The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition retains status as official media partner of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2018

The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition have retained their status as the official media partner of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2018, which takes place from February 21 to March 4 2018.

The Audi Dublin International Film Festival, now in its 16th year, prides itself on creating a programme which showcases the very best in international film and attracts high quality producers, writers, directors and actors. In the past, the festival has welcomed stars such as Al Pacino, Julie Andrews, Danny DeVito, Richard Gere and Russell Crowe to Dublin. This year’s line-up includes guest appearances from Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Vanessa Redgrave, Bill Pullman, Cillian Murphy and Moe Dunford.

The partnership with the Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2018 will see The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition featured across all of the Festival’s online and offline marketing channels. In addition, complimentary copies of The Times, Ireland Edition and The Sunday Times will be available to audience members at selected venues during the Festival.

Subscribers to The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition will be offered the chance to win an exclusive break for two people in the five star Merrion Hotel, and tickets to our Closing Gala where Oscar-nominated movie, ‘The Breadwinner’ will be screened.

As well as offering readers an in-depth and authoritative mix of news, business, politics and sport, The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition also feature insightful opinion and analysis on film, music and theatre from a host of writers such as Jennifer O’Brien, Eithne Shortall and Liam Fay.

Catherine Newman, Chief Marketing Officer, News UK & Ireland, says:

“This partnership between The Times, Ireland Edition, The Sunday Times and the Audi Dublin International Film Festival is a very natural fit. The festival is a fantastic platform for fresh and innovative ideas amongst Irish and international film-makers and our readers enjoy the extensive coverage of the arts, particularly film, which features in our titles. It’s wonderful to be able to join these two elements together and offer a range of perspectives on what’s happening in the world of film.’ 

Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director, says:

“I’m delighted that the Audi Dublin International Film Festival are working once again with The Times, Ireland Edition and The Sunday Times as official media partners for the second year in 2018. This continues a partnership that matches their quality journalism and cultural coverage to our aims of bringing the very best in international and Irish cinema to Dublin.”

The Times, Ireland Edition is on shelves from Monday to Saturday, while the digital edition is available via tablet app, smartphone app or on On Sunday, subscribers can obtain access to the digital edition of The Sunday Times or purchase the print edition of the publication.

While the Irish news team ensures readers are always in the know about national stories, an insight into the global news agenda is delivered via the wealth of content generated by over 200 journalists in London and 36 correspondents across six continents. This is complemented by superb contributions from international names such as Caitlin Moran and Giles Coren.


The Times, Ireland Edition and The Sunday Times

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For more information about the Audi Dublin International Film Festival’s exciting line up for 2018 visit

Almost 90% of media buyers tune into radio every day according to new industry research unveiled at RadioDays Ireland conference

  • Figures reinforce radio’s substantial power within advertising strategies
  • On-going evolution of audio sector is crucial for growth of the sector
  • Conference speakers include Denis Naughten T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment; Helen Boaden, former Director, BBC Radio; Ian Dempsey, Today FM; Lisa Lawlor, Cork’s Red FM


88% of media buyers in Ireland listen to radio every day according to new research by the JNLR Committee and Choose Radio, a group which represents all of Ireland’s radio stations and helps to promote the medium of radio. This figure is even higher than the reach across the population as a whole, which is calculated at 83% by the JNLR.

The *research, conducted by Ipsos MRBI (Ireland), was unveiled at the RadioDays Ireland conference taking place in Dublin today and tomorrow. The event is bringing together over 20 high-profile domestic and international experts to discuss the radio sector, its current position in the media landscape, the challenges for radio in 2018 and, the opportunities for radio in a digital world.

The survey results highlighted that media buyers, whose role is to negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime for their clients, listen to nearly two and a half hours (143 minutes) of Irish radio on average each day.

The survey also notes that media buyers may be more forward thinking in their outlook as, compared with other listeners, they spend more time listening on a PC/laptop (12%) or mobile device (15%). High levels of on-demand media consumption were also reported amongst this group, through their use of channels such as Netflix (video) and Spotify (audio) compared to the population as a whole.

RadioDays Ireland 2018, launched by Denis Naughten T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, will feature a range of topics including ‘Securing the Future of News in a Digital World’, ‘Digital Insights’, ‘Why Irish People Continue to Choose Radio’, ‘Podcasting – Opportunities for Radio’ and ’Secrets to breakfast Radio Success’.

