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chamberlink ISSUE 05 2020

Our Sustainable Future

Learn, Adapt, Thrive Ulster Bank launches new podcast series giving an insight into some of Ireland’s most resilient businesses and their experiences during COVID-19

Generated at: Wed Jul 8 15:19:49 2020

Ulster Bank has launched a new podcast series ‘Learn, Adapt, Thrive’. The podcast series is hosted by Newstalk Broadcaster Susan Keogh. Throughout the series we’ll hear how the featured companies came to be, get an insight into their growth and learn how they continue to innovate, adapt and thrive in their respective fields, during these challenging times. The featured businesses and businesspeople are: • Gavin Hydes, Chief Executive of the Joe Duffy Group • Christine Regan-Lee, Executive Director of Cabins and Containers Ireland • Oonagh O’Hagan, Managing Director of Meaghers Pharmacy • Robert Jones, Managing Director of Vision ID • Joe Queenan, Managing Director of Foxford Woollen Mills Eddie Cullen, Managing Director, Commercial Banking Division, Ulster Bank said: “Ulster Bank is delighted to launch this exciting new podcast series, which showcases just how much can be achieved by hard working Irish businesses, even during very challenging times. It’s a fascinating listen and offers a real insight into how companies are working to innovate and show ingenuity as they battle with the challenges brought about by COVID-19. I’d like to thank all those who took part. Ulster Bank is proud to support these businesses, and many more like them around the country, by listening to them, working with them and supporting them.” The podcast series will be hosted on all of the usual podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. For more information about the platform visit, https://ulsterbank.contentlive.ie/content/learn-adapt-and-thrive-in-business-the-podcast-series

C O NTENT S Cover story 11

Our Sustainable Future


07 Review to Renew


M28 ruling a major step forward


Policy deficit holds back national energy diversity


Making the workplace work for everyone


Review to Renew


Outstanding Contribution to Business Award in partnership with EY


In the Chair with Bob Savage




A Snapshot of our eSeries


Upcoming Events


Funding Available for Online Training in 2021


Outstanding Contribution to Business Award

20 Digitalisation of Irish SMEs 22 New Members 24 Members News 26 The Business of Risk

Welcome In this final edition of Chamberlink 2020, we are delighted to have our Sustainable Cork Fund awardees, Nasc, Refill.ie and NCE Outreach sit proudly on our cover. These organisations exemplify the positivity and energy that can be put behind a bright sustainable future for Cork and we look forward to the endeavours coming to life in 2021.

Bob Savage deserves the heartiest of congratulations on his selection as the Cork Chamber Outstanding Contribution to Business Award recipient for 2020, and our thanks for all that he has done and continues to do for

business, education and skills development at a national and local level.

In the meantime, I wish you all a peaceful, relaxing and restorative Christmas season.

As we plan for 2021, our virtual events schedule is peppered with topics to get you energised for a new year. Our Skillnet Training programme ramps up afresh and our public affairs team will be wading into the detail of a National Development Plan review.

Conor Healy Chief Executive, Cork Chamber.

On behalf of all at Cork Chamber I thank you for your steadfast approach to a most challenging 2020 and we look forward to embracing a new year with positivity together very soon.

Chamberlink is published by Cork Chamber and is a bi-monthly publication exclusive to members. The opinions expressed in Chamberlink are not necessarily those of Cork Chamber, Chamberlink main sponsor neither do they accept any responsibility or liability for any legal implications arising there from. Registered in Ireland no. 13918

T +353 (0)87 9471858 E conor@corkchamber.ie

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M28 Ruling A Major Step Forward The High Court ruling in favour of the M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy motorway has been welcomed by Cork Chamber as critical for the future development of Cork. Chamber President, Paula Cogan said, “The High Court ruling is clear and welcome setting a positive course for the M28. The M28 is a key infrastructural asset for facilitating safer travel, enabling the Port of Cork’s development which is of increased significance in the context of Brexit, opening up 220 hectares of lands in the Docklands to be developed for new housing, civic amenities and commerce and for opening up IDA lands at Ringaskiddy. It is essential that Government now allocates appropriate funding so that enabling works can begin without delay.”

Ms Cogan added: “The development will significantly enhance commuting and commercial movements along the corridor. To maximise the high value employment base in Ringaskiddy we must continue to invest in infrastructure that is fit for purpose. In addition, as the Port transitions to trading in a Brexit context, it is essential that every economic opportunity is realised and this route is critical to meeting both existing and potential demand. With significant steps being taken to enable our Docklands, the decision will give further certainty to investors as we continue to gather momentum for our globally competitive City region.”

Cit y Dockl ands De live ry Office Sig nific ant for Cor k Major Government Funding and Policy Measures Required to Deliver The decision taken by Cork City Council and the Land Development Agency to establish a Cork City Docklands Delivery Office, to accelerate the redevelopment of some 146 hectares of Cork’s prime waterfront location is essential to delivery. However, significant Government funding must now be allocated via the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) to enable sustainable development of these brownfield sites. With appropriate support the area will deliver homes, schools, medical and social services, sports, office, hospitality, retail, two new bridges and green recreational space. If compact urban growth cannot be delivered in Cork, the City region will be resigned exclusively to a low density commuter model,


and Ireland 2040 will be significantly undermined. Without significant policy change in parallel to enable apartment viability, delivery will remain significantly challenged. Research conducted by Cork Chamber, CIF and EY-DKM has shown that the cost of constructing new apartments threatens to undermine Cork’s ambitious growth plans. Government must urgently address the viability gap if we are to deliver compact urban growth in Cork. Apartment cost must reflect the reality of salaries to meet the growing demand for city centre living. Measures such as a more targeted Help to Buy scheme, shared equity and tax changes must be set in play if we are to move from aspiration to reality.

Ireland 2040 projects the Cork metropolitan area’s workforce will grow by 65,000 by 2031 and the regeneration of our docklands will be an important step in facilitating those growth plans. It is essential that Cork grows sustainably, delivering the infrastructure and urban living spaces that will maintain Cork’s international attractiveness. Access to green spaces, sustainable transport, childcare and equality, all recently ranked as essential elements of our research on ensuring a sustainable vision for Cork.


