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THE IRISH TIMES Special report A special report in association with

Q2 | 18.07.2018

Runs in the family
While conflict is common, family businesses
can work productively and in harmony
CONTENTS

Q2 | 18.07.2018

21
Loyalty levels are falling, with 43 per cent of
millennials envisioning leaving their jobs within
two years, Sandra O’Connell finds it takes a lot
more than money to attract and retain the latest
generation of young professionals
A leading business publication
focused on recognising the needs
of Dublin's entrepreneurial
and corporate business leaders,
Business Ireland (published by The
Irish Times) is a quarterly print

34
magazine produced in association
with Dublin Chamber.
MetroLink would provide the
Business Ireland aims to make a
real contribution to encouraging
spine of a public transport
economic growth through expert network that could serve
analysis of key business trends
and insightful commentary on the Dublin for the next 150 years,
issues that directly effect the city's
commercial needs.
writes Graeme McQueen
The next issue of Business Ireland
will be published in October 2018.

Business Ireland Dublin
Magazine Features Chamber A.O.B
The Irish Times, 24-26 Tara Street, Dublin 2 05 Go east Irish companies avail 34 Time to make a move 05 News
Email: specialreports@irishtimes.com of new opportunities in China Dublin's Metrolink 14 Food
Advertising: 01 893 0000 07 Warrior women Irish artists 36 Member news 16 Three
conquer a tough industry 38 Dublin Chamber on... 23 Abbvie
10 Retail Independent retailers Public transport, 24 SFI
Dublin Chamber, 7 Clare Street, Dublin 2 battle to win and retain custom Hong Kong flights, 25 Style
Tel: 01 644 7200 | Fax: 01 667 6403 18 Cover story How to avoid conflift Dublin Airport's 30 SME finance
Email: info@dublinchamber.ie in family business runway problem, 62 The Lighter side:
Web: www.dublinchamber.ie 25 IMD rankings A timely warning Arnott's vote of John Mahon
32 Venues Deal-closing venues confidence in the city
47 Property Suburban development 41 New member profiles
Editor: Barry McCall 52 Secure Legacy Netwatch 43 Gallery Snapshot of
Managing Editor: Edel Morgan 56 Failure to plan Ireland's Dublin Chamber events
Production Editor: Cathal O’Gara planning system under scrutiny from the past quarter

02 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
DCU LAUNCHES
IRELAND’S FIRST
Q2NEWS
DIVERSITY CENTRE FENERGO EXPANDS INTO
The newly launched DCU Centre of
Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion will
focus on diversity and inclusion research
and practice in Ireland for industry, higher
ASSET MANAGEMENT Junichi Miyakawa, representative director and chief technology
officer at SoftBank Corp
education and Government. The first of Irish fintech company Fenergo has expanded
its kind in Ireland, the centre will help
organisations to build cultures of inclusion
by providing access to the very latest in
into the asset-management sector with the
creation of a new buy-side division led by Kevin
O’Neill, former head of US asset manager
SOFTBANK COMES TO TOWN
academic research, insights and tools for segment for Royal Bank of Canada’s Investor & Japanese mobile network operator SoftBank
diversity and inclusion. Treasury Services (RBC). has joined Dublin City Council’s Smart City
Speaking at the launch of the centre, “This division will build on the extensive programme and its Smart Docklands District
president of DCU Prof Brian MacCraith, work we have done and continue to do with a testbed. Softbank and Dublin City Council will
said: “DCU’s long-standing primary aim number of leading asset managers. Fenergo’s exchange information and knowledge about
has been to enable our students to pre- CEO Marc Murphy, said. “We will be deploy- smart city solutions, explore potential trials,
pare for the 21st century. By establishing ing the same innovative methodologies to the proofs of concepts and find best-use cases for
Ireland’s first Centre of Excellence for asset management sector that we have used in the future smart city. SoftBank will also pilot its
Diversity and Inclusion, we are transcend- creating the global onboarding standard for the global IoT platform in Dublin.
ing that and reaching out to the public sell-side.” The partnership will also enable SoftBank to
and private sectors, from sole traders to work alongside industry, academia and entre-
multinationals; individual academics and preneurs in efforts to solve city challenges and
policy officers to higher-education insti- improve service delivery while also delivering
tutions, and Government departments to positive outcomes for the city and its citizens.
State agencies. Diversity and inclusion is “Dublin City Council is delighted to welcome
the right thing to do – it needs to be at the SoftBank to join our Smart City programme,”
top of everyone’s agenda, and we are proud said Dublin City Council chief executive Owen
to help position it there.” Keegan. “This partnership will help position
Prof MacCraith added: “DCU’s Centre of Dublin at the forefront of smart-city innovation.
Excellence will serve as a one-stop-shop, We are committed to building a programme of
providing invaluable thought leadership activity through the Smart Dublin initiative and
and international best practice in the to concentrate pilots across our Smart Dock-
diversity and inclusion arena. Critically, lands testbed district, which is emerging as a
this resource will be accessible and afford- world-class smart technology testbed.”
able, building on the principles of integrity, Junichi Miyakawa, representative director
research excellence and shared learning.” and chief technology officer at SoftBank Corp
Centre director Sandra Healy added: said: “SoftBank strongly believes it can contrib-
“There are many types of ‘hidden’ issues ute to Dublin’s development and future growth,
and personal ‘speed bumps’ that employ- building out local solutions that can scale
ees encounter in their lives. There is often globally.”
significant effort in transforming work
Kevin O'Neill, Fenergo global head buy-side division
environments to where they need to be
from a diversity and inclusion perspective.
Whilst good intentions on diversity and
inclusion are there in abundance among
management and staff, the required focus,
structure and means to responsibly engi-
neer that cultural transformation can be
lacking. The new centre at DCU will create
a formal engagement for industry and oth-
ers to directly access expertise on diversity
and inclusion and assist that journey.”

‘CHAMPION OF DIVERSITY’
Right: To coincide with the Centre of Excellence
launch, a celebrated champion of diversity and
inclusion in the Arab world, H.E. Dr Amal Al
Qubaisi, Chairperson and Speaker of the Federal
National Council (FNC - the United Arab Emirates
Parliament), received an Honorary Doctorate of
Philosophy from DCU. In 2015, Dr Amal made
history when she was elected Speaker of the FNC,
becoming the first woman in the Arab world to hold
such office. Pictured at the conferring was Dr.Al
Qubaisi with special guests Employer Disability
Information HR & Disability Project Manager,
Seonaid O'Murchadha,Deborah Somorin and
Sandra Healy Director Centre of Excellence .
photograph: julien behal photography

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 03
NEWS Q2

BUSINESSES URGED TO
DEVOTE MORE TO CSR
Minister for Business, Enterprise and
Innovation Heather Humphreys has called
on businesses to consider their impact
on society. Speaking at the inaugural CSR
CEO/Leaders Breakfast meeting recently,
Ms Humphreys said “Ireland’s National
Plan on CSR is a call to action for busi-
nesses both large and small to consider
their impact in their local communities
and society, in the workplace, on the
environment, and in the marketplace. It is
the Government’s ambition that Ireland
be recognised as a centre of excellence
for responsible and sustainable business
practices. The Government wants to build
a strong economy and deliver a fair society,
so that businesses and communities thrive
throughout Ireland and CSR is the way to
achieve it.”
The event, hosted by the CSR Stake-
holder Forum in conjunction with the
Department of Business, Enterprise and
Innovation is an initiative under the rollout
of “Towards Responsible Business: Ire- Pictured at Digital DNA are Simon Bailie, commercial director at Digital DNA; Jamie Bartlett, director at thinktank Demos and
Leo Johnson, partner and disruption lead at PwC and co-presenter of Radio 4's Future Proofing
land’s National Plan on CSR 2017-2020”.
Addressing the event, CSR Stakeholder
Forum chair Catherine Heaney said: “In
conducting our work, we have come to
recognise that a CSR culture is embed-
STELLAR CAST DELIVERS AT DIGITAL DNA
ded in many businesses, and that the
small changes businesses are making to More than 3,000 people gathered over two days and energetic business and technology gathering
reduce their energy consumption, support at Digital DNA 2018 in Belfast in June to hear in Ireland and has justly earned a formidable
employee well-being, and support commu- technology experts from across the world share reputation for sharing high-quality insights from
nities around them are making a real differ- their knowledge and experiences. Now in its globally recognised business and tech leaders.
ence to business sustainability. sixth year, the event draws some of the biggest Our newly appointed Resilience Commissioner
“In the past year, we have shared our names in the tech sector to Northern Ireland. Grainia Long is hosting a panel exploring how
experiences of CSR with other businesses Digital DNA aims to showcase Belfast’s technology can help Belfast become more resil-
through online and face-to-face interac- growing tech sector, covering marketing, data, ient and members of our economic development
tion; we have examined and documented cybersecurity, fintech, innovation and developer team are on hand in the exhibition area to let del-
research and best practice on CSR; and we topics – delivered through a programme of key- egates know about the wide range of free support
have worked to support policy alignment, note talks, interactive workshops, panel discus- we provide to Belfast businesses and the Inno-
including the National Implementation sions and an exhibition. vation Factory, our creative space for start-up
Plan for Ireland on Sustainable Develop- This year, attendees heard from a range of businesses just 10 minutes from the city centre.”
ment Goals – none of this could be done international speakers including Jamie Bart- Leo Johnson of PwC said the technology sector
without the voluntary support of the lett, director at think tank Demos; Leo Johnson, in Northern Ireland is exhibiting signs of excit-
members of the CSR Stakeholder Forum, partner and disruption lead at PwC; Noga Tal, ing growth. “I’ve been coming here for five years
its working groups and the Department of head of global strategic initiatives for start-ups and there is something hugely interesting going
Business, Enterprise and Innovation.” at Microsoft; Aoife Caulfield, emerging client on, particularly at the edge of innovation. For
For more information about CSR log onto solutions UK & Europe at Twitter; Joanna PwC globally, Belfast is tech central; it’s where
www.csrhub.ie Jarjue, BBC’s The Apprentice; Naomi Timperley, the best and brightest love to be.”
director at Tech North Advocates; Sarah Hooper, Henry Helgeson of Cayan said the growing
CRM director at Edit; Mike Barrett, founder and knowledge of the digital payment sector here
CEO of Unosquare; Henry Helgeson, founder will draw investment to Northern Ireland.
and CEO of Cayan; and Kieran Flanagan, VP of “Companies realise you have the payments tal-
marketing at Hubspot. ent here and that’s a very valuable thing. There’s
“We knew we had a stellar cast at Digital DNA a foundation of payments knowledge here that
2018, but this year’s speakers really delivered,” isn’t available in other cities; it’s not something
said Simon Bailie, commercial director at Digital you find in a box.”
DNA. “Our aim this year was to have a very Brendan Monaghan, CEO of Neueda, spoke
strong international line-up whilst also show- about disruptive technology, outlining key devel-
casing the local talent which has made Belfast opments, forces and trends that are shaping the
and Northern Ireland into an acknowledged way his business, and the tech sector globally,
global technology hub. The energy in the room operates. “Over the past 20 years, technology
was fantastic. In every corner there were bril- has advanced at an astonishing rate and globally
liant ideas coming forward, connections being we are in the midst of a particularly disruptive
made, and deals being done. It was great to see era. Digital DNA is a valuable forum for tech
so much tech talent gathered together to show- businesses to look at the trends impacting on
case one of Northern Ireland’s most exciting and our sector globally – from the rise of AI to the
fastest-growing sectors.” increasing ‘gig economy’ approach to work-
Catherine Heaney, founder and managing director of Opening the event, Belfast Lord Mayor Deirdre ing and the changing needs of the millennial
DHR Communications Hargey said: “Digital DNA is the most valuable employee.”

04 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
east asia new oppourtunuties

Taking the oriental route
While Brexit represents a serious threat to Irish trade, Mimi Murray finds
that Irish companies are availing of a wealth of new opportunities in China
ith a middle class of more than “The largest exports are dairy and meat, dairy being
400,000 million people, demand for the largest, particularly around infant formula. Out-
Irish goods and services in China has side of that, other exports include education – there are
surged in recent years and Ireland is 5,000 Chinese students studying in Ireland – that is a
now one of only three European coun- growing market. Financial services, aviation, engineer-
tries that has a positive overall balance of trade with ing services, digital, electronics, life sciences, pharma
China, along with Finland and Germany. and agri-tech are all growth sectors,” Cusack says.
Total trade in goods and services with China in 2016 Asia Markets manager at Bord Bia James O’Donnell
was worth €12.9 billion. This is an increase of 14 per says that, “as the populations grow, particularly in the
cent on 2015, when it was worth €11.13 billion. The middle class, their demand for protein, be that dairy,
affluent segment of the population is seeking out our meat or seafood grows. We are a major exporter of pro-
gins and whiskeys, food products and baby formula as James O’Donnell, Asia Markets manager at Bord Bia and Tom Cusack, tein in the dairy, beef and seafood sectors, in some areas
well as aircraft parts and hearing aids, to name but a Enterprise Ireland director of Asian Pacific exporting over 80 per cent of what we produce. Asia is
few. Ireland also caters to 5,000 Chinese students, who China is the second-fastest-growing economy and an obvious partner for Ireland in these sectors,” he says.
come here to study. the types of products and services the middle class is Three years ago, China formally lifted a ban on Irish
The total merchandise trade in 2017 was worth €9.58 looking for are “well aligned” to what we have in Ire- beef exports imposed after the BSE crisis and in April
billion, which was an increase of 19 per cent (about land, according to Tom Cusack, Enterprise Ireland this year Chinese food authorities approved several
€1.58 billion) compared to 2016. Total trade in services director of Asia Pacific. Irish meat plants to export beef to China again, open-
in 2016 was worth €4.89 billion. This was an increase Last year, Ireland’s food and drink exports to China ing up a burgeoning market.
of 10 per cent compared to 2015. were valued at more than €900 million – double what “To compete in these markets in a premium position
That produced a trade surplus of €4.56 billion. they were in 2013, he points out. you need to be able to articulate impeccable food safety

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 05
new oppourtunuties east asia

and traceability standards. EU food safety standards
are seen as platinum standards and as a member of

CASE STUDY 1: EXPLORING NEW FRONTIERS
the EU we benefit strongly from the fact that not only
do we implement these standards, we go even further
with national standards,” says O’Donnell.
“Ireland recently secured access for Irish beef to
China – this will play a significant part in assisting us
in growing our exports. Additionally, there are oppor- Headquartered in Dublin,
tunities to expand our dairy exports, particularly in Novaerus has taken plasma
servicing China’s growing bakery sector, which has a technology to the next frontier
demand for butter, cream and cheese.” by applying it to the air, killing
So, what can be done to continue to grow this market harmful microorganisms.
and how can Irish companies carve out a piece of it? Úna Ní Raghallaigh, director
“The market is growing at such a pace, this year it will of business development for
be close to 7 per cent in China,” says Cusack. “For us, EMEAA, tells Mimi Murray
it’s about the realisable opportunities, so how many of about her experience in the
our companies can take advantage of the opportunity? China market
It’s about being prepared – it’s a market that takes time
and resources. They are very driven by relationships When did you enter the
and long-term relationships at that. You need to build China market?
credibility. It’s different than the west.” We have been preparing to enter
O’Donnell agrees that building strong relationships the China market for about one
with key players is the first step to doing business. year and started shipments to
“The Chinese tend to develop strong relations before China in June of this year. Novaerus plasma air technology is What benefits and opportuni-
they have the confidence to trade. It’s very much a the first and only scientifically proven
ties have arisen from this?
question of building trust. This is not something that How do you find trading with
system for airborne infection control.
The China market is an excellent
can be achieved by flying over once a year to visit the opportunity due to scale and
the Far East? Do you travel there a lot?
market.” their awareness of air quality.
It is challenging and requires a We have been attending various
lot of work to ensure you have trade shows and attending meet-
the right partners in the region. ings with potential distributors. What is your advice to anyone
Enterprise Ireland is an invalu- We have a sales director based considering entering these
able source of information and in Singapore who manages the markets?
advice. They have excellent accounts in the region. It has Take advantage of the excellent
people in the region to help find been a great experience and an advice and expertise on offer from
suitable partners. interesting project. agencies like Enterprise Ireland.

CASE STUDY 2: ENERGETIC SOLUTIONS
Designed and manufactured in market leaders there. We hope
Galway, C&F Green Energy is to replicate this in China and
the global leader in small and elsewhere in Asia.
medium-sized wind turbines.
Sean Ganley, C&F Green Do you travel there a lot?
With direct flights now available from Dublin to Hong Kong and Beijing, Energy’s sales and marketing I travel a lot to Taiwan and Japan,
traders can 'spend more time in the markets and less time getting there'. director, tells Mimi Murray with more markets coming on
about his experience entering stream soon.
In this regard, direct flights, which kicked off this markets in the Far East
summer from Dublin to Hong Kong and Beijing, will
What benefits and opportuni-
be invaluable as traders can now spend more time in
Tell me about your business? ties will arise from this?
the markets and less time getting there, Cusack says.
“Direct flights bring the two countries closer Our mission is to miniaturise There are many opportunities
together and make it easier for exporters and import- megawatt wind technology and arising in distributed energy and
ers to connect. Additionally, the route offers a more make it accessible and afford- our class-leading wind turbines
direct  and faster way of getting chilled and live sea- able to the farm, commercial, and scale enables us to quickly
food to the market,” O’Donnell says. residential, and municipal opportunity in China at the establish a strong foothold in
Both offer sage advice when viewing the market: “Do sectors, across multiple dis- moment, but we are about to new markets.
your market research and work with local agencies tributed energy applications. enter the Taiwanese and Hong
like Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia. Segment your mar- C&F Green Energy is the market Kong markets. What is your advice to anyone
ket – this is a country with 1.3 billion people, so focus leader in Europe and Japan. considering entering these
on a region. Hong Kong is a good landing point and We’ve installed more than 1,700 How do you find trading in the markets?
with the direct flight into Hong Kong it’s a good place machines in these markets, with Far East? Asia is a wonderful region in
to start your reach,” Cusack says. 60 million operational hours Trading with the Far East has which to do business and devel-
“Patience is required and there are no quick wins across the fleet. been very positive for our oping personal relationships
in China. From a food perspective, it’s important to company. Japan is the biggest with the best local partners as
realise product tastes are different, as are packaging How are you preparing to enter market in the world right now for early as possible in each market
requirements. China has an ever-increasing need for the China market? small and medium wind turbines, is hugely important for Irish and
protein as its middle class expands, be that meat, dairy We are studying the market and we’ve become the outright EU exporters.
or seafood. Ireland is a net exporter in these areas, so
we are ideal partners,” O’Donnell adds.

