from advice on Brexit for companies closely aligned to the UK market to practical help for businesses in navigating their way through the social media maze. Economist David McWilliams is the after-dinner speaker who will undoubtedly provide a deep insight into the current state of the local and international economy. In terms of the business landscape

John Magee, Acting Head of Mayo Enterprise at Mayo Local Enterprise Office

in the west, Magee believes the sentiment is positive and that there’s a strong sense of confidence out there relative to previous years. “Start-up numbers are strong, there are growing levels of confidence and positivity and businesses are engaging with enterprise support agencies like the LEOs and Enterprise Ireland to secure guidance and support. It’s an environment that is delivering results,” he says. “The networking that goes on at MeetWest is really important,” Magee adds. “Businesses are telling us that they really value the structured one-to-one meeting event but also the informal business networking opportunities. From an enterprise development agency perspective, it’s important for us to remind businesses of the broad range of supports available to small businesses from the various enterprise support agencies. Reinforcing the message that there is significant support available from the State is particularly important.”


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Success to

Capitalise On As the Irish film industry continues to develop, attracting critical and financial success, the Irish Film Board has welcomed an increase in funding levels in Budget 2017 to capitalise on the sector’s achievements.


here’s no doubt that Irish film is in a very strong place. Over the past year, Irish productions have taken an impressive $150 million at the worldwide box office, with audience figures in the region of 18 million admissions. The wider audiovisual sector currently employs some 6,000 people and is growing, generating over a500m for the Irish economy. Ireland’s animation sector, for example, has continued to go from strength to strength, with two Irish projects featured in the top five attended pitches at Cartoon Forum in Toulouse − JAM Media’s Snoozeville and Giant Animation’s Creepers.

STIMULATING SUCCESS These achievements are the result of a variety of factors – highly skilled Irish companies, a wide range of educational supports, the strong post production and visual effects sector, as well as a variety of diverse and stunning locations which have attracted productions from Penny Dreadful to Vikings. Much of this success is also due to the continued hard work behind the scenes by the Irish Film Board (IFB), which exists to support and develop Irish creative talent, and is undoubtedly succeeding in that brief. Recent successes are the cumulative effect of a long term

Without Name cast members Niamh Algar, Alan McKenna, James Browne, director Lorcan Finnegan, and producer Brunella Cocchiglia at a Toronto International Film Festival gathering


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investment in Irish talent. Directors Lenny Abrahamson (Room) and John Crowley (Brooklyn) are prime examples of how sustained support from the early stages of a career can lead to great success at a later stage. Both directors made their feature film debuts with IFB-funded films more than a decade ago – Abrahamson with Adam & Paul (2004) and Crowley with Intermission (2003). Critical success has also been achieved over the past year – take for example the recent recognition at the 88th Academy Awards held in Los Angeles in February, with a remarkable nine Irish nominations, and two ultimately successful Oscar winners. In addition, on the back of a phenomenally successful 12 months for the Irish film sector, an unprecedented eight Irish films were included in the official programme for the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival – The Secret Scripture, Maudie, Unless, Without Name (an IFB Catalyst project), Handsome Devil, Brain on Fire, the short film Second to None and feature documentary Forever Pure. Lenny Abrahamson’s Oscar-winning Room began its journey at Toronto last year, where it took home the People’s Choice Award. Much work has also been done by the IFB in marketing Ireland as an attractive location for the global film industry, creating further opportunities and growth for the indigenous film industry, increasing job creation and attracting both foreign direct investment and tourism. That work is possibly best highlighted by the role Skellig Michael recently played in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has helped to boost Ireland’s reputation on the global stage. Having caught a glimpse of the possibilities and supports InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Brooklyn by John Crowley

available here, other productions are opting for Ireland. In September, international stars Mel Gibson and Sean Penn arrived in Dublin to film the adaption of The Professor and the Madman, which examines the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Beginning an eight-week production in Dublin city at the end of September, funding has been provided by the Irish Film Board, with on the ground location support from the IFB inward production team.

levels of b20 million, which we believe is critical to building on the current success of the industry and remains a key element to the IFB strategic plan over the next five years. At our current reduced budget levels, the IFB has invested in projects which have won major international acclaim, connected with Irish audiences and generated $150 million at the global box office over the last 18 months. We welcome this budget increase and remain ambitious in our vision and future goals for the sector.”

The Young Offenders, released in September, achieved the highest opening for an Irish film in the Republic of Ireland in 2016, with an opening weekend take of a202,000. The film was inspired by Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure of a440m off the coast of Cork in 2007, and follows the story of two teenagers from Cork’s inner city as they embark on a 160km road trip by bicycle to retrieve an unrecovered bale of cocaine. Produced by Vico Films and funded by the Irish Film Board, The Young Offenders marks the directorial debut of Peter Foott, with Chris Walley and Alex Murphy in the lead roles, and has since screened at Fantastic Fest in Texas and at the BFI London Film Festival. “We’re absolutely delighted that audiences have embraced The Young Offenders so enthusiastically. It’s been a brilliant year for Irish film, so for The Young Offenders to have the highest opening is a huge achievement,” said Patrick O’Neill, MD, Wildcard Distribution.

BUDGET MEASURES Talent and hard work is in abundance in Ireland, and must be nourished with the proper supports. To sustain this success and to continue to grow and nurture Irish talent, the Irish Film Board has welcomed a funding increase of b2 million in Budget 2017, which demonstrates a strong commitment to the future of Ireland’s audiovisual sector. “The Irish Government has recognised the achievment of Irish filmmakers and has demonstrated its commitment to the future of the Irish film, television and animation sectors. We wish to thank Minister Heather Humphreys in particular for her continued support and increased funding,” said IFB Chair, Dr Annie Doona. “Earlier this year, the IFB board called for a restoration of IFB funding to 2008 InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Room by Lenny Abrahamson


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Celebrating the Success of Irish Film






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A Reel Success

in Limerick Limerick City and County Council is working hard to cement Limerick’s reputation as a major player within the global film industry.


he foundations for Limerick’s ambition to become a significant player in the movie business were laid in 2014 when the Irish Film Board, in conjunction with the then Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, made a call for expressions of interest in relation to the provision of dedicated audio-visual content studio facilities. Having examined the experience and major success of the creation of such facilities in Belfast from a zero base, and the impact on the local community, Limerick City and County Council believed that drawing on the depth of existing expertise could result in major sustainable employment for Limerick. It was also seen as a logical legacy of Limerick’s year as National City of Culture 2014. Plans were put in place to provide world-class production facilities, with heads of agreement signed in 2015 between the local authority and the new Troy Studios, which is backed by some of the most successful people in the Irish film industry, to develop the production hub. “There is a clear and urgent demand for large scale studio space and support buildings in Ireland, and in our analysis, many of the pre-conditions necessary for the creation of studios already exist in Limerick,” said Conn Murray, Chief Executive, Limerick City and County Council. The project has the potential to create 750 new jobs and create a commercial spin off of a70 million InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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for the local economy. Limerick’s designation as National City of Culture in 2014 resulted in the use of a vacant building in the National Technology Park in Plassey. The diverse uses of the building, called the Culture Factory during the 12 months showcased the building’s potential and accelerated the belief that Limerick already had a strong base from which it could provide a major film production facilities hub. To help advance the project the local authority purchased the 340,000 square feet facility for around s6m and signed a 20-year lease with Troy Studios for the space. Fast forward to 2016, and work has been continuing apace. An extensive refurbishment of the building is nearly complete, in time for an open day for interested parties in the coming month. Troy Studios has linked up with Pinewood to handle its international bookings and has already hosted well known producers. Mike Cantwell, head of Innovate Limerick – the council’s innovative arm – said: “It is a world class facility, they have had people from around the world viewing it and it is the one thing that everybody says back to

them, is that there is nothing like this. Because everything is under the one roof. Studios in general have the sound stage in one building and production in another – out in Troy it is all under one roof.” Running parallel to the building project is the establishment of a new Production and Digital Skills Academy in the Biblical Centre in the heart of Limerick city. The academy will take advantage of the opportunities being created by the opening of Troy Studios by equipping people with the skills necessary to work on a film set. The plan is to have an all-Irish trained crew working at Troy Studios by 2020. This focus on a tangible benefit for local people is emphasised by Michelle Brassil from Troy Studios. “In providing world class film studio infrastructure, Troy Studios will be the enabler for incoming productions that will seek to employ local production crews, trained to a very high standard,” she said. “The Academy is a significant step forward in meeting this potential demand.” It appears the cameras are nearly ready to roll on Limerick.