Ashley Amato, report author with Thomas McHugh, Director of Public Affairs, Cork Chamber and Dr Carol Power, Centre for Cooperative Studies, UCC. Picture: Darragh Kane

Policy Deficit Holds Back National Energy Diversity A significant renewable energy report launched by Cork Chamber and the Centre for Cooperative Studies at UCC highlights a significant deficit in policy and fiscal support for anaerobic digestion, a technology that converts waste products from food, agriculture, wastewater treatment and other sources into biomethane, a fuel source that can form a key element in Ireland’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions. Speaking at the launch of the report Thomas Mc Hugh, Director of Public Affairs at Cork Chamber said, “Anaerobic digestion is the very embodiment of a circular economy solution, taking waste products with little or no value and creating a market, economy and valuable energy resource in doing so. However, at present the sector draws little confidence from the Irish policy system. The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is a hugely positive step but as yet, no award has been made to anaerobic digestion.

also significantly boost the country’s green credentials and enhance our attractiveness to foreign direct investment.”

It is long established that mobilising anaerobic digestion could generate €1.5 billion in direct investment and 3,600 new permanent jobs, in many cases in rural environments. It can

Dr Carol Power, Centre for Cooperative Studies said, “We have exemplary use of the cooperative model in Ireland which lends itself so well to the provision of feedstock

Ashley Amato, report author and graduate of UCC’s MSc in Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development, said “Anaerobic Digestion creates a stable revenue stream for anyone supplying feedstock. For agriculture there is untapped revenue stability and carbon offsetting there for the taking, with the appropriate market supports.”

for large and small scale anaerobic digestion, yet the sector is nowhere near a full activation.” In conclusion Thomas Mc Hugh said, “With targets to decarbonise Ireland it is clear that a blend of technologies will be required to provide dependable energy security. With anaerobic digestion we can make a deep impact on the sustainability of the energy that we consume, utilising the resources that currently exist in agriculture, wastewater treatment and food systems into energy. It is time for Government to step up, continue to deepen the RESS and give a clear signal and certainty to this untapped economic driver.”



Making the wor k pl ace wor k for e ve ryone The Dialogue Code is an exciting new initiative with its sight set on identifying the solutions to make the workplace a more inclusive and supportive space for female employees. Cork Chamber, through our ongoing commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and our resolute focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals is delighted to be a supporter of this programme and we are inviting you to share your views in this important survey. To identify the solutions, we must first acknowledge the challenges. In February 2020, the programme kicked off with a series of facilitated dialogue sessions attended by a diversity of business representatives from right across Ireland representing SMEs to large multinationals, bringing private sector and public sector voices together. Amongst the attendees were Cork Chamber, Microsoft, VMWare, Cork City Council, Women’s Network and UCC, to name but a few and also including women working in the homeplace.

These initial discussions were founded on exploring the baseline, namely the ‘what’s not working’ in the modern workplace. The discussions unravelled a rich diversity of perspectives while painting a clear picture of the top issues. A resistance in workplace cultures to adapt the traditional workplace model emerged as the number one issue which includes some issues such as resistance to reduced working week, remote work, flexible work, flexible schedule, set work times. Other key issues included a lack of confidence among women to set their own boundaries with the workplace between their work and life needs with stress from juggling to strike the balance between work and home. Though the findings are recent, we are now working in a very different dynamic due to Covid. Research has shown that at the start of this year, just one in five of us spent some or all of our working day at home. That number jumped enormously to a third of the total workforce by the height of the pandemic lockdown. While working from home has brought benefits, taking away long commutes for example, it has also brought its

challenges with studies showing that women are disproportionally affected and are doing the bulk of household work while juggling a paid job. In this new context, it is important to reassess, and we want to hear from you. Niamh Gunn from The Dialogue Code has teamed up with Dr. Simone McGaughren in the School of Social Work and Policy at Trinity College Dublin to develop a survey to capture the stories, challenges and opportunities arising for Women in the current climate of changed work practises with Covid-19. A comparison paper of pre and post Covid-19 insights will be collated. Please complete this survey and share with your colleagues. Taking no longer than 15 minutes to complete your perspectives will be key in reflecting the modern workplace. The option for remote working can be a positive outcome of the pandemic, so it’s important that we identify the ways to make it work for everyone. To have your say and view the gallery of content from the event, please visit www.thedialoguecode.com/womenat-work

Resistance to adapting traditional work Lack of confidence to set boundaries Stress Juggling work/home Lack of legislation and funding Lack of inter-female support 0






Review to Renew Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath TD launches Review of the National Development Plan Project Ireland 2040 is the national plan to develop all regions, towns and cities of our country and improve the economic and social wellbeing of our people. It is made up of the National Planning Framework which sets the vision and strategy for the development of our country to 2040 and the National Development Plan provides enabling investment to implement the strategy.

As part of the review there will be an examination of the economic and social case for the overall level of capital expenditure commitment into the future and consideration of the appropriate share of capital expenditure across Departments and sectors. This will be designed to ensure we successfully deliver on the Government’s priorities, notably housing, health, climate action, transport and enterprise development. This will be done in a way that aligns with the spatial strategy set out in the National Planning Framework of compact development as well as city and regional growth targets. A further key area will be to assess whether the structures and rules for the management, governance and oversight of projects are in place to deliver on the ambitions of the revised NDP.

The review will be led by the National Investment Office in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. It will be conducted in close partnership with all Government Departments and relevant Agencies and will include a strong element of stakeholder engagement and public communication. In fact, the importance of well planned and executed capital expenditure has never been more important than it is now. Research from the IMF has shown that the multiplier effect that comes with capital investment is significant for advanced market economies, particularly so after an economic shock such as we experienced this year. We live in a time of huge anxiety and concern for our people which demands a comprehensive economic and social response from Government. We are grasping this challenge, delivering an enhanced

capital budget and putting in place the framework to ensure value for money and maximum impact. I believe Ireland will reap the benefits of this approach in the years ahead and I strongly encourage interested parties to fully engage in the process.


It is prudent now to reassess our investment plans, update project costings and highlight any new issues which may need to be taken into consideration.