06 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
success artful business

Warrior
women at
work
Ireland boasts an impressive number of female artists who have mastered
the toughest traditional skills and conquered the most complex materials
to create enduring art forms. Kathleen O’Callaghan reports

hey have spent years train- “It’s the story that lies within the
ing to become a bronze unique veins, coloration and molec-
sculptor, a stone carver, ular structure that combine to make
a dedicated goldsmith or the final structure,” she explains.
a tapestry weaver with It takes a strong diamond cutter
patience and incredible fortitude. It’s to carve the unyielding element of a
a ongoing voyage of discovery. The rock. Does she find the chiselling and
physical process is gruelling and ardu- grafting tiring on a daily basis?
ous, the prospect of business success “Stone drives a hard bargain when
remote, and the ultimate rewards are it comes to moving the material
never guaranteed. Yet these women around,” she admits.
warriors have succeeded in their visual “I am dependent on the kindness
art forms and conquered the most of colleagues and the goodwill of
resistant mediums. strangers when it comes to shifting its
cumbersome mass. A well-equipped
Helen O'Connell studio can help but moving stone
Native Dubliner Helen O’Connell is a remains one of the most challenging
stone carver and renowned sculptor. aspects of stone carving.”
Although she has a degree in English The tactile beauty of her finished,
literature and art history from TCD, polished rocks just begs to be touched
she ultimately found poetry in stone. and felt with the palm of your hand.
Rocks possess a resonance for her as It’s this connection she hopes to elicit
she explores the layers of marine fos- with the public and her clients.
sils that create majestic marbles or Most of O’Connell’s work is done
dark Kilkenny limestone. outdoors no matter what the weather.
“I know as a medium it’s problematic “The creation of stone sculpture in
and it’s expensive, but I just keep get- the work studio is a far cry from the
ting drawn back to it,” she admits with a glamour of the gallery. It’s dusty, noisy
chisel in hand. “The simplicity of a pebble and pretty unsociable! However, I
inspires me to master the rough and trans- cherish my uncluttered state of mind
form it into the smooth polish of stone.” when sculpting and the freedom to
O’Connell did a stone carving course create my own goals.”
in Leitrim after graduating from TCD She has exhibited extensively and
in 1996 and learned the ancient craft has a residency bursary at the Tyrone
from Seamus Dunbar, Jackie McKenna Guthrie Centre in Co Monaghan.
and Martha Quinn. Helen O'Connell's 'Brain Coral' made from Kilkenny limestone www.oconnellsculpture.com

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 07
artful business success

Áine Dunne
Áine Dunne, an experienced tapestry
weaver, makes colourful, life-affirming
woven wall-hangings at her home in the
Boyne Valley, Co Louth. Although living
in a remote location, she has found the
internet has opened a window into her
life by showcasing her designs around
the world. Now she gets orders from
as far away as Australia and, closer to
home, she recently completed a dis-
tinctive blue tapestry for the foyer of
the LinkedIn building in Dublin.
However, major commissions can
take up to six months to complete and
she can find herself spinning and weav-
Children of Lir Sanctury Locket
ing for hours on end. Does she find this Pendant, €330.00 and Sterling Sliver
process physically daunting? Children of Lir Four Swan Bangle,
“Not really, it’s quite absorbing once €320.00, elenabrennan.com. Each
the concept has been worked out. piece of Elena Brennan's sterling silver
When I meet and discuss a tapestry and gold Irish jewellery is designed
handcrafted in her jewellery studio in
with a client, we embark on a creative Cavan and hallmarked in the Assay
journey by coming up with the shapes, Office of Ireland in Dublin Castle.
images and textures that they find
interesting. There is an original buzz
and conversation that precedes the
work and then after that you are in that
quiet place and concentrating on the
project at hand.”
Business hubs like Creative Spark
in Dundalk, run by Sara Daly, create
supportive networks for the arts and
assists in the marketing of their skills.
“I like to share the experience and
interact with people on this creative
journey by delivering workshops
during my downtime as well.”
Once a piece is under way, Dunne
follows a broad outline called a cartoon
and has a prepared bobbin of specially
chosen dyed wools to interweave the I need space to Alva Gallagher
Alva Gallagher is an award-winning
elegance in the finished works”
What’s the driving force of these
imagery.
“I weave the weft across the loom,
feel energised glass sculptor and artist from Co Done- glass installations?
allowing leeway for enhancing depths and find nature gal. She was born in 1982 and studied
at NCAD, Dublin, and won a schol-
“They are inspired by the vastness
of the ocean and the intimacy of our
of colours. I could spend a morning on
a brush stroke combining threads of
inspiring, so arship award at the Pilchuck School diverse shorelines. They harness the
different hues. A small colour or ten- I love to be of Glass in Seattle, USA. She works
mainly through the medium of molten
intrinsic beauty of crystal and of tidal
movement and entice the viewer to
sion error could result in unravelling a
whole morning’s work if it’s not work-
surrounded by glass and uses her luminous creations peer into their depths.”
ing out. It is very time-consuming and trees and rivers to reflect the wildness and tranquillity
of the sea. She has had several exhibi-
www.alvagallagher.com
requires a lot of patience, but it is also tions and her work is on display at the Elena Brennan
meditative and relaxing for me.” Beacon Hospital, the Gibson Hotel, the Elena Brennan is a jewellery designer,
Introduced to tapestry by artist Liam National Museum of Ireland and Dub- master pattern maker and sculptor,
Ó Broin, Dunne also spent time in the lin’s Docklands. who lives in Cavan. She created the
1980s training with Regina Bartsh “My practice explores concepts of “Children of Lir” line of jewellery and
and Helena Ruuth, both from main- depth and rhythm through my chosen turned the ancient legend into a mod-
land Europe. This was a time of craft medium of glass. I am passionate about ern collection. Her silver and gold
revival in Ireland and now this ancient the sea and try to mirror its ferocity pieces are full of detail – from swans
tradition has found renewed interest, and serenity through my manipulation to cows, frail petals to enchanting
inspired by the Ireland’s Ancient East of glass in its molten state.” angelic wings in gold and silver.
tourism concept. Gallagher spends a lot of time in Italy “I make my master patterns in wax
“I also like to share the hand-weaving doing research and sourcing materi- and then these intricate sculptures
experience and give workshops to craft als. She lives with her husband and her are cast in silver. There are seven
tourists who are attracted to learning boxer dog Frankie. stages of finish until you reach the
more about the processes, from spin- Her Glassical creations are defi- polished jewellery piece that glistens
ning the yarn to weaving a picture.” ant and enchanting with a dreamlike on the shelf.”
To unwind between commissions, attraction. Where does she get the She works in her garden studio pro-
she creates small products on a four- energy and patience to work with such tected by lots of dogs and cats. She
shaft floor loom – from tapestry book- a complex, weighty and yet incredibly also is married with children, who
markers to a new line of ‘crios’, or delicate material? keep her busy.
braided belts. She also delivers work- “I have never really thought about “I need space to feel energised and
shops in hand-spinning, where she that physical side of it,” she laughs. find nature inspiring, so I love to be
gets to discuss the process with those “I love the process and physicality of surrounded by trees and rivers.”
students and visitors who wish to learn working with hot and heavy materials Brennan’s journey began in transition
this painstaking and intricate trade. and that challenge of striving to give year in school, when she was placed
www.ainedunneweaver.com them the appearance of lightness and with a trained goldsmith who rec-

08 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
success artful business

ognised her natural ability and encour- Clockwise: Jewellery designer Elena Niche, who stands at the University I love my work, I try to keep the hours
aged her to pursue an artistic career. Brennan; SeedPods by tapestry Of Limerick to the towering Thinking in my workshop between nine and
weaver Aine Dunne; weaving the weft
“Yes, Maurice Harron, the amazing - Áine Dunne at work; Absent by Alva Man, who is reminiscent of Gulliver, five. I may sneak in and out over the
Irish sculptor from Derry, was my art Gallagher (photograph sylvain deleu); or the massive Bastard son of Sisyphus weekend to tweak a work in progress.”
teacher during my secondary educa- Dubliner Helen O'Connell working in Park West Business Park. Her two children have both followed
tion. His encouragement helped me on a limestone sculpture; Orla de Brí De Brí has been fortunate to have had her into the arts with her son in film,
immensely. After school, I went on to and one of her bronze giants; Tidal by many of her bronze artworks on view while her daughter is a director and
Alva Gallagher; Glass sculptor Alva
complete a fine craft design and jew- Gallagher (photograph andres poveda) to the public too. Visitors to Bloom may writer.
ellery degree in University of Ulster, have spotted her Bronze Woman sitting Her latest commission is a bronze
Belfast, and a post-grad in the Sir John in a gigantic red fibreglass apple. Many figure with a magical 24ct gold-leafed
Cass College London. My final-year of her works have been commissioned tree that will stare over the Norman
degree show included a bronze chess for site-specific locations while others turrets of Belvelly Castle in Cork.
set of imaginary creatures set on a have been bought by private collectors “I love the physicality. I head out
tooled leather board.” including Jerry Hall, Hilary Swank, to the studio in the morning, get on
She briefly worked in 3D special Dermot Desmond and the collection at the overalls and whether it’s weld-
effects, making monsters, but fortunately Kelly’s Hotel, Wexford. ing or modelling in wax, I am soon
returned to Ireland to her original work. Pitting her strength against heavy- totally immersed in the process and
Brennan is now busy with jewellery duty materials bronze and steel seems the sparks are flying. I like to be well-
orders as well as private bespoke com- to increase her determination to trans- rested as I find accidents happen
missions for special occasions. She form them and mould them into shape. when I am tired – that’s on the few
would love to take a step back and work Where did this obsession with occasions I might get burnt.”
on a range of fresh considered sculp- bronze begin? How we relate to nature is a recur-
tures. “I enjoy once-off commissions “At the beginning, I started work- ring concept.
and would like to create a range of ing in clay, then learned to work with “My themes are focused on human
equine jewellery and horse sculptures. I try to keep metals from sculptor Andrew Clancy, evolution and how we connect with
I have many more angel ideas that I
want to create, so watch this space.”
the hours in who also taught me bronze casting
at NCAD. When I got my first pub-
our surroundings. I bring subjects and
materials together that on first glance
www.elenabrennan.com my workshop lic commission, sculptor Eamon seem incompatible. Combining steel

Orla de Brí
between nine O’Doherty taught me his technique of
scaling up from a model.”
with diamonds or fibreglass with pol-
ished bronze . . . I am always intrigued
Judging by the dimensions of Orla de and five. I may Over the last 23 years, De Brí has with juxtaposed ideas and textures. I
Brí’s imposing sculptures, you’d be
forgiven for presuming the woman
sneak in and out worked relentlessly, like a human
dynamo with inexhaustible energy.
try to seek a different perspective on
life, love and the self.”
is larger than life herself. However, over the weekend Where does she get the strength? De Brí’s public works include Perch in
this award-winning warrior is often
dwarfed by her massive bronze cre-
to tweak a work “I do yoga every morning before
embarking on a day’s work that puts me
Co Meath, Flow in Istanbul and Apple
Seat in Chelsea Harbour, London.
ations that can range from the huge in progress in a positive frame of mind. Although www.orladebri.ie

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 09
retail independence trending

At your
convenience
Cian Molloy looks at some of the tactics employed by independent
retailers in their battle to win and retain custom

ewer and more are the two words that tell cery shops, convenience stores, tras, the Spars, the XLs, the Londises, the Maces, the
the story of developments within the Irish forecourt stores and supermar- SuperValus,” says Buckley. “They have had to join the
convenience-store sector in recent decades: kets. Founded just over 75 years buying groups for economies of scale because their
the number of independent food retailers ago, the Retail Grocery Dairy & main competitors, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi, are very
has fallen dramatically, but those that sur- Allied Trades Association once big companies with huge buying power. Plus the
vive and thrive are offering their customers much had more than 13,500 members way distribution works has completely changed
more than ever before. – today RGData’s members num- – manufacturers and suppliers deliver to cen-
The range of fresh and frozen foods offered in small ber just over 4,000. tralised warehouses now, they don’t send a truck
local supermarkets today is extraordinary, given that A big change over the years out delivering soap powder to each and every
what was available in the local corner shop in our par- is that most independent con- store.”
ents’ time mostly came in a tin. Added to the grocery venience stores and supermarkets have
shop, these stores now also offer freshly brewed coffee, joined together in buying groups. “Ninety Consolidation
mobile phone top-ups, cash dispensers, bill-payment per cent of my members are the Cen- Ireland’s biggest private-sector employer, Mus-
facilities, lunch counters and ready meals. grave, owns several of these buying groups, such
But this increased offer has been at a
cost. “There has been a lot of amalgama- The number of independent as SuperValu, Centra, Mace and Daybreak, and
through these it partners with more than 1,400
tion. Where once a town would have had a food retailers has fallen independent retailers. Other big players are Spar,
butcher, a baker, a dairy and individual shops
selling individual types of product, now dramatically, but those that which has some 370 members trading under the
Spar and Spar Express brands; BWG, which owns
the convenience provides all those func- survive and thrive are offering the Eurospar brand, and Gala, which has almost 200
tions,” says Tara Buckley, director general
of RGData, the representative association their customers much more members.
“There is a lot of consolidation going on in all
for Ireland’s independent family-owned gro- than ever before sectors at the moment,” says Lorraine Higgins,

10 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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Building in Ireland for 60 years; it’s in our DNA
retail independence trending

deputy chief executive of Retail Excellence, Ireland’s
largest retail trade body, with members including
multinationals drawn from across the retail spec-
trum. “We have seen seismic, but positive, change as
a result of this, particularly in pharmacy, where many
have embraced the growing demand by millennials for
beauty products. This has led to the establishment of
consumer loyalty at an early age: while these custom-
ers might not yet require prescription medicines, they
will be sure to return to the place they know best.”

Convenient trends
In the convenience sector, there are some other very
noticeable trends: the coffee machine is almost ubiq-
uitous, there is much more fresh food on display and
more engagement with consumers.
“The convenience shopper has become more
foodie and health-conscious and with an appetite for
high-quality coffee on the go,” says Musgrave cor-
porate communications manager Julie Dorel. “To
respond to the first of these trends, we launched our
‘Live Every Day’ programme two years ago providing
healthier choices. In the past year, sales of our Grab &
Go healthy sandwich range rose sharply by 24 per cent
and sales of salad boxes rose to almost €2 million.”
And while the local corner store now stocks items
from around the globe – quinoa, chia seeds and
manuka honey, for example – there is also an empha-
sis on keeping it local and providing fresh produce
that has been grown locally. Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu Embracing change
“Every store has top FMCG brands piled high in and Centra and Minister for Communications, But why, when an innovation such as a coffee machine
Climate Action and Environment
every aisle – and so it should, but they shouldn’t ignore Denis Naughten TD, pictured at or an ATM is introduced in one store, do they suddenly
Farmer John down the road who wants you to stock the SuperValu and Centra seem to appear in all stores?
his homemade jam, or any other local business for that announcement to introduce “You can’t resist change: if you do, the likelihood of
matter,” says Tina Twohig, Ireland country manager 100 per cent compostable survival is minimal,” says Lorraine Higgins of Retail
for YourCash, a supplier of in-store ATM machines. cups to the Frank and Honest Excellence. “Retail has professionalised greatly in
coffee brand. Musgraves has
In a YourCash compilation of tips to increase cus- boosted its SuperValu and Centra this country over the last 20 years. People at the top of
tomer footfall, the firm also recommends that retail- grocery chains with the successful their game are akin to sociologists. They analyse what
ers maintain their stores well. “It’s obvious to most in-store coffee shop model. consumers want and then they react accordingly.
shop owners that grubbiness is going to put people off pic: marc o’sullivan Also, as a consequence of the consolidation in various
buying anything, but some don’t realise that more is sectors, we have seen consistency in product offering,
needed than a quick dust around the custard creams,” experience and standards in store.”
Twohig adds. The “Our business model is all about partnering for
Another tip is to always have at least one special convenience success,” says Musgrave’s Julie Dorel. “Whether it’s
offer on prominent display. “Don’t just discount stock
that is slow selling or expiring sooner than you’d like shopper innovation from the top down or from the bottom up,
it’s only by collaborating with our retail partners
– although keep doing that! – also discount some key has become that we can make new products and services
products directed straight at your customers. What
gets people more excited than their favourite bar of more foodie a success. In many areas, we take the lead. For
example, SuperValu was the first retailer to
chocolate at half price? That’s right – nothing! If you and health- introduce a fully transactional grocery app in
really want to step up your game, a small area dedi-
cated to offers or €1 products usually goes down very conscious Ireland. On the other hand, some of our retail-
ers develop innovative features that go on to be
well too!” and with an adopted across our store network. For example,

Increase footfall with ATMs appetite for we are rolling out autism-friendly shopping eve-
nings across SuperValu, having seen a number of
But of course, Twohig’s very top tip is that store own- high-quality individual retailers introduce them in response to
ers should install ATMs on their premises. Earlier this
year, YourCash purchased Ulster Bank’s network of coffee on community needs.”
Tara Buckley points out that RGData members are
some 400 EasyCash ATMs, with the result the com-
pany now has some 600 cash dispensers in Ireland,
the go very keen to attend trade shows and events to keep up
to date with the latest developments. “While online
mostly in-store. shopping isn’t as big a threat to convenience shops as
“A cash machine is a healthy investment for a shop, other retail sectors, RGData members are using social
not only does it increase your footfall but it benefits media to engage with their customers – it’s very much
your customers,” Twohig points out. clicks and bricks.
In the UK, 58 per cent of convenience stores have “A lot of our members have self-service checkouts,
ATMs and despite the arrival of electronic payments, they have embraced tap-and-go payments and mobile
British and Irish people show a marked preference for phone payments. People forget that very often it is the
cash payments. “There are plenty of benefits of having small retailers who are the first movers – they have the
an ATM in your business,” says Twohig. “Customer agility, not the big multiples.
convenience, increased footfall and a higher basket “But there is no doubt there are a lot of shoppers
spend all make an ATM a great service to offer to con- who still want a bit of interaction with the person at
sumers. What really seals the deal for most businesses the checkout or the person serving them at the deli
is the chance to reduce their banking costs by recy- counter. People want a nice clean shop, with a good
cling their cash in-store. Many YourCash customers range of goods and a little bit of theatre. People
say they save around 90 per cent on cash lodgement also really like a shop that is friendly and where
fees, which adds up to thousands of euro every year.” the staff talk to you.”

