Affidea Clinic in Naas wins Affinity award from the European-wide Affidea organisation in recognition of the team’s outstanding approach to patient care

  • Award win follows €1.8m investment in the Naas clinic over past four years, with diagnostic capacity at the clinic doubling in that time
  • New ExpressCare Clinic now operational at Affidea Naas

The Affidea Clinic in Naas, part of Affidea Ireland, has received an Affinity Award from the European-wide Affidea organisation, which is a leading leading independent provider of diagnostic imaging and outpatient services.

The team at the Affidea Clinic in Naas received the award in recognition of its steadfast commitment to advancing patient care and providing superior customer service when it came to treating a child with autisim.

When the patient with autism was due to undergo an MRI scan, the centre manager, together with the Radiographer, ensured that the patient’s mother had the confidence and trust in the team to ensure that the scan could go ahead as smoothly as possible for the child.

The Naas Clinic beat off stiff competition from other Affidea clinics across Europe to be selected as the overall winner of the Affidea Affinity Award which was borne out of what the name Affidea stands for:

  • Affinity with Doctors and patients. Recognises our priority for the concerns, feelings and emotions of our patients. Through our services, we help Doctors to provide excellent care for their patients.
  • Fidelity and trust in everything we do – through our high-quality care and the best standards of patient safety we are able to reinforce the trust that our patients and Doctors have in us.
  • Idea – constant progress through new ideas and innovation. Highlights our constant organizational learning and adoption of the latest technologies and digital solutions to provide the best quality and medical care.

Affidea Ireland is part of the European Group which operates a network of 269 diagnostic imaging, outpatient and cancer-care centres in 16 countries across Europe. Focused on providing high quality affordable care, Affidea sees over 7 million patients per year across Europe, performs over 14 million examinations annually and works with over 9,000 professionals, of which 3000 are medical doctors.

Affidea Ireland operates the youngest and most modern fleet of MRI facilities within the Leinster region with an average age of less than three years, enabling it to provide high end diagnostic imaging in modern, comfortable settings. In 2018, the company provided medical services to over 200,000 people in Ireland and that number will grow further in 2019.

Giuseppe Recchi, Affidea Group CEO, says: “When a young patient who was severely autistic booked for an MRI scan, our centre manager, together with the Radiographer provided a level of unrivalled care in their approach to ensuring both mother and child were totally comfortable and at ease before proceeding with the scan. 

“They scheduled the patient for the last appointment of the day, lights were dimmed in the clinic and unnecessary background noise was reduced. The scan was performed successfully with careful guiding by the Radiographer. For their caring attitude and action in a professional and empathetic way, I am very proud to present the Affinity Award to the Naas Team, Ireland.”

Barry DownesCEO of Affidea Ireland, says“Undergoing an MRI scan can be nervous experience for any patient. In this particular case it wasn’t just the child who benefitted as a patient – can you imagine trying to seek medical assistance for a child that will be reliant on its parents all its life, that must place a significant burden on any parent.

“Following the actions of the team here in Naas, the sense of relief for the parents was immense – their child was now able to access the medical diagnostics it required. The Naas team enabled this not through technology or through process but by displaying humanity and compassion. Their actions that day really demonstrated what it means to have affinity with our patients – their actions were the physical embodiment of our core values.”

Affidea recently invested €500,000 in the establishment of an ExpressCare Clinic in Naas, co-located with Affidea’s existing diagnostic clinic in the town. ExpressCare clinics by Affidea are ‘walk in’ facilities that treat minor injuries and illnesses that don’t require a hospital visit. The business already operates an ExpressCare Clinic in Tallaght, just 200 metres from Tallaght University Hospital, Northwood Business Park in Santry and at The Elysian in Cork.

The investment in the new faciliity in Naas is part of an overall €1.8 million investment by the company in the Naas clinic over the last four years, with diagnostic capacity at the clinic doubling in that time.

As well as operating the four ExpressCare Clinics in Dublin, Cork and now Naas, Affidea also has ten state-of-the-art diagnostic centres* and two managed hospital services across the country that provide MRI, CT, Ultrasound, X-Ray and DEXA scan facilities*. This offers patients unrivalled access to advanced diagnostic imaging which has previously been an issue in Irish healthcare.