In light of the Programme for Government and the challenges of Covid-19, it is prudent now to reassess our investment plans, update project costings and highlight any new issues which may need to be taken into consideration. I was, therefore, delighted to recently launch Review to Renew, an important and timely assessment of Ireland’s National Development Plan.



Bob Savage is presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Business Award 2020 by Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber, Conor Healy CEO of Cork Chamber and John Higgins, Lead Partner, EY Cork, award sponsors.Picture Darragh Kane

Outstanding Contribution to Business Bob Savage has been honoured with the Cork Chamber ‘Outstanding Contribution to Business Award 2020’, sponsored by EY. Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber said of the announcement, “A true icon of the technology industry, Bob Savage has enjoyed an international career, and all from Cork. He has ensured that an entire sector has been able to develop from Ireland. Bob sat on the board of the American Chamber and Enterprise Ireland and has been instrumental in helping to position Ireland and Cork as a European location of choice for investors. He has a huge passion for skills development and chairs the National Skills council and the board of CIT, soon to be Munster Technological University. It is an honour to present Bob Savage with the 2020 Outstanding Contribution to Business Award.” Bob Savage joins a distinguished group of previous recipients including Anne O’Leary of Vodafone; Frank Boland; Sean O’Driscoll of Glen Dimplex Group; Darina Allen of Ballymaloe, Brian McCarthy of Fexco and Dan and Linda Kiely of Voxpro. Mr Savage accepted the prestigious award from Cork Chamber President Paula Cogan at the Cork campus of DELL Technologies.


John Higgins, Lead Partner, EY Cork, commented on the award announcement saying, “I would like to congratulate Bob Savage, a most deserving recipient of this prestigious award. Bob has not only made a substantial contribution to building a successful base in Ireland for Dell Technologies, he continues to be a huge driver of lifelong learning. EY is proud of our continued support of the Outstanding Contribution to Business Award, particularly this year it is more important than ever to recognise those who contribute so richly to business and community.” An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD shared a message of congratulations with Mr Savage saying, “This award recognises Bob’s tireless contribution to Cork and to the South West over many years. As site leader for the Cork campus of Dell Technologies Bob is, and has been, a driving force with one of the region’s most valued employers. Bob’s legacy to industrial development in Cork has been a rich and enduring one. Among his many roles, one which I must highlight, given the centrality of education to the development and success of our region, is Bob’s continuing work as Chair of the

CIT governing body. I want to thank Bob for his contribution to the transition to the Munster Technological University taking place in just a few weeks’ time. This award has been used to recognise many esteemed business leaders who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to Cork and the south west over the years, and Bob rightly takes his place on that role of honour.” Upon receiving the award, Bob Savage, Vice President and Cork Site Leader, Dell Technologies said: “It is a great honour to accept this very special award from the Cork Chamber and EY. Thanks to the incredible team across Dell Technologies in Ireland and especially those at our Cork campus. We have established strong links with both UCC and CIT. A career highlight for me has been to serve as the Chair of the governing body of CIT for the last 9 years. Lifelong learning has been a passion for me and I look forward to the establishment of the Munster Technological University, which will serve the region well, and it will be a force for talent and inclusion in the post-Covid era.“


IN THE CHAIR with Bob Savage, Vice President, EMEA Centres of Excellence & CIO EMEA, Dell Technologies To begin, tell us about your career to date I graduated from CIT with a degree in Electronic Engineering. Upon graduating, I was lucky to secure an opportunity with EMC in 1988. I’ve held many roles during my tenure starting my career as an engineer in manufacturing. In 2008 I became General Manager at EMC in Ireland overseeing the Cork Site which embarked on a significant transformation journey. In 2013 I gained responsibility for sites in Russia and Egypt. In 2016 EMC merged with Dell forming Dell Technologies and I assumed my current role as Vice President, EMEA Centres of Excellence & CIO EMEA, Dell Technologies.

What have been the highlights of your work? I’ve been extremely fortunate with the opportunities afforded to me during my career. The five years I spent on the board of Enterprise Ireland were hugely fulfilling, focusing on establishing and growing indigenous business in Ireland. Serving on the board of the American Chamber of Commerce and acting as President in 2016 was tremendously rewarding, I built a significant network with AmCham and made lasting friendships. I’m enormously proud, given my passion for lifelong learning in chairing the governing body of CIT for the last 9 years and enjoyed the small part I’ve played in the journey towards establishing the Munster Technologically University. Last year I also took on the role as Chair of the National Skills Council.

What has been your greatest business achievement and challenge? The introduction of the research and development functions to the Cork operations diversifying the activity happening on the site and ensuring our team are at the forefront of innovation. We’ve benefited from partnerships with universities and other third level institutes locally and across Ireland as well as through customers and partners across the EMEA region.

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received? Only you can plan and manage your career. If you don’t get that dream job, how you react is key. You need to work to make sure that you are the best candidate next time. I’ve been through this exact experience and it wasn’t easy. What I’ve learned is that you don’t always get what you want on your first attempt. Don’t give up.

In terms of managing teams and individuals, what are your insights? Over the years I’ve found taking a personal interest in my team has led to better working relationships. Taking a genuine interest in people’s careers and being available to provide advice and guidance, while also recognising achievements, even those not related to work, is key. I find this combination brings out the best in your team members.

Based on your own experience, what are your top career tips? Your career is in your own hands. Have a trusted advisor; someone who will tell you what you need to hear. Be curious to the point of not being afraid to ask questions. Be honest about your shortcomings especially to yourself. You can never over communicate and that includes listening.

What does it mean to you to have received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Business’ award from Cork Chamber in 2020? I am humbled to receive the award coming from an organisation that I’ve worked with for over 30 years. I think of past colleagues - my great friend Bill O’Connell, past President of Cork Chamber and Dick Lehane, who hired me into EMC in 1988 and a previous winner. It’s an honour and privilege to be in the esteemed company as previous recipients.

How would you define your work style and how has it evolved over the years? I like to ensure I’m working in an inclusive environment where everyone feels they have a role to play and their voice is heard. Empathy and emotional intelligence are key to managing large and diverse workforces and these skills have become increasingly important this year as we all worked in a virtual environment. I always strive to be accessible to people who might need advice.