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IRELAND’S HIDDEN GEM Offaly is gaining a reputation as a destination for Irish businesses, including the country’s burgeoning film industry.


ake another look at Offaly. This county is quietly making strides and appearing on the national radar in areas such as enterprise and innovation, tourism, food and film. The new tourism brand for the county, Offaly – Ireland’s Hidden Gem, taps into this and encourages visitors to discover for themselves the wealth of natural amenities, cultural attractions and local charms. The Hidden Gem brand is also apt when describing the vibrant business culture in Offaly. The county has a strong heritage of energy production and manufacturing. Employment in both ESB and Bord na Móna has resulted in generations of skilled fabricators. Many of those employees then went on to create their own successful engineering and manufacturing businesses. Emerging enterprise sectors in industrial design, food, software and renewable energies are accompanied by a growing cluster of Enterprise Ireland and IDAsupported companies

COUNTY STRENGTHS Businesses in Offaly are supported by Offaly County Council, through the Local Enterprise Office (LEO). The Local Enterprise Office is the ‘one stop shop’ for all Government supports for anyone looking to set up or expand their business and create jobs in Offaly. The LEO has a close working relationship with other development agencies, private sector and Chambers


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FilmOffaly has launched a new campaign to boost film and television production in Offaly

“FILMOFFALY, WHICH IS OFFALY’S FILM COMMISSION AND A PROJECT OF OFFALY COUNTY COUNCIL SUPPORTS FILMMAKERS AND ACTIVELY PROMOTES LOCATIONS AND CREW.” of Commerce in delivering business initiatives. Head of Enterprise Orla Martin spoke to us about some of the county’s strengths as a business location. These include a central location, good connectivity and quality of life making it a great place to live and work. From most parts of the county, cities like Limerick, Galway and Dublin are just an hour’s drive away. This is a valuable asset for businesses looking to operate in national and international markets. Furthermore, its central location provides an opportunity for workers to ‘reverse commute’. This emerging trend is where employees (or the self

employed) may live in the greater Dublin area (or other urban area) and commute against the traffic flow to work in Offaly. This trend is already popular in London and is now showing signs of popularity in this midlands county. Orla Martin also spoke about “sector specific” locations. For green enterprises, there is Rhode Business Park (near Edenderry), which has been established on the site of a former ESB power station. It has 13 serviced sites, with an option to tap into the national grid. For Offaly’s growing food sector, fledgling businesses can head to Ferbane Food Campus. It has an industrial kitchen, incubation units and a dynamic business manager, Donal Egan, on hand to assist with new product development. Meanwhile in Tullamore, the Junction Business Innovation Centre has hot desk facilities, office suites and business supports for people looking to set up a business in the areas of design, software and renewables. Set up in 2015, the Junction has a number of award winning clients, including

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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ticketing software developer Future Ticketing ( The facility itself has been nominated for the 2016 Excellence in Local Government Awards. Tourism jewels include Clonmacnoise, Lough Boora Discovery Park, Birr Castle, Tullamore DEW Visitor Centre and the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Chief Executive Anna Marie Delaney explained to us about their plans to develop the blue way connecting 90km of the Grand Canal running through Offaly with the river Shannon bordering the west of the county, and the potential to link sites within Ireland’s Ancient East. Offaly’s high quality food and drink products are also garnering national and international recognition. The growing list includes Mossfield Organic Cheese, Wild Irish Foragers, Glenisk and, of course, Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Birr Castle Gardens is home to the largest treehouse in Ireland

Mossfield Cheese is one of a number produced at Mossfield Organic Farm


Applied Concepts Ltd –

ON SET IN OFFALY Another hidden gem is Offaly’s growing reputation as Ireland’s ultimate film location, with credits such as Becoming Jane, Garage, Pure Mule, Eden and A Nightingale Falling to name but a few. Situated in the heart of Ireland, Offaly boasts a unique landscape, good road and rail infrastructure, and plenty of experience and enthusiasm in hosting film productions. The northeastern part of the county is located within the commuter belt, with the southern and western parts bordering the Slieve Bloom Mountains and the River Shannon – delivering ease of access alongside stunning scenery. FilmOffaly, which is Offaly’s Film Commission and a project of Offaly County Council, supports filmmakers and actively promotes locations and local crew. In partnership with FilmBase, FilmOffaly offers an annual bursary to writers; the winning script is then produced as a short film made in Offaly. One such film was Noreen directed by Domhnall Gleeson and starring Brendan Gleeson. Speaking on filming in the county Brendan Gleeson explained: “Everything that we needed was there – it was there by hook or by crook.”

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Syrup produced by Wild Irish Foragers, a small, family-run business in Offaly

Craft Category: Truzees – 2016 STUDENT ENTERPRISE AWARDS:

Gleeson added: “The landscape itself is distinctive...I would have no problem at all coming down here and shooting again, or rather that I would look forward to it. We had a great experience down here.” As part of FilmOffaly’s recent relaunch, the aim is to show that as well as having surreal landscapes including boglands and waterways, there is also scope for more urban films. FilmOffaly has a location database that includes institutional style buildings and warehouses, all of which can be found on their newly designed website, Great strides are also being made in celebrating and promoting filmmaking in the county. Taking place across Birr town in October, OFFline is a film festival dedicated to making and screening quality films in the Irish midlands. Last year’s winner went on to win an Oscar for his film, Stutterer.

Senior Category, Innovation Award: Daniel Carroll, Caballis Equine Ltd. 2016 STUDENT ENTERPRISE AWARDS:

Intermediate Category, Innovation Award: Adam Henry, Josh Dunican, Óisín McGuire, Farm Friendly Feeder. 2015 BEST ENVIRONMENTAL TOURISM INNOVATION AWARD:

Lough Boora’s Discovery Park – 2016 IRISH FOOD WRITERS GUILD AWARD:



Stephen Grant, Grant Engineering –

For more information on what Offaly has to offer, visit


14/10/2016 17:19

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You’re not alone when it comes to coping

Forums, group support, 1to1 counselling, iphone enabled

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14/10/201615:07:06 17:39 23/11/2011


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• Din Medium • Din Regular

The Power OF DATA

GeoDirectory offers businesses the chance to fully utilise the data in their possession, explains Dara Keogh, Chief Executive Officer.


n the modern business environment, data is key – from discovering what your customers are buying to where they are located. The latter in particular is important, as it allows businesses to maintain location databases, target new customers, speed up delivery processes and discover new areas to open and expand their business. That’s where GeoDirectory comes in, Ireland’s one true source of accurate location information, which combines its wealth of information with customer data to improve service offerings, markets and returns. The source for the creation and maintenance of Eircode, GeoDirectory’s database combines data acquired through An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland to provide a fingerprint for every residential and commercial building in Ireland.