Guest speakers include:

  • Helen Boaden, former Director, BBC Radio
  • Christian O’Connell, Breakfast Presenter, and Paul Sylvester, Content Director, Absolute Radio
  • Breakfast Show presenters Ian Dempsey, Today FM, Niall Power Beat 102-103, Elaine Kinsella, Radio Kerry
  • Dan Healy, Head of RTÉ Strategy
  • Róisín Ingle, Deputy Features Editor of The Irish Times and producer of The Irish Times’ Women’s Podcast
  • Michael Hill, Managing Director, RadioPlayer Worldwide
  • Gabrielle Cummins, CEO, Beat 102-103
  • Ken Doherty, former snooker World Champion and Keith Wood, former rugby player, who both now play roles in radio with Sunshine 106.8 and Spin SouthWest respectively. They will take part in a debate discussing ‘Perspectives from the Sporting World’.
John Purcell, Chairman of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland, says:

“Radio is vastly important to Irish people. The audience figures are compelling, with over three million people tuning into the radio every day to listen to local, regional and national stations. This figure is higher than that of any other media, including social media use in Ireland. IBI radio stations play a vital role in the provision of public service broadcasting to Irish audiences. This is essential if the services which Irish audiences know and love are to survive in the form that people know, appreciate and require.”

Damian Loscher, Managing Director of Ipsos MRBI (Ireland), says:

Radio’s enduring popularity among media buyers is because it still plays a central role in their daily routine. And while this group of media trendsetters are exploring new ways of enjoying radio, such as listening on the move or listening back via a podcast or player, they still rely on a daily diet of live radio to help them through the day”.

RadioDays Ireland 2018 is an initiative created by the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) and Learning Waves Skillnet.


*Research Methodology: An online poll was conducted in February 2018 with 120 media buyers in a bid to examine awareness of the radio sector amongst the advertising industry. 


Further information is available on


20-year volunteering partnership between GSK and Barretstown celebrated with ‘Serious Fun Day’

GSK employees engage in variety of ‘serious’ and ‘fun’ activities at Kildare camp to help families coping with a seriously ill child

‘Serious Fun’ was on the agenda today at GSK, one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, when its employees’ took part in a range of volunteering activity at Barretstown to celebrate a 20-year partnership between the two organisations.

Barretstown runs residential camps and programmes for children and their families affected by cancer and serious illness. The facility also provides 24 hour medical and nursing care. Today, GSK employees spent a ‘Serious Fun Day’ at the camp in Co. Kildare, gardening and painting, in preparation for some very special visitors.

The GSK team were working together to prepare Barretstown for a bereavement camp, which offers families who have lost a child through serious illness a supportive environment within which they can spend quality time together. The camp offers the opportunity to share their experience of loss and find ways to look to the journey ahead.

Over the past two decades, GSK has provided €8m in funding to Barretstown which has helped the charity to rebuild the lives of thousands of children who are coping with serious illness and to provide top class family camp facilities, medical assistance and a new hospital outreach programme. Last year, GSK entered into a new €1.2m three-year partnership the Serious Fun Children’s Network (SFCN), which is represented by Barretstown in Ireland.

GSK’s long-term investment in Barretstown goes far beyond corporate donations. As well as engaging in today’s ‘serious’ and ‘fun’ activity, GSK employees have, over the years, also provided essential business expertise and training to the Barretstown team and acted as chaperones and translators on the camping programmes.

Tim O’Dea, Director of Development at Barretstown, commented;
“We have had a volunteering relationship with GSK for 20 years now but the partnership goes far beyond that. Thanks to our renewed partnership, in 2017 we served more campers than ever. We saw a 5% increase in residential campers at Barretstown and an increase of 14% of campers through our Outreach service which includes our Hospital Outreach Programme (HOP) and Camp in Schools. The GSK partnership is one that we are very proud of at Barretstown and we are delighted to see so many volunteers celebrate our 20th Anniversary at Barretstown today.”

Aidan Lynch, General Manager of GSK Ireland, added:
“Barretstown has a very special place in the hearts of GSK employees so we wanted to mark our new partnership by doing something that celebrated the spirit of “Serious Fun”. Today, and every day GSK employees spend volunteering here, makes us proud as an organisation to have made a contribution to Barretstown’s very special mission.”

Barretstown was founded by Hollywood actor Paul Newman in 1994 and modelled on his renowned Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut, USA. It serves children affected by serious illnesses – primarily cancer and serious blood diseases and their families. Barretstown’s mission is to rebuild the lives of these children and their families.

The services provided to all of the children and families who come to Barretstown are entirely free of charge, so donations and fundraising efforts are vital for the charity to help more sick children experience the magic of Barretstown each year. Barretstown is supported by donations and the fundraising efforts of corporate supporters, individuals and community groups. For more information see

Advertising spend in Ireland expected to increase by almost 7% to €1.07 billion this year according to ‘Outlook 2018’ report from Core

  • Television, radio and print sectors to all experience a drop in revenue
  • Online advertising spend is expected to increase by 20% to reach €541 million
  • Core is calling for the establishment of an Irish Media Owners’ Association to discuss the future of the indigenous media market and address issues

A 6.7% increase in advertising spend in Ireland will see revenues reach €1.074 billion, according to new research from Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications group.  This increase will mark the sixth consecutive year of growth in advertising investment levels in the Republic of Ireland and is in line with general economic growth.