12 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
FOOD trending

HERE COMES
SUMMER
Sandra O’Connell looks
at some seasonal offerings
from around the country

SUBLIME SEAFOOD NAMASTAY AT
Sean Smith, head chef at the Cliff Town-
house on St Stephen’s Green, has a new
THE GIBSON
and more spacious kitchen to work with. Sunday night fear is a thing of the past
It’s enabling him exercise his creative with the Gibson Hotel’s latest Sunday
flair even more expansively. The result night special. Start the week in Zen fash-
is some gorgeous new summer dishes, ion after a relaxing overnight stay, break-
including starters such as poached lobster fast in bed on Monday morning and a
with orange beurre blanc and a summer late-afternoon check out, from €159. Sure,
salad, and scallops with fennel, orange you’ll be late into work but at least you’ll
and fellow citrus fruit yuzu. For mains, it’s have spent Sunday evening doing some-
dishes such as crab lasagne with summer thing chilled, like checking out the Hemi
vegetables and shellfish bisque, or a royal bar’s newly updated menu, or dining in
fish pie, a classic made extra-luxurious Coda Eatery, its casual dining spot. No
with lobster. The restaurant was recently fear of the Glenroes for you.
awarded 2AA rosettes and Smith is run-
ning a series of Summer Seafood Mas-
terclasses, limited to just 10 people each.
For €30, you get a glass of wine, nibbles,
his master-cheffing flair and a voucher to
GIN GIN
TASTY FOOD
come back for a pre-theatre dinner. Spirits lovers will raise a glass to Irish
drinks brand Origin Spirits, which is
launching Ornabrak, a distinctive and
rare single-malt gin made from 100 per
cent Irish malted barley and which, fact
fiends, is four times copper-pot distilled,
TRAILS IN KERRY
before being distilled a fifth time with Looking ahead to the autumn, the Dingle
five carefully selected botanicals. The Food Festival takes place from October
result is a complex and floral single-malt 5th to 7th and is now an established fix-
gin. The clue’s in the name, if you did ture on Ireland’s culinary calendar. Each
honours Irish. It’s derived from eorna year, the beautiful fishing town of Dingle
braiche, which means malted barley. – or Daingean Uí Chúis if you prefer – on
Brought to you by the makers of Kalak one of the most scenic parts of the Wild
Vodka, its new shelf mate was crafted Atlantic Way is transformed into a go-to
following 36 distillation trials over 12 gustatory municipality.

SET UP CAMP IN
months, starting with an initial palate of Organised by a group of local people on a
almost 30 botanicals, before they were non-profit basis, it has become known by
carefully narrowed down to just five – townspeople as “the best weekend of the

THE WESTBURY juniper berry, Douglas fir needles, garden
angelica root, lemon verbena leaf and
lemon peel, selected to best complement
year”. Last year’s event attracted 10,000
visitors from home and abroad.
The festival includes cookery demon-
Dublin’s not all about work. See another the complex and unusual Irish sin- strations and workshops, more than 50
side to the city and bring the kids in for gle-malt base. The upshot is that Orn- market stalls, wine, gin, and whiskey tast-
a great day out, with a sleepover at the abrak Single Malt Gin joins a small but ings, a cider and beer trail and a farmers’
Westbury to cap it off. This summer, it’s select club of gins internationally that forum, as well as street entertainment and
running a special family promotion, called distils its own base spirit. And, of course, children’s events.
“the little bears’ experience”. It’s all about the provenance is all there to see, with The highlight of the festival, however,
making memories and management has barley sourced from contracted growers is the Taste Trail – which is the only
gone all out to help, with teddy bears and in the south east, malted in Cork and ticketed event – on which a multitude of
tepees in the room, cookies and milk on tap subsequently milled, mashed, fermented outlets from around the Dingle Peninsula
and a complimentary family movie to wind and copper-pot distilled in Skibbereen, will be offering samples of their food and
them down before bed. Rates from €395. west Cork. drink menus. Great value at €22.50.

14 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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How data is delivering
a better-connected life
Three Ireland business director Eoin MacManus
explains how smartphone usage is now ubiquitous
in Ireland and our mobiles are now instrumental
in almost all aspects of our lives as consumers,
workers and citizens

hree is at the forefront of Ireland’s dig-
ital evolution. We carry more mobile
data on our network than all other
operators combined – simply put, data
is in our DNA. However, we recognise
that it is not the bits and the bytes that matter,
it’s how our customers use that data every day to
stay connected that really counts.
Last year, we commenced a year-long, four-
part research project with Amárach Research
called the Three Connected Ireland Report, which
explores the role smartphones play in our daily
lives, how we are behaving as consumers and
how we engage with Government.
We recently published the third phase of this
research and it uncovered some very interesting
findings about how smartphones are enriching
our lives, consumer mobile shopping habits and
our growing appetite for more digital public Three Ireland business director Eoin MacManus
services.

The connected life The connected business The connected citizen
It is often suggested that we have become slaves More and more people are using their smart- When we looked at the likelihood of Irish
to our smartphones, but when we asked people phone to shop, and the importance of a mobile- people to interact with public services and
how they felt about their phones, the findings friendly website can’t be underestimated – Government departments online, it’s clear
strongly contradict that assumption. more than one fifth of respondents (21 per cent) to see that online interactions are becom-
Smartphones are becoming a life-enhancer, use their smartphone to purchase goods or ing more common than offline. The most
with more than two thirds of respondents (67 services online two or three times per month, popular services being accessed online
per cent) saying their smartphone helps them while almost one in 10 (9 per cent) shop on are car tax services (63 per cent online,
communicate more with friends and family and their mobile weekly. The popularity of Irish compared to 19 per cent offline), revenue
47 per cent saying their smartphone helps their websites is growing compared to foreign sites. online (57 per cent online, compared
relationships with their kids. Meanwhile, 44 At present, the share of Irish websites in online to 17 per cent offline) and income-tax
per cent of those surveyed say their smartphone purchases now stands at 49 per cent – up from services (46 per cent online, compared to
helps them to switch off from work and more 42 per cent in the final quarter of 2017. 26 per cent offline). There is a consistent
than half (55 per cent) believe mobile phones When it comes to accessing banking apps, 71 appetite for more digital public services,
support studying and learning new skills, while per cent of those polled say they trust that their with 73 per cent of respondents believ-
32 per cent read books on their mobile. phone is secure – this rises to 82 per cent among ing Government could make better use of
A year has passed since the new EU roaming 16-24 year olds and 78 per cent of both 25-34 year mobile phones.
regulation came into effect, which gives mobile olds and 35-44 year olds. This trust clearly car- This report highlights the ongoing impact
phone customers a ‘roam like at home’ experi- ries through when examining how respondents of mobile technology across our personal
ence, and it’s noteworthy that more than a third would like to use mobile banking, with 78 per and working lives, integrating seamlessly
of respondents (37 per cent) feel they are now cent of respondents greatly valuing mobile bank- into our lifestyles. New working patterns
using more mobile data while travelling in the ing. The attraction of using smartphones to make are emerging, driven by improvements in
EU. Three’s customers are embracing roam- minor payments is also growing. Forty-nine per digital technology and mobile infrastruc-
ing in the EU even further and are now using cent of respondents in the Q4 2017 poll valued ture which create opportunities for higher
a staggering 220 per cent more data when using their smartphone to make cashless pay- productivity. For us in the telecommunica-
travelling in the EU, compared with this time ments. We see this sentiment rise in the second tions industry, it is exciting to think what
last year. quarter of 2018, to 55 per cent of respondents. the future holds for our digital society.

16 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
cover story family business

Keeping it
in the family Mimi Murray plots a course through the conflict
zone otherwise known as family business

eventy-five per cent of Irish businesses are tunities and love to go around,” he explains. promises they need to make.”
family-owned but families are not necessarily “Think of these as resources that are lim- Families that are serious about growing their busi-
happy or harmonious entities. However, there ited in some respect and remember that ness will need to develop a family strategic plan,
are ways in which families can work together a lot of people are competing for these advises BDO partner Stewart Dunne.
productively and in harmony, creating the resources. This means that there is always “They should ideally appoint a trusted family busi-
best outcomes for both the business and the family. some competition for these resources. ness adviser who also has experience in their busi-
The first thing to remember is that conflict in family For example, only one person can be the ness sector. This process will highlight awareness of
businesses is normal and inevitable, according to next CEO, and that can lead to con- the dynamics of family members working together;
Ken McCracken, director and head of Family flict. This is normal and inevita- planning for succession/retirement; and dealing with
Business Consulting at KPMG. ble and once families realise this, potential conflict. The adviser will give them mate-
“With any family business, there is always they can stop worrying about the rial to read up on and get them to complete a detailed
a finite amount of money, time, job oppor- fact that they are arguing and structured questionnaire and conduct private and
start thinking about the com- confidential interviews.”
Ken McCracken, director and head of
Family Business Consulting at KPMG

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 17
family business cover story

Families should always be conscious of boundaries,
McCracken continues.
“A regular source of arguments within family busi-

HELP IS AT HAND
nesses is when the boundaries between business and
family aren’t clear, and people don’t know what is
expected of them. Being clear about the boundaries
can help. For example, don’t talk to the children like
you are addressing a board meeting. There is a differ-
Dublin City University has just announced a new through national conferences and other events
ence in the roles of director and parent.
“When it comes to discussing your pay increase, agreement which will see AIB and PwC extend since 2013 and has participated in the worldwide
remember ‘I’m your boss not your mum’ reminds the their support for the university’s Centre for Family Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurial
negotiating parties that this is a business discussion, Business to 2021. The agreement will enable the Practices (STEP) project, enabling Irish family
not a family discussion. But when we go for dinner at centre to expand its work to support Irish family firms to draw on international research and prac-
the weekend let’s enjoy our time together as a family. businesses through research, events, publications tice insights.
“Families should make an effort to think about where and a new Connectivity Project, a peer-to-peer “In addition to our ongoing research and out-
these boundaries should be and then keep them in mentoring programme that will enable family reach activities, we are very excited to announce
place. Allowing the boundaries to be moved, or ignor- business leaders to engage and share personal our new Connectivity Project,” says centre director
ing them completely, can lead to conflict,” McCracken experience and learnings on specific issues of Dr Eric Clinton. “This peer-to-peer mentoring
adds. interest to family businesses. programme will initially engage 20 business
How can these issues be avoided? While family businesses account for about 50 leaders from the Irish, US and European business
“A typical issue that family businesses face is per cent of Ireland’s GDP and employment, PwC’s communities to provide at least 10 hours of advice
what family members get a job and who decides on Irish Family Business Survey has shown they face and consultation to one or two matched family
this,” says BDO’s Stewart Dunne. “Are there specific a particular set of challenges to their long-term business peers each year and will be a new and
requirements for new family members joining? What sustainability, with just 14 per cent having a fully very practical layer of support that we can offer to
about succession and is there an agreed plan and documented succession plan, only 53 per cent support Irish family firms.”
structure to deal with the transfer of ownership to the having a strategy fit for the digital age and 36 per “With a rapidly changing business environment,
next generation? These and many other issues need to cent having family and business strategies that family businesses have unique opportunities
be addressed so there is motivated and not frustrated are not aligned. and challenges,” PwC Family Business leader
management. Since its establishment in 2013, DCU’s Centre Paul Hennessy adds. “And with an economy that
for Family Business has established a reputation is showing positive growth, we see Irish family
as a hub of expertise and advice, helping Irish fam- businesses seizing growth opportunities. However,
A strong family business ily firms to address issues such as generational these unique businesses need support and that
can cope with conflict, succession, integration of family and non-family
talent, inheritance and estate planning, growth
is what the DCU Centre of Family Business is all
about. We are delighted to support the centre and
crises and stress. However, and exports, and the role of entrepreneurship and its great work, and we look forward to helping Irish
to do this there must be innovation in family business success. The centre
has engaged with more than 1,500 family firms
families grow successful businesses in the years
ahead.”
trust, an appreciation for
alternative views and good
communication
Managing conflict well can make or break a family
business, he adds. “A strong family business can cope
with conflict, crises and stress. However, to do this
there must be trust, an appreciation for alternative
views and good communication. To achieve this, there
must be strong leadership from senior family mem-
bers within the company.”
Agreeing on how to agree or disagree is also critically
important.
“Families should talk about how big decisions will be
made and who needs to be involved in the discussion,”
McCracken advises. “Even if a decision is made that
a family member doesn’t agree with, they are more
likely to accept the outcome if they have confidence in
the decision-making process.”
Wearing several hats can also lead to conflict, he
adds. “People who wear more than one hat – owner,
director, trustee, family member – may have a con-
flict of interest when faced with important decisions.
In these situations, you should think about decisions
with each hat on. What you want as a shareholder and
what you need to do as a director or trustee may not be
the same as what you’d like as a family member.”
Finally, selling or passing on the business is a hurdle
faced by almost all family-owned enterprises. “One
of the key questions when setting out your strategy is
considering the question ‘what do you want from your
business?’ Some of the answers might be: long-term Dublin City University has announced a new agreement which will see AIB and PwC extend their support for DCU’s
Centre for Family Business to 2021. Pictured at an event in Huguenot House, St Stephen’s Green to announce the
capital appreciation; dividends now; a lifestyle for me; partnership extension are: (L-R) Catherine Moroney, Head of Business Banking, AIB; Paul Hennessy, Family Business
a legacy for my children or a way of life for my family. Leader, PwC; Dr Eric Clinton, Director, DCU Centre for Family Business; Professor Brian MacCraith, President, Dublin
You must remember that these are not mutually com- City University. photograph: julien behal photography.
patible. You will need to consider whether all share-
holders are agreed on the priorities,” Dunne says.

18 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
cover story family business

Ray, Natalya, Ros and Charles Coyle at Tayto Park, Co Meath

remaining good colleagues and a loving family much the peacemaker and my sister Natalya
in the process. looks after our social media."
“There are a lot of good things about being Charles says one of the main benefits of a
in a family business but there are also a lot of family-run company is that you don’t have to
challenges. We speak honestly and frankly to go through 20 layers of bureaucracy to get the
each other, father to son, but you get to learn a colour of a sign changed. “If you see something
lot very quickly. We are living in one another’s wrong on one day you can get it fixed by the
pockets, but the only time tempers get frayed next. When you’re dealing with the public,
is when it’s about the business,” Charles says. challenges come up from day to day, but you
“We are on the same team and have the one can act on it immediately. When I go to other
goal, which is making the business succeed. I theme parks, I can see the benefits of a fami-
know my father very well, so I know how far I ly-run outfit.”
can push the boat out in front of other people. But there are downsides. “The big downside
He can say whatever he wants because he’s – if things aren’t going well – you can’t ring
Tayto Park is a theme park in Co Meath run by the boss. You only push the boat out as far as up your dad and say, ‘I’ve had the worst day
Ray Coyle, former owner of Largo foods, his you can in public but in private you can say, ever’, because he already knows that. I think
wife Ros, son Charles and daughter Natalya, ‘I really didn’t agree with that’, or ‘I think we one of the main things to remember is to have
who is also a professional athlete. Charles should do it differently’. He’ll either take the patience and appreciate the fact that everyone
Coyle tells Business Ireland about how they point on board or as the boss can say ‘we are is on the same team. Everyone has the best
have made the family business a success, doing it this way anyway’. My mother is very interest of the business and family at heart.”

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 19
family business cover story

Fiona, Rebecca,
Michael and Clare Kelly
of flexible workspace
provider Glandore

Dad Michael and daughter Clare Kelly tell “You also need to complement the family’s
Business Ireland how they make their family strengths with other people who can drive the
business work. business forward. Sometimes in the early days
“One of the key things is that the family mem- you’re a Jack of all trades but people have their
ber wants to be in the business,” Michael says. strengths and we are fortunate to be in a posi-
“It’s a real problem when someone is being tion where we can focus on them and hire really
cajoled or forced into it against their will. smart people for other areas,” Clare says.
That’s a recipe for disaster. When the family “The key thing is that everybody treats every-
member comes in, it’s important that they are one else as adults and everyone is professional.
treated like an adult and they are given a level We are working with other colleagues from
of autonomy so that the parent isn’t doing outside the family and life wouldn’t be nice for
parent-child stuff, which is another recipe for them if the family didn’t behave professionally.
disaster. That’s not allowing the young person We naturally are very respectful of each other
to progress. as a family and we do enjoy each other’s com-
“It’s also important that they are playing to pany and it’s one of the reasons we have stayed
Glandore is a family business that was estab- their strengths. Clare is in charge of marketing in the business,” she adds.
lished in 2001. It is Ireland’s leading provider of and business development, Rebecca [daugh- “It’s fantastic to see your family growing and
flexible workspace, with more than 2,500 desks ter] is the sales director and Fiona [daughter] developing and just to see them all the time.
across eight locations in Dublin and Belfast. is in charge of all new projects, and likewise we I’m a very fortunate man that I am working and
The family also owns Suesey Street restaurant have other managers. But they all have their building with my three daughters every day,”
in Dublin. strengths that they work to,” he adds. Michael says.

20 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
talent millenials

It's not just
and the environment.
Yet when asked what their organisations focus on,
they cited generating profit, driving efficiencies, and
producing or selling goods and services – the three
areas they felt should have the least focus.
Sure, they recognise businesses must make a profit

about the salary
to achieve the priorities millennials desire, but they
also believe businesses should set out to achieve a
broader balance of objectives along with financial per-
formance.
Where a business doesn’t achieve this balance is
right where the rubber of the millennials’ Allbirds
hit the road: the other defining characteristic of this
cohort is its job-hopping.
Sandra O’Connell finds it takes a lot more than money to “The results of this year’s survey indicate that the
rapid social, technological and geopolitical changes
attract and retain the latest generation of young professionals of the past year have had an impact on millenni-
als’ and Gen Z’s views of business, and it should be a
wake-up call to leaders everywhere,” says Punit Ren-
t was always likely to happen. Millennials ethics, their high opinions have slumped. jen, Deloitte Global CEO.
started out in their careers determined to make Today, fewer than half of millennials “These cohorts feel business lead-
a difference, workers in search of purpose. Then believe businesses behave ethically or that ers have placed too high a premium
they joined the workforce. business leaders are committed to helping on their companies’ agendas without
The result? When it comes to engaging and improve society. considering their contributions to soci-
retaining staff, it seems money is no longer enough. Remember, this is a cohort of work- ety at large. Businesses need to iden-
Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey sounds the alarm for ers that is finely attuned to business’s tify ways in which they can positively
businesses to step up their efforts to make a positive wider role in society. It’s one which feels impact the communities they work in
impact on the broader world. overwhelmingly that a business’s prior- and focus on issues like diversity, inclu-
2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey
Millennials disappointed in business,

Based on the views of 10,455 millennials across 36 ity should be job-creation, innovation, sion and flexibility if they want to earn
unprepared for Industry 4.0

countries, it finds that after years of feeling increas- enhancing employees’ lives and careers, Deloitte’s 2018 the trust and loyalty of millennial and
ingly positive about their employers’ motivation and and making a positive impact on society Millennial Survey Gen Z workers.”

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 21
millenials talent

Providing opportunities for training and develop-
ment needn’t be expensive, points out Mary Con-

'OUT OF STEP' WITH naughton, director of the Chartered Institute of Per-
sonnel and Development (CIPD) Ireland.