Cov e r Sto ry

Our Sustainable Future This autumn saw the culmination of a project which started with a Cork Chamber fundraising drive, launched as part of the Chamber’s bicentenary celebrations. Following a 12-month fundraising campaign, philanthropic donations totalling €100k were raised by Cork Chamber, its members and individuals in the business community. By partnering with Rethink Ireland on this initiative, the target amount of €100k was then matched by the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund, bringing the combined figure to €200,000 and creating what became known as the Sustainable Cork Fund. The support and structure around the process that was offered by the Rethink Ireland team was fundamental to its success. A strong promotional campaign resulted in 66 applications being submitted by social entrepreneurs and not-forprofit organisations across the county and after an extensive review and interview process, three winners were

selected from a shortlist of 12 finalists. The three winning projects (Nasc’s Gateway to Inclusion project, NCE Outreach and Refill.ie) ticked all the boxes for Cork Chamber, as they all demonstrated a clear commitment to promoting sustainability in Cork through environmental awareness, community inclusion and employment, and have demonstrated a good fit with the SDGs that are being backed by Cork Chamber. The campaign was a classic example of what a strong business community can achieve together. A key motivation for Cork Chamber was to leave a legacy that would endure after the bicentenary celebrations were concluded. The winning projects, outlined on the following page, will have a lasting impact on our community and the supports offered through the Fund will be truly

transformational for the awardees. Their work shows us all what fresh thinking, creativity, and resilience can achieve and what is being done to make Cork a better place to live and work. continues on p12 Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber with Pádraic Vallely, Business Development Manager Rethink Ireland; Katherine Fitzpatrick, Director of International Relations Cork Chamber; Caroline O’Driscoll, Board Director Rethink Ireland and Conor Healy, Chief Executive Cork Chamber. Pictures: Darragh Kane


Cov e r Sto ry

Above: Claire Mackey, Gateway to Inclusion Project Coordinator at Nasc; Garry Fitzpatrick, Lead Project Coordinator for Refill Ireland; and Noreen Hegarty, General Manager of NCE Outreach pictured with Caroline O’Driscoll, Board Director at Rethink Ireland and Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber. Pictures: Darragh Kane

Our Sustainable Future continued from p11

Nasc - Gateway to Inclusion


Nasc is a non-governmental organisation and a registered charity based in Cork city, founded in 2000 with the goal of realising the rights of all migrants and refugees within Irish society. Nasc has a number of key services offering specialised supports to particularly vulnerable migrants.

been in place since 2018 and last year Nasc’s Gateway to Inclusion supported 36 women. Over the next three years they aim to support 70 women to achieve their education and employment goals from volunteering, to accessing formal third level education to becoming entrepreneurs.

Nasc’s Gateway to Inclusion project provides free, specially tailored English language classes in a women-only, supportive environment. The language component is a ‘gateway’ to ‘hard to reach’ refugee women at risk of geographical or social isolation. The project assists women to accomplish their education and employment goals and provides supports to overcome the barriers that can inhibit women from accessing formal education or employment. The project has

Claire Mackey, Gateway to Inclusion Project Coordinator at Nasc said: “We are delighted to be awarded funding under the inaugural Sustainable Cork Fund. It is a huge honour, and it represents a vote of confidence in the contribution of migrant and refugee women in a diverse and multi-cultural Cork city. “Winning the Sustainable Cork Fund means that Gateway can continue to provide much needed supports to refugee and migrant women to help them to successfully and happily integrate into their new

Claire Mackey Gateway to Inclusion Project Coordinator Nasc

communities. It is an honour to be able to facilitate and empower our participants, who bring so much diversity, skill and ability, and help to enrich Cork’s multicultural community and workforce.”

Cov e r Sto ry

Refill.ie Refill.ie is a social enterprise helping to eradicate a need for single use plastic water bottles by providing an alternative free-to-use refill network. In addition, they provide a zero-waste drinking water service for public events large and small allowing them to go plastic free and are a seller of sustainable bottle and dispenser products. Refill.ie will use the Sustainable Cork Fund to hire a full-time employee for a new Cork base as well as advertising and promoting their work. With the help of the Fund, Refill.ie can now deliver a range of benefits to Cork and the South-West region including a zero waste mobile drinking water service at Cork events; an extended “Tap Map” service, showing people

where to find free tap water nearby; installation of a Community Refill Hub; and advocacy, education, representation and community building. They have also established an online shop, with water bottles, dispensers and fountains for sale (see https://www.refill.ie/shop). Garry Fitzpatrick, Lead Project Coordinator for Refill Ireland said: “We are delighted to win funding from the Sustainable Cork Fund. It will be a fantastic boost for us and will allow us to have personnel based in the region working and advocating for changes to improve the local environment through the easy access to zero waste choices for their daily hydration needs.”

Garry Fitzpatrick Lead Project Coordinator, Refill Ireland

NCE Outreach - Sustainable Futures NCE Outreach was set up in 1998 and works in partnership with the Department of Employment & Social Protection (DEASP), the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Tabor Group, Cuan Mhuire and the Probation services. NCE Outreach acts as an inclusive and unique training model that supports participants during different stages in their rehabilitation of all forms of addiction, by providing Individual Learning Plans (ILPs), specialised training programmes and work experience to build confidence, advance transferable skills and develop career pathways for each participant. Its project, Sustainable Futures, provides training, personal development, and employment in the area of sustainability for participants of NCE Outreach and the local community . The project aims to create part-time

employment opportunities at NCE while also feeding into the development of a community based, living lab for sustainability in Cork city based at Farranferris Education & Training Campus. NCE plans to establish the first Zero Waste Shop on the north side of Cork city as well as developing links and relationships with other local and national organisations and businesses. Noreen Hegarty, General Manager of NCE Outreach said: “The Sustainable Cork Fund will give NCE the opportunity to grow and develop our services, and to link with other organisations to share resources and reach a wider demographic. It is also giving us the opportunity to become a positive demonstrator and educational campus for how organisations and communities can transition to more sustainable living and business practices while also creating employment opportunities.”

Noreen Hegarty General Manager of NCE Outreach



As this new world of Virtual Events continues to exist and evolve, we strive to provide valuable, timely and relevant content including our Business Breakfast Live, Thought Leaders Council Live, Leadership Forum Live, Networking at Noon Live @ Grant Thornton, New Members Breakfast Live, Sustainable Cork Programme and Christmas Charity Lunch Live.