The figures are contained in ‘Outlook 2018’, an annual document produced by Core which forecasts spend for the next 12 months across a variety of media, including Television, Radio, Print, Online, Sponsorship, Direct Mail and Out-of-Home. The report also outlines the key developments and important issues that will impact the industry this year.

Core has restated the size of the media market this year. Assessing the level of advertising spend (in media) in Ireland is needlessly difficult.  The real ‘problem child’ continues to be online advertising.  None of the major players disclose their revenue, which has resulted in massive variations in valuations of the sector; in 2017, Core believes that agencies under-called online ad spend by 27%, while the online sector itself significantly over-valued it by 32%.  Core estimates the real level of online advertising expenditure (gross of commission) in the Republic of Ireland at €451 million for 2017.

This is significantly higher than previous estimates and is driven by a restatement of the level of direct spend that is going to Google and Facebook by thousands of small and medium-sized businesses throughout Ireland. This restatement has added €123 million to previous estimates of total amount of advertising money spent on advertising in Ireland. 

Commenting on this issue, Alan Cox, CEO of Core, says: “All media owners should submit their advertising revenue figures to an independent accountancy firm on an annual basis, so that we can discuss the Irish media market and its value with confidence and without ambiguity.  To facilitate this will require the creation of an Irish Media Owners’ Association, which is long overdue.  The purpose of such an association would go far beyond the issue of spend data.  A forum for media owners to discuss the future of the indigenous media market and address issues of common concern is urgently required.”

Some of the highlights contained in Core’s Outlook 2018 report are:

Unhealthy Dominance of Google & Facebook

Although a great year for profits, 2017 was a year both Google and Facebook probably want to forget due to multiple controversies around how their businesses operate.  These include Russia’s influence in the US election, Facebook’s dysfunctional relationship with news (fake or otherwise), incorrect reporting of advertising performance, ads appearing beside inappropriate content on YouTube, prominent placement of Google’s comparison shopping service in search results and, most recently, a focus on whether Facebook’s algorithms encourage addictive behaviour.

These issues, however, have made little difference to Google and Facebook’s dominance as advertising platforms so far.  We estimate that 58% of all digital spend goes to these platforms and there is no sign of this abating.

The consequences of this dominance in the Irish market are far-reaching and must be addressed.  It is important that global media companies, such as Facebook and Google, do not secure a disproportionate level of advertising spend, or it will have the unintended consequence of closing publishers and broadcasters in this country, thereby denying the public of Irish-produced analysis, opinion and entertainment, which are essential to our democracy and identity.

We are not advocating a policy of protectionism; that is a short-term fix, which usually results in poor practices and weaker innovation in the long run.  However, the Government has a major responsibility to ensure that a level playing field exists.  Recently, the UK Government announced a review into the future of the newspaper industry, warning that the closure of hundreds of titles was a “danger to democracy” and that high-quality journalism was a “force for good”.  We agree, but this is not just about news publishers, it affects all media.  As a first step, the Irish Government should widen the remit of the Minister for Communications to include all media, and reallocate other parts of the ministerial portfolio, to ensure adequate time is given to this massively important and evolving issue.

It must also be said that Irish media owners should not expect the Government to do their job for them.  They need to double-down, find a ‘north star’ for their business and invest behind it.  Long-term strategic planning is lacking in the media sector, unfortunately.

TV – Alive & Kicking

Fake news was the phrase of 2017.  In marketing terms, there is no better example of this than the headline ‘Television is Dead’.  Linear TV (live TV plus playback within a seven-day period) represented 79.7% of ALL video consumption for Irish adults aged 15 and over, in 2017. The other 20.3% represents video-on-demand (VOD) players, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, pay-per-view and so on.  So, despite all the options available, four out of five minutes of video content remains linear TV.

It is true that younger audiences are slowly migrating to other platforms and devices; nevertheless, 55.5% of video consumption remains traditional linear TV for Adults aged 15-34.  Video consumption will continue to evolve but, with the average viewer watching 37 commercials every day or 13,538 adverts per year on linear TV, it is safe to safe that television in Ireland is still alive and kicking. 