SERVICES GeoDirectory is constantly updating its range of location-based data services, which encourage companies to not only look at the number of customers their business serves, but also the margins and value of the business. Their most recent offering is AddressFix, which enables businesses to clean and enhance information already in their possession. Companies can upload their address lists and AddressFix cleans these addresses and puts them into a standardised format. This increase in quality gives businesses the confidence to make data-based decisions and discover areas of potential growth, reduce the cost of InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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“THIS INCREASE IN QUALITY GIVES BUSINESSES THE CONFIDENCE TO MAKE DECISIONS AND DISCOVER AREAS OF POTENTIAL GROWTH.” undeliverable mail, and find customers’ premises the first time, every time. AddressFix provides a deeper understanding of the data by offering the option to categorise addresses. Business addresses are categorised by business type, for example chemists, pubs etc. Residential addresses are categorised by income and life stage, for example prosperous raising families or budget-conscious empty nesters. “You can have a wider reach if you understand what and from where your customers are buying,” says Dara Keogh, CEO, GeoDirectory. “It enables you to target, understand and hopefully grow your business. It’s a brand new service, but anyone that has used it has returned to use it again and

again, which is always a great indicator of success. We can increase the value of your data, and enable you to do much more with it.” The company is also in the process of updating GeoFindIT, a free app which uses GPS to set the user’s location and, through a fully integrated search screen, allows users to search for a business or address using a keyword, in any location throughout Ireland. The updated app also includes property price information via the augmented reality setting – open the app anytime, anywhere, to view real-time overlays of house prices, directions and more. “We’re planning to introduce a new feature in the app called category search, which allows you to search cafés, bars, restaurants etc. in your area,” Keogh explains. “Local businesses can provide their phone number, email or website and we’ll include it in the app for no charge. All you have to do is contact us through the app. It’s a way of advertising your business for free.” For those still undecided on the value of data, Keogh suggests trying it out – GeoFindIT is free, while AddressFix will allow you to upload your data and view its potential without charge. “If we take away the word ‘data’ and replace it with ‘customer revenue’, now it becomes a more interesting topic,” he says. “When you talk about data it doesn’t sound that appealing, but when you see it applied in real life it can deliver new potential leads and revenue.” Interested in discovering more about your customer base and uncovering new avenues for business? GeoDirectory can work with you to increase customer revenue and customer satisfaction. For more information phone 01 705 7005 or visit


14/10/2016 17:18

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• Din Medium • Din Regular

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

In Association with

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14/10/2016 11:50


The Making of

Standout Owner Managers Mazars has launched the Mittelstand Business School in a bid to support the development of owner managed businesses across Europe. Lorcan Colclough, Partner at Mazars and Head of Owner Managed Business, fills us in.


he genesis of the Mittelstand Business School was contained in the Mazars report, ‘How to be a Standout SME’, which benchmarked the performance of SMEs across eight European countries. That report revealed weaknesses in the SME sector in terms of management expertise and overall capability to grow businesses to strong mid-market positions. We recognise the need to develop owner-managers who can drive their businesses from the ‘S’ of SME towards the ‘M’ and beyond where they are considering how to grow their business internationally. Research has consistently shown that companies with strong leadership and an international footprint are more sustainable businesses which employ more people and have a greater value. The Mazars Mittelstand Business School is a bespoke programme for business consultants working with pioneering owner-managers wishing to take their development to the next level. This is an important international initiative for Mazars and we are delighted to work with our European partners, Mazars University and Dublin City University, to develop an even stronger offering for clients. The mid-market is a key market for Mazars in Ireland and we look forward to bringing some of the value generated in this initiative to our clients in Ireland. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Lorcan Colclough, Partner at Mazars

By understanding the dynamics of your team and the business, we can work with you to develop tailored solutions and strategies to achieve your long term goals. We have created a unique business appraisal and diagnostic tool – Mazars Corporate Appraisal Matrix (MCAM) – and this is a key tool of the Mittlestand Business School. We guide the business owner through the MCAM process and its current performance. The MCAM process is designed to draw out the potentially contrasting views, objectives and ambitions of the people responsible for setting the strategy and delivering performance. We will look at potential challenges and opportunities for the business and how they impact on the overall strategy, helping you develop, adapt or strengthen your business plan accordingly. The tried and tested MCAM framework brings an objective

structure to business appraisal, giving you an opportunity to sit down and consider issues that often get lost in the day-to-day challenges of running a business. At the same time, it enables us to get under the skin of your business to analyse current performance, identify critical issues, consider the influencing factors and focus on your future objectives. By understanding the dynamics of your team and the business, we can work with you to develop tailored solutions and strategies to achieve your long term goals. At the end of the MCAM process, which usually takes around two hours, the company being appraised will receive a full report outlining the findings of the appraisal. The MCAM is most suited to established businesses looking to grow and develop. If you are interested in learning more about the work we do in this area please contact me at lcolclough@ or 01-449 4420.


14/10/2016 16:37

Are you involved in a BUSINESS or WORKPLACE DISPUTE?

Use Mediation!

Mediation is a timely, cost effective, confidential and highly successful option. Mediation puts the solution in your hands. Access an accredited mediator at the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland

The Mediators’ Institute of Ireland Unit 2.1, The Distillers Building, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 FX04

T +353 1 609 9190 F +353 1 493 0595

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14/10/2016 10:13


Taking Control OF A DISPUTE Colm Deignan, accredited mediator at the Mediation Partnership, explains how mediation can help disputing parties solve a problem to their mutual satisfaction.


n business we encounter problems on a regular basis. We overcome these as part of our normal dayto-day discussions and negotiations with our stakeholders – our staff, our suppliers, our customers, our bankers, our partners, our fellow shareholders. Occasionally the problems prove to be more troublesome and we then call on support from outsiders – industry bodies, benchmarking sources, trade unions or independent experts. If the problem cannot be resolved this moves us into position taking. When we move into this mode we become adversarial and we usually look to the legal profession to set out our case. The legal system in this country is adversarial – lawyers are trained to take positions and fight the good fight on behalf of their clients. “I am right, you are wrong. I must win, you must lose. I will not take pain, you must be punished. I cannot lose face, you must be seen to back down.” We lose control very quickly in an adversarial stance – lawyer to lawyer correspondence, plenary summons and responses, accusations and counter accusations – often resulting in a feeling of ‘how did we get into this?’ or indeed, ‘how do we get out of this?’ If people can address the other side in a conflict a solution will be found. This is where mediation can help. Mediation facilitates discussion.