For more details, check out www.affidea.ie or

follow @AffideaIreland on Twitter and Facebook

The Halloween terror begins as HalloweenFM.ie creeps onto web and mobile

  • Ireland’s first ever Halloween radio station to broadcast online at HalloweenFM.ie – with thanks to Fanta.
  • HalloweenFM.ie is the scary soundtrack to all your Halloween parties this terrifying season and promises to bring you the nightmare of Halloween!

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HalloweenFM.ie, Ireland’s first ever Halloween radio station, is ready to make you jump with fright as it launches for the first time ever today! The nightmare pop-up station is airing online from 1pm and will be online for the next 10 days. The digital station will be playing wickedly good music and will be the perfect soundtrack to all your Halloween celebrations.

Brought to you by Fanta, listeners will get to enjoy a wide range of music from a mix of upbeat Halloween-inspired hits to a collection of spooky songs and classics. You will hear a host of familiar voices presenting on the station for the 10-day period, ensuring you get in the mood for Halloween 2019.

HalloweenFM.ie will also boast a range of extra content that will help you make this Halloween the most memorable yet. They include the ‘Sixty Second Scare’ and the ‘Monster Movie Minute’! You can also find out about all the best terrifying Halloween events that are happening around Ireland to make sure you don’t miss out on making the most of the adrenaline driven holiday.

Fionnuala Moran; Fanta Ambassador, journalist and social media star, will be taking over ‘Nightmare Nights’ each night from 7pm – 11pm getting you pumped to head out to Spooktacular party nights. ‘Nightmare Nights’ She will be joined by a selection of other shows including ‘The bloody breakfast Show’ with well-known radio host Adrienne O’Hora, ‘Midday Madness’ with Lucianne Hughes and ‘Drive from Hell’ with Ryan O’Neill. Each show will be championed by a range of features and guests, not to mention all your favorite wickedly good hits such as ‘Sweet but Pyscho’ – Ava Max, ‘Bad Guy’ – Billie Ellish and of course, all the Halloween classics including Ray Parker Jnr’s “Ghostbusters”.

Daragh O’Sullivan, Joint Programme Director of HalloweenFM.ie, says:

“We are delighted to bring HalloweenFM.ie online for the first time ever. We are really looking forward to giving listeners a music monster with a feeling and flavour of Halloween delivered through our unique mix of content at halloweenfm.ie.”

In addition to bringing Halloween FM to the airwaves, Fanta has launched its new limited-edition blood orange flavour – Dark Orange. The new drink is full of flavour, but with a terrifying twist – instead of its usual vibrant orange colour, Fanta has been transformed with a striking new jet black colour to create the scariest Fanta flavour yet.

Fanta are premier HalloweenFM.ie sponsors. Eimhear Daly, Brand Manager at Coca-Cola Ireland, says:

“Fanta has a longstanding relationship with Halloween. This year we are thrilled to bring people closer to the Halloween action than ever before, for the first time you will be able to listen to halloweenfm.ie – a digital first for the brand! Fanta is very excited to also have a limited-edition flavour launching nationwide – delicious Dark Orange, scary snapchat filters available on all packs and exciting partnerships taking place. Make sure to keep your eyes and ears open for the spooky Fanta activity happening – if you dare!”

The station will broadcast from the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin.

HalloweenFM.ie is available online, on your mobile, on your smart speaker and at www.halloweenfm.ie.

MediaCom is Fanta’s media agency.

Follow our socials and hashtag for updates and more

Facebook: @halloweenfmireland

Twitter: @halloweenfmie

Instagram: @halloweenfmireland

#FantaHalloween

HalloweenFM.ie and Fanta – Bringing you the Nightmare of Halloween

AirSpeed Telecom’s High-Speed Broadband Enables Webmill Digital Hub in Mountmellick

Diverse connectivity ensures reliable broadband for state-of-the-art co-working facility

AirSpeed Telecom, a leading provider of high-performance telecommunications products and services to enterprise, public sector and small to medium sized businesses is now delivering high-speed broadband to a brand-new digital hub, Webmill, in Mountmellick, Co. Laois.