Core calls for an Ireland TV Player

One in five of all TV sets in Irish homes are now connected to the internet.  This new technology is having a huge impact on the availability of content to Irish viewers.  RTÉ, TV3 and other Irish broadcasters are directly competing with global players who have multi-billion euro programming budgets.  Many of these smart TV’s are now bundled with Netflix or other subscription services and programme choices are now decided by favourite apps, rather than the traditional TV channel menu.

Dividing Irish content amongst three or four apps will not be a successful model.  Therefore, we call on the Irish broadcasters to come together and offer one ‘Ireland TV Player’, with content-rich archives, live streaming and, most importantly, no cost to the viewer.  If you want to compete with global powerhouses, you must develop a local powerhouse to take them on. If the will exists to put aside years of competing for media budgets, then this would be a significant step to keeping Irish TV strong into the future.

Online video advertising not fit for purpose

Making the creative fit the medium is one of the age-old axioms of advertising.  When it comes to online video, there is a lack of original creative designed with this medium in mind.  With less than 30% of original content created for online video, there is an over-reliance on using existing television copy to fill this space.  At best, this is creating a poor viewing experience; at worst, it is damaging brands and turning viewers to subscription, ad free options.

Online video advertising should be treated as a billboard, with many advertisers now trimming commercials to less than five seconds.  Producing multiple creative executions can be challenging, but it is now essential.  We wouldn’t design a 96-sheet outdoor poster with a bus shelter in mind; therefore, the same rules should apply to video.  

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) must encourage innovation

Audio is no longer the preserve of the FM band, yet until recently the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has been focussed on growing the number of analogue FM licenses and maintaining outdated quotas in relation to news and current affairs.  The BAI understands that this approach needs to change; it is not in step with the way listenership is moving.  The industry is beset by inertia and leadership is badly needed to encourage broadcasters to future-gaze, to be creative and to develop plans for the next era of the medium.

Innovation should be encouraged, not restricted.  Central to this is a need to change the way contracts are awarded. We need licenses to stop focusing on FM and award contracts that keep pace with the new digital age.  Broadcasters should be encouraged to change, to evolve and to innovate and be rewarded for doing so.  They should have to re-tender for their licenses every five years with a priority placed on a proven track record of innovation.  This is the incentive that will break the latent cycle of inertia and create a culture of creativity.

We need a ‘Spotify for News Media’

According to the Reuters Institute, only 10% of Irish adults pay to access online news content.  If this level of take-up does not increase, the future is bleak for this most valuable and important sector of Irish media.

The existing paywall subscription model will never attract sufficiently large audience numbers for most mainstream news media (although there will always be exceptions; e.g. The New York Times).  One factor is what we get for our subscription; with Netflix and Spotify, we’re offered a plethora of products in return for a single sign up.  Paywalls don’t follow this approach, instead offering the consumer one product in return for their subscription.

But with the right collaboration, there is a potential solution to this problem.  If consumers had a ‘Spotify for News Media’, which gave them access to all the major Irish news brands in an easy, consistent and navigable format, it could successfully provide a platform to simplify decision making and embed news media in the daily life of the consumer for years to come.

Consumers would be asked to pay a monthly subscription for unlimited access.  And as well as delivering a range of content from all Irish news media, the service would enable customisation to the specific needs of users.

Digital out-of-home formats will account for 18% for total sector spend in 2018

There was significant investment in the digital out-of-home (OOH) network in 2017, most notably the introduction of the first large format digital structure in Ballsbridge (Dublin) by JCDecaux.  There is much to look forward to in the year ahead.  Growth will be driven by JCDecaux, which plans to convert 22 of its ‘Metropanel’ sites to ‘Digipanels’ by the summer.

Over the past six years, the digital network has grown at a modest pace compared to other European markets, but the appetite for change is certainly there and gained momentum in 2017.  However, while we are starting to pick up the pace, growth will still be moderate for two reasons: firstly, city planning in Ireland is very conservative and slow to change; secondly, while the cost to develop digital signage has reduced (in some cases by up to 50%), the capital outlay and maintenance costs are still considerable for media owners.

On the other side, advertisers are demanding a more developed digital OOH infrastructure in Ireland to bring much-needed flexibility and dynamism to the medium.  This presents us with a ‘chicken and egg’ type scenario: not all brands will fully embrace digital OOH until there is a more established network with a better geographical spread, but media owners may be reluctant to invest at pace if these new formats are not fully supported by advertisers.

The changing face of sports broadcasting

The sports broadcast market is reaching its most critical point since the arrival of pay TV.  The game-changer here is the rise of social broadcasting.  Both Twitter and Facebook are pushing their ‘live’ functionality, which will increasingly take share of viewing from traditional broadcasters.  Twitter has announced that sport is one of the main channels it plans to develop.  Facebook already has several live streaming deals in place in the US, including Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and UEFA (Champions League matches).  It was highly anticipated that both Facebook and Amazon would compete with Sky and BT for the next Premier League contracts (starting with the 2019-20 season).  At the time of writing, Sky & BT have won five of the seven packages and it is rumoured that Amazon is the only ‘new contender’ still in the mix for the remaining two, as it seems Facebook is not taking part.