MILLENNIALS' PRIORITIES
Moocs, or massive open online courses, are free
online courses available to all. They provide an afford-
able and flexible way to learn new skills, allowing the
individual to advance their career. They deliver qual-
ity educational experiences at scale, but in highly tar-
geted, bite-sized chunks.
Percentage of Staff at CIPD use Future Learn, an alternative that
millenials seeing provides free online courses from top universities and
as stated business institutions.
priorities
Flexibility over money
Loyalty levels are falling, with 43 per cent of millen- Percentage of ‘Smart working’
nials envisioning leaving their jobs within two years.
millennials seeing Getting smarter
as actual business
Only 28 per cent are looking to stay beyond five years. priorities Improving society about remote working
This represents a 15-point gap, up seven percentage can also help organ-
points from last year’s survey. isations attract and
They’re not going for money, but for flexibility – and retain staff, including
maybe the chance to be master of their own destiny. millennials, according
Among millennials who would willingly leave their to Vanessa Tierney,
employers within the next two years, 62 per cent co-founder of Irish start-up
regard the gig economy as a viable alternative to full- Abodoo. It’s a careers platform
time employment. that matches organisations with
Loyalty is even lower among the emerging Gen Z specialist talent that, for a variety of
employees – millennials’ younger sisters – with 61 per reasons, wants more flexibility in their
cent saying they would leave their current jobs within work life, and who often take a pay cut
two years if given the choice. to get it.
To hold on to them, employers need to align their val- Speaking at The Future of Talent, part
ues with those of their younger workers, the research of MoneyConf in June, she pointed out
suggests. These include tolerance and inclusivity, Generating profits Generating jobs that not alone can such people work from
respect and different ways of thinking. home, but that Ireland has more than 200
“While pay and culture attract this cohort to employ- Top 'essential skills' for long-term success, co-working spaces which can also provide
ers, diversity, inclusion and flexibility are the keys to according to millennials: a good solution for remote workers.
keeping millennials and Gen Z happy,” the report says. It’s not just millennials organisations
36% 33% 35% can attract this way either, she points out.
Those working for employers perceived to have Interpersonal Ethics and Confidence and
diverse workforces and senior management teams skills integrity motivation Remote working has the power to attract
are more likely to want to stay five or more years. And the Irish diaspora priced out of major cities,
among millennial and Gen Z respondents who say as well as disabled people, parents who have
they intend to stay with their current employers for left the workforce for childcare reasons and older
at least five years, 55 per cent note greater flexibility workers who don’t want to stop working completely
in where and when they work now compared to three at age 65.
years ago. The biggest barrier to smart working is an outdated
Just 36 per cent of millennials employer mindset that is reluctant to trust remote
workers to actually work. It’s typically the same mind-
reported their employers were set that is wedded to outdated notions about the office
helping them understand being the crucible for corporate culture.
Not so, says Tierney, pointing out that not only is
and prepare for the changes Apple rolling out remote working teams, but that
associated with Industry 4.0 Canadian ecommerce giant Spotify is already suc-
cessfully employing 300 staff along Ireland’s western
seaboard, with no office.
Is it any wonder millennials are starting to lose But sometimes a change can be as good as a rest.
faith? In Ireland, research from PwC indicates that Speaking at the World Employment Conference in
fewer than one third (31 per cent) of Irish CEOs Dublin in June, Johnny Campbell of Social Tal-
are addressing the impact of automation on future ent, a developer of e-learning training courses
skills needs, for example. “The reality of life- for the recruitment industry, told how a client’s
long-learning is biting among today’s workforce, client had aced retention and engagement, sim-
no matter what age you are,” says Ciara Fallon, ply by redeploying a long-standing staff member
Training and development director PwC Ireland People & Organisation, from one part of the operation, logistics,
Investment in training and development helps too. at the launch of its Future Workforce report. into something completely different, new
Up to a third of millennials surveyed, whose organi- The report found that 60 per cent of respon- product development, supporting the
sations already use Industry 4.0 technologies exten- dents believe few people will have stable, transition with training.
sively, fear part or all of their jobs will be replaced. long-term employment in the future. “Peo- The result was a staff member
Fewer than four in 10 feel they have the skills they’ll ple are shifting from a qualification that delighted with an opportunity to learn
need to succeed. That they are looking to business would last a lifetime to thinking about new skills; a new product department that
to help ready them to succeed in this new era is an new skills every few years, matched with benefited from fresh, but informed, thinking; and
opportunity for canny organisations. ongoing development of personal skills a company “delighted because they couldn’t get
Young professionals are especially seeking help such as risk management, leadership enough product developers”, says Campbell. It
building softer skills like confidence and interper- and emotional intelligence,” she says. was a win, win, win.
sonal skills, it found. Unfortunately, it appears busi- For employers, providing support If employers are to win back the trust of dis-
nesses are not being responsive to their developmen- through this is vital, not just for recruit- enchanted millennials, who, after all, started out
tal needs. Just 36 per cent of millennials reported ment and retention, but for overall business with such high hopes for their employers, it’s going
their employers were helping them understand and success. “Anxiety kills confidence and the to take more than pay to do it. It’s going to take a whole
prepare for the changes associated with Industry 4.0. willingness to innovate,” Fallon adds. new approach to work.

22 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
Innovation partner sponsored profile

Making a real difference
to communities
ow very much established as a global fined by a curriculum but only by the limits of
AbbVie tradition, the annual Week of their imagination. I honestly can’t thank Abb-
Possibilities, founded in 2014, sees Vie enough. When I heard they were willing to
employees around the world come help re-paint and renovate our gym I thought
together to give back to local com- we had won the good luck lottery – it hasn’t
munities. AbbVie employees have expanded their been given a facelift in over 30 years!”
commitment each year, giving 17,000 volunteer Mairead Dunne, site director, AbbVie Cork
hours in 45 countries in 2015; 26,000 hours in 51 adds: “The Week of Possibilities reflects Abb-
countries in 2016; and 33,000 hours in 57 coun- Vie’s commitment to transforming education
tries in 2017. for communities in need. AbbVie employees
This year, about 8,000 AbbVie employees in volunteer their time, talent and efforts to help
more than 50 countries volunteered 36,000 hours improve their local communities to do what
assisting their local communities during the they can to support and improve the educa-
week, which took place at the end of June. tional resources available locally.”
“AbbVie understands that addressing the Employees from AbbVie’s offices in Citywest
world’s health challenges requires a compre- and Santry completed an extensive refurbish-
hensive and responsible approach,” says Todd ment of the autism unit facilities at Greenhills
Manning, general manager, AbbVie. “That’s why College in Walkinstown. A significant num-
AbbVie is committed to going beyond medicine, ber of the students enrolled at the boys-only
not just developing innovative therapies, but secondary school have autism needs and attend
also playing a wider role in improving healthcare Greenhills College to avail of the school’s
outcomes and local communities. In partner- autism resource unit. Volunteers worked along-
ship with not-for-profit groups, AbbVie works side staff to upgrade the unit’s sensory room,
to address challenges facing the underserved, library and kitchen to benefit the students with
particularly in education, through charitable autism who attend the school.
giving as well as employee engagement. AbbVie “We would like to thank AbbVie and Volun-
employees demonstrate their deep commitment teer Ireland for choosing Greenhills College
to giving back to their communities through the for their Week of Possibilities”, says Greenhills
company’s volunteering programmes.” College principal Ann Bray. “Through this
The company has joined forces with the initiative we will see our autistic spectrum
national volunteer development agency, Volun- disorder (ASD) unit, sensory room, breakfast
teer Ireland. Together, they have planned and and lunchtime space and school library trans-
implemented Week of Possibilities projects formed. The work carried out during the week
in three communities in Cork, Sligo and Dub- will have a huge impact on the whole school
lin – locations where the company has a major community. Our students will now have a long-
The Week of Possibilities unites AbbVie employees around
presence. the world with a single purpose: to give back to their local awaited relaxation space and state-of-the-art
Employees from AbbVie’s manufacturing plant communities - employees from AbbVie’s manufacturing library facilities in surroundings which will
in Cork helped upgrade facilities at nearby St plant in Cork helped upgrade facilities at nearby St encourage improved literacy and numeracy.
Aloysius College
Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill, Cork. Their vol- Without the support of AbbVie, we would never
unteer efforts included the cleaning and painting of the school gym; painting and resurfacing have achieved this goal so soon.”
work in the school gardens and the redecoration In Sligo, AbbVie employees from the compa-
of a dedicated common room and project space, ny’s medical devices centre in Ballytivnan and
The Week of Possibilities which is used by the school’s transition year from the pharmaceutical plant on the Manor-
demonstrates our sincere students.
“We feel so fortunate to have had AbbVie visit
hamilton Road contributed more than 1,000
hours to the refurbishment of St Edward’s
commitment to giving us as part of their Week of Possibilities proj- National School in Ballytivnan. It is close to
back to our communities ect”, says St Aloysius College principal Seán
Twomey. “The addition of an innovation space
both AbbVie sites in Sligo and the aim is to help
modernise and improve the overall look of the
and people in need. These will be fantastic for our students, somewhere school.
volunteer opportunities are St Al’s girls can come together and collaborate
to work on projects such as the Young Scientist
“The Week of Possibilities demonstrates
our sincere commitment to giving back to our
critically important to who Competition and Young Social Innovators. We communities and people in need. These volun-
we are as a company and see this as a space that we can bring together
science, technology and creativity, a part of our
teer opportunities are critically important to
who we are as a company and the fabric of our
the fabric of our culture school that allows our students not to be con- culture,” Todd Manning concludes.

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 23
Innovation partner sponsored profile

Investing in
dent in digital, AI, ICT and other associated
areas. “These skills are not only required in
those specific disciplines, they are applicable
to almost everything else in commerce, in agri-
culture, in industry, in the retail world – there
is no area of human endeavour which is not

tomorrow’s
impacted by them.”
A programme such as this has been on the
SFI agenda for several years. “We’ve never had
a structured PhD training programme like this
before,” says Ferguson. “It’s all about getting

researchers
very well-trained PhD students who are fit for
employment in industry. We are looking to
develop those ‘T-shaped’ people who have the
depth of expertise in their own subject along
with the breadth of skills to enable them to use
that in the most impactful way.”
The programme will be based on a cohort
approach, with about 30 PhD students being
funded in each of four centres each year over
new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
postgraduate research training pro- This programme is another the four years of the programme. With pri-
vate-sector funding added, this number is
gramme will see investment of more step in ensuring we address anticipated to grow by 20 per cent, to bring the
than €100 million to meet industry
skills needs. The new SFI Centres for Research the needs of our society total up to 600. Students can be based in any
university or research setting in Ireland and
Training initiative will provide training for 600 and help future-proof will come together for training, where they will
postgraduate students in areas of nationally and
internationally identified future skills needs against the challenges of interact with mentors and one another.
“How they interact with each other will be very
including digital, data and ICT. our ever-changing work important,” Ferguson says. “This is a key feature
The SFI Centres for Research Training will
build on existing research excellence, by devel- environment of similar international programmes. We also
want the students to be taught by the best peo-
oping cohorts of academically outstanding future ple. That means having the best people from the
research leaders with the skills and knowledge lishments, or in the groups of international higher-education institutions as well as bringing
required to address the future challenges of an collaborators. people in from overseas where necessary.”
ever-changing work environment. The new programme is a response to a Another key feature of the programme will be
The SFI Centres for Research Training will be growing need which has been emerging over a shift in the balance of power. “In the tradi-
required to build partnerships with enterprise in a number of years, according to SFI director tional model, a professor applies for a research
the design and delivery of training programmes general Prof Mark Ferguson. “If you look at the grant and then invites students to work on the
to ensure that postgraduates have the necessary number of trained postgraduate researchers in project once they get the funding. In the Cen-
skill sets to meet the needs of enterprise and to Ireland, it has been declining over the past five tres for Research Training, students will have
attract investment to Ireland through the avail- years or so,” he says. “This is because a number the opportunity to choose the projects which
ability of a high-value talent pipeline. of programmes, such as the PRTLI [Programme are most appealing to them.”
As part of the training programme, students of Research in Third-Level Institutions], had The interdisciplinary nature of the projects
will work alongside academic research teams, come to a close. This was happening against a to be funded under the programme is also
and will also be required to undertake place- backdrop of increased demand.” quite interesting. “Projects in data analytics
ments in enterprise, other non-academic estab- That increased demand is particularly evi- will have to cover different areas like smart
agriculture or connected health of financial
services, for example. This will help the stu-
dents get very well-rounded experience. Part
of the training will be aimed at helping them
make the most intelligent choices on projects
in their first year on the programme. Our aim is
to help deliver a great student experience and
have them recognised as the best-trained PhDs
in the world.
“We need to be ambitious and invest in areas
of real potential to ensure our future economic
competitiveness,” Ferguson continues. “Edu-
cation is a key element of our future competi-
tiveness, especially at third and postgraduate
levels right up to the world-class researchers
and research centres Science Foundation
Ireland funds. This programme is another step
in ensuring we address the needs of our society
and help future-proof against the challenges of
our ever-changing work environment.”
The closing date for the submission of full
SFI director general Prof Mark Ferguson proposals for the SFI Centres for Research
Training programme is September 5th, 2018.

24 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
TRENDING style

Get packing
that business-trip
suitcase
What does the canny business traveller put in their capsule suitcase?
Kathleen O’Callaghan finds out

he art of packing a business-trip suitcase is
a lesson learned from years of experience.
Expert advice is needed to avoid heading
off with a chaotic jumble of clothes and
accessories that add only extra stress and
fees to the trip. Recently, I reluctantly dumped a black
padded jacket into a bin by a bus stop in Marbella
because I couldn’t fit it in my bag and it was too hot
to wear. Another time, I was very tempted to fling a
large suitcase of superfluous clothes over a cliff
in Amalfi. It had become an impossible beast of
burden on a backpacking holiday. I ditched it on
the train to Milan instead.
We all know what it’s like to sit on top of that
over-packed, squashed case trying desperately
to zip it up. So, what does the canny business
traveller put in their capsule suitcase?
Kate Gleeson is a globe-trotting fashion buyer
and the owner of Diffusion.ie. She certainly
knows how to pack a bag of tricks, having spent
years flying to fashion shows and fabric fairs.
She recently released an online video on pack-
ing that was so popular it almost went viral. So,
what’s her advice?
“I could write a novel on the art of packing as it’s
taken years to have it fully nailed,” she says.
“First of all, you need to have order. So I lay out
a smart outfit for each day I will be away and team
each look with appropriate colour-coded under-
wear, key tops and jewellery.”
How does she manage more cumbersome jack-
ets and trousers?
“The key to success is to take very few on board.
Many of the main pieces will be interchange-
able, so two jackets can be swapped with different
skirts and trousers. When it comes to tops, I always Kate Gleeson
in Bianca black
have smooth fitted tee-shirts and they can be layered dress, €189;
under blouses. Every smart businesswoman needs copper suit with
two white or pastel crisp shirts that can be teamed orange blouse
with capri pants or a versatile skirt,” says Gleeson. from Debenhams
“A white Moyuru Japanese shirt, €188, was instantly AW18; white jacket
€42, trousers €28
sold out on the website and the other slim-fit version from V by Very and
is excellent for setting off a suit. Footwear can be littlewoods.ie
heavy in a bag so I like black suede kitten heels that
are not so high they cripple your feet but not too flat

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 25
style trending

Packing for the
businessman
Louis Copeland is the holy grail for well- has the advantage of two wheels for easy
heeled business dressers in Ireland. Both transport. Hard-shelled models have the
Adrian and Louis Copeland have combined additional benefit of offering protection
their expertise in packing the definitive for their contents.
business suitcase. They advise to pack light “Avoid duffel bags as they offer little
and avoid heavy luggage. protection, tend to crumple the contents
According to Adrian, packing light starts and lack the style of a smart rolling
with choosing an appropriate bag or case. carry-on case. What design you opt for
Obviously, you’ll want to choose as large will largely depend on your needs and
a bag as you can while adhering to the budget. I advise budget shoppers to
airline’s carry-on luggage guidelines. check out TK Maxx, Dunnes Stores or
The most popular carry-on style is a Penneys.”
compact suitcase “like a Samsonite, which All in the bag for him!

Two tone black and blue dress at Debenhams AW 18

either. If you’ve to leg it around a city at speed, bring
trainers too.
“Pack the essential LBD for meetings and a piece of
statement jewellery to zing it up a notch for dinner. I
love the Bianca style that I’m wearing here. If the dress
is sleeveless, grab a pashmina as you fly out the door.” Louis Copeland blazer €549, Stenstroms shirt €139; Louis Copeland suit €899, shirt €139, Stenstroms Tie €89, Eton
Gleeson wears comfortable trainers on a flight, pocket square €55; Suit €1049 , shirt €139, pocket square €29, Eton tie €89 all from Louis Copeland
such as her two-tone Technos – perfect for travelling
and good if you get time for an early morning stroll.
“They can double up in the gym if you have time to
exercise so throw in the washable gym gear too.
“I carry on a large, warm pashmina or scarf in
a neutral shade to keep me cosy on the plane
as the air-conditioning can be chilly. Plus I
like to pack a light ivory trenchcoat and a
THE ESSENTIALS
Tailored suit: abso- The tie: yes, I know Mick it for a more casual look on the
pair of jeans by Jeanne for downtime.”
lutely essential for most Wallace is the sartorial liberator flight home. Don’t even think of
Taste of Dublin festival organiser Avril
seasoned snazzy guys. – but still the ole tie is a must the distressed, ripped look or your
Bannerton is also a seasoned traveller.
Neutral colours such as grey for the style-savvy business colleagues might think you’ve hit
“I am a stealth packer at this stage. I
or navy are ideal: smart in traveller. Sure, you can be more on hard times.
bring a couple of pairs of shoes – high
the boardroom and relaxed adventurous with anything from Casual light jacket: worth
heels and flats for running around in. Plus
for a restaurant. Switch the a discreet polka-dot print to packing for downtime on business
my runners and sports gear for a workout, if
jacket around with chinos and club-style stripes or a dapper trips, like the local ale house. Pack
possible. I wear smart casual clothes most of
swap the trousers with a crisp check, but anything with a a couple of polo shirts in case
the time, so an outfit can take me from day
open-neck shirt for downtime. pattern is less adaptable than a you get invited to play golf or join
to night. A good pair of jeans is essential and
White shirt: plus an extra block colour design. the boardroom boss for romantic
so is a white, crisp shirt, finished off with
one in a different shade. Silk ties in baby blue or powder evening drinks at the hotel.
a colourful scarf and a classic pair of sun-
There’s no simpler way to grey have been known to clinch a Classic shoes: in a neutral
glasses.
broadcast your impeccable megabuck deal. Red ties can be leather or suede loafer. Nothing
“I find a good moisturiser gives my face a
style and business credentials a bit brash and reek of corporate declares your style as much as a
boost after sitting on a plane for a long flight.
than a crisp white shirt. Look greed. pair of shoes and they can cata-
I use Irish brand Pestle & Mortar Serum, which
for one in a smooth cotton poplin Dark denim: smart denim is pult you onto the footsie index.
is really refreshing on the skin, and I drink a lot
or Oxford cotton in summertime, expensive and looks good even Finally: a pocket square hanky for
of water. Try and bring a carry-on case when-
ideally with a slight stretch for on older guys too. Pick the right appearing posh (also doubles up
ever possible and take some hand wipes to
comfortable movement and, cru- pair of jeans by Boss or Armani as handy scribbling pad for jotting
avoid picking up any nasties. A neck pillow is
cially, to minimise any wrinkles. – classic fit, indigo blue, free of down phone numbers). Last but
great if you want a decent sleep without strain-
Choose a flexible white cotton any obvious detailing, or fabric not least, take a decent pair of
ing your neck.
version that is crush-proof. Get to treatments – and you can team cufflinks that glisten as you sign
“I am a roller packer. I hate creased clothes and
grips with an iron though, as no it with your shirt and blazer for a the coveted contract with your
need an iron in a hotel. I use Elizabeth Arden 8
good shirt is wrinkle-free. relaxed-yet-sharp look, or wear gold-plated pen.
Hour Cream, which is also great to soften hands
and tame unruly eyebrows.”
(Avril is wearing a red dress by Toudy, €250)