Mediation helps parties to look at solving a problem to their mutual satisfaction. Experienced mediators will ask the right questions: • What would work for you? • What is important to you? • How do you feel about that? • Who might be able to help you with that? • What makes it difficult for you? • Would this work? • Could we try? • Can we look at it from their side? An experienced mediator will have the following personal qualities: • Strong people skills, especially listening • Ability to be assertive and to confront gently • Comfortable with high emotion and argument • Respected/Trusted • Imaginative in problem solving • Patient • Non-judgemental • Empathetic and gentle • Impartial • Low need for recognition The central characters in any mediation are the disputing parties.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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In a very true sense the parties own the mediation process. You can be part of the solution in a much more focused way if you are working towards the common goal of a good result for both parties. Whilst there may be two sides to an argument, accept that there are two sides to a solution. The reality is that most commercial disputes that go legal are settled. Insist on taking problems to mediation. Mediate, don’t litigate. The enormous cost and time invested can be minimised by electing to mediate. Putting the solution in your hands is far more satisfying than reluctantly settling on the steps of any court. The Mediators Institute of Ireland oversees the training, assessment and professional requirements for mediators and can help you identify suitable candidates to mediate. Colm Deignan is currently Treasurer and a council member of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland. ​If your company is involved in a commercial dispute and you require more information on mediation options contact the ​​Mediators’ Institute of Ireland at Unit 2.1, The Distillers Building, Smithfield, Dublin 7, call 01 6099190 or email


14/10/2016 16:37

InBusiness A4 ROI Ad 2016.qxp_Layout 1 12/08/2016 12:19 Page 1

Want an everyday health benefit for your employees? Check out HSF health plan, the simple, low-cost health cover ● Money back on a wide range of everydaymedical bills including GP, consultants, prescriptions, dental and optical ● FREE cover for your partner and children ● Policies start from €10.25 per month ● FREE 24/7 GP Line

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14/10/2016 10:13



The Cost of Complacency Dermot Goode, Health Cover Analyst with, discusses how health insurance complacency is costing employers dearly.


hile healthcare cover is a valuable benefit for employees, the cost of same has risen dramatically in recent years. For most employers, healthcare represents a significant overhead that is extremely difficult to manage year-onyear due to frequent price movements and increasing product complexity. Even engaging with the healthcare providers can be challenging as you are never certain that they’re offering you their most competitive deals. Unless you have the necessary expertise, trying to make like-for-like comparisons is extremely difficult. Unfortunately, many employers simply renew their cover each year on the same plan for fear of losing benefits. This is literally costing them thousands in over-spending and is increasing the benefit-in-kind charges unnecessarily for employees. With over 360 plans on the market, it is often possible to source equivalent cover at a significantly lower cost and in many cases a change of insurer is not necessary. Even when employers obtain good cover, they fail to negotiate the best terms and conditions in terms of discounts, waivers and concessions. Depending on the scheme size, it should also be possible to negotiate a range of employee wellness services that can be delivered free-of-charge by the healthcare provider. For those employers who have not reviewed their healthcare spend in the past two years, they are most likely to be insured on dated plans and overspending on their healthcare benefits. Healthcare has now moved beyond InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Dermot Goode, Health Cover Analyst

the provision of just health insurance cover. Complementary healthcare providers such as DeCare Dental, VSP Eye-Care and HSF Health Plan, which cover a multitude of everyday medical expenses, are increasing in popularity as employers seek to tailor their healthcare benefits to match the profile of their employees. Many employers are now integrating these benefits into their healthcare models, but at no additional cost. Even where no company subsidy exists, discounts can be achieved for employees by putting in place salary deduction schemes for these benefits. For those employers looking to take full control of their healthcare spend, many are moving to an allowancebased model rather than the traditional defined benefit approach. The recently introduced Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) presented a new headache for employers who are now liable for additional costs for hiring new recruits aged 35 or older who have never held private health cover. The allowance

approach removes much of this employer risk in that employees will be free to spend their allowance to match their own personal preferences. Ideally, this will be paid via salary which eliminates all administration associated with splitting payments to the healthcare provider and revenue commissioners, calculating benefitin-kind deductions and tax relief at source, and reconciling accounts at month or year-end. Employers who review healthcare benefits annually, at least 3-4 months prior to renewal date, achieve the best results. Many leave it too close to the renewal or rely on what the healthcare providers recommend and therefore miss the optimum solution. Others are simply too preoccupied with different priorities and healthcare is ignored for another 12 months. While this is understandable, this type of complacency is costing employers dearly. Employers are also missing out on the superb benefits available from the complementary healthcare providers which would directly benefit their employees. The message is simple – treat health insurance as you would any other insurance policy. Conduct a comprehensive review each year to ensure you’re on the most competitive corporate plan. If in doubt or confused, seek independent advice and let an expert complete this exercise for you. Healthcare benefits are expensive enough – don’t pay any more than you have to! Prices and benefits are subject to change and consumers should confirm all details directly with the insurer in question. PHI Consulting (Ireland) Ltd trading as Total Health Cover is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


14/10/2016 16:35

Home is the place where memories are made. There are 5,000 people homeless in Ireland. One in seven people accessing homeless services is a child. By remembering Focus Ireland in your Will, you can provide more people with a place to call home, a place to create their own happy memories. We understand that when making your Will, you’ll want to care for those closest to you first, but once you have, any contribution to Focus Ireland can make such a big difference. Please contact Pauline Costello in Focus Ireland, in complete confidence, on 01 881 5900. Thank you.

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14/10/2016 10:14 25/09/2015 27/05/2015 11:00 10:43


ENERGY MATTERS IN BUSINESS Nicky Doran, Marketing and Energy Services Controller at Bord Gáis Energy, tells InBUSINESS about the positive impact that smarter energy management can have on a small business’s bottom line.


hile many businesses understand the benefits of being more energy efficient, the reality is that some are still falling behind. Energy efficiency is often pushed off the agenda as managers don’t fully understand the positive impact that smarter energy management can have on the bottom line. In fact, implementing energy saving projects can actually reduce operating expenses and increase productivity.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUNDING Bord Gáis Energy offers a range of initiatives including funding for commercial customers towards the capital cost of energy efficiency projects. To apply for this funding, companies make an initial enquiry and this is followed by a technical evaluation by one of our energy experts. The value of the financial support available for each project will be based on the total volume of energy savings in kilowatt-hours (kWh) made by each project. To measure the success of the energy efficiency project, we help businesses verify the savings achieved through detailed reports. This helps to quantify the financial savings and highlights the financial benefits of energy efficiency at all levels of an organisation. The types of energy efficiency projects supported include lighting, InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Nicky Doran, Marketing and Energy Services Controller, Bord Gáis Energy

There’s always something you can do to improve energy efficiency in your business, whether you’re ready to commit to a long term strategy or just looking for some quick wins. boiler or chiller replacements, high efficiency pumps and drives, building management systems, process improvements and renewable energy technologies. Through active participation in these initiatives, companies could expect to save up to 20-30 per cent off the capital cost of their energy efficiency project. Organisations wishing to apply for the funding can contact our dedicated team at for more information on this scheme.

LIGHTING Many business managers don’t realise that the cost of lighting can equate to up to 40 per cent of a company’s

electricity costs. Using an LED lighting solution can help reduce these costs by as much as 70 per cent. LED lighting offers 50,000 hour running life which translates to virtually maintenancefree lighting. It also offers improved luminance levels when compared to fluorescent lighting. We have partnered with UrbanVolt to offer businesses an opportunity to dramatically reduce their energy costs through LED upgrades, without having to make any up-front investment. Bord Gáis Energy provides financial support to help fund the up-front cost of the LED installations. UrbanVolt then funds the cost of the lighting assets over five years, only taking their payment from the savings generated. LED lighting retrofits are available to both Bord Gáis Energy customers and non-customers. For more advice or energy saving tips visit the Bord Gáis Energy website or email


14/10/2016 16:34

Linked Finance were great to work with. Not only was I able to get the funding I wanted, but it was done quickly & efficiently with minimal fuss.

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14/10/2016 10:14



NEXT STEP Aoife Leonard, Head of Operations for Distribution Channels at Bank of Ireland, is a past participant of the IMI MSc in Management Practice. She shares her story of the impact the programme had on her career and organisation. Q: What is your career background?

A: I have over 20 years experience in the banking industry in customer, sales, product, digital and direct channel roles. I am currently Head of Operations for Distribution Channels at Bank of Ireland.