BUSINESS BREAKFAST LIVE Business Breakfast Live featuring An Taoiseach Micheรกl Martin TD An Taoiseach, Micheรกl Martin TD joined us for a timely Business Breakfast Live, Thursday, 22nd October, on day one of the 5 week lock down. Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber and An Taoiseach had an insightful and wide-ranging conversation which gave the audience of almost 300 some clarity on a way forward for society and business in the weeks ahead.

November Business Breakfast Live with Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council Our November Business Breakfast Live took place Tuesday, 24th November with over 200 registrations and featured Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council. Ann spoke of the importance of protecting the Retail, Hospitality, Culture and Arts sectors during this time, along with her future vison of Cork, a vibrant City with improved public transport, a strong jobs market and more people living in the C ity Centre.




Check out our upcoming webinars at corkchamber.ie

THOUGHT LEADERS COUNCIL LIVE Thought Leaders Council Live with Michael McGrath, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Our Thought Leaders Council Live took place on Friday, 16th October and featured an insightful discussion between Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber and Minister Michael McGrath TD with over 40 Chamber Partners at the end of a busy Budget week.

NETWORKING AT NOON LIVE Networking at Noon Live @ Grant Thornton Our Networking at Noon Live took place Thursday, 5th November and provided over 30 members with the opportunity to pitch their business and chat with fellow Chamber members. This unique virtual session featured a sneak peek of Grant Thornton's brand new offices at Penrose Dock.

NEW MEMBERS BREAKFAST LIVE New Members Breakfast Live Our New Members Breakfast Live took place Friday, 27th November with over 40 new members tuning in to find out the many ways they can maximise their Chamber membership. It was inspiring to have such a diverse range of companies represented at our final New Members Breakfast of the year! IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Check out our upcoming webinars at corkchamber.ie


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LEADERSHIP FORUM LIVE Leadership Forum Live with Ian Flanagan, CEO, Munster Rugby and Tracey Kennedy, Chairperson, Cork GAA Our Leadership Forum Live took place on Wednesday, 2nd December and featured an insightful discussion on the current challenges and opportunities for Irish Sport with Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber; Ian Flanagan, CEO, Munster Rugby and Tracey Kennedy, Chairperson, Cork GAA.


WEBINAR SERIES Exploring Climate Finance - What is it, and how to engage This session took place on Friday, 4th December and featured Yvonne Holmes, Chief Sustainability Officer, AIB; David Looney, Senior Financial Advisor, Alpha Wealth Ltd and Nils Hums, Group Sustainability team, Deutsche Bรถrse Group. Speakers gave guidance on their experience in Climate Finance and its role in transitioning to a low carbon economy and society. IN ASSOCIATION WITH

CHRISTMAS CHARITY LUNCH LIVE Christmas Charity Lunch Live Our Christmas Charity Lunch Live took place on Friday, 11th December and gave members the opportunity to e-network while experiencing some festive fun & magic with the world's leading TV hypnotist, mentalist and brain hacker Keith Barry. 16

Check out our upcoming webinars at corkchamber.ie




MAXIMISE YOUR MEMBERSHIP WEDNESDAY 13TH JANUARY 10AM-10.30AM ONLINE Join Cork Chamber’s first 'Maximise Your Membership' of the year and learn how to utilise your membership through our many promotional channels, in particular, the Member's Area. When sharing information, being informed and staying connected has never been more important, this session offers members the opportunity to learn how to make the most of their membership and particularly offers members practical tips on how to access the wider Chamber membership base, maximise their visibility and utilise the Member's Area to its optimum capacity. This virtual session is open to anyone within your organisation, to both our newer and long term members who would like a refresher on how to best utilise the Chamber platforms to continue to promote your brand, stay connected and be informed.

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Kick off your New Year with this interactive Masterclass where networking expert Kingsley Aikins will explain why networking is now more important than ever. Kingsley will walk you through everything you need to know to fully utilise any networking opportunity so you will be prepared for virtual interactions and face to face meetings when the time comes again. He will outline why networking needs to be front and centre for companies and individuals and how to be good at it! This informative session will look at what exactly Networking is and will set out a precise Four Step Process on how to build a strong and diverse network. If you would like to improve your networking skills, learn how to make valuable connections or simply want to start the new year on a positive note, then this masterclass is for you!

This webinar titled 'Arts and Culture at the Heart of a Thriving City Region' will explore the role of a flourishing, thriving arts and culture sector to a vibrant and ambitious City region. We will delve into the reach of arts and cultural activities far beyond its own sectoral footprint, the importance of a resilient recovery and the role of the sector to the sustainable economic and social development of the Cork region. Speakers will include: Liz Meaney, Director Performing Arts with The Arts Council of Ireland, Lorraine Maye, Director of Cork Midsummer Festival and Shane O’Driscoll, Artist and initiator of Ardú, Cork’s new street art initiative. The Sustainable Cork Programme, initiated by Cork Chamber at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is a programme designed to set a vision for a more sustainable and resilient Cork, empowered by a thriving business community.


For more info and bookings on all events visit www.corkchamber.ie


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Funding Available for your Online Training in 2021 As we approach the New Year, workforce planning, people development and strategic innovation is of increasing importance. Cork Chamber Skillnet can support you to upskill your workforce online with leading industry training providers via funding from Skillnet Ireland. • • • • • •

Bespoke online programmes for your company Public training courses available online Training Needs Analysis QQI Certified programme delivery Programme design & delivery Skillnet Ireland funding available

W: www.corkchamber.ie/training E: training@corkchamber.ie T : 021 4530141


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Search Vodafone Business Gigabit speeds subject to availability and selected areas. 4G backup service free for the first three months then €7.50 per month thereafter. Price from €45 subject to 12-month contract and having your business mobile with Vodafone. All prices ex. VAT. See vodafone.ie/terms/business


SmartOffice’s Paul Towler & Paul Martin

Digitalisation of Irish SMEs SMEs make up 99.8% of active businesses in the Irish economy and believe it or not 70% of the SME workforce is employed in non-digital sectors such as services, construction and manufacturing. Despite this, Ireland is already in a strong position, being among the most digitalised countries in the world (6th in the EU digital index DESI) for many years. Beyond this ranking, a European Investment Bank report (2019) unveiled a two-speed digital economy in which a small number of multinationals operate with high digitalisation levels and productivity, whereas traditional indigenous SMEs have been slower in leveraging digital solutions to reduce costs, drive innovation and expand market presence. Considering their relevance to the Irish economy, SMEs need to be at the core of digital transformation strategy.