The transformation of the broadcast landscape means that now, more than ever before, sponsorship measurement and reporting will become both more complex and important.  All stakeholders need a sophisticated and reliable measurement process, backed by experts who understand how to measure the impact and maximise the potential from each channel.

About Core

Core (formerly Core Media) is Ireland’s largest marketing communications company; it consists of nine distinct practices: Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media, Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy.  The company also incorporates Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith.

Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last five years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the ninth year running. 

For further details, please check out



Guaranteed Irish launches ‘Guaranteed Irish Month’ as 300+ member companies reach turnover of €11bn and employ 50,000 people in Ireland

  • First annual Guaranteed Irish Month will take place in March, showcasing businesses in Ireland as best-in-class
  • Guaranteed Irish Month unveiled at Irish Stock Exchange by Ciaran Cannon, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development

Turnover generated in Ireland by over 300 Irish companies which are members of Guaranteed Irish, the not-for-profit business membership organisation championing homegrown and international businesses operating in Ireland, has now reached €11bn, according to new figures out today. Globally, these companies generate a turnover of €25.84bn. In Ireland, these companies directly employ 49,873 people, with 46% currently exporting, primarily to the UK, US and mainland Europe.

The figures were released by Guaranteed Irish at an event the Irish Stock Exchange today. Only member companies, which are required to meet a range of criteria before attaining membership, are given permission to display the Guaranteed Irish symbol as a badge of provenance and trust.

Guaranteed Irish has also announced that March 2018 has been designated the inaugural Guaranteed Irish Month to celebrate all members of Guaranteed Irish and showcase Ireland’s exceptional international reputation as a great place to work and do business.

A range of activities are planned for the month-long initiative including a ‘Meet Guaranteed Irish’ event in Dublin which will offer members the opportunity to exhibit their businesses and network with other members. Guests, including political representatives, will be invited to learn first-hand the contribution Guaranteed Irish members make to the Irish economy. Companies interested in joining the organisation will also be encouraged to attend.

As part of Guaranteed Irish Month, the organisation also unveiled a new Guaranteed Irish Global Register which calls on business leaders at home and the Irish diaspora abroad, to register with Guaranteed Irish to assist member companies who are considering exporting to new markets.

Representatives from Kingspan, Dairygold and MSD were at the launch today to share their unique experiences of export markets and how being Irish has added a competitive advantage to their business – at home and abroad. Businesses or individuals can sign up to the Guaranteed Irish Global Register via

A new Guaranteed Irish website will be launched during Guaranteed Irish Month, along with a Guaranteed Irish Partner Programme for members, and in the coming months, a seminar will be held on how to leverage Guaranteed Irish in the context of Brexit.

To tie in with the global outlook, Guaranteed Irish Month was launched at the Irish Stock Exchange, on which many Guaranteed Irish members are listed including CRH (Irish Cement, Roadstone and Clogrennane Lime), FBD, Kingspan, Kerry Foods and Mincon.

Brid O Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish, says: “Through the use of the widely-recognised Guaranteed Irish symbol, in addition to PR and marketing campaigns, networking events and lobbying activities, Guaranteed Irish helps its members to expand at home and abroad, contributing to Ireland’s international reputation for quality goods and services, and showcasing Ireland as best-in-class for business. As our confidence as an economy grows and our outlook becomes more global, international expansion will be a key focus for our members in 2018.

We plan on Guaranteed Irish Month becoming an annual event which will put the spotlight on businesses in Ireland which create sustainable jobs and add significant value to their local communities. Our 300 members display their Guaranteed Irish symbol as a badge of pride and we are delighted to work with them. We are also looking forward to working with the Government in the coming months to ensure Ireland is recognised as best-in-class at home and abroad when it comes to delivering products, services, talent and innovation.”

Ciaran Cannon, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development, said: “Our Government, our Department and I acknowledge and appreciate the work of Guaranteed Irish in creating an internationally recognisable symbol of Irish provenance and trust. The Guaranteed Irish brand provides a high water mark of quality and promotes a sense of great pride among Irish people and our diaspora globally.

In more recent times, and with the brand re-launch, I am pleased to see Guaranteed Irish’s success in attracting new members. With this in mind, and with Ireland’s economic recovery now firmly established, we must work together and focus our efforts on building the resilience of the economy and ensuring the fruits are broadly shared across the population.”