Webmill is located in the MDA Business Park, Irishtown, Mountmellick Co. Laois, ten minutes from the motorway networks

The Webmill facility is designed to enable co-working and has 44 desks, meeting rooms, a chill space, as well as privacy booths available on site. The backbone of this facility is AirSpeed Telecom’s always-on, high-speed broadband. In addition, the bandwidth is scalable and will allow Webmill to expand, depending on future needs.

Paddy Buggy, Manager of the Mountmellick Development Association, where Webmill is based, says: 

We didn’t want to wait for the right opportunity, we wanted to create it. Rather than endure long commutes and daily congestion, residents of Webmill can choose to live and work in places that they can walk or cycle to, which are connected by reliable broadband and state-of-the-art technology.

“We’ve created a facility that allows entrepreneurs and employees to use collaborative spaces, co-working spaces, mingle with other entrepreneurs and have efficient access to everything from insights into the latest technology to legal and financial advice.”

David O’Connor, AirSpeed Telecom Account Manager, says: 

“AirSpeed Telecom is proud to be working with Webmill and we congratulate them on their recent launch. I’m sure Webmill will be a success delivering new business ideas and initiatives, as well as supporting those who desire a shorter commute to enhance their quality of life. It’s a fantastic community initiative and the Mountmellick Development Association should be very proud of this achievement.”

“We recognise the criticality of reliable, always-on, high-speed broadband to the Webmill offering and we have delivered a diverse solution that is robust and ensures consistent bandwidth to the site.”

Webmill is part of the Mountmellick Development Association Ltd group of businesses.

UPMC Whitfield Hospital launches Sports Medicine Roadshow at WIT Arena

  • Roadshow brings together more than 600 healthcare professionals to discuss preventative and rehabilitative injury strategies across 5 counties
  • Free Waterford event will be of interest to local GPs, coaches and sports medicine professionals involved in GAA, rugby, soccer and other sports

UPMC Whitfield Hospital, the largest private hospital in the South East, has announced the launch of its inaugural Sports Medicine Roadshow, which will be held in five venues over the coming weeks in Waterford, Limerick, Galway, Carlow and Cork. The roadshow will bring together over 600 healthcare professionals from diverse disciplines with a specialist interest in sports medicine to discuss best practice in injury prevention and rehabilitation.

The events are free to attend and will be of interest to local GPs, sports doctors, physios and coaches and managers involved in GAA, rugby, soccer, athletics and other sports. Speakers will include leading sports doctors, physiotherapists, concussion, nutrition and orthopaedic specialists, and strength and conditioning professionals.

The Waterford roadshow, taking place at WIT Arena on 23 October, will focus on foot and ankle, knee, hip and groin and concussion injuries, as well as strength and conditioning. Waterford and Ballygunner hurler Wayne Hutchinson will discuss ‘Managing Chronic Injury from a Player’s Perspective’.

Discussing the launch of the roadshow, Mr. Patrick Carton, Orthopaedic Consultant at UPMC Whitfield Hospital and convenor of the Sports Medicine Roadshow, said: “This exciting event brings together some of Ireland’s leading medical practitioners to pool knowledge and discuss the best surgical and non-surgical approaches to the most common sports injuries affecting our athletes.

“With events in five different counties it’s a fantastic opportunity for local GPs, physios and doctors, as well as managers and coaches, to learn more about athlete welfare and injury prevention.

“I hope that everyone involved in the Sports Medicine Roadshow this year will continue to actively participate in helping us to develop a working Sports Medicine Network across Ireland that will allow athletes to have local and timely access to high-quality diagnostics and treatments.”

Located in Waterford, UPMC Whitfield has over 50 expert consultants working across a range of specialties including radiotherapy, cardiology, orthopaedics, sports medicine, concussion,  ophthalmology, oncology / haematology, radiology, ear, nose and throat, gynaecology, urology and general surgery. These are supported by a wider team of dedicated medical, nursing and administration staff to ensure the 70-bed hospital offers patients the right care, in the right way, at the right time – in a first-class facility that is close to home.