26 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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competitiveness imd rankings

A timely
warning
Barry McCall looks at Ireland’s recent fall in the IMD rankings
and asks if it is time to ring the alarm bells

aving climbed back into the top 10 on to be done to improve our position,”
IMD’s world competitiveness rankings in he says. “Notwithstanding the fact
We need to be more concerns about Brexit and
the impact on the trading
2017, Ireland has now fallen back to 12th. that we are still placed third in the demanding of ourselves environment of President
The last time Ireland slipped down this eurozone and fifth overall in the EU,
highly prestigious chart it was a reflec- there is no room for complacency. in thinking about the Trump’s policies both
figured strongly. Both of
tion of an overheating domestic economy and many Importantly, indicators for scientific
see it as a direct precursor of the looming fiscal crash. and technology infrastructure will
medium term... Where these could have nega-
tive implications for Ire-
But should we be alarmed on this occasion? Is this play an increasingly important role will there be demands land, as could continuing
just a temporary blip or a sign of a deeper malaise?
Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke
in Ireland’s future rankings.” on infrastructure? exchange-rate volatility.”
Another factor which
sees it is a timely warning bell. “Ireland’s slip down Efficiency How will we house weighs against Ireland
the rankings is a reminder that we cannot afford to He also points out that Government
stand still. It’s a reminder that every other country is and business efficiency is a major people? What role will is ECB monetary policy.
With the bond-buying
improving their offering,” she says. factor in competitiveness studies technology play in programme coming to an
“The key barometers for the Irish economy are and there is a clear role for technol-
generally healthy,” she adds on a more positive note. ogy in the delivery of State services. education, in business end, this could see a tight-
ening of credit.
“Great progress has been made over recent years and “Ireland’s ability to adopt digital
the Government deserves credit for helping to facil- technologies to transform Govern-
and in society? Infrastructure
itate the recovery. As we look ahead to Budget 2019, ment practices and access to State But these are all issues
Dublin Chamber accepts the need for prudence and services for society and for business are essential fac- over which Ireland has little or no control or even influ-
caution as the Government seeks to prevent the econ- tors in continued success.” ence. “A big deficit we do have is infrastructure,” says
omy from overheating. PwC partner Joe Tynan is another who believes it Tynan. “We need to focus on the things we can affect
“That said, the inadequacy of economic infrastruc- is not yet time to push the panic button. “It is helpful and take the attention away from the those we cannot.
ture and the productivity gap between Irish and multi- to stand back and put these things in context,” he says. We can’t change Brexit, we can’t change the American
national firms are two major “We have dropped to 12th president, but we can change what we do about infra-
concerns within the busi- from sixth place. Two years structure. Infrastructural deficits feed into things like
ness community. That’s why, ago, we were at 16th position. rental prices. Infrastructure and housing are abso-
in the forthcoming budget, These things move about and lutely critical but there are many other things we are
the Government must look you’ve got to expect changes doing well on. FDI is clearly doing well, for example.”
to strengthen the three fun- like this. Also, if you look at Infrastructure is also high up the agenda for Shaun
damentals of the economy, our competitors, Switzer- Murphy. “We need to be more demanding of our-
namely our infrastructure, land is in fifth place, Finland selves in thinking about the medium term,” he con-
our indigenous businesses is 16th, the UK is 20th, New tends. “What will our demographics be like? Where
and our labour force. Issues Zealand is 23rd, and France will there be demands on infrastructure? How will
such as congestion, an unat- is 28th. We are doing okay in we house people? What role will technology play in
tractive tax regime for SMEs that context.” education, in business and in society? What are the
and entrepreneurs and He explains the rankings likely impacts of artificial intelligence in how society
labour market barriers need are not just about costs or interacts and how our towns and cities work or don’t
to be addressed.” measures of efficiency. “It’s work? Are we fully up to date about the issues and
KPMG managing partner not just about prices. Coun- implications of sustainability and environmental deg-
Shaun Murphy shares these tries are ranked against 258 radation? Our competitors are not just thinking about
sentiments. “The slippage in different indicators. When these issues but are actively implementing policies
the rankings is disappointing Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke and you look at the reasons for Ire- that will help future-proof their countries and main-
and a lot of hard work needs Shaun Murphy, managing partner, KPMG land going down the rankings, tain competitiveness.”

28 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
imd rankings competitiveness

COMPETITIVENESS RANKING (RANKS 1-12)

*2017 ranks are in parentheses

He is fully in agreement with Tynan as to where ‘Crunch point’ firms already based here and from overseas companies
effort should be focused. “Competitiveness is a func- Mary Rose Burke echoes these sentiments. “We’re at looking to expand. However, we need to make sure
tion of many variables and we have to work harder at a crunch point now for the Irish economy and for our that Dublin is equipped to capitalise on those oppor-
those which we have some influence over. Currency main cities, with the population expected to grow sig- tunities, with enough office space in the right areas for
volatility, for example, is not something we can influ- nificantly over the coming years,” she says. “We need businesses, a plentiful supply of accommodation for
ence – but we do have control over matters such as a step-change in ambition for the country when it staff, a world-class transport network to allow people
infrastructure. Ensuring high-quality digital connec- comes to infrastructure. We’ve shied away from pull- to move around and also a certainty of supply in our
tivity to every home and business in the State isn’t just ing the pin on big projects for far too long. We need to utilities, including water and electricity. Failure to
an aspiration – it’s a vital piece of 21st-century infra- stop stalling on projects that the usual naysayers con- improve the Dublin offering will result in investment
structure. Meanwhile, bottlenecks and supply short- tinually talk down. Experience tells us that when we and jobs being lost, not just to Dublin but to Ireland as
ages in areas such as housing have an economic price do bite the bullet and invest ambitiously, our success a whole, as companies switch attention to competitor
and the demographic and supply issues causing these rate is very high. Look at the Port Tunnel, Terminal 2, cities abroad.”
challenges should not come as a surprise.” Convention Centre Dublin and the Luas for evidence
of that.” ‘Delivering value’
Transport Infrastructure ranks as the most important pol- While personal taxation is often the subject of heated
Transport is another area of opportunity, he adds. icy issue for businesses in the Dublin region and is debate, Tynan doesn’t believe it is a drag on our com-
“The ability to move people and goods quickly around identified as the greatest challenge facing the com- petitiveness. “Anyone on up to about twice the average
the island is vital. Yet our history in developing petitiveness of the region. “We recently asked industrial wage is on fairly low tax compared to com-
major infrastructure projects hasn’t always 400 businesses in Dublin for their view on petitor countries,” he says.
been as efficient as it needs to be. There is an what the priority should be in Budget 2019 “People don’t understand or believe that because of
obvious need for a more balanced approach to and almost half (48 per cent) chose invest- the relatively low level at which the top marginal rates
regional development – so projects such as the ment in infrastructure,” says Burke. “The click in. The problem is that people focus on incre-
M20 Cork-Limerick motorway will enhance the Government must use Budget 2019 to fund mental earnings. If they do overtime they see all of it
business appeal of Munster and can play a role the vitally-needed projects that it acknowl- being taxed at the top rate and this gives the percep-
in taking the pressure off the Dublin region. edged are required in the Ireland 2040 plan, tion of high taxes. But property taxes are very low here,
“There are other transport exam- including MetroLink, Bus Connects and a new particularly when compared to the UK or US. Also, in
ples to consider that would make water source for the Eastern & Midlands those countries you pay for water and have quite high
a difference. Rail journey times Region – projects we’ve had plans for university fees.”
between Dublin and Belfast are and been talking about for far too Tynan sums up the consensus by saying we should
relatively unattractive versus long. But plans on a piece of paper not be overly concerned by a fall in the rankings per
going by road and don’t stand won’t improve people’s lives or make se and that it’s how we perform in relation to our com-
comparison with other European Dublin and Ireland a more compet- petitors that really counts. “If there is a material dete-
cities. Meanwhile, road and rail itive and attractive place in which rioration vis-à-vis France, the UK or Switzerland that
connectivity to the border regions to live and work do business.” would be a cause for concern, not just for our ability to
of the north west from Dublin The continuing importance attract FDI but for the domestic economy as well. We
and Belfast remain poor and add of the Dublin region has to be don’t want to be a low-cost economy. It’s a question of
to costs and inefficiencies both in acknowledged, she adds. “Huge delivering value. And as long as we are doing that and
human and business terms whilst opportunities exist for Dublin to maintain our position in relation to those other coun-
reducing competitiveness.” continue to win new jobs, both from tries, we will be doing okay.”
PwC partner Joe Tynan

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 29
SME FINANCE working capital

Practical financial
alternatives
Mimi Murray looks at some of the options for businesses seeking working capital
ypical lenders, such as the main banks,
require personal guarantees or to lock peo-
ple in to loans for a certain period of time, but
in recent years other providers have sprung
up, making it easier for SMEs to access work-
ing capital, especially during their growth phases.
John McGlade, head of sales and finance at Con-
vertibill explains that in their business, they work off
a purchasing rather than a lending model, enabling
them to be a little bit more flexible, agile and faster
when reacting to customers’ needs. Customer finance
is one example of what’s available.
“Take, for example, a growing company that is fairly
modest but may have won a big contract and suddenly
the turnover is going up tenfold. The problem for them
is how to get the finance to put boots on the ground to
fulfil the contract. In this case, our customer will have
an order or invoice out to the company and we are
happy to fund them on the basis of that.
“With typical lending providers, let’s say you’re
turning over €1 million a year and one of your debt-
ors is worth €500,000 per year, those other providers
will have a debtor concentration rule of 20 per cent,
so they’ll only lend €200,000 against the €500,000 –
we will give the whole amount. The bank would say
we can’t give you the €500,000 because what if that
debtor goes bust, but we have decided that debtor is
not going bust. There is a risk attached to everything
Providers other than banks can make it easier for SMEs to access working capital, especially during their growth phases
but we are really happy with that debtor. Because the
company now has the finance, not only are they able Close Brothers Commercial Finance also offers a up to 90 per cent of the customer’s trade debtor book, so
to service that large contract but they are able to hunt number of SME-friendly lending products, according if it is owed €1 million by its various customers, Close
for new ones.” to managing director Ciaran McAreavey. “Asset Brothers will lend it about €900,000. “They dispatch
finance allows SMEs to purchase a piece of the goods, they send us the invoice and we send them
Finance options equipment – they don’t have the cash, so they the money,” says McAreavey. “The market-leading
Supplier finance works for a company that can either look for a loan or we will pay for invoice finance system offered by Close Brothers works
might be just about to win a big contract but the piece of equipment for them and spread alongside the SME’s financial accounting software, is
for it to fulfil that contract it needs supplies the cost of that over a longer term, typically self-reconciling and can release up to 90 per cent of the
from China, for example, but it does not have five to seven years. The benefits of that are value of invoices as soon as they have been raised. This
the working capital to pay the supplier. “We that it’s quick to put it in place, because we allows real-time access to working capital.”
will pay the suppliers upfront – a discount can provide that loan based on our knowledge of Another product which larger companies find use-
often be reached with the supplier for this – the asset that we’re funding. We would typi- ful is asset-based lending. “This is a product that
and the growing company can now avail of the cally advance 85 to 90 per cent of the offers higher levels of funding of between €1 million
opportunity,” says McGlade. value of that asset so you can get and €25 million,” McAreavey explains. “It combines
Order finance is for companies a high proportion of the cost invoice finance facility with additional funding pro-
that have not yet invoiced but funded and the credit decision vided against assets such as stock, property or plant
haven’t delivered either and will happen within 24 to 48 and machinery. For businesses with a strong track
need finance. “If we are happy hours. We can also provide record of cash generation, a cashflow loan can also be
with the end client, and are an equity release on equip- included within the package. This type of finance is
happy that it’s a firm order, we ment already owned by the commonly used for facilitating strategic plans such as
can supply the working capital company.” a complete refinancing, an acquisition or a merger, but
Close Brothers
to the growing company,” managing director Invoice finance is a facil- it can also provide additional working capital, when
McGlade points out. Ciaran McAreavey ity where the firm lends required, to finance growth.”

30 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
Shaping the Future of the
Agri-Food Sector
The global agri-food sector revolution and a nutritional analysis laboratory, FACTS
has arrived. In response to industry is assisting businesses to create, develop,
need, to explore how technology refine and improve food and drink products.
can encourage product innovation,
Ulster University is providing world leading Working with Invest NI and Enterprise
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turn ideas into new products.
FACTS, part of the Agri-Food Business
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through bespoke courses targeted to meet
industry requirements. https://www.ulster.ac.uk/agrifood

With state of the art facilities
including fully equipped product
development kitchens, sensory testing
booths, consumer research facilities
meeting rooms venues

Nice to
meet you
Got a deal to close? Sandra O’Connell finds you
can get to yes quicker with the right venue

ant your meeting to go well? Choose
the right venue. Image matters and
what will a cramped, dingy space say
about yours? Exactly.
Happily, the capital is well-served
with meeting-room options, whether it’s a formal
boardroom you need to project gravitas, a high-tech
presentation to wow an audience, or a secluded spot
perfect for the kind of discreet tête-à-tête you’d rather
the boss didn’t hear about.
As with all meetings, the first thing you’ve got to do
is to establish your objectives. If what you want is to
showcase your business as innovative and entrepre-
neurial, check out Dogpatch Labs in the CHQ building
at Custom House Quay. Not only has it got the infectious
dynamism of all those wannabe unicorns upstairs, it’s
also the beating heart of the city’s fintech ecosystem.
But while it’s all glass and smart tech upstairs, down
in the basement are beautiful 200-year-old vaults
which have been redeveloped to include a 100-seater
theatre, three boardrooms, three meetings rooms and
a breakout space. And in a welcome nod to its previous
incarnation as a wine and whiskey store, there’s a bar
on tap if you need it.
Or get out of the city and into the suburban oasis that
is the Airfield Estate. A few minute’s drive from the city
in Dundrum, it has the benefit of feeling like a classic
away-day rural retreat, without actually being one.
By a quirk of the universe, the 38-acre estate, sur-
rounded on all sides by housing, managed to get
The Glass room suites at the Mansion Houseare an ideal space for board meetings, breakout sessions, staff training and bespoke product
through various property booms intact. The result is launches; The Round Room at the Mansion House; the Aviva Stadium's corporate boxes double up as meeting rooms.
that today it is Dublin’s last remaining working farm.
As well as a popular family visitor attraction, it has a include new additions such as its luxurious Glass A terrific option for large-scale events which require
multi-purpose meeting space called The Hive, which Room Suites and Private Sun Terrace, overlooking the the inevitable smorgasbord of break-out meetings,
is perfect for off-site meetings and corporate events. Lord Mayor’s Garden. Maybe you’ll see him hanging the bonus with the Aviva is that you’ll be as fit as any
And if there’s a lull in the negotiations, you can always out his washing. player on the pitch below by the time you reach them –
point out that the food served up at break time was If it’s a case of go big or go home, you can’t get much the distances are huge.
grown right outside. It’s farm to, well, farm. bigger than the Aviva Stadium, which comes with To introduce a spiritual dimension to your business
Or give yourself the best address in the city and book a similarly sized wow factor. It has a great reception tourism event, not to mention a historic one, check out
yourself into the Mansion House. If you’ve a gala din- area in the Atrium, and a range of conference suites Christ Church Cathedral. Yes it’s a bit left-field but as
ner to organise, the Round Room and Supper Room around the property that manage to pull off the twin the oldest working structure in Dublin, it’s nothing if
are hard to top for atmosphere. But there are a total of feat of being both cavernous yet cosy, and so well not sustainable.
six versatile and flexible spaces at the Dawson Street wired for sound that you won’t miss a syllable, unless It offers three different spaces: the 12th century
property, catering for events from seven to 700. These you want to, which is what earphones are for. crypt and magnificent cathedral nave for gala dinners,

32 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
venues meeting rooms

ing facility with high-tech audio visuals and WiFi.
Anyone over 40 will surely remember the many
decades Dublin’s business community – and espe-
cially hoteliers – spent wishing for a convention cen-
tre of international standing. Hard to believe, now that
it is so central to business life, that prior to its arrival,
conference organisers spent their time lusting after
mega international events and doing frantic sums to
see could they possibly throw Dublin’s name in the hat
for the next one, as long as no one minded having to
share chairs and sit on knees.
Now we have our award-winning Convention Cen-
tre Dublin, capable of holding up to 8,000 exhibition
delegates, 2,000 in its auditorium and 3,000 guests
for dinner. It’s got state-of-the-art AV equipment
throughout, and complimentary WiFi for 22,000
devices – enough for everyone to carry two mobile
phones each – how’s that for progress.
Of course, sometimes the oldies are the best and for
most business meetings, you can’t beat a good hotel,
not least because there’s always food nearby and a bar
next door.
The Conrad Dublin has had a
multi-million euro make-
over and if you haven’t
visited in a while, it’s
time to reacquaint
yourself. The Earls-
fort Terrace property
has a great location, a
ballroom and nine con-
ference rooms for large-
scale events, plus a range
of smaller meeting rooms
perfect for private dining. There
are two boardrooms too.
The Castleknock Hotel & Country Club is another
great option, with 15 conference rooms in a coun-
try setting beside the Phoenix Park. It is home to the
Thinking Factory, one of the country’s most innova-
tive meeting-room spaces, custom-built to get you all
thinking outside the box.
Brightly coloured and cleverly designed, it’s perfect
for brainstorming sessions, strategy meetings and
product launches, with several small break-out areas
within the room. It is designed to cater for groups of
between 10 and 20 people, with plenty of room for
egos. Even the menu is finely calibrated to get you
thinking, leaning heavily on ‘brain food’ such as whole
grains and omega 3 fatty acids to ensure your grey
matter isn’t expected to run on empty.
Or book yourself a space at one of the funky meeting
rooms offered by Iconic Offices, the city’s fast growing
co-working space providers.
These guys don’t just know how to look after their
resident entrepreneurs – think on-site baristas and
motivational speakers – they know how to throw a
good meeting too. These come with high-tech AV
facilities for smart professional presentations, plasma
screens, whiteboards, internet TVs, and wireless tech-
nology.
Its newer properties are increasingly design-led,
Above: Iconic Offices' The Greenwayhas 31,000 sq ft of coworking and private workspace, populated by established brands and emerging
including The Greenway on St Stephen’s Green, Dub-
talent from across a spectrum of industries; Inset: College of Anaesthetists of Ireland on Merrion Square and The Conrad Dublin. lin 2, which marries industrial chic with endless foli-
age and bold colours.
or the music room, which comes complete lovely combination of Georgian elegance Of course, if you are really visually inclined, hire a
with grand piano, projection and natural and state-of-the-art facilities. It has also cinema and infotain your clients instead. The Denzille
daylight, which is perfect for an ele- been beautifully refurbished, keeping Private Cinema just off Merrion Square seats 30 and
gant kind of meeting. And if the party all the features which foreign business is a perfect venue for quirky corporate entertainment.
you are negotiating with tells you to visitors enjoy, like tall sash windows, Channel your inner Michael Scott and get the team
go whistle for it, you can always call impressive coving, ceiling roses and to make their version of Threat Level Midnight, look it
on the services of the in-house choir, fireplaces. If it’s Americans you’re up, you’ll thank me later. Or simply use this fun loca-
available for hire. meeting, the deal is all but in the bag. tion to take the sting out of a bog-standard training
Few occasions are as soporific as a The 100-seater lecture theatre and video – wait, there’s popcorn!
boring meeting – so be careful if you reception area, plus elegant boardroom, To find out more about the wide variety of
choose this one – but the College of are all in this building. Just across the meeting and event venues available in Dublin,
Anaesthetists on Merrion Square offers a courtyard out the back is a newly built train- check out DublinConventionBureau.com

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 33
rocrastination and transport projects go
hand-in-hand in Ireland. That’s why so
many of us are stuck in traffic jams every
day. It’s why so many of us face lengthy
waits at bus and Luas stops. It’s the reason
our cyclists are forced to mix in with buses and cars
as they pour into the city in ever-increasing numbers.
There’s a danger that procrastination is about to
get in the way once more as we consider the ambi-
tious new MetroLink project. But what the people
of Dublin need now is conviction.
Last summer, Dublin Chamber rolled out some-
thing called The Great Dublin Survey. This posed a
series of questions to Dubliners about what they’d
like to see happen in Dublin between now and the
year 2050. More than 20,000 people shared their
views and the results provide a roadmap of how
Dublin needs to develop over the coming decades.
The desire for a high quality of life ran through
the responses. People want a city that is easy to
get around, that offers consistent commute times,
where congestion and emissions are low, and where
a world-class public transport system goes hand-
in-hand with safe cycling and walking facilities and
family-friendly public spaces.
The delivery of MetroLink – a new underground
rail line which will run from north of Swords to the
southside of the city – will be key to making that city

METROLINK:
a reality.
It’s a project we’ve been talking about and stalling
on for far too long. Of course, you could say that
about so many public-transport projects in Dublin.