New ways of working The Covid 19 crisis hastened the arrival of ”digital” in typically more labourintensive sectors such as retail and health care and has brought the digital agenda into focus for more localised SMEs with typically lower adoption such as construction, leisure, retail and hospitality.


The use of cloud-based technology has also greatly accelerated and the pandemic has highlighted the increased the need for employees to have simple, effective remote access to their systems and data rather than reaching for files on a dusty shelf in an office out of bounds! When more employees are working remotely, the value of maximising the efficiency of processes and using technology to automate basic tasks cannot be underestimated. It can help to eliminate human error and potentially free up 25-35% of every single work day for other tasks that require. Companies who automate basic processes help to liberate employees to work at a higher level every day, and the advanced competency and creativity of the workforce can positively influence and impact decision making. Through digitalisation companies may become more competitive and effective at connecting more deeply with their product and their customer.

Industry 4.0 Industry 4.0 or the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ and the opportunities that digitalisation can bring to sectors such as manufacturing, has never been more in focus to ensure competitive advantage. In fact, a McKinsey study

on Shaping the Future of Work (2017) estimated that new digitally-enabled automation and artificial intelligence have the potential to bring an uplift in GDP of €550 billion (or 1.2% per year) from 2016 to 2030 in nine European “digital front runner” economies, including Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Evidence suggests that companies who embrace digitalisation tend to experience better access to new markets, increased innovation and improved competitiveness. It is for this reason digitalisation is a European Commission policy priority and the central theme of a recent Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) event held with EEN Ireland partners on 8 December last - ‘‘Developing SME ‘resilience’ through digitalisation in a Covid/post-Covid Environment’’. At the online event, it was evident that digital transformation requires an enterprise-wide change driven by digital technologies and the integration of transformation processes into every aspect of the company. This transformation should be supported at company level by changes in culture, leadership, skills and processes.


At the recen EEN event, Cantec Ireland – Smart Office proved to be an excellent example of an Irish SME who has focussed on demands for digital solutions from SMEs in traditional sectors. Greg Tuohy, Managing Director & Paul Martin, Commercial Director, shared how digitalisation is not just about acquiring IT equipment and systems but about people and process and finding solutions to customer problems. Digitalisation encompasses fundamental business dimensions, processes, products and business models to deliver smart and connected products which both drive and adapt to changes in customers’ behaviour. Key to the company’s capability in this area is Cantec Ireland’s recently announced merger with Cork Chamber member, SmartOffice Technology, an innovative software provider based in Cork. Specifically, Cantec has evolved and adapted its traditional print offering to focus on providing sustainable solutions for companies’ print requirement and digital document management. Cantec have capacity to implement systems to reduce paper usage and print volumes, promote document management and other tools to automate business

processes for SMEs. This move away from traditional printing and paper handling has enabled an expansion of the company’s software and product portfolio. By working with SmartOffice, Cantec have delved into their typical customer’s processes, identified the problems and designed clever custom-built solutions, ideal for both office-based and remote workers. Such tools can also deliver both cost reduction and improve security.


We are excited about this new venture with Cantec Ireland, it is a tremendous opportunity for our business to develop and grow.


Resilience and growth at Cantec Ireland – Smart Office

The company is confident about its prospects and recognises that the business case for digitalisation is even more compelling with the convergence of digitalisation and sustainability – sustainability opportunities and challenges emerge when using digital tools to map the environmental footprint or environmental shifts on a business.

At the event, Greg Tuohy, MD of Cantec, outlined “our merger with SmartOffice means that we stay ahead of our competitors in providing efficient, effective, cloud based AI technology. Cantec Ireland – Smart Office’s goal is to be the Number 1 provider of integrated hardware and software products in Ireland within five years.’’

A case in point is Cantec’s partnership with Canon, which helped UCC, one of the world’s ‘greenest’ universities to build a controlled print solution. Cantec also worked to decommission UCC’s current fleet of print devices, install new ‘remanufactured’ machines with impeccable green credentials and streamline the way they are used to meet UCC’s targets on waste.

The merger is a testament to Cantec’s resilience and in its next iteration will see the company seeking to recruit 10 people in 2021 with a further 20 roles over the next two years. Five of these roles will be based on the company’s new Carrigtwohill office in Cork.



New members We welcome the following new members

Baker Finn Recruitment Recruitment/Executive Search Baker Finn is a recruitment company that provides both permanent & temporary contract candidates across Life Sciences, Technology/ IT, Manufacturing & Accounting sectors. T: 021 603 1000 E: barry.delany@bakerfinn.com W: www.bakerfinn.com Barbara Devaney Healthcare Provider Psychotherapy specialising in trauma, women’s issues, creativity, community building, and developmental/intellectual disabilities. T: 087 674 9275 E: barbara@barbaradevaney.com W: www.barbaradevaney.com Careerchanger.ie Education/Training/Languages Mary Cummins is a coach/trainer & career transition & outplacement consultant. She has a particular expertise and accreditation in strengths-based coaching helping clients be their best self. T: 087 829 0207 E: mary@careerchanger.ie W: https://careerchanger.ie/ Chalmers Accounting and Consulting Accountants/Auditors Comprehensive range of financial management, accounting, and taxation services. Qualified accountant with 23 years’ experience guiding businesses through start up, growth and financial successes. T: 087 957 7259 E: kay@chalmersaccounting.ie W: https://chalmersaccounting.ie