UPMC’s services and facilities in Ireland also include the UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre, which has locations in Waterford and Cork; UPMC Carlow Outreach Centre, which opens at Shamrock Plaza in Carlow next month; and the UPMC Concussion Network, the first countrywide network of healthcare providers for the diagnosis and treatment of concussion. 

The UPMC Whitfield campus is operated by UPMC, the international not-for-profit healthcare company that is transforming the way healthcare is provided. Already trusted by millions of patients across the world, the company operates 40 hospitals, as well as 600 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and is now delivering this global expertise to those living in the South East of Ireland.

Event:                          UPMC Sports Medicine Roadshow – Waterford

Date / Time:                 6pm – 9pm on Wednesday 23rd October

Location:                      WIT Arena, WIT West Campus, Carriganore, Waterford

Register:                      Attendance is free and open to all, but registration is required as places are limited – https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/upmc-sports-medicine-roadshow-waterford-tickets-71342113181

www.UPMCWhitfield.ie

@UPMCWhitfield

The Sunday Times ‘On the Shelf’ video series features Irish crime author Catherine Ryan Howard in latest episode

  • Series features Eithne Shortall, author and Chief Arts Correspondent with The Sunday Times, interviewing, Donal Ryan, Patricia Scanlan, Joseph O’Connor, Shane Hegarty and John Connolly to find out what books have influenced them
  • Bewley’s teams up with The Sunday Times to support ‘On the Shelf’

Catherine Ryan Howard, the internationally acclaimed bestselling crime writer, is the guest on the latest episode, of ‘On the Shelf’, a new online video series from The Sunday Times which features interviews with well-known Irish authors.

In ‘On the Shelf’, Eithne Shortall – Chief Arts Correspondent with The Sunday Times and a novelist in her own right – visits authors in their homes and writing rooms to check out what books line their bookshelves. Over a cup of Bewley’s tea or coffee with Eithne, they then reveal their five favourite books – the ones that influenced them, made them laugh, cry or perhaps want to become a writer in the first place. The authors also chat about their career, goals and hopes for the future.

In the latest episode, which is out the 20th October, Catherine Ryan Howard reveals what books have inspired, amused and entertained her over the years.

Other interviewees in the series include:

  • Joseph O’Connor, journalist, lecturer and award winning contemporary and historical novelist
  • Donal Ryan, twice longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
  • Patricia Scanlan, bestselling author of over twenty books
  • Shane Hegarty, author of the author of the tremendously popular Darkmouthseries
  • John Connolly, the Sunday Times, Irish Times, New York Times bestselling Irish author of the Charlie Parker novels

Underlying The Sunday Times commitment to books and authors every week in the newspaper’s Culture supplement, ‘On the Shelf’ is made in association with Bewley’s because a cuppa and a great book are the perfect combination!

Karen Price, Creative Director with News Ireland, said: “The aim of the campaign is to acknowledge and celebrate the pivotal role that writing and reading plays in all aspects of Irish life, while acknowledging the breadth of brilliant writing talent in this country. Authors and books are at the heart of feature coverage in The Sunday Times and this is why we want to encourage more people to pick up a book and enjoy the pleasure of reading.”

Jason Doyle, Managing Director of Bewley’s added: “Bewley’s has a long-celebrated history of bringing artists and creatives from all walks of life together to share experiences and be inspired.”

“Bewley’s Grafton Street has played an important and historic role in Irish literary, cultural and social life with connections to Irish writers and artists; Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce to name a few. Our partnership with The Sunday Times gives us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our literary heritage in the modern era with a new audience. We are hugely excited to be playing a part in this series championing contemporary Irish authors.”