LET’S MAKE
Not least among them is Dart Underground, which
was first mooted in the 1970s, but frustratingly
won’t be considered for construction until, most
likely, the 2030s.

IT HAPPEN
What came across in our Great Dublin Survey is
that people take a long-term view. They want to see
improvements in the quality of life of their children,
and their children’s children too.
Delivering this will require a step-change in how
our decision-makers think and plan for Dublin,
which currently languishes around the mid-30s in
world rankings for urban quality of life.
The Government offered some hope when it
stretched the timeframe of the National Planning
MetroLink would Framework out to the year 2040. The Ireland
2040 plan was welcome too, earmarking many
provide the spine of of the infrastructure projects needed to support
the expected growth of Dublin and the other city
a public transport regions in Ireland over the coming decades. But
Dublin’s trouble, of course, has never been a lack of
network that could plans. Getting them off the page and into reality is
the problem. All too often, the inclination is to avoid
serve Dublin for making a decision and to find a reason to kick the
can down the road.
the next 150 years, If only the delivery of new public-transport proj-
ects in Ireland was as reliable and consistent as the
writes Graeme conveyor belt of naysayers who raise their voices
McQueen any time a big investment is mooted. “It’s too expen-
sive.” “It’s serving the wrong area.” “They built the
same thing abroad in half the time.” Like the under-
O’Connell Bridge © Arup

ground in London – you can set your watch by them.
It’s argued that the cost of building MetroLink is
too high. But what is the cost of not building it? The
Department of Transport’s own figures indicate
that congestion in the Dublin region already costs
the economy €350 million every year. By 2033, the
annual cost will be more than €2 billion – roughly
half the price of building MetroLink.
The naysayers bleated loudly when we built the 8
Port Tunnel, at a cost of under €800 million. Public
parks would disappear, they said. It won’t solve the
traffic problems, they said. The tunnel won’t be high

34 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
Figure 3 Envisaged station for 2nd Avenue Subway, New York
enough! Fast forward to today and it’s impossible to while others point to the likes of Donnybrook, UCD
quantify the18
huge benefits the tunnel has brought. and Tallaght as suitable destinations.
Probably the best proof of its success is how the While these areas do require better public trans-
entire city virtually grinds to a halt on a morning or port, no single project will solve all of Dublin’s
evening when the tunnel is forced to close. congestion problems. What Dublin needs now is a
The same negative voices were heard when Ter- consistent and ambitious programme of investment
minal 2 at Dublin Airport was proposed. The same to deliver on existing infrastructure plans.
Terminal 2 is full to the brim at peak hours and has To cut congestion, Dublin needs an integrated
paved the way for Dublin Airport to become the public-transport system with a compelling offer-
fastest-growing airport in Europe. ing that will reduce private car use. The ambition
The doom-and-gloom merchants chirped loudly of cutting the numbers who drive for their daily
when the Luas lines – both of which are now burst- commute is welcome. And it’s working too, with
ing at the seams every morning and evening – were the latest Canal Cordon figures showing 9,000
proposed. Go back even further and you’ll find that fewer cars are driving into Dublin city centre every
many of the people sticking the boot into MetroLink morning compared to 2006. For the first time ever,
also tried to leave their footprints on the Dart more than half of commutes are now being made on
project in the 1980s. Their opposition to progress in public transport.
2018 should come as no surprise. That’s fantastic progress. But if we want to keep
moving the dial, we need to be decisive. Pulling the
MetroLink will be one pin on MetroLink will be a huge statement of intent.
The line has massive potential. Plans to connect
the biggest and most MetroLink with the Maynooth and Hazelhatch rail
ambitious transport projects lines are smart. So too is the link-up with the Dart
and commuter network via a stop at Tara Street.
ever delivered in Ireland. These connections must be retained in any future
That should not put us off version of the plan.
But there are other things we can do too. Comple-
building it, but rather the ment the new underground with a world-class bus
focus must be on delivering network offering attractive and consistent journey
times. Link it all together with a comprehensive
the best piece of infrastructure city-wide cycle network. Add the kind of bike-park-
we possibly can ing infrastructure that you find at train stations in
other European cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen
and Edinburgh. Introduce park-and-ride facilities
MetroLink will be one the biggest and most ambi- (and an attractive ticketing regime) along suburban
tious transport projects ever delivered in Ireland. sections of the MetroLink route. Roll out the Dart
That should not put us off building it, but rather the Expansion Programme. Build the Luas lines that
focus must be on delivering the best piece of infra- have been earmarked to Bray, Lucan, Finglas and
structure we possibly can. Poolbeg. Make BusConnects happen.
The preferred route that was published by the Before you know it, Dublin could have a pub-
NTA and TII in late March was not perfect. That’s lic-transport network that ranks among the best in
why we’ve just had a six-week consultation period, Europe. Or, we could keep on procrastinating.
so that everyone could have their say on the tweaks Let’s not drag MetroLink back to the draw-
required. We look forward to seeing the next itera- ing board. Instead, let’s get spades and drilling
tion of the plan soon. machines in the ground and give the people of
Several parties have suggested alternative routes Dublin the quality of life they so desperately want
for MetroLink. The Green Party’s Eamon Ryan, for and deserve.
example, makes an impassioned case for the under-
ground line to run westward towards Rathfarnham. Graeme McQueen is Head of Public Affairs at
Some call for MetroLink to end at Charlemont, Dublin Chamber

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 35
MEMBERNEWS
Sodexo’s Margot Slattery is named
one of most powerful women in
Ireland in 2018
Margot Slattery, country president of Sodexo
Ireland, has been acknowledged as one of Ire-
Bank of Ireland Global Markets land’s most influential and successful women by
launches €20 million foreign the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) at its 25
exchange facility Most Powerful Women in Ireland Awards for 2018. Arkphire sets its sail to support
Ms Slattery was one of the winners in the Business Irish sailor in ambitious 30,000
Bank of Ireland Global Markets has Leaders category and it’s her second time to be mile global challenge
launched a €20 million foreign exchange recognised at these awards; she was previously a
facility, making it easier for SMEs to protect winner in the Trailblazer category in 2016. Sandyford-based and Irish-owned IT ser-
their business from the impact of currency vices and networking company, Arkphire, has
market volatility. This will enable busi- announced its support and sponsorship of Dub-
nesses entering the global marketplace to liner Gregor McGuckin, who is about to attempt
effectively manage foreign-exchange risk to to become the first Irish person to sail a non-stop,
give certainty on cash flow and profit margin. unassisted solo circumnavigation of the world
SMEs will have access to a specialist team by completing the prestigious Golden Globe 50th
of experts who actively trade in financial Anniversary Race 2018.
markets 24/7 as well as regional treasury Gregor McGuckin (31) is the only Irish sailor
managers who work closely with customers and the second youngest of 19 sailors attempting
to identify, understand and manage their the challenging race, which started from Les
treasury requirements. Sables-d’Olonne, France, on July 1st, 2018, sailing
solo and non-stop around the world, via the three
Great Capes and returning to Les Sables-d’Ol-
onne. The sail is expected to take about eight
months to complete.

PM Group becomes 200th supporter
of 30% Club Ireland
Irish agency Strategem The 30% Club Ireland has announced that PM
announces 65 new jobs and Group has signed up as its 200th supporter.
takeover by major US firm The 30% Club is a voluntary movement of Allianz announces sponsorship of
international companies which are committed Leona and Lisa Maguire
Strategem, one of Ireland’s most successful to better gender balance at all levels of business.
digitally focused, full-service advertising Comprising of CEOs and chairs, the group aims Allianz has announced its sponsorship of Irish
agencies has been acquired for an undis- to achieve 30 per cent female representation in golfers, and recent Duke University graduates,
closed sum by Connelly Partners, the largest senior management by 2020 through collabora- Leona and Lisa Maguire as they begin their
full-service independent advertising agency tive, business-led effort. professional golfing careers, going on to represent
in Boston/greater New England (USA). Ireland on the world stage for the first time at the
The announcement is the result of a long- ShopRite LGPA Classic.
term relationship between the two firms, The Maguire sisters join a stellar line-up of Alli-
a shared approach to doing business and a anz brand ambassadors including former Ryder
sharp focus on new business opportunities Cup captain Paul McGinley, paralympic athletes
domestically, in the US and across Europe. Jason Smyth, Ellen Keane and Michael McKillop
The agency will be rebranded Connelly and world-record runner Sinead Kane.
Partners (Dublin) and Keith Lee, founder of Allianz’ support of sport in Ireland also includes
Strategem, will continue to head up the firm Allianz football and hurling leagues, Allianz
from its existing Irishtown offices, which Cumann na mBunscol and the Allianz World Para
will now act as a European hub. European Swimming Championships.

36 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
Afternoon sea
An afternoon tea with a difference, Cliff
Townhouse has a quirky and stylish
way to take to the high seas, in the most
genteel fashion and without leaving St
Stephen’s Green! Instead of buns and
cakes that usually make up afternoon tea,
Afternoon Sea at Cliff Townhouse is all
about the treasures of the ocean, and a
breezy taste in the city.
Featuring a selection of the finest and
most delicious seafood savouries, you’ll
find fresh brown shrimp croquettes, del-
icate crab salad or Irish smoked salmon
open sandwiches, Rockefeller oysters and
smoky little haddock tartelette.
Afternoon Sea is served seven days a
week, 12 noon to 2.30pm. Call 01-638
3939 or reception@clifftownhouse.ie

Brandon Global IT choose
Viatel for enterprise cloud
storage and disaster recovery
Viatel has announced that its Enterprise
Cloud Storage-as-a-Service has been suc-
cessfully deployed by Brandon Global IT.
Brandon needed fast, secure and good-
value storage, Tom O’Neill, CEO of Bran-
don explains: “We didn’t want to build a
platform ourselves – after all we’re a ser-
vices company. Instead, we were looking for
a platform that we could wrap our services
around to create a solution. The Viatel solu-
tion has hit the mark for us in terms of per-
formance, security and value for money.”
Viatel’s Storage Cloud provided Bran-
don with a solution that could sit directly
on top of its services without having to
change what services it offers its custom-
ers and the technologies it uses.

JBM|MERIT announced Best
EPOS Technology Providers
at the National Convenience
Store Awards ceremony
JBM|MERIT, which celebrates its 25th
year in business, has developed a stellar
reputation for providing the very best in
New series for entrepreneurs to hear from a panel of speakers who are all suc- electronic point-of-sale (EPOS) solutions
launched at sold-out event cessful entrepreneurs from a variety of sectors. across Ireland and the UK.
“Ulster Bank is proud to support the Momen- The company is headquartered in Gal-
Dublin Chamber and Ulster Bank embarked on tum series and further support the SME commu- way and has offices in Dublin and London.
a mission to help Irish SMEs to scale-up. More nity, particularly those aiming to scale up,” said The company projects employee numbers
than 100 entrepreneurs and business leaders Eddie Cullen, managing director of Corporate will grow to about 35 by the end of 2018.
gathered at Dogpatch Labs start-up hub to hear Banking, Ulster Bank. The next Momentum event JBM|MERIT has received numerous
from company founders Feargal Brady, Blueface; will take place in September. awards which recognise its innovative-
Hesus Inoma, WeSavvy; and Dr Patricia Scanlon, ness and commitment to its products and
Soapbox Labs. Above: Mary Rose Burke, CEO, Dublin Chamber, Hesus Inoma, services over the last number of years.
Founder, WeSavvy, Eddie Cullen, Managing Director of Corporate
The Momentum series, which was launched Banking, Ulster Bank, Feargal Brady, Founder, Blueface and It recently scooped the award for Best
recently, will consist of four events in 2018. Dr. Patricia Scanlon, Founder and CEO, Soapbox Labs. Retail Technology Supplier in Ireland at
Attendees at each event will get the opportunity photograph: jason clarke The National Convenience Store Awards.

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 37
THE CHAMBER VIEW
WHAT WE’VE BEEN SAYING...
Public transport
progress continues
Dublin Chamber has welcomed the progress
being made in getting more people to use
public transport in Dublin.
The Chamber was reacting to figures
released by the National Transport Author-
ity and Dublin City Council, which show that
more than half of all commuter trips into
Dublin city centre are now being made using
public transport for the first time.
BusConnects can help Dublin Dublin Chamber said the figures send
hit 30-minute sweet spot a clear signal to Government that it must
invest ambitiously in Dublin’s transport
Delivering the BusConnects project will be network.
an important step in reducing the daily pain The business group warned the good prog-
of congestion for hundreds of thousands ress being made in getting people to switch
of Dubliners, according to business group from the private car to sustainable modes
Dublin Chamber. will stall unless sustained and ambitious
The Chamber was responding to the publi- investment is made into public transport as
cation of proposals to build 16 dedicated bus well as cycling and walking infrastructure.
corridors throughout Dublin under the new According to Dublin Chamber’s head of
BusConnects plan. Public Affairs, Graeme McQueen: “Breach-
Dublin Chamber’s head of Public Affairs ing the 50 per cent mark is a big achieve-
Graeme McQueen said: “The plan for Bus- ment for Dublin and a very positive sign.
Connects is complex, and its roll-out will However, imagine what we could achieve if
require a considerable amount of disruption, we invested properly across the spectrum
but the aims of the project are welcome. of public-transport services. These Canal
Commute times at the moment are far too Cordon figures show how much demand
long in Dublin and frustratingly inconsistent. for public transport is out there, and that
Providing increased priority for buses, and demand is growing fast. However, there are
more room for safe cycling routes, will help still far too many people in Dublin who are
deliver improved times and make more sus- Chamber welcomes under-served by public transport. If the aim
tainable modes of transport more attractive. new Hong Kong flights of reducing the dependency on the private
“Currently, it can take about an hour to car is to be achieved, a properly planned and
travel as little as 6km in the city. That’s a Dublin Chamber welcomed the commencement fully integrated public-transport network is
very uncompelling proposition for commut- of direct flights between Hong Kong and Dublin essential.”
ers and a detractor from quality of life. Our in early June. Dublin Chamber said the 3 per cent drop in
research has identified that Dubliners see a The Chamber said the addition of direct flights the number of cars coming into the city was
consistent commute time of 30 minutes as between Dublin and Hong Kong opened up a whole welcome. However, the Chamber cautioned
being desirable and achievable for journeys world of new opportunities for Irish business. that congestion remained a growing problem
within the M50. The delivery of projects Dublin Chamber said the new route would open for businesses in Dublin.
such as BusConnects, as well as MetroLink, the door to trade and tourism links between Ire- Mr McQueen said: “Feedback from firms
Dart Underground and segregated cycle land and the Far East moving to a whole new level. in Dublin suggests that traffic conges-
lanes, are key to that sweet spot being hit,” Dublin Chamber, which has acted as sec- tion remains a growing problem. Almost
said Mr McQueen. retariat for the Ireland Hong Kong Business three quarters (73 per cent) of firms saw an
Dublin Chamber said timely delivery of the Forum (IHKBF) since 2002, has been a driving increased negative impact on their business
BusConnects project is essential if the recent force behind the establishment of a direct flight in the first quarter of 2018.”
progress in getting people to switch to sus- between the two countries over recent years. The Chamber welcomed the sharp
tainable transport modes is to be maintained. Dublin Chamber’s director of Public & Interna- increase in the number of people walking
Mr McQueen said: “We’ve seen great tional Affairs Aebhric McGibney said: “The open- and cycling into the city.
progress made in getting people to switch ing of the direct route to Hong Kong is excellent Mr McQueen said: “The number of cyclists
to public transport over the past five years. news for Irish business. In a world of increasing in Dublin continues to grow at an impressive
Numbers cycling and walking into the city uncertainty, it is vital that companies diversify rate and has more than tripled since 2006.
also continue to rise sharply. These trends markets and seek to minimise risks. As we await However, for the most part, this growth has
are welcome, but continuing this progress clarity on how Britain’s decision to leave the Euro- come about in spite of good cycling infra-
will require a step-change in both ambition pean Union will play out, it is important for compa- structure being available as opposed to
and investment levels. We can no longer shy nies to consider opportunities in new markets. because of it. The availability of high-qual-
away from making ambitious investments “Huge opportunities exist in Hong Kong for ity cycle lanes remains sporadic around the
in Dublin, even if the project is complex. The Irish firms and the country also provides a gate- city, which means that cycling in Dublin is
business case for BusConnects will really way into the increasingly lucrative Chinese mar- still much more dangerous than it should be.
come alive if we complement the routes with ket. There exist very strong synergies between We call on the Transport Minister to signifi-
an extensive network of park-and-ride facili- Ireland and Hong Kong that would enable us to cantly increase the amount of money that
ties both around and within the M50, as well share the knowledge and skills necessary to drive is being spent on cycling infrastructure in
as an improved integrated ticketing and fare two-way trade and investment links in the areas Dublin – in line with a sharp increase in the
system and plentiful amounts of bike-park- of fintech, education, technology, tourism and total amount being spent on transport solu-
ing facilities.” food and beverages,” Mr McGibney added. tions in the city.”