Cobh Ramblers FC Entertainment/Leisure/Tourism Cobh Ramblers is a first division Football Club. We are one of Irelands oldest clubs established in 1922. T: 021 4813078 E: office@cobhramblers.ie W: www.cobhramblers.ie Carewswood Garden Centre & Cafe Services/Online Shopping/Retail Carewswood Garden Centre & Café hope that by combining their horticultural and culinary skills and through nurture and care, it will grow to become Cork’s favourite garden centre. T: 021 466 7760 E: info@carewswood.ie W: www.carewswood.ie Culinary Cork Food/Drink Culinary Cork seeks to promote the best of all things food in Cork City and County, supporting small and medium size producers and business owners. E: culinarycork@gmail.com W: www.culinarycork.com EDCI Consultants Web Design EDCI is an established consultancy based in Ireland’s second largest city Cork. Aims to deliver superior customer service to our selected clients through our extensive networks and our track record. T: 089 424 8490 E: toregan747@gmail.com W: www.edciconsultants.com Employer Support Services Ltd Business Process Outsourcing/ Contact Centre HR and Payroll support T: 057 930 8720 E: info@peopletime.ie W: www.peopletime.ie

Food Choice Services Food Choice is an evidence based, complete nutritional health programme that sustainably improves employees’ dietary behaviours and health while offering employers a return on investment. T: 021 420 5337 E: info@foodchoiceatwork.com W: www.foodchoiceatwork.com Lee Valley Ireland Retail/Online Shopping Lee Valley has designed and manufactured high quality clothing in the village of Inchigeelagh, West Cork since 1986. The family remain committed to offering high quality Irish country clothing to be treasured forever. T: 026 49170 E: lauren@leevalley.ie W: https://leevalleyireland.com Niamh Brady Coaching Services Niamh Brady is a Productivity Coach who helps people achieve their goals and reduce stress through individual coaching and the A Better Workday programme. T: 085 120 0226 E: niamh@niamhbrady.com W: www.niamhbrady.com Novus Agility Management Consultants Providing consulting, coaching and training services to support the adoption of agile practices and foster business agility. E: aoife.garvin@novusagility.com ODMC Consultancy Ltd Enterprise/Trade Development Providing Consultancy to SMEs, and leadership management skills through the LMI franchise. T: 087 326 3298 E: odmcltd@gmail.com W: www.lmi.ie


Origineire Online Shopping/Retail Origineire sells furniture and homeware, exclusively designed and made in Ireland. We showcase the best of functional, contemporary design and craft from across Ireland. T: 087 227 1837 E: siobhan@origineire.com W: www.origineire.ie PropertyPA Property Management/Lettings PropertyPA is a cloud-based property management platform which enables landlords to manage their rental property. T: 087 394 5634 E: yvette@askpropertypa.ie W: www.askpropertypa.ie Pyro Recycling Ltd Engineering Recycling of plastics currently being sent to landfill and for incineration creating oil as a by-product. T: 086 397 7594 E: paul.mcdonogh@pyrorec.ie Recreate Shandon CLG Charity Recreate Shandon CLG is working with Cork City Council to redevelop the Butter Exchange for use as a Technology Hub. T: 086 256 0332 Relay Digital Advertising/Marketing/Market Research Strategic digital marketing agency helping companies grow through targeted online marketing. T: 086 194 5080 E: hello@relaydigital.ie W: www.relaydigital.ie Sinnott Solicitors Solicitors/Legal Services A progressive solicitor’s practice specialising in Irish Immigration Law. T: 021 202 8080 E: info@sinnott.ie W: www.sinnott.ie

Simply Blue Group Renewable Energy Simply Blue Group is a blue economy project developer working with the oceans to develop transformative and sustainable floating wind, wave energy and low-impact sustainable aquaculture projects. T: 021 242 7426 E: Zoe@simplyblueenergy.com W: https://simplyblueenergy.com Stormtide Digital Management Consultants We can help define your strategy, business platforms and project plans for a sustainable digital transformation that drives growth and delivers savings for your business. T: 089 255 9322 E: gordon@stormtidedigital.com W: www.stormtidedigital.com Strategic Communications and Publications Public Relations Communications consulting and magazine publishing company. T: 087 938 8882 E: contact@orlaclancy.com W: www.strategicmagazines.com St. Michael’s Credit Union Ltd. Financial Services/Pensions/ Investment St. Michael’s Credit Union specialise in providing a great place for savings and loans in the community and is proud of its heritage. T: 021 435 7771 E: media@stmichaelscu.ie W: www.stmichaelscu.ie SurePlan Financial Financial Services/Pensions/ Investment Advising business owners and employees on financial planning - including retirement planning, financial protection, mortgages, savings, and investments. T: 021 240 9020 E: karen@sureplan.ie W: www.sureplan.ie

Teamotely IT Services Teamotely.com helps Irish companies to recruit remote teams & manage them for its engagement, well-being and performance while still saving hugely on monthly costs. T: 021 239 0422 E: sachin.saxena@teamotely.com W: www.teamotely.com Tírnan Corporate Governance Limited Solicitors/Legal Services Tirnan Trust is an independent company formations practice who provides expert company formation, company secretarial and company law services to our clients around Ireland and internationally. T: 087 120 6182 E: boriordan88@yahoo.com UXES Software/Software Services UXES delivers first-class user experience. Using a research led approach, we design digital interfaces that meet your customers’ needs and align with your business goals. T: 087 774 6109 E: aideen@uxes.ie W: www.uxes.ie Wilson Architects Architects/Town Planners Wilson Architecture are a Cork based architectural practice with branch offices in Dublin and in Dalian, China. We have designed many signature buildings in Cork City. T: 021 455 5255 E: info@wilsonarchitecture.ie W: www.wilsonarchitecture.ie



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Brown Thomas Cork officially kicked off festivities by unveiling its highly anticipated Christmas windows. Claire McCarthy from Carrigaline pictured at Enable Ireland’s launch of Win A House Cork. The charity is raffling a showhouse, a car to the value of €25,000 and €5,000 cash. Tickets are priced at €100 and may be purchased on winahousecork.ie to raise vital funds for the new Lavanagh Children’s Services Centre in Cork (raffle being held Friday, 16th April 2021). Dominic Daly, Hon. Belgian Consul for Southern Ireland recently received a Knighthood from Belgium recognising his 30 years of service as Hon. Belgian Consul in Southern Ireland. Pictured at the presentation Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Independent councillor, Carrigaline Municipal District - Proposer of Presentation), Dominic J. Daly, The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley.