To find out more about ‘On the Shelf’ and to watch the videos, please visit thetimes.ie/OnTheShelf or search for #ST_OnTheShelf on The Sunday Times Facebook or YouTube page:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcpMeZQ2GCPcnT3E0wsJEQ

https://www.facebook.com/thetimesIE/

#ST_OnTheShelf

Irish SMEs struggling more with rising costs than international competitors, according to new study from Bibby Financial Services

  • 49% of Irish businesses cite rising costs as their greatest challenge to growth – compared to global average of 42%
  • 38% of Irish SMEs are struggling with cashflow, again above global average of 32%, and less than half expect growth in 2020
  • Rising costs, government regulation and cashflow are the top three issues facing small businesses

Small businesses around the world have described rising costs as their greatest challenge, and the problem is particularly acute in Ireland, where 49% of SMEs cited it as the major obstacle to business growth, compared to the global average of 42%. This is according to the latest Global Business Monitor, published by Bibby Financial Services, a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SMEs and Euler Hermes, a global leader in trade credit insurance.

Irish SMEs are also more likely to be struggling with cashflow than their international competitors, with well over a third (38%) highlighting it as a significant issue, and less than half expecting a growth in sales in 2020.

The report also highlights the SME sector’s outlook when it comes to the impact of geo-political uncertainty. 72% of Irish businesses feel Brexit is the biggest threat to global economic growth, followed by the political situation in the US and the rise of protectionist economic policies worldwide.

Of those Irish SMEs trading internationally, the UK continues to represent best value and the greatest opportunity, followed by the US and Germany, Spain and France. But with Brexit on the horizon, almost two fifths (39%) of Irish SMEs say they are considering export markets beyond the UK.

However, 82% of businesses believe they face some form of challenge in trading internationally, most notably foreign exchange fluctuations, with 21% of SMEs citing this as a key factor.

The Global Business Monitor, produced by Bibby Financial Services, is an international survey of over 2,300 small and medium-sized enterprises across thirteen countries: Ireland, the UK, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Belgium, Germany, Slovakia and the Netherlands.

Across these markets Irish SMEs are the fourth most optimistic about the performance of their domestic economy, with 57% of SMEs believing it to be good, down 10% since the last survey in 2017. The strong performance of the Irish economy, particularly as it nears full-employment, has also caused challenges for SMEs, with 50% describing it as ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to find qualified staff.

Over half (53%) of SMEs reported a growth in sales over the last year, and, looking ahead, and despite the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, 49% of SMEs expect sales to increase in the next twelve months. Of those expecting growth, 72% expect it to come from an increase in their number of new customers.

The report also shows that rising costs and overheads are the greatest challenge facing Irish SMEs, with the proportion of businesses that feel Government policy is favourable to them dropping by more than half – down from 18% in 2017 to just 9%.

Availability of finance remains a key concern, with only 21% of respondents considering it excellent or good, down from 33% in 2017, and an increase in the number of businesses rejected for external finance (19% in 2019, up from 10% in 2017).

When asked what area is most problematic for managing cashflow, 42% cited difficulties collecting payment from customers on time. In addition, 30% suffered a bad debt in the last year, and the average amount lost was €26,603.

While the European Central Bank has so far declined to raise interest rates, 50% of Irish businesses feel they would be negatively affected and it would hinder business growth.

Mark O’Rourke, Managing Director at Bibby Financial Services Ireland, said: “The strong performance of the Irish economy to date has meant that Irish SMEs continue to be largely optimistic about trading in post-Brexit domestic and international markets when compared to their international competitors.

“However there is a risk that underinvestment in preparation for Brexit will have a damaging effect on the sector and for Irish businesses, with few SMEs having the resources to put specific contingency plans in place. Our research also indicates that more SMEs are being rejected for external finance by traditional lenders.

“It’s therefore more important than ever that SMEs look beyond the major banks to consider a wider range of financing options, which are typically better suited to the needs of smaller businesses.”

David Postings, Global CEO of Bibby Financial Services, said: “It’s clear that SMEs around the world are becoming accustomed to global uncertainty and many are taking matters into their own hands, investing in capability and expansion.

“However, the impacts of geopolitical events such as the U.S. and China trade war, and Brexit, are already impacting costs significantly. This cost inflation is contagious due to the interconnected supply-chains in which small businesses operate. Ultimately, smaller businesses will need to pass these costs on to customers, but in the short term – at least – this situation has a hugely detrimental impact on cashflow levels.”