Q: Why did you choose the MSc in Management Practice?

commitment of completing a master’s was challenging. Having said that, it can be done. The fact that the programme was extremely enjoyable, relevant and also the early positive changes in my own development made it very worthwhile and time well spent! The discipline of applying yourself to reading, writing and research can also be challenging after many years.

A: I had wanted to go

Q: What impact

back to college to further my education for some time, but was really keen to do something which I could put into practice in my everyday working life, something which would help me further my own knowledge and career and that would also have a very positive impact for my organisation. I was also keen to meet like-minded professionals who were facing real-world challenges in their businesses so that we could learn from each other’s experiences.

has the MSc in Management Practice had on your career?

Q: What were the challenges?

A: The main challenge was time, or lack of it. Balancing work and family with the InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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A: The MSc in Management Practice has had an extremely positive impact on my career. The programme gave me a number of excellent models and tools to analyse my business in a detached and evidencedbased way, which in turn has led to a far greater understanding of both the external marketplace and the internal workings of my own organisation. As a result my flexibility of approach and, in particular, my use of the action reflection learning cycle has challenged me to examine how I think, construct meaning and verify that

Aoife Leonard, Head of Operations for Distribution Channels, Bank of Ireland

meaning, and has led to sustainable positive change in my business.

just go ahead and commit, you won’t regret it and it is truly the best gift you can give to yourself.

Q: What impact has the programme had on your organisation?

A: The impact that the programme has had on not only myself but on others in my organisation, in addition to the organisation itself, I believe is significant. I have embedded my learning experience in the way I operate and this is proving very successful. Q: What is your advice to people planning further study?

A: Just do it. I spent far too much time making excuses that it wasn’t the right time, that I was far too busy etc. There is never a right time,

The next MSc. in Management Practice programme will commence on October 7th 2016. This is a two-year postgraduate master’s programme aimed specifically at chief executives and senior managers who need to develop their understanding of the complex management issues they face. Contact our programme advisors to find out more: Freephone 1800 22 33 88, email Programmeadvisors or visit


14/10/2016 16:32


LEADERS IN LEGAL KNOWLEDGE As we witness rapid growth in company secretary practice in Ireland, the Law Society’s Diploma Centre is offering a certificate for professionals interested in the area.


he Law Society of Ireland Diploma Centre and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) are pleased to once again offer a Certificate in Company Secretarial Law and Practice. This highly regarded certificate provides an expansive and practical insight into company secretarial requirements in Ireland. Commencing on Tuesday October 4th 2016, all areas of company secretary practice will be examined in detail and useful guidance provided through the provision of precedents, practical tips and recommended checklists. This focus on practical application will also be evidenced in our interactive workshop sessions

Pictured at the 2016 Irish Law Awards where the Diploma Centre won Best Service Provider to the Legal Profession Award were Ken Murphy, Director General, Law Society, Valerie Peart, Chair, Education Committee, Freda Grealy and Rory O’Boyle of the Diploma Centre

where students will have the opportunity to engage in small group teaching sessions. Pervasive throughout

the course will be a particular focus on the new company law framework as set out in Companies Act 2014. All lectures are webcast live from the Law Society of Ireland ensuring maximum flexibility for students, meaning that those interested in the course can attend almost regardless of location. Company secretarial is a growth area in Ireland and the course will be of particular benefit to company secretaries and their teams, as well as suitably qualified corporate governance and compliance professionals looking to develop their legal knowledge and practical skills in this growing area. Visit for further details.

DIPLOMA CENTRE Leading the way in continuing professional legal education




Diploma in Law

Friday 9 September 2016


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Saturday 17 September 2016 Tuesday 4 October 2016 Wednesday 12 October 2016 Thursday 13 October 2016 Wednesday 19 October 2016 Wednesday 19 October 2016 Friday 21 October 2016 Friday 4 November 2016 Friday 18 November 2016 Wednesday 28 September 2016 Tuesday 4 October 2016 Thursday 6 October 2016 Tuesday 11 October 2016 Friday 14 October 2016 Saturday 22 October 2016 Tuesday 25 October 2016 Friday 28 October 2016 Thursday 10 November 2016

€3,000 €2,400 €2,400 €2,650 €2,400 €2,400 €2,400 €2,400 €2,400 €1,400 €1,400 €1,400 €1,400 €1,400 €1,400 €1,400 €1,550 €1,400




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Please note that the Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma Centre reserves the right to change the courses that may be offered and course prices may be subject to change. Some of these courses may be iPad courses in which case there will be a higher fee payable to include the device. Contact the Diploma Centre or check our website for up-to-date fees and dates.

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02/09/2016 15:47

14/10/2016 17:40


At the HEAD OF THE PACK The consistent quality and reliability from the ŠKODA range has been highlighted once again.


KODA has once again been named the most dependable car brand in Britain. The result was confirmed for a second consecutive time by the J.D. Power market research 2016 study. Moreover, the ŠKODA Yeti and ŠKODA Fabia both topped the ranking in their respective segments. The renowned J.D. Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) took place for a second time in 2016. The study focused on cars registered by their owners in the UK between the years 2013 and 2015, which means the vehicles are now 12 to 36 months old. J.D. Power collected responses from more than 13,000 original car owners around Britain, enquiring about problems they had experienced with their vehicles over the previous 12 months. Researchers examined 177 problem symptoms divided into eight categories including engine and transmission; vehicle exterior; driving experience; displays and controls; infotainment; seats; air conditioning and vehicle interior. Ranking of the VDS study was determined by the number of problems specified per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. With only 66 points ŠKODA led the ranking, surpassing the runnerup by 13 points. The Czech car manufacturer thus beats its own result from last year by 11 points. The overall average for all participating brands was 113 points. In addition, the excellent quality of the ŠKODA cars convinced owners InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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in individual car segments also. ŠKODA Fabia received the highest award in the small car segment while ŠKODA Yeti dominated the compact SUV category. ŠKODA Octavia rounded off the overall result for the brand with second place among compact cars. “Topping this J.D.Power study for the second year running comes as

no surprise to us and is testament to the quality, practicality and reliability of our current model range,” said Cathal Kealey, PR Manager at ŠKODA Ireland. “It’s currently a very exciting time for the ŠKODA brand here in Ireland and the launch of the new KODIAQ SUV here in February will even further enhance the strength of our product offer.”

Introducing the Kodiaq One of the most eagerly anticipated model releases of 2016, ŠKODA’s new large SUV is named after the Kodiak bear that lives on the homonymous island off the southern coast of Alaska, a harsh yet fascinating landscape located off the southern coast of Alaska. The Alutiiq, the natives, call the bear Taq uka ‘aq – the letter ‘q’ at the end is characteristic of animal names. By including this in the model designation of the new large SUV, ŠKODA proves their respect for the Alutiiq language. At the same time, the “q” creates a distinctive name for the unique new ŠKODA. Size, strength and command of the great outdoors – the eponymous bear and the ŠKODA Kodiaq share common traits. ŠKODA’s new SUV, at 4.70 metres long, can comfortably seat seven and performs excellently both on and off the beaten track. Key features include boot space of 720L (rising to 2,065L with the seats folded), top down view via 360° cameras, and Manoeuvre Assist, which provides automatic braking the event you reverse too close to an object. The model marks the beginning of the brand’s new SUV campaign, and will attract new consumer groups in the fast-growing SUV segment. The ŠKODA Kodiaq celebrates its public debut in the second half of 2016, the launch is planned for early 2017.