Deirdre Somers, CEO of the Irish Stock Exchange, said: “The Irish Stock Exchange is delighted to support the launch of Guaranteed Irish Month. The Guaranteed Irish symbol is a real badge of honour worn by home-grown enterprises, as well as international businesses which have chosen Ireland as their base, and contributes to showcasing Ireland as a great place to conduct business.”

Membership of the Guaranteed Irish organisation spans all sectors including pharmaceutical; healthcare; technology; construction; energy; professional services; manufacturing; tourism; food and drink; craft and design; retail; lifestyle; and more. Members include KPMG, FBD, Dairygold, MSD, Matheson, Ervia, Dublin Port Company, Irish Cement, Roadstone, Tegral Building Products, Foxford Woollen Mills, Rathborne Candles, Ballymaloe Foods, Manor House Hotels, Kingspan, Bord na Mona and Brennan’s Bread. The organisation considers three core criteria when assessing an applicant for membership – jobs, community and provenance.


Keep up to date on Guaranteed Irish news here:


4site unveil new ‘Fibre Centre of Excellence’ headquarters in Limerick following €250,000 investment

  • 20 new jobs to come on stream at expanded facility
  • Minister Denis Naughten officially opens 4site ‘Fibre Centre of Excellence’

4site, the leaders in designing, building and maintaining network infrastructure for owners and operators of distributed networks across Ireland and the UK, has invested €250,000 in their headquarters in Limerick to create Ireland’s first ‘Fibre Centre of Excellence’.

Established in 2002, 4site currently employs 70 highly skilled professionals and the company now plans to expand their team further by adding 20 additional positions over the coming months.

4site provides innovative engineering solutions for major infrastructural developments in telecommunications, power, renewables and multi-site networks. Clients include Vodafone, SIRO, Cignal, Huawei, Netshare, 2RN (RTE), Three, Ericsson, Nokia and enet. Their highly skilled in-house technical teams design, survey, build and maintain world-class communications networks, adapting technology, tools and processes to deliver reliable and future-proofed turnkey services for clients.

The new 4site ‘Fibre Centre of Excellence’ will bring together the expertise of fibre design, survey and planning engineers who will continually innovate how fibre networks are designed and delivered, while also focusing on specialised training for graduate engineers to meet not just the current demands, but future 5G or next generation network developments. In fact, the company offers a very successful graduate programme, complete with their own specially created training programmes, to upcoming graduates from Limerick Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and further afield.

As well as a wealth of expertise in fibre technology, 4site also has considerable experience in the planning, design and build of wireless networks. The company recently worked on the development of a 5G ready network in Aberdeen, which will help turn the location into the UK’s first ‘smart city’. The new infrastructure comprises a network of small cells attached to street furniture such as lamp posts and traffic lights connecting key areas in the city centre into a central hub site. 4site is also working with some of its Irish clients in developing similar shared networks.

The company also prides itself on its design-led thinking and using clever and innovative technology to drive efficiency for clients. One example of this is their new customised mobile App, developed in conjunction with Esri Ireland, which has resulted in a 50% reduction in data collection time and a 25% reduction in planning and design turn-around time – meaning significant cost and time efficiencies for clients.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Minister Denis Naughten, attended the opening of the new 4site ‘Fibre Centre of Excellence’ today, February 7th, and said: 4site’s business is a vital part of the larger telecommunications industry in Ireland. It is a real example of a company spotting gaps in their industry and applying expertise and new technologies to find practical solutions. A particular example that strikes me is 4site’s app, developed with Esri Ireland, which reduces engineering time and increases accuracy for the design and build of fibre networks. Innovations of this nature are important given the Government’s high priority of the National Broadband Plan and the on-going work of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce.” 

Ian Duggan, CEO of 4site, says: This is a very exciting time for our business. Insatiable demand for bandwidth and rapid developments in technology are pushing the limits of existing communications networks. The pressure to roll out advanced networks is huge and we are delighted to provide smart and effective solutions that speed up delivery time for the service providers bringing fibre to homes, businesses and existing wireless networks. Our Fibre Centre of Excellence brings together our skills in fixed and wireless networks and our focus on doing things smarter, as well as ensuring we continue to innovate and develop the tools, thinking and people to deliver for our customers on a global stage.” 


For further details, please check out

or follow us on Twitter @4siteHQ

Irish SME’s lose €1.7 billion annually due to bad debt according to Bibby Financial Services report

  • €13,780 is the average amount written off by every SME in Ireland annually due to customer non-payment or insolvency
  • SME’s encouraged to put practices in place to safeguard against bad debt


€13,780 is the average amount written off by every SME in Ireland annually due to customer non-payment or insolvency, according to the recent Global Business Monitor published by Bibby Financial Services Ireland, a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SME’s.