38 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
166 EAAE Seminar on
th

Sustainability in the
Agri-Food Sector
30 - 31 August | National University of Ireland, Galway
Sustainability has become one of the dominant themes for the development of the agricultural
industry. As a land-based sector, agriculture has a major impact on the natural capital of rural areas
in general and specifically on the economy, the environment and society. Sustainable agriculture is
central to the Sustainable Development Goals.
This seminar organised jointly
by Teagasc, National University
of Ireland, Galway and the FLINT
consortium in conjunction with
the European Region of Gastronomy
designation which was awarded
to Galway in 2018, will provide
an opportunity to present and
discuss progress in the analysis of
sustainability in agriculture and
extension approaches to incentivize
farmers to adopt sustainable farm
management practices.

For more information please visit:
www.teagasc.ie/events or
www.galwaygastronomy.ie
Arnotts’ €11 million vote of Fergus Sharpe: “This investment is one in the eye which will see Henry Street and the surrounding
confidence in Dublin for those who say that city-centre retail has no area elevated to new heights over the next five
future. This investment will ensure that Arnotts years. Dublin city centre is continually evolving.
The decision by the owners of Arnotts to invest remains at the heart of Dublin city’s retail “Traditionally, the city centre was a place
€11 million in their Henry Street store is a vote offering – as it has been for the past 175 years. where the majority of people came simply to
of confidence in Dublin city centre, according to Arnotts is the type of shop that people base a visit shop. However, the centre is now increasingly
Dublin Chamber. to Dublin city centre around. Shoppers come becoming much more of an experience, with peo-
The Chamber said the news that Selfridges is from all over Ireland to shop there. This €11 ple visiting to enjoy the strong mix of restaurants,
to revamp its Arnotts department store is hugely million investment in Arnotts is one of a number cafes and both big-label and niche retail. This
welcome. of planned investments – including the redevel- investment will see that Arnotts is positioned to
According to Dublin Chamber spokesman opment of Clerys and the Carlton Cinema site – capitalise on this trend,” added Mr Sharpe.

Lift crazy runway restrictions Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose flights to 65 for the entire airport, which is
Burke said: “Ireland is shooting itself in actually down from around 100 today. This
Dublin Chamber has called on Minister for the foot at the very moment when global will result in lower capacity on multiple
Transport Shane Ross to act with urgency connectivity is most critical. With Brexit runways at certain times than we currently
to ease the restrictive planning conditions approaching, Ireland should be doing all it have. These conditions make no sense, and
attached to the new runway at Dublin Airport. can to further its credentials as a trans- they need to be reversed if our national air-
Dublin Chamber said it was extremely atlantic aviation hub with direct connec- port is to meet growing passenger demand
concerned by comments from incoming tions all over the world.” and if Ireland is to take advantage of the
Dublin Airport chairman Basil Geoghe- The Chamber said the planning con- opportunities that are coming its way.”
gan that the airport could lose up to three ditions attached to the proposed third Ms Burke added: “The whole point of the
million passengers in one year if planning runway threaten to undermine Ireland’s North Runway project is to enhance Dublin
conditions attached to the new third run- national airport. Airport’s offering. But we are potentially
way are not reversed. Ms Burke said: “The planned North looking at a crazy situation in which we
The Chamber said Ireland risked losing Runway is needed to allow Dublin Airport have a new state-of-the-art runway, but
jobs and investment unless harsh restric- to accommodate larger aircraft servicing fewer flights and less connectivity. The
tions on future flight movements at Dublin long-haul routes. But noise restrictions Transport Minister must intervene with
Airport were lifted. will restrict night-time (11pm-7am) urgency to resolve the situation.”

40 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
NEWMEMBER
PROFILES
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THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 41
NEWMEMBER
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42 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
GALLERY
1 Competitive Edge with Gavin Duffy
The Round Room at The Mansion House
1. Rob Cullen, Dublin Chamber
2. Gavin Duffy

1

Dublin- Beijing Mutual
Investment Forum
The Westbury
1. Mary Rose Burke, CEO Dublin
Chamber, Mr Cai Qi, Secretary of the 2
2 CPC Beijing Municipal Committee
for Food, Forestry and Horticulture
2. Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland
3. Andrew Doyle, TD, Minister of State

3

Momentum
Series 2018
Sponsored by Ulster
Bank, Ulster Bank
George’s Quay Diversity and Inclusion
1. Alison Banton, CEO Breakfast
Brooke and Shoals, Eddie Sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland,
Cullen, Managing Director Eversheds Sutherland offices
of Commercial Banking,
Ulster Bank, Paschal Adam Harris, Founder, AsIAm, Mary Rose
Naylor, Co-Founder and Burke, CEO Dublin Chamber, Andrea
CEO, Arkphire, Mary Dermody, VP, Global Inclusion and Diversity
Rose Burke, CEO Dublin Lead EMEA, State Street Corporation, Sandra
Chamber, Jenny Taaffe, Healy, Head of Diversity and Inclusion,
CEO iZest Marketing Group DCU and Mark Varian, Partner and chair
of the Diversity and Inclusion committee,
Eversheds Sutherland.

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 43
Corporate Networking
Reception with the
Department of Foreign Affairs
Iveagh House
Mary Rose Burke, CEO Dublin Chamber, Minister
for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney
and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland

1 2

Dinner in Camera
Sponsored by ervia, The Westbury
1. Derry Grey, Past President Dublin Chamber, Paul
Byrne, Head of Membership Development, Orlaith
Blaney, Chief Communications and Marketing
Officer, ervia and Chris Martin, CEO of Musgraves
2. Aisling Hassell, Head of Global CX, Airbnb, Mary
Rose Burke, CEO Dublin Chamber, Orlaith Blaney,
Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, ervia

44 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
1

2 3 Leaders Series
Sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland
1. Sean Ryan, Partner, Eversheds, Graeme
McQueen, Head of Public Affairs, Dublin
Chamber, Joanne Howlin, Vice President
of Growth, TransferMate and Charles
Lewington, CEO, Hanover Communications
2. J.P. Scally, Managing Director, Lidl Ireland
3. Mary Rose Burke, CEO Dublin Chamber,
J.P. Scally, Managing Director, Lidl Ireland,
Alan Murphy, Managing Partner, Eversheds
Sutherland

Political 1 2
Leaders Series
with Mary Lou
McDonald
Dublin Chamber
Offices
1. Mary Rose
Burke, CEO Dublin
Chamber, Mary Lou
McDonald, President
of Sinn Féin, Aebhric
McGibney, Director
of Public and
International Affairs
2. Mary Lou
McDonald, President
of Sinn Féin

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 45
Up to 50% of funding available
for R&D projects < €300,000

globalambition.ie/agile
outlook property

What's hot
in the burbs
Justin Comiskey looks beyond Dublin’s high-pressure
core to examine the suburban property market
he highest suburban retail and office rents will include 1,269 apartments that Hines will rent out, Development was delayed by the crash and years
in Dublin are on the southside – with San- with the first tenants moving in by the third quarter of were spent finessing a masterplan (finally approved in
dyford and Dundrum setting the pace – but 2020. When complete, Cherrywood town centre will 2014) but it took until the second half of 2017 before the
travel a little further south along the M50 house more than 3,200 people, provide office space first planning applications were made to the council.
and you’ll arrive at what’s probably the hot- for 2,300 and employment for 2,500 retail and leisure Hines, along with private equity fund King Street
test property prospect in the burbs. workers. Capital, bought the Cherrywood site out of receiv-
US developer Hines recently secured planning per- Cherrywood consists of about 400 acres of land ership in 2014 for €270 million. It has already com-
mission for a new town centre at Cherrywood and straddling both sides of the M50 south of Loughlin- pleted construction of key infrastructure elements
expects to be on site in the autumn to begin work on stown and, crucially, these were designated a Special including three parks, an all-weather pitch, six tennis
195,096sq m (2.1 million sq ft) of office, retail, leisure Development Zone (SDZ) in 2010. This allows the courts, sports pavilion, 5.4kms of roadway, footpaths,
and residential space that will take three years to council to grant planning permission which cannot be cycle paths, greenways and planted more than 3,000
complete and be focused around the Luas line. This appealed to An Bord Pleanála. trees. It also recently received permission for a school

THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 47
property outlook

– the first of six for the new town – to cater for up to Given that city-centre office rents are showing signs
700 pupils. of settling in the €60-€65 per square foot range – lev-
But the town centre is just one part of a much larger €2 els last seen at the peak of the boom in 2007 – and that
billion scheme that will eventually house 30,000 peo- multinationals have the financial firepower to pre-let
ple and include a whopping 484,474sq m (5,214,781sq or bulk-buy (à la Google’s €300 million purchase of
ft) of commercial buildings. Ten large landowners in Boland’s Quay in the south docklands) new city-cen-
the SDZ are now considering the prospects for other tre office space en masse, a number of agents and
sites at Cherrywood but Hines is already setting the analysts report that more companies are considering
pace with another recent application for 146 apart- locations outside of Dublin’s central business district.
ments – the first outside the town centre. Underlining this is the fact that Facebook and
Google will occupy 38,500sq m (414,410sq ft) and
Office blocks 74,600sq m (803,000sq ft) respectively in the capital
Meanwhile, Cherrywood Business Park is already an by the end of 2018 – that’s 4 per cent of all commercial
established suburban office location. Dunloe Ewart, office space – while two-thirds of new office space due
under the direction of Liam Carroll, developed eight to be delivered in the city centre this year is already
office and retail buildings extending to 54,238sq m Hines has been granted permission for its €1bn development pre-let, according to Cushman & Wakefield. “This is a
(583,839sq ft) there before the crash. Blue-chip tenants plans in Cherrywood, the project includes 1,269 apartments and real indication of the strength of demand,” says Ronan
include Dell, Abbott, Elavon, Zoetis and Milner Browne. 585,000sq ft of retail and office space. The area was suggested Corbett, head of offices at the agency.
In March, consultancy and technology giant Accen- to be Swedish flatpack giant Ikea's next big Irish store, however
a decision by An Bord Pleanála against changing the council's
ture agreed a long-term lease to rent 2,787sq m masterplan for the area has put these rumours to rest. ‘Heightened leasing activity’
(30,000sq ft) of office space at about €269 per square Lisney and CBRE point to heightened leasing activity
metre (€25 per square foot). Accenture’s office block in Dublin’s suburbs as occupiers seek more cost-effec-
– the first to be built in the office park since 2010 – is tive locations. QRE reports a notable shift in demand
owned by a subsidiary of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to the suburbs, and particularly the south suburbs,
County Council. The same subsidiary has planning where occupancy costs are generally half those in the
permission for another block opposite the Luas ter- city centre.
minus that letting agent QRE says could be delivered Another advantage is that the suburbs typically have
within 21 months at a rent of €323 per square metre ready-to-go sites that can accommodate the large
(€30 per square foot). This would bring Cherrywood floor plates favoured by modern office requirements.
office rents on a par with nearby Sandyford – Dublin’s The potential for building such large office blocks in
prime suburban office location. the city centre – apart from maybe the north dock-
However, Cherrywood is unlikely to be the location for lands – is diminishing all the time as the construc-
a rumoured Ikea store on the southside after An Bord tion boom builds out available development land.
Pleanála turned down a bid by the Swedish flatpack However, construction is still focused on the city
giant to change the council’s master plan for the area. centre. Of 40 new-build office schemes under con-
Instead, Ikea is reported to be keen on a site in Car- struction in Dublin in the first quarter of 2018, 82
rickmines owned by developer Jim Kennedy’s Jack- per cent of the space involved was in the city
son Way and has already opened an order-and-collec- centre.
tion point at The Park in Carrickmines. Sandyford, with easy access to the M50, N11,

48 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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property outlook

the Luas and now set to have a stop on the recently
announced MetroLink rail service with connectivity
to Dublin city centre and airport, has seen rents rise
steadily since the crash bottomed out. The area is
home to Microsoft, Bank of America Merrill Lynch,
Vodafone, AIB and Salesforce, while Grade A office
vacancy rates are about 5.8 per cent, with headline
rents nearing €307 per sq m (€28.50 per sq ft).
Even city-centric Google – employer of some 7,000
people in Ireland – signed up for 4,915sq m (52,900sq
ft) of space at Sandyford’s The Chase block in Feb-
ruary, which represents a marked departure from its
real-estate strategy. Kennedy Wilson, owner of the
block, reports rent up 20 per cent since May 2016.
Tanya Duffy, research analyst at Lisney, says the
south suburbs typically account for about one-fifth
of office take-up each year. The area’s vacancy rate,
which peaked in 2009 at 26.3 per cent, has “declined
substantially” to stand at 12.9 per cent by the end of
March 2018. “Notably, there are just three locations
that can facilitate occupiers looking for space in
excess of 5,000sq m (53,819sq ft) but there is still a rel-
atively good choice of modern buildings in the south
suburbs up to 1,000sq m (10,764sq ft),” she says.
Another interesting development angle for Sandy-
ford emerged recently after Swedish student accom-
modation specialist Prime Living was reportedly
behind the €10.3 million purchase of a site at the junc-
tion of Blackthorn Road and Carmanhall Road. Prime
Living expects, subject to planning permission, to
build a student complex with about 700 bed spaces as
part of a €31.5 million investment. The location, about
3km from UCD and a five-minute walk from two Luas
stations, affords relatively easy access to Trinity Col-
lege, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the
emerging DIT campus at Grangegorman. It’s interest-
ing to note that UK developer U+I paid €6.5 million
for the 1.8-acre site in 2015, which means its value has
risen by 58 per cent in three years.
Construction of the first new-build suburban offices
since 2011 on the northside is under way at Dublin
Airport Central, where Daa (formerly known as the
Dublin Airport Authority) has permission for four
six- and seven-storey blocks with an overall capac-
ity of 41,700sq m (448,854sq ft). Development of this
70-acre business park was brought forward after Daa US burger chain Five Guys and Milanos already signed up
successfully redeveloped the former Aer Lingus head- for space in The Pavilions, Swords, where a new leisure and
quarters at Dublin Airport and let it to ESB Interna- restaurant quarter is being developed; work on the Frascati
shopping centre in Blackrock is well under way; Tanya Duffy,
tional. ESBI is paying a rent of about €297 per sq m research analyst at Lisney; Dublin Airport Central development.
(€27.60 per sq ft) for the 7,524sq m (81,000sq ft) block
– a major saving on what it was paying for space on St Yet suburban retail assets are still in demand by
Stephen’s Green. investors, if May’s purchase by Deutsche Bank of
Westend Retail Park in Blanchardstown for €148 mil-
Retail development lion is anything to go by.
In terms of suburban retail, the big five shopping cen- New suburban retail space is also being developed.
tres – Dundrum Town Centre, The Square Tallaght, Work on redeveloping the Frascati shopping centre in
Liffey Valley, The Pavilions in Swords, and Blanchard- Blackrock, for example, is well advanced, which will
stown – recorded about 30 big letting deals in 2017. bring the floor area from 10,239sq m (110,200sq ft) to just
Most of the big five have planning permission over 16,000sq m (172,222sq ft). Aldi is set to join existing
to expand – Blanchardstown, for example, anchor tenants Marks & Spencer and Debenhams.
has applied to build an additional 13,000sq Across the road at the 1984-built Blackrock Shop-
m (140,000sq ft) of retail space – but a key Ireland reported recently of a growing dis- ping Centre, a €10 million upgrade is well under way,
trend is a move to make themselves into connect between increasing consumer dis- which will include a new glazed roof. Work on an
much more than mere shopping desti- posable income and the “unspectacular” adjoining site is also well advanced on a 6,503sq m
nations. The Pavilions, for example, is performance of some traditional retail cat- (70,000sq ft) office block for Zurich Insurance.
developing a new leisure and restaurant egories. This is because online shopping is Another interesting suburban property prospect,
quarter which will open by the end of profoundly changing consumer spend- which may be realised in the medium to long term, is
2018, with US burger chain Five ing patterns. the plan for a new town of 21,000 at Clonburris, about
Guys and Milanos already signed Marie Hunt of CBRE suggests many 10km southwest of Dublin city centre. About 280
up for space. retailers do the bulk of their sales hectares, on both sides of the Dublin-Kildare railway
Giving people more reasons to online and, rather than have stores line and Grand Canal, has been designated an SDZ and
visit and linger in shopping cen- in every big town or shopping a masterplan was recently approved by South Dublin
tres is very much about com- centre, they’re after a flagship county councillors. Clonburris abuts Adamstown, the
peting with online shopping, outlet in a high-profile location State’s first SDZ, where a new town of 8,000 homes is
which Irish consumers are and using that as promotion slowly emerging after a masterplan was first agreed
taking to with gusto. Retail Marie Hunt, executive director for their online presence. way back in 2003.
and head of research at CBRE

50 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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a secure legacy netwatch

Think big, talk big,
make it happen
David Walsh of security firm Netwatch tells Barry McCall how the
company grew from an idea to a international brand in 16 years

ith more than 300,000 customers
in the US and Europe and 500 staff
spread across three countries, Net-
watch is well on the way to achieving
its founders’ aims of becoming a global
security company. The company recently announced a
merger with NMC of California, CalAtlantic of Texas,
and UK firm Onwatch to form one of the largest secu-
rity monitoring companies in the world.
It’s been quite a remarkable growth journey for a
company which started up as a two-man operation
with no products and no customers in Carlow in
2002. And it started up almost by chance, according to
founder and chief executive David Walsh.
“A friend had been attacked and hospitalised when
he went to attend a burglar alarm alert at his business
premises,” he recalls. “He had to attend personally
because of continual false alarms. I thought there had
to be a better way of doing it and came up with the idea
of monitored alarm systems using cameras. The initial
idea was just to have a visual aid to make sure the coast
was clear before attending and it developed from there.”
Turning the idea into a reality was another question,
however. “This was before the days of digital video,”
Walsh says. “There was no WiFi even. We found a firm
in Australia that was doing video transmissions for
small-scale applications, so we hopped on a plane to
Melbourne to find out more.”
Walsh and his business partner Niall Kelly found it
would be possible to use the system for two-way trans-
mission. “You could have a speaker and use it to chal-
lenge the burglars or intruders on your premises,” he
explains.
Then came the big decision to leave their jobs. Walsh
had joined agrifood technology leader Keenan Systems
straight out of college in 1989 and by 2002 was MD of
the company’s Irish market operations. “I intended to
stay about six months to get experience but found the
company addictive,” he recalls.
“It is a great, innovative, family-owned company
which has been changing the world from Carlow. I had
gone about as far as I could go, I suppose, so it was time
to move on. Niall was working at a golf course at the
time and we both packed in our jobs in October 2002.
We got our first customer in February 2003.”