14/10/2016 17:38






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or those who like their cars with a little bit of chutzpah, things can get a bit tricky when there’s a family to consider. Motoring becomes less about making a statement and more about the practicalities of driving and having adequate room for car seats, buggies and beanstalk teens that consume sliced pans in one sitting. Finding a car with the

dual qualities of chutzpah and practicality is not so easy, but the Octavia RS from ŠKODA is one of the better compromises on offer. Ostensibly it’s a sensible 4-door family saloon car with a good roomy interior that will seat five and a big boot. But the ‘RS’ badge means it’s a cut above other Octavia models when it comes to performance. The RS is the most powerful model in the Octavia range, but it’s way

too refined to be called a boy racer. That said, the 184bhp, 2.0 litre diesel power unit that featured in the test car can certainly pack sufficient punch to tick the power box for most drivers. The test car also came with an optional four-wheel-drive system and that helped ensure it stayed stuck to the road. ŠKODA likes to think of itself as a good value brand rather than a budget brand and the build, fit and finish of its cars is certainly

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

14/10/2016 17:35

MODEL Skoda Octavia RS 4X4

LIFESTYLE: motoring

PRICE €40,817 ENGINE 2.0 Litre diesel, 184bhp CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km) 124g/km COMBINED CYCLE Combined cycle 4.9l/100km

on par with (or better than) what you’ll get from other mainstream marques. The Octavia’s interior may be plain, but there’s no sign of cost cutting on quality. The Octavia RS is stacked with equipment from dual zone air conditioning and a rear view camera to Bi-Xenon headlights, cruise control and a colour touchscreen with SmartLink connectivity. As it’s the performance version it also comes with sports style

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

seats with half leather upholstery. A full leather interior would add €697. The test car also came with a Challenge options pack at €965 and this included very nice looking anthracite alloys, black trim detail, aluminium scuff plates and a driving mode selector. A tinted rear window (€174) added to the sporty look. The RS’ suspension is set to sports mode which is stiffer than normal. Despite this the

ride quality is firm rather than hard. This makes it forgiving over poor surfaces and easy to live with day to day. In short, there’s a good balance between sporty and comfortable and there is nothing edgy about how the RS behaves on the road. Returning to the issue of practicality for a moment, the RS is also available as a ‘combi’ or estate for anyone who needs additional carrying capacity.

For those after even more performance there is a 2.0 litre petrol version on offer with a hefty 230bhp. This costs €35,995 in the 6-speed manual version and €38,495 for the 6-speed DSG (dual clutch) automatic. The price for the entry model Octavia RS looks very reasonable at €33,495 given what you get for the money. What pushed up the price of the test car was its big basket of optional extras.




to Refinement



ercedesBenz E-Class is a car that’s always known its place. It’s synonymous with comfort, wealth, and luxury motoring but without a scintilla of exhibitionism in its makeup. The E-Class is the choice of those who like hi-tech features and creature comforts wrapped in a roomy, leather armchair-like package. The ‘package’ has not always been the prettiest, but this latest version is an improvement over its


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predecessor. This E-Class is still not beautiful in the classic sense of car design, but its lines are softer and the profile more svelte. This latest version is a little bigger than the outgoing model and this has improved rear seat accommodation and storage space up front in automatic versions, while the 540-litre boot is a tad roomier than the competing models from Audi and BMW. Mercedes is set to overtake BMW as the world’s leading premium car brand this year for the first time since 2005 and the new E-Class

has been competitively priced to make it attractive to conquest buyers. The entry-level Avantgarde model now has over €7,000 more in standard features than the outgoing model without a commensurate rise in price. In all there are three style and equipment lines, Avantgarde, Exclusive, and AMG and the entry price for the 220d Avantgarde automatic range is €52,850. Mercedes says the new E-Class is the smartest car it’s ever produced – even smarter than the flagship S-Class. This is because it’s the car within the company’s line up that is closest to being able to self-drive. While the new E-Class might look a little ordinary from the outside, the same criticism couldn’t

be levelled at the interior. The sweeping lines of the dashboard are appealing and so is the way key information is clearly displayed on a large colour screen and is easy to read. The seats are big, supportive, heated and very comfortable and the quality of the materials used throughout is top notch with nice wood and metal trim detailing. The 2.0 litre diesel engine on board is from a new generation of Mercedes’ engines that cost over €2.5 billion to develop. It replaces the old 2.1 litre diesel and it’s quicker with more power (194bhp) but has lower emissions and better fuel consumption. The car on test came with the AMG specification package and this included InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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MODEL Mercedes-Benz E-Class AMG Saloon Automatic

LIFESTYLE: motoring

PRICE €76,801 ENGINE 2.0 litre diesel, 194 bhp CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km) 112g/km FUEL CONSUMPTION: Combined cycle 4.9l/100km

CONNECTIVITY A PRIORITY FOR SEAT SEAT’s new CEO, Luca de Meo, seems determined to bring the brand out of VW’s parental shadow. Helping his case is the launch of the company’s first ever SUV, the stylish looking Ateca. However, de Meo is also making affordable connectivity a priority and encouraging innovation. In July SEAT announced its participation in a Barcelona-based start-up accelerator specialising in the automotive industry. What’s interesting about this accelerator is that its budding entrepreneurs are based at SEAT’s offices in Martorell. De Meo believes that connecting drivers with their surroundings offers huge revenue opportunities for carmakers. “If we can connect the car to the user to the retailer to the infrastructure then I really see a business opportunity,” he told the Automotive News Europe Conference in June.


a 64-colour palette for the ambient lighting, twin spoke 19-inch alloys and black Nappa leather upholstery. Bluetooth and Mercedes’ Me Connect connectivity are standard as is keyless start and a large capacity fuel tank. If one word sums up the new E-Class, it’s refinement. The standard steel suspension does an excellent job of absorbing uneven surfaces but air suspension is available for those who want the ultimate smooth ride. Mercedes has prioritised tip to tail comfort with the new model and this comes at a small expense to the handling. However that’s not an issue for E-Class buyers. What matters more to them is that the car is easy to drive and for a vehicle of this size, it’s a dawdle. InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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It’s difficult for a small company to catch the eye of a car giant, but that’s exactly what up and coming young Irish company, Cubic Telecom, has done. Cubic is a machine-to-machine connectivity platform provider and it developed an in-car connectivity system (for another automaker) that impressed Audi. Audi subsequently approached Cubic to solve a problem it was having with a Pan-European telecoms system and was blown away when the company fixed it within six weeks. Cubic Telecom is seven years old and employs 85 people. Its CEO Barry Napier puts its success down to its people. “If you don’t hit the eclectic button on our door on the way in, you won’t make it inside,” he says. “Few companies would have chosen the individuals we have and put them under one roof. They are very high functioning telco and software people and mixing these two backgrounds is like mixing oil and water, but it works for us.”

UNREAL TECHNOLOGIES A REALITY FOR CARMAKERS Things are changing so fast in the car business that manufacturers are increasingly using non-traditional suppliers to stay ahead in the fast-moving areas of connected car and autonomous driving. BMW is the first manufacturer to introduce a mixed reality system into vehicle development entirely devised using components from the computer games industry. Its partner is Unreal Engine Enterprise, a newly created division of US video games company Epic Games. Unreal Engine develops technologies for visualisation and simulation projects in both 3-D and virtual reality and its skills have caught the attention of Jaguar and BMW. It has also developed a touchscreen car configurator for Toyota Australia that allows drivers to customise their car down to the smallest detail. The pay off for Toyota has been that customers are spending more as once they see features such as attractive alloys on their virtual car they don’t change them for cheaper ones when placing their order.