The Global Business Monitor is an international survey of over 1,200 small and medium sized enterprises across eleven countries: Ireland, UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

When asked which area is the most problematic in managing their business cashflow, over half (57%) of Irish SME’s cited collecting payment from customers on time. Almost a third of SME’s (32%) suffered from bad debt over the past 12 months. With almost 250,000 SME’s around the country[1], this equates to a total of €1.7 billion in revenue being lost by Irish businesses every single year.

Internationally, German SME’s suffer the most from bad debt with businesses writing off €44,000 per annum on average. SME’s in the Czech Republic write off the least, with an average of €6,200.

Mark O’Rourke, Head of Business with Bibby Financial Services Ireland, said:

“It’s shocking that such a large amount is being lost by Irish businesses each year as a result of bad debt. SME’s need to take steps to ensure they don’t fall foul to non-payment such as completing full background checks on all customers before extending credit, diversifying their customer base and ensuring strict payment protocols are enforced.  

Furthermore, business owners are often unaware of the broad range of funding options available to them as they wait for debtors to settle outstanding amounts – in many cases, alternative funding solutions are far more suited to their needs than traditional lending options.”

Bibby Financial Services Ireland is a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SME’s, helping businesses to thrive and grow in domestic and international markets by providing bespoke financial assistance and a wide range of specialist and working capital funding options.

A member of the Asset Based Finance Association, Bibby Financial Services Ireland’s funding portfolio includes invoice discounting, factoring, export finance, foreign exchange services and specialist funding for a range of sectors.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland is part of Bibby Financial Services Group, an independent financial services partner to over 10,000 businesses across 13 countries. The Irish operation was established in 2006 and has an expert team of 30 employees based in Sandyford, Dublin.

For more information about Bibby Financial Services Ireland, please visit:

The Bibby Financial Services Global Business Monitor 2017 is available here:

 Find us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter @BibbyFinanceIE


Ion Solutions unveiled as new name for Eurotek Ireland and Avtek Solutions and aims to set new standards in global visual communications industry

€150,000 invested in new brand and Ion Solutions to engage strategic growth plan

consisting of organic development, acquisitions and new market entry



Sister companies Eurotek Ireland and Avtek Solutions, market leaders in the visual communications sector, have amalgamated to operate under a single name – Ion Solutions (EMEA) Limited.

The new company, which will set new standards in the global visual communications industry, is 100% Irish owned, headquartered in Sandyford, Dublin and has grown to employ 62 people. €150,000 has been invested in the development and rollout of the new brand, which came into effect on 1st January 2018. Over the next 18 months, Ion Solutions will engage in a strategic growth plan that involves organic development, acquisitions and entry to a number of new markets.

Eurotek was established 50 years ago and focuses on the design, supply, installation and integration of audio visual communications equipment, broadcast television systems, digital video production systems and computer graphics systems, as well as digital signage and wayfinding solutions. The company works across a variety of sectors including healthcare, broadcast, retail, hospitality and educational facilities as well as corporate venues. Clients include RTÉ, TV3, Kerry Group, Croke Park Stadium and The SSE Arena.

Avtek Solutions, formed as a separate entity in 1994, provides creative and technical delivery of indoor and outdoor live events, conferences and exhibitions. Clients include Fáilte Ireland, Huawei, Toyota, Nissan, the Aviva Stadium and the RDS. The company also provides services to large scale events such as The National Ploughing Championships, Cruinniú na Cásca and the Dublin Horse Show.

With an increasing overlap in the services provided by the two companies over the last number of years, a decision was made to combine the wealth of expertise, talent and skill sets across the two businesses to create one unified brand – Ion Solutions.

The existing management and operational teams will remain in place and, with the business now working under a single unified structure, Ion Solutions will focus on continuing to provide excellence in the delivery and management of visual communications solutions across the entire business spectrum.

Ion Solutions, which has two locations in South Dublin, offers a range of services under three core pillars:

  • Live Events – Avtek’s traditional business of delivering creative and technical services for indoor and outdoor events in Ireland and abroad
  • Systems Integration – Eurotek’s established business of designing, supplying, installing and managing broadcast television, AV and digital equipment
  • Managed Services – The provision of manpower and expertise in an outsourced model from the combined Avtek and Eurotek teams

John Roche, Group CEO of Ion Solutions, says:

“This is a very exciting time for our business. Ion Solutions brings together a diverse skill set across a range of areas and allows us to offer a broader range of services that totally sets us apart from our domestic and international competitors. Innovation is at the very core of what we do and we will continue to invest in state of the art equipment and technology to ensure the best quality products and customer service. We also have a strategic growth plan in place to develop the business, both organically and through acquisitions and we also intend to enter a number of new markets across Europe in the coming 18 months.”