52 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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They decided to take a different approach to market- International expansion invest in our staff,” Walsh adds.
ing the product. “Everything we were doing was very “Our goal all along was to become a global brand,” “That’s when the possibility of growth through
disruptive. The security industry is notoriously conser- Walsh says. “We had been dipping our toe in the water mergers and acquisitions came onto our radar,” he
vative and hadn’t really changed in 40 years. We posi- in the UK market at that stage. This was mainly on the notes. “We raised €20.5 million in funding and drew
tioned it as a technology and business solution rather back of Irish clients who had operations in Britain. In down €19.5 million over the next few years. In 2016,
than a security solution. That allowed us to sell directly 2008, we decided to take the US market seriously.” CalAtlantic in Texas reached out to us. They were at
to customers rather than through the installer base and That decision led to the company launching in Bos- a crossroads and were either going to sell up or look
it helped us to extraordinary growth. By 2007, we had ton in 2012 and opening offices in New York in 2014, for ways to grow. At around the same time, Samir
turnover of €7 million and profits of €1.5 million.” Pittsburgh in 2015, and Chicago in 2017. Samhouri, the chief executive of Xtralis, one of our
Then the recession hit. “We got all our staff together “From day one, we always had the US as a target. suppliers, reached out to us. He loved what Netwatch
in a hotel in Carlow one evening early in 2008 and we There was an alignment between the culture there and were doing and wanted to broaden his own horizons.
told them we had two options: we could wrap ourselves Netwatch. Customer service is very important there He spoke to us about the multiplier effect and what we
around what we had and try to ride out the coming and we had always positioned ourselves as a high- could do if we combined with other companies. Then
storm as best we could, or we could look at the reces- value proposition which is very close to the customer. NMC in California came along.”
sion as an opportunity for investment and growth.” In the early days in America, it was all about building
The decision was made to invest €3.5 million in a
new R&D department and lab. “This was at a time
credibility. In general, companies in the US are quite
slow to apply technology to their businesses.” If you want to be a truly global
when the recession was hitting very hard and what we That credibility was given a significant boost when leader you’ve got to have a
were doing was very different. All we had been doing up
to then was taking other people’s products off the shelf
former Boston police chief Kathleen O’Toole joined
the company’s board. Signing up MIT and Massachu- significant presence in the UK
and through clever messaging, branding and PR selling setts General Hospital as early clients did it no harm
them as our own solutions. Now we design all our own either. According to Walsh, with customers like that NMC came with a network of 1,000 resellers. “We
systems. We have created a brilliant team there.” on board it becomes relatively easy to sell a service. got talking to the resellers and they told us they were
That also saw a change in business model. “Up to A change of gear was required for the new growth crying out for video. That gave us the opportunity to
2007 we had been like a lot of other companies. We sold trajectory. “In 2015, we started building a senior man- combine the west and south to our existing operations
hardware and charged for the monitoring and support agement team which would be capable of driving in the north and east of the US. That’s when we looked
services. We then moved over to security-as-a-service international growth. We also set out our 2020 strate- at the UK again. If you want to be a truly global leader
model. A lot of people said this wouldn’t work, but it gic vision for the next five years.” you’ve got to have a significant presence in the UK.
has been very successful for us.” That strategic vision included four key elements: That’s when Onwatch came on board.”
continued investment in technology to improve ser- That put together all the ingredients for the merger,
Below: David Walsh, co-founder/chief executive, Netwatch and vice to customers; raising strategic funding to finance which formally took place in April. The result is a
Niall Kelly, co-founder/chief technology officer, Netwatch with growth; investment in Netwatch employees; and company with a combined turnover of €60 million. “We
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, at the announcement of the
establishment of the Netwatch Group, a merger with UK firm achieving turnover of €100 million by 2020 – up from are well on the way to achieving our €100 million tar-
Onwatch Multifire and US companies the National Monitoring €16 million in 2015. get. Our ambition now is to grow into new markets like
Centre and CalAtlantic. “We have a responsibility and a moral obligation to mainland Europe, where video is still in its infancy.”

54 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
netwatch a secure legacy

The market for video is growing in any case. “This
isn’t a wave, it’s a tsunami,” Walsh says. “We can save
organisations around €100,000 a year per site over
traditional security methods. The level of false alarms
from traditional systems has grown to the extent that
police forces will no longer respond to alarm calls
without visual verification.”
His advice to anyone else thinking of starting up a
business with global ambitions is to think big. “The
first and most important thing is to think big,” he says.
“Back in 2003 when we started out, we said we were
going to build a global brand. That was scary. But if it’s
not scary it means your goals aren’t big enough. After
that, you’ve got to talk about it. Then something has to
happen. Either you start doing it or you stop talking
about it.”
Communication is key. “You have to communicate
your vision and ambition to all of your employees. And
you’ve got to surround yourself with people who are
comfortable with that vision and who embrace change
and understand that change is necessary to achieve
great things.”
The Irish card will only get you so far, he says. “Being
Irish will open doors in the US, but it doesn’t win busi-
ness and won’t close deals. You have to have a clear
value proposition and strategy to do that. The big chal-
lenge in America is that it is like 50 different countries,
such is its scale. You have to understand that and be
prepared for it.
“You have to think big, talk big, and make it happen.
Never allow yourself to be limited by the scope of your
ambitions. The combination of passion and ambition
is where real impact comes from. Here at Netwatch,
our people expect us to think big and we do.”

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THE IRISH TIMES | JULY 2018 | Q2 BUSINESS IRELAND | 55
developments planning

Failure to plan
Ireland’s planning system has been held up to unfavourable
international scrutiny as a result of the still unresolved Apple
Athenry data-centre application. Justin Comiskey reports

Court has also indicated that it may be necessary to
refer some of the planning issues in the Apple case to
the Court of Justice of the EU. Not exactly the-best-
small-country-in-the-world-to-do-business stuff.
Meanwhile, a similar Apple project in Denmark,
announced at the same time as Athenry, is already
up and running while the tech giant has just unveiled
plans for a second Danish centre.

‘Lengthy process’
It’s worth pointing out that the Irish planning system
is subject to third-party submissions and appeals at
almost every level. Examples include: during the con-
sultation process for land zoning and when a local
area plan is being prepared; rights of submission and
observation at the planning application stage; rights
of appeal to An Bord Pleanála after permission is
granted; and the right to seek judicial review after An
Bord Pleanála determines the appeal.
This lengthy process is leading to uncertainty in
many cases, according to Hubert Fitzpatrick, direc-
tor of housing, planning and development at the Con-
struction Industry Federation. “Third parties need not
have any locus standi [a direct interest in the subject
matter] to support their appeal. They can be resident
anywhere remote from the proposed development and
still have rights to delay a project through the appeal
process. Objectors, at a minimum, should be required
to have adequate locus standi to object to a develop-
ment and show that they would be personally affected
by a particular proposal. Spurious appeals should not
be tolerated.”
IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan is on record as
saying that a much higher degree of predictability in
relation to our planning processes is needed. “Not pre-
dictability about outcomes, but definitive timelines
that are appropriate for the pace at which the com-
mercial world works.”
Fitzpatrick agrees, citing possible improvement to
the planning system being made around timeframes
for pre-planning meetings; sign-off on compliance
conditions; standard wording for development bonds;
timeframes for An Bord Pleanála to make decisions on
appeals; and strict timeframes within which judicial
review proceedings could be determined by the courts.
pple’s decision in May to abandon plans And, remember, the Supreme Court has yet to rule However, Ciarán Cuffe of the Green Party believes
for an €850 million data centre in Athenry, on the case brought by objectors to the data centre. the focus of reform “should be on the courts sys-
Co Galway, has highlighted what many While Apple has dropped out of the case, the State tem rather than on planning. A well-resourced envi-
believe are profound problems in our has now joined proceedings because the appeals have ronmental branch of the High Court could assist in
planning system. After all, how can such raised important legal issues concerning An Bord resolving similar court actions [as in the Apple case]
a signature project that was first submitted for plan- Pleanála’s obligations under EU law when assessing in a more timely manner. This would not impinge on
ning permission in April 2015 and cleared the appeals such projects. human rights but would ensure that there would be
board in August 2016 still be bogged down in judicial As if this isn’t disincentive enough for anyone plan- a strong body of knowledge and expertise available
review proceedings nearly three years later? ning to develop a data centre in Ireland, the Supreme within the judiciary when needed.”

56 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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developments planning

Rebalancing the system

PHOTOGRAPH: ISTOCK | GETTY
The Cantillon column in The Irish Times recently
opined “you would almost believe judges are an inte-
gral part of the planning process” given the frequency
of court appeals against decisions made by our “dedi-
cated planning system”. Judges, too, have pointed out
to litigants that the purpose of judicial review is only
to ensure that the planning decision was arrived at
legally – not whether it was a good planning decision
or not.
But none of this deters determined and well-re-
sourced objectors, who know the glacial speed at
which the Irish courts system moves means time is
on their side. Cuffe’s suggestion of a “well-resourced
environmental branch of the High Court” seems sen-
sible in this regard. Speeding up the judicial review
process might rebalance a system weighed far too
heavily in favour of objectors and where sight of the
greater good often gets lost in a blizzard of conflicting
opinions.
Fitzpatrick suggests that challenging a decision of
An Bord Pleanála by judicial review which delays a
development “should carry potential compensation
obligations for the objector in favour of the proj-
ect developer. An objector should also be obliged to
produce security for costs when taking any judicial
review proceedings.”

‘More politics than planning’
However, not everyone agrees that the planning sys-
tem is the problem. Dr Lorcan Sirr, who lectures on
housing and urban economics at DIT, maintains the
current system levels the playing field and balances
the influence of vested interests.
“There is a convenient narrative that the plan-
ning system is broken and is a problem across many
aspects of the built environment, but typically it is
not,” he says. “In this instance, Apple, it appears the
judicial process was a large part of the delays encoun-
tered. Apple and the IDA would have had access to the
best planning and legal advice before applying and
would have known full-well the likely risks involved,
including delay due to challenges. The faux outrage at
how the application panned out is more about politics
than planning.
“Many political careers have been built on the ability
to influence the planning system on behalf of constit-
uents. Local politicians who call for wholesale reform
of the planning system will also be the first to express
outrage when the penny drops that ‘reform’ also means
they could lose their political ability to influence what
does and does not get built in their constituencies.
“Ultimately, there are too many cooks stirring the
planning broth, from local politicians to national min-
isters to vested interests to uninformed commenta-
tors. Although we are currently removing powers from
the planning professionals – the local authority plan-
ners – if we left them to do their jobs, as trained pro-
fessionals, without interference, there would be much
more certainty and consistency in planning decisions
across the board.”
Nearly all commentators believe greater use of the
pre-planning process can greatly expedite matters.
Problems can be identified early, solutions found, and
the decision-making of planners accelerated. Microsoft's Project Natick team at the launch site on Orkney then be recovered, reloaded with new equipment and
Island, Scotland (photography by scott eklund | red box pictures); returned to the seabed. Microsoft estimates a Natick
Athenry for Apple campaign sticker; Dr Lorcan Sirr, housing and
Sector disruption urban economics lecturer at DIT; Hubert Fitzpatrick, director of data centre could last at least 20 years.
Meanwhile, as Ireland gets itself worked up about how its housing, planning and development at the Construction Industry The project offers great potential for speeding up web
planning system treats data centres, it looks like this land Federation; plans for the Apple Athenry data centre. browsing and video streaming as data centres – the
and energy-hungry sector could be set for disruption. backbone of the internet – could then be easily located
Microsoft announced in June that it has sunk a data one of the biggest energy demands of data centres. close to population centres, as more than half the
centre off the coast of Orkney in a bid to make the inter- It’s hoped that Natick will see data centres able to world’s population live within 120 miles of the coast.
net faster and more eco-friendly. Project Natick, a 40ft operate untouched and maintenance-free for about One would imagine, too, that submarine data cen-
cylinder powered by tidal turbines and wave energy five years. The container-sized data centre, as power- tres wouldn’t trouble the courts – here and in Europe
converters, uses sea water for cooling, thus removing ful as several thousand high-end consumer PCs, would – with judicial review proceedings.

58 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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Innovation partner sponsored profile

Irish CEOs predict
further growth
he world is changing for CEOs and how KPMG managing partner Shaun Murphy:
they lead and grow their organisations. 'The commitment of CEOs to keeping up
with and understanding the implications of
KPMG’s third annual CEO Outlook technology has become an even greater acid
gathered the perspectives of CEOs of test of leadership and in a shorter time frame
large companies in the Republic of then previously imaginable'
Ireland and Northern Ireland to get their views Below: KPMG's third annual Irish CEO Outlook
of the highest-priority opportunities and great-
est challenges they face. The survey compared
their views with their global counterparts and “Brexit, US tax policy and the threat of pro-
explored a broad range of business drivers, risks tectionism in the form of trade wars have all
and pain points. moved geopolitical issues up the risk agenda
In 2017, Irish CEOs and their global counter- for Irish business with international opera-
parts were excited about the future: they saw tech- tions,” says KPMG managing partner Shaun
nology-driven change as a significant opportunity Murphy
to disrupt their sector. That optimism continues
in 2018, with Irish business leaders showing Cyberattacks – a case of when not if
strong faith in the economic environment. Reinforcing the extent to which cyber secu-
However, that optimism is tempered by caution rity is impacting on their thinking, the survey
and realism, with a clear recognition that in order found a third (32 per cent) see the issue of a
to grow their businesses, they need to respond cyber attack as a case of when not if, with only
to an increasing list of complex challenges and 48 per cent confident In their ability to identify
“growing pains”. While the CEOs surveyed still new cyber threats and only 44 per cent con-
predict their businesses will grow in the coming fident in their levels of preparedness. Mean-
year, many say they need to hit growth targets while, just over a half (56 per cent) feel able to
before they start hiring new people. manage external stakeholders in the event of
such an attack.
The impact of tech Disruption is being welcomed as an oppor-
One of the recurring themes of the research is tunity by 96 per cent of CEOs in Ireland and,
that technology continues to command consid- encouragingly, only 16 per cent believe their
erable attention – as an enabler, a disruptor and, organisation is struggling to keep pace with the
with the threat of cyberattacks, a significant rate of technical innovation in their sector. In
risk. Data privacy is also understandably high on fact, most (84 per cent) are actively disrupt-
the CEO agenda. And even with the increased ing the sector rather than waiting for it to be
reliance on data-driven models and analytics disrupted by others.
to make decisions, many CEOs are also placing Meanwhile, more than three quarters (76 per
value on their experience and intuition in mak- cent) of CEOs are prepared to personally lead
ing the difficult strategic calls for the future of their organisation through a radical transfor-
their organisations. mation to maintain competitiveness. However,
In terms of economic growth, Irish business one in five (20 per cent) have concerns about
leaders expect growth to continue over the next their current leadership team and whether it is
three years, but expectations are modest. Seven fully equipped to oversee the radical transfor-
in 10 (72 per cent) expect revenue growth of 2 mation their business needs.
per cent or less and just over two thirds (68 per “The commitment of CEOs to keeping up
cent) expect headcount growth of under 5 per with and understanding the implications of
cent. Meanwhile, just over two thirds of respon- technology has become an even greater acid
Brexit, US tax policy and dents (68 per cent) expect headcount growth of test of leadership and in a shorter time frame
then previously imaginable,” says Murphy.
the threat of protectionism under 5 per cent.
Irish CEOs see three important threats to this Finally, almost half (48 per cent) of those sur-
in the form of trade wars growth with cyber security, a return to territo- veyed have already begun a limited application
of artificial intelligence (AI) in the automation
have all moved geopolitical rialism worldwide and operational risk as the
biggest challenges to their business. Concerns of processes. However, 96 per cent believe the
issues up the risk agenda about the return to territorialism were high- most likely impact of artificial intelligence and
robotics technologies will be to create more
for Irish business with lighted in a number of countries and also cited
as one of the most important issues for busi- jobs than it eliminates.
international operations ness leaders in Ireland. Find out more about the survey at www.kpmg.ie

60 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
Q&A INSIGHT PROFILE

The lighter side
John Mahon, group operations manager, One4all

What business person Clockwise (from right): David Attenborough's
do you most admire? Blue Planet - a walrus mother and calf
Willie Walsh, an Irishman who resting on an iceberg in Svalbard, Arctic;
Black Edge by Sheelah Kolhatkar; Jonathan
worked his way through the Lynn's 1992 American comedy My Cousin
ranks to become leader of a major Vinny; Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive.
international organisation. I like
how he takes ownership when
things go wrong and focuses on
getting things fixed rather than
looking for blame (eg opening of
Terminal 5 Heathrow).

What is your guilty pleasure?
I admit watching an old musical
Paint Your Wagon more than once.

How do you unwind?
I like being out and about in nature,
a walk along the beach or through
the woods. I also like fly fishing or
just reading a book.

How much money is in your wallet?

Main Photograph courtesy of BBC
€120

The last book you read?
Black Edge by Sheelah Kolhatkar.
Sometimes fact is stranger than
fiction – better than a thriller! The
book focuses on insider trading and
how it was investigated.

What is the best business advice
you’ve ever been given? The last film you watched? What is the first website you look
Plan, avoid getting stuck in a busy My Cousin Vinny. at every morning?
routine, stop and look around to Irish Times and One4all.
make sure that you are heading in What is your favourite possession?
the right direction and that you will I’m not really a collector but there Are you an early bird or a night owl?
have the resources you need when is a little fishing shack in Cavan that Night owl.
you need them. Always keep learning I am fond of.
and never sacrifice the important If you were Taoiseach for a day
for the urgent. This advice all came What’s your most what would you do? What’s your favourite place in
from my father on a building site. memorable holiday ever? I would love to say reform the Dublin and why?
We did a family trip to Australia via health service and sort out the Skerries, where I live. It is a town
Who is the most famous Hong Kong and Singapore – great to homeless crisis – but for one day I that has everything: great location,
person in your contacts list? experience such different lifestyles. would probably rant about saving great people and great pubs and
My One4all boss Michael Dawson our natural environment. restaurants.
is fairly famous. What social media do you use?
I don’t really get involved. I do What person do you most admire? Anything you would like to plug?
How do you manage WhatsApp messages but mostly I David Attenborough. Spending his One4all recently renewed our
your work/life balance? go out to meet people. life doing what he loves and in a ISO 9001:2015 accreditation,
I enjoy work and probably find fascinating manner, opening the which we are extremely proud of.
myself thinking about work at If money were no object, what eyes of millions of people to the The certificate demonstrates our
peculiar times, but rarely in a would your fantasy purchase be? wonders of life on this planet while commitment to the highest quality
stressful manner. I tend to focus on A mansion by the sea and near delivering an important conserva- products and customer service and
whatever I am doing at the time. mountains. tion message sits proudly in our reception.

62 | BUSINESS IRELAND Q2 | JULY 2018 | THE IRISH TIMES
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Contact Aidan Bolger at 01 6758484
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