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LIFESTYLE: innovation

INNOVATION NATION InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping our future. In this issue we get nostalgic about one classic games console that’s making a comeback. NINTENDO CLASSIC MINI It seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without spotting someone out and about on a mission to find a Pokémon. The virtual game featuring cute-looking creatures has helped Nintendo regain its position as one of the world’s most successful gaming giants. However, it was all very different 30 years ago. That’s when the company first launched the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in Europe. Now to capitalise on older players looking for a taste of the classic games, Nintendo has announced that the NES will be returning in miniature form. It will feature updated hardware, such as the ability to connect it to a TV via a HDMI cable. The console will cost €64.99 and will come with 30 games.


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LIFESTYLE: innovation

Digital Digest HYPERKIN LAB SMARTBOY DEVELOPMENT KIT Hyperkin Lab’s Smartboy Development Kit attaches to Android smartphones, turning the phone into a handheld gaming device, one that resembles the classic Game Boy by Nintendo. For anyone who was a fan, this kit is a dream come true as it can be hard to get your hands on an original Game Boy or Game Boy Colour, which were discontinued quite some years ago. Details on when it will become available are sketchy so keep an eye on the website. Available at

Picture messaging app Snapchat is set to launch sunglasses with a built-in video camera. The gadget, simply called Spectacles, is expected to be available before the end of the year for around $130.

Samsung is in discussions about “potential safety issues” concerning some of its washing machines after a class-action lawsuit complained the appliances were exploding.

Dutch authorities are taking the US makers of Pokémon Go to court, after the company failed to meet pleas to stop hordes of fans flocking to the beaches of Kijkduin where hundreds of the game’s most popular cartoon monsters appear daily.


The Nintendo Classic Mini includes 30 preloaded classic titles

There’s nothing nostalgic about the Microsoft Xbox One S. Having launched in Ireland in August, this console is 40 per cent smaller than the original Xbox One. Aside from some slick design changes, the Xbox One S comes with internal improvements too. The new-and-improved console supports 4K Ultra HD video and has HDR capabilities for both games and video. A far cry from the game consoles of the ’90s.

Virgin Media has been fined €255,000 for failing to give some customers a permanent record of their contract. An investigation found that 26,046 of the company’s customers who had signed up online or by phone had not been given their contract in a ‘durable form’.

Available at

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FAllIng foR



edi Napoli e poi muori! Or ‘see Naples and die’, they used to say. But it’s a travel idiom that’s largely fallen by the wayside and the city doesn’t make most itineraries for travel in Italy. Visitors have been deterred from the country’s third largest city in recent years due to its reputation for crime, rubbish heaps and general bad rap; others treat it as the simple gateway to the south. But for those who do make the trip, it’s a city that elicits extreme reactions: some loathe it, while for others, well, that’s amore.


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Discovering Naples Naples manages to contradict itself at almost every turn. Its centro storico, or historic centre, is a Unesco World Heritage Site but architectural wonders lie in disrepair or are partially obscured by scaffolding, the city having been decimated in World War II. Buildings crowd on top of each other, home to the city’s densely populated and largely poor population, but around the corner you may find a church or castle, that houses a Caravaggio or Titian. The city hints at a former glory, a grand, maybe even fashionable past, amidst current high rates of crime and unemployment. Indeed, there

are more castles and churches than you could possibly visit, but to really experience Naples is to wander the warrens of bustling streets and graffitied laneways, dodging speeding Vespas; it’s to wander through the markets absorbing the sights and sounds of a raucous city. It means getting off the bus tour. Still, there are several must-see sites of Napoli. The oldest, and most famous of its ancient catacombs is Catacombe di San Gennaro, dating from the 2nd century. Artistically it’s probably the most important and features the earliest-known portrait of Gennaro, Naples’ patron saint. No visitor should leave Naples without visiting Italy’s best archaeological museum, Il Museo Archaelogico Nazionale di Napoli, housed in a 17th-century former university InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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WHere To MEET...

Eurostars Hotel Excelsior Host conferences and banquets at Naples’ emblematic Hotel Excelsior, which has several meeting rooms and capacity to hold events for up to 500 people. Alternatively, treat a client to coffee on the L’Ottavo roof terrace, which has a privileged view encompassing Mount Vesuvius, the Gulf of Naples and the islands Ischia and Capri.

There are more castles and churches than you could possibly visit, but to really experience Naples is to wander the warrens of bustling streets.


L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele Everyone has their own recommendation for where does the best pizza in Naples, but Da Michele is our pick. In the best-selling book Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert eats here and decides it’s worth buying herself bigger jeans. Be prepared to queue.

SLEEP... building. Here you’ll find the frescoes and mosaics of Pompeii and the magnificent Farnese Bull. In the city’s Museo di Capodimonte hangs one of the greatest collections of the work of Italian masters, including Michaelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli, which certainly shouldn’t be missed. Go underground to discover more contemporary art. A public art project for the metro system was launched in Naples in the late ’80s and the first ‘art station’ opened in 2001. Fourteen have now been redesigned, the products of collaboration InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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GETTING THERE & AROUND Aer Lingus flies seasonally from Dublin to Naples direct. Off-season, Alitalia and British Airways offer the best connections, usually through Rome. There are regular highspeed trains connecting Naples with the northern Italian cities, but train travel within the south is more limited.

between emerging local architects and artists and more established names. In fact, there’s a lot to be discovered below levels in Naples. Tours of its underground can be arranged, exploring the city’s history from the Greek-Roman beginnings through to the WWII bomb shelters.

Palazzo Caracciolo Napoli MGallery

This is a truly elegant sanctuary amidst the busyness of Naples. Once the residence of one of the most powerful aristocratic Neapolitan families, the hotel is now made up of 139 rooms, secluded courtyards and gardens as well as a business centre and eight meeting rooms.

The Cuisine


Naples is quickly becoming a hotspot for the most discerning of foodies, with fresh seafood from the bountiful sea and quality produce from the local fertile volcanic soil resulting in possibly the best cuisine in Italy. The birthplace of the

Parts of Naples’ intricate underground can be easily accessed and explored without a guide, but for the best experience guided tours can be arranged through Napoli Sotterranea. Incredibly, 40 metres below street level the underground reveals 2,400 years of Neapolitan history.

Naples Underground


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KNOW before you go


Colourful streets of Naples

The Neapolitan Series by Elena Ferrante: these four novels set in Naples are reigniting interest in the city and local businesses are highlighting their connections to the series. To get a sense of Neapolitan society and its workingclass culture, delve into one of these must-read books.

Soffitto della chiesa di San Lorenzo, Napoli

CRIME Naples has a reputation for high levels of crime; organised crime groups, known as the Cammora, operate in the city, though this is unlikely to impact on tourists. However visitors do encounter pickpocketing and should be cautious when carrying wallets and valuables .

RUBBISH Since the ‘80s Naples has suffered from a waste crisis having been exploited as a lucrative dumping ground by the Camorra. Though the huge piles are gone, rubbish is something of a fixture on the streets. Politically and socially the consequences of this crisis run much deeper and have been linked to health issues.


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wood-fired pizza, Naples has the best pies in the world, but stick to the traditional margherita or marinara to blend in like a local. If you arrive in September or October catch the renowned Pizzafest, the biggest celebration of pizza in Italy. The Neapolitans know how to do breakfast too and begin the day with coffee and pastry; the city is home to espresso and the sfogliatella riccia, a delectable crispy, thinly layered pastry with a creamy citrusy or almond filling that’ll have you rethinking tea and toast. Some of the tastiest street food in Europe can also be found here. While wandering the street stalls, sample the frittatina – delicious cubes of deep-fried pasta with cheese and tomato. And then there’s the seafood; try Dora, one of the finest fish restaurants and examples of traditional Neapolitan cooking in the city – reservations here are essential.