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Core Knowledge launches 2018 training course schedule

  • Topics include Data Science, Programmatics, Behavioural Economics, Precision Advertising, Social Influencers and much more
  • All courses presented by practitioners who plan marketing and communications campaigns every day


Are you a media, marketing, advertising or creative professional who would like to upskill in 2018?

If so, check out the new training course schedule for 2018 just released by Core Knowledge, the training arm of Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications group. All courses offer exposure to the latest trends and burning issues in the communications arena – and take place in a fun and engaging atmosphere.

Each course delivers relevant, practical and up-to-date training on a range of topics such as Data Science, Programmatics, Digital Media, Social Influencers, Content Marketing, Behavioural Economics and Sponsorship. Anyone interested in learning how to conduct a meaningful and engaging radio or television interview can also book the ‘Media Interview Skills’ course which will be delivered in a real broadcast studio.

Held at regular intervals throughout 2018, each course is presented by practitioners in their field who plan, manage and activate award winning marketing and communication campaigns every day. Courses usually last a half day and consist of lectures, group work, case study examples and live demos.

Below is the list of courses available for 2018 and full details for each is available at


Media / Digital Media:

  • Media Owners are from Mars and Media Agencies are from Venus
  • Media on a shoestring
  • De-mystifying Media Buying
  • The Domestic Media Market
  • Digital Media – The Fundamentals
  • Digital Media – Advanced
  • Google Analytics
  • AV – The New TV
  • Social Influencers- A New Media Channel



  • How to set a Marketing Budget
  • Marketing in a Mobile World
  • Conquer Content Marketing for your Brand
  • Applying behavioural economics to your Marketing Strategy
  • Data Science for Marketers
  • Precision Creative
  • How Programmatic Can Impact your Brand
  • Sponsorship – A Powerful Marketing Tool


Presentation / Media Interview Skills:

  • Media Interview Skills
  • Presentation Skills


Áine Dilleen, Business Development Manager at Core Knowledge, says: “We’re delighted to launch our schedule for 2018 which will provide excellent opportunities for those looking to broaden their knowledge of the media, advertising, creative and marketing industries. We understand the face paced world of communications, and that’s why our courses are short, interactive and, most importantly, as up to date as you’ll get. Each session is live and collaborative, so your issues can be explored and your questions answered. We also prioritise learning outcomes meaning all our courses offer practical insights that can be translated into real business advantage.”


For further details, please check out


Atlas of the Irish Revolution’ by John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and Dr. John Borgonovo named as the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year 2017


‘Atlas of the Irish Revolution’, a book which tells the full story of Ireland’s revolutionary history from 1913 to 1923, has been voted the ‘Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year’ for 2017.

The ‘Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year 2017’ was chosen by a public vote from the list of category winners announced at the recent Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. Previous winners of this award include ‘Solar Bones’ by Mike McCormack ‘Asking for it’ by Louise O’Neill, ‘Academy Street’ by Mary Costello, ‘Staring at Lakes’ by Michael Harding, ‘The Spinning Heart’ by Donal Ryan and ‘Solace’ by Belinda McKeon.

Published by Cork University Press, ‘Atlas of the Irish Revolution’ is a definitive resource that brings to life this pivotal moment in Irish history and nation-building. It draws together existing and ongoing research into the revolutionary period in a broad ranging and inclusive manner. It also includes contributions from leading scholars across a range of disciplines.

A chronologically and thematically organised treatment of the period, the book contains an analysis of conditions in the provinces, counties and parishes, telling the stories of particular individuals and families caught up in the events of these years. It also includes sections on the evolution of the revolution, and on its aftermath, legacy and the collective memory and cultural representation of this fascinating, transformative period of Irish history.

Dr John Crowley, one of the books editors, from the Department of Geography in UCC who worked alongside Donál Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and associate editor John Borgonovo on the Atlas of the Irish Revolution said:

‘We are very honoured to receive this award. The 1916 centenary clearly revealed not only Irish people’s appetite for understanding their history but more importantly their place in that history. The Atlas of the Irish Revolution builds on that sense of connection and public engagement by providing new ways of seeing the revolutionary period. The 300+ maps in the atlas along with the hundreds of other images create a unique portal through which local communities can engage with pivotal events in their own history. The atlas speaks to a deep interest amongst Irish people in learning about their past and we are indeed grateful that they have supported this project in such vast numbers.’ 

Now in its 12th year, the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards was founded to celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings together a huge community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise and celebrate the very best of Irish writing talent.

The Awards consist of 15 categories including Novel of the Year, Children’s, Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry and the new Teen and Young Adult category