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Aircoach’s iconic blue bus turns green as FAI & Aircoach Announce Partnership: Dervla McKay, Managing Director, Aircoach, with manager Stephen Kenny pictured at the Aircoach announcement of the new partnership with the Football Association of Ireland to become the Official Transport Provider to Ireland’s senior men and women’s teams. Amarenco Group successfully closes a €150 million new capital commitment. Tikehau Capital becomes a cornerstone shareholder to support Amarenco’s growth in solar power production. We are happy to welcome Pierre Devillard and Pierre Abadie from the private equity team of Tikehau Capital to our board”, declared Amarenco’s co-founders Olivier Carré, Nick Howard, John Mullins and Alain Desvigne.


National Business Machines (NBM), headquartered in Cork and celebrating its 35th year in business, last year announced a €750,000 investment and expansion of their business, largely focussed on infrastructure and personnel.


Abtran supports RTE Late Late Toy Show Children’s Appeal Abtran, the Cork based Business Process Outsourcing company, was instrumental in supporting the success of the RTE Late Late Toy Show Appeal. The Irish company’s staff in Cork and Sligo took donations over the phone for the weekend of the Toy Show and helped raise over 6 million euro for children’s charities. Funds donated through the RTE Toy Show Appeal will go to The Community Foundation for Ireland who will distribute to various children’s charities including Barnardos, Children’s Health Foundation, and Children’s Books Ireland. Abtran CEO, Aisling Deasy commented, “Abtran are proud to support the RTE Late Late Toy Show Appeal. All charities’ fundraising efforts have been profoundly impacted by Covid. To this end, we’re delighted to support vulnerable children

Energy Cork announce New Chair Michelle O’Sullivan, Senior Public Affairs Executive and Sustainable Cork Programme Lead at Cork Chamber is the newly appointed Chair of Energy Cork, taking over the role in November from previous Chair, Jackie Quinn. Energy Cork is an industrydriven cluster pursuing coordinated actions to strengthen sustainable enterprise and employment within the energy sector in the Cork region. As part of her role as Chair, Michelle will use this time to progress emerging opportunities, further exploring the significant and exceptional potential of Cork as Ireland’s Energy Hub.

in our society by playing our part. Our people have been wonderful giving up their time to support this great cause while working within the necessary strict guidelines and protocols including

social distancing. We were totally overwhelmed by the generously of the Irish public, raising 6 million in just 24 hours. It was a privilege for Abtran to be part of this ”

Boost for Cork’s pharma and health tech future as major educational funding announced UCC, CIT and industry partners came together to develop the ‘iEd Hub’ which will produce a new generation of graduates. The iED Hub project is being led by Professor Helen Whelton, Head of the College of Medicine and Health at UCC and Dr Mark Tangney a senior researcher in the College.



The business of risk: How much can you afford to put on the line? Kerry Dwyer, Associate, Davy Private Clients / Heather Randles, Director, Davy Private Clients The outbreak of Covid-19 has put the spotlight on the concept of risk in a way that has left us with little else to talk about. Research and human experience show that we are a deeply risk-averse species and suddenly the world seems a much riskier place which is deeply unsettling.

How much risk can we take? The reaction of the financial markets has been nothing short of panic. But investing money has always involved taking on risk factors – inflation, currency, timing, market or liquidity risks. If we want to earn higher returns, we must consider to be able to accept a level of risk. When it comes to putting our money on the line, we are generally poor judges of how much risk we can take. The solution is to put all emotions to one side. It can be done by developing what’s known as ‘risk literacy’ which is simply the capacity to deal with uncertainty in an informed way.

Developing risk literacy Risk literacy is a framework that helps us make sensible decisions when the outcomes are uncertain. For example, if we’re told that our investments may be down 30% of the time or up 70% of the time, which sounds riskier? It amounts to the same message, but the different framing is likely to provoke two different reactions. How much risk can you afford to take? You will first need to look at your needs and goals. Today’s goals are really just our best guess around future expenditures. They help us better understand when the assets we have today, plus the savings we make in the future, will be spent. This in turn helps us allocate risk in a more sensible manner. Taking the time to articulate our goals means we are equipped to understand the real impact of market events on what matters most to us personally.

When it comes to short-term objectives, there is little or no risk affordability. With long-term goals, it’s different. Here, you really should be taking on more risk in order to grow your pot over time. And if the market declines during that period, you’ll likely have time to make it up. However, conversations around diversification and asset allocation are necessary.

Adopt a long-term, consistent approach With the outbreak of Covid-19 sending equity markets into turmoil, investors’ risk tolerance has truly been tested. Taking a long-term, consistent, dispassionate approach is generally the best investment approach. But when the going gets tough, our hard-wiring kicks in and we feel the urge to cut our losses and get out. Getting the right balance of risk and return is not an easy task. When deciding your risk budget, you should bear three key points in mind: what amount you could afford to lose in the worst-case scenario; how much growth you are targeting; and the time span you want to get there.

The ‘right’ balance is a strategy that diversifies across equities, alternatives, bonds and cash, and one you can adjust as time passes. Markets will go up and down, goals may change over time, and when your investment horizon shortens, you might want to move into lowerrisk strategies. Remember that the world has recovered from crisis before and will hopefully do so again. If you are in the business of investing, then taking some risk is essential. At Davy, we’ve a team of experienced advisers ready to help you, especially during these challenging times. Why not request a no-obligation call with a member of our team today?

Visit davy.ie/cork or call us on +353 21 425 1420.

The information in this article does not purport to be financial advice and does not take into account the investment objectives, knowledge and experience or financial situation of any particular person. You should seek advice in the context of your own personal circumstances prior to making any financial or investment decision from your own adviser.


J & E Davy, trading as Davy and Davy Private Clients, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


Our world has been turned on its head. We all work differently. We all interact differently. We all do our business differently. But the wheels of commerce still turn. Transactions are still being negotiated and are completing. Disputes are resolving and businesses need legal advice, more than ever.





You need to partner with someone who knows how to navigate not just the world as it was, but the world as it is now. A different world where a whole lot is still happening, but differently. We know “differently� and we can help you. W W W. R D J . I E




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Profile for Cork Chamber

Chamberlink Issue 5 2020 - Our Sustainable Future