Naples is the birthplace of the wood-fired pizza

Business Travel In terms of doing business, the city has plenty of hotels catering to the business traveller. At the upper end the five-star Grand Hotel Vesuvio oozes old Italian glamour; it’s the city’s most luxurious hotel and the usual host of visiting celebrities. The four-star Palazzo Caracciolo is our pick for business travellers. It’s an oasis of calm in the storm of Naples, but has all the conveniences required for a business trip. The ibis Styles Napoli Garibaldi hotel is conveniently located for shorter trips. The EXPO Convention Centre is centrally located and has 3,300 square metres of event and exhibition space. Public transport – including buses, subways, funicular railways and trams – is the traveller’s best bet for getting around. If using taxis, request tassametro, a metred fare, at the beginning of the journey and don’t use any taxis without the official sign.

Old Vespa parked in historic Naples

Otherwise, it is possible and often preferable to get to most areas in the centre by foot. After a few days amidst the hustle and bustle, you might need a break. Conveniently, Naples is the perfect jumping-off point for some of the south’s top attractions. The historical sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum are top of any visitor’s list and both are worth a day’s exploration. Live la dolce vita in the colourful resort of Sorrento – pick up souvenirs like lace and marquetry and watch the sun set over a limoncello for the postcard experience. The quickest and most enjoyable way there is by boat, though train is the cheapest. If you have a few more days, venture down the Amalfi Coast or to the beautiful island of Ischia. But this city is much more than a mere jumping-off point so take some time to explore Naples and discover if it’s love or the very opposite. InBUSINESS InBusiness | Q3 Q2 2016 2014

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

DISRUPTED: Ludicrous Misadventures in the Tech Start-Up Bubble


or 25 years Dan Lyons was a leading tech journalist. But all that ended one Friday morning when his Newsweek boss called and told him that his job no longer existed. Fifty years old with two young kids, Lyons found himself in a tough spot. Then an idea hit. For years he’d seen people strike gold by working for tech start-ups. Now it could be his turn to cash in. HubSpot, a software developer in Massachusetts in the US, flush with $100m in venture funding, offered him a nice salary and a pile of stock options to work in its marketing department. What could possibly go wrong? Pretty much everything, as it turned out. With portraits of devilish angel investors, fad-chasing venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and wantrapreneurs, Disrupted is a hilarious story of self-reinvention, as well as a sharp critique of life in the tech bubble, exposing what Lyons calls “the dark side of Silicon Valley”.

AUTHOR: Dan Lyons PUBLISHER: Hachette Books RRP: 20.55 AVAILABLE: Easons



AUTHOR: Roberto Saviano PUBLISHER: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore AVAILABLE: All good bookstores

The story of modern Naples is often the story of the organised crime outfit, the camorra. In 2006 Roberto Saviano published his non-fiction investigative book, Gomorrah, which documented his infiltration and investigation of various areas of life controlled or affected by the Italian criminal organisation. While it’s a fantastic read, don’t let it put you off all the wonders that Naples has to offer.

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“Nod continuously while pretending to take notes.”

AUTHOR: Sarah Cooper PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel Publishing AVAILABLE:

From Nobel AUTHOR: Prize-winning Joseph Stiglitz economist and PUBLISHER: best-selling Allen Lane author Joseph RRP: 31.60 Sitglitz, author of AVAILABLE: Globalization and Easons Its Discontents, comes a new guide to the future of Europe. In it, Stiglitz argues that Europe’s stagnation and bleak outlook are a direct result of the fundamental flaws inherent in the euro project – economic integration outpacing political integration with a structure that promotes divergence rather than convergence. Money relentlessly leaves the weaker member states and goes to the strong, with debt accumulating in a few ill-favoured countries. The question then is: Can the euro be saved? We’re sure that plenty who read this book will suddenly claim to know the answer. From the creator of the viral sensation 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings comes the must-have book you never knew you needed. In it, you will learn how to appear smart in less than half the time it takes to actually learn anything. Anyone who has to engage in business meetings on a regular basis will be able to relate to many of the scenarios here. The tips, meanwhile, will leave you in stitches.


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Stylist ’s Pick... Beard Comb, €35, Tom Ford

Raf Simons Menswear Fall/Winter 2016-2017 The puffa jacket is back in every colour, shape and high-street store. But if a puffa is too much then look to this season’s biggest pattern trend – checks.

1 | Navy Shearling Backpack, 144,

Tommy Hilfiger @ House of Fraser

2 | Red & Black Check Suit Jacket, 167, Noose & Monkey @ Topman 3 | Khaki Military Coat, 78, Studio @ H&M 4 | Forest Night Stretch Cotton Boxer Briefs, 30, Bjorn Borg @ Harvey Nichols

5 | Dark Red Suede Desert Boots, 60, River Island


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Stylist ’s Pick...


Black Lace Choker, €10, River Island

Catwalk Stella McCartney Dress €860 Red is the colour for evening wear this season. Wear it bright and bold in a style and fit that suits you.

Stylist ’s Pick...

Black Leather Corset, €1,400, Loewe @ Brown Thomas

1 | Manray Checked Ramie Blend Shirt, 296, Isabel Marant @ Harvey Nichols

2 | Burgundy Shell Bag, 1,340, Una Burke 3 | Black Lace Up Boot, 160, Dune 4 | Satin Fishtail Maxi with Multi Strap Back, 89, ASOS

5 | Pink Handmade Wool Coat, 89.95, Zara

InBUSINESS | Q3 2016

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Iceland 1,192





NewZealand 1,287




Slovenia 1,408 12th: Ireland

The largest improvement in Europe was recorded by Portugal, which built on gains last year to rise nine places to fifth globally. This reflects continuing improvements in the context of the country’s gradual return to political normality following its EU/IMF economic and financial adjustment process.


Ireland ranks 12th in this year’s index, between Finland and Bhutan, and ahead of countries including Sweden (14), Australia (15), Germany (16), Norway (17) and the UK (47).



Denmark 1,246

Japan 1,395

In this issue, InBUSINESS explores data from the 2016 Global Peace Index.

49th: Panama

Panama was the country that improved most in the rankings both in score and rank, with the main gain stemming from improvements in its domestic situation. This was driven by a reduction in the likelihood of violent demonstrations and to a lesser extent, political instability.




The civil war in Yemen has impacted the rankings of some of the country’s neighbours; for example, the UAE’s military intervention in the war, which included dispatching ground troops to southern Yemen, has affected its scores for ongoing domestic and international conflict and militarisation.



Portugal 1,356




Canada 1,388



Now in its tenth year, the Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), this year’s report presents the most comprehensive analysis to date on the trends in peace and violence over the past decade and finds that overall global levels of peace continue to deteriorate while the gap between the most and least peaceful countries continues to widen.

For the full findings go to

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Help for the cupcake bakers

Help for what matters

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC. A private company limited by shares, trading as Ulster Bank, Ulster Bank Group, Banc Uladh and Lombard. Registered in Republic of Ireland. Registered No.25766. Registered Office: Ulster Bank Group Centre, George’s Quay, Dublin 2, D02 VR98. Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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This is direct marketing like you’ve never seen it

Finding new customers just got easier.

Direct business marketing with An Post. Visit to grow your business today. 240787_1C_An Post_Chambers 9.03.indd 1

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