Ludovic Subran, Global Chief Economist, Euler Hermes, added: “As the risks of a recession rise and global GDP is expected to grow at its slowest pace since 2009 in 2020 (+2.4%), it is all the more important that SMEs have virtuous payment loops to avoid going bust. Global insolvencies are expected to rise by 8% in 2020 for the fourth consecutive year, and one in four bankruptcies for SMEs comes from a non-payment.”

About Bibby Financial Services Ireland

Bibby Financial Services Ireland is a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SMEs. The company helps businesses to thrive and grow in domestic and international markets by providing tailored and flexible funding solutions for a range of scenarios including cashflow funding, new equipment purchase, growth and expansion, management buy-ins and buy-outs, refinancing, corporate restructuring and mergers and acquisitions.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland’s funding portfolio includes confidential invoice, trade and export finance, foreign exchange services, bad debt protection and specialist funding for a range of sectors. With a 95% client satisfaction rating, our clients have confidence that we support their business.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland is part of Bibby Financial Services Group, a leading global financial services partner operating in 40 locations across 14 countries. With 40 years’ experience, the business has a funding capability that exceeds £1 billion and an annual collective client turnover of £10.1 billion.

About Euler Hermes

Euler Hermes is the global leader in trade credit insurance and a recognised specialist in the areas of surety, collections, structured trade credit and political risk. Our proprietary intelligence network analyses daily changes in corporate solvency representing 92% of global GDP. We give companies the confidence to trade, and be paid. We compensate your company in the event of a bad debt, but more importantly, we help you avoid bad debt in the first place. Whenever we provide trade credit insurance or other finance solutions, our priority is predictive protection. But, when the unexpected arrives, our AA credit rating means we have the resources, backed by Allianz to provide compensation to maintain your business. Headquartered in Paris, Euler Hermes is present in 50+ countries with 5,800 employees. In 2018, our consolidated turnover was €2.7 billion and insured global business transactions represented €962 billion in exposure.

For more information, please visit: www.eulerhermes.com 

The Bibby Financial Services Global Business Monitor 2019 is available here:

https://www.bibbyfinancialservices.ie/about-us/news-and-insights/reports/2019/global-business-monitor

For more information about Bibby Financial Services Ireland, please visit: www.bibbyfinancialservices.ie

Find us on Linkedin @Bibby Ireland or follow us on Twitter @BibbyFinanceIE

HalloweenFM.ie will bring you the nightmare of Halloween

  • Ireland’s first ever Halloween radio station to broadcast online at halloweenFM.ie from 23rd October to 1st November – brought to you by Fanta

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HalloweenFM.ie, Ireland’s first ever Halloween radio station, will creep online from 23rd October to bring you the nightmare of Halloween for 10 days. The digital station promises to play wickedly good music and will be the soundtrack to all your Halloween celebrations.

Brought to you by Fanta, listeners will get to enjoy a wide range of music from a mix of upbeat Halloween-inspired hits to a collection of spooky songs and classics. You will hear a host of familiar voices presenting on the station for the 10-day period ensuring you get in the mood for Halloween 2019.

HalloweenFM.ie will also boast a range of extra content that will help you make this Halloween the most memorable yet. They include the ‘Sixty Second Scare’ and the ‘Monster Movie Minute’! You can also find out about all the best terrifying Halloween events that are happening around Ireland to make sure you don’t miss out on making the most of the adrenaline driven holiday.

Daragh O’Sullivan, Joint Programme Director of HalloweenFM.ie, says:

“We are delighted to bring HalloweenFM.ie online for the first time ever. We are really looking forward to giving listeners a music monster with a feeling and flavour of Halloween delivered through our unique mix of content at halloweenfm.ie.”

Fanta are premier HalloweenFM.ie sponsors. Eimhear Daly, Brand Manager at Coca-Cola Ireland, says:

“Fanta has a longstanding relationship with Halloween. This year we are thrilled to bring people closer to the Halloween action than ever before, for the first time you will be able to listen to halloweenfm.ie – a digital first for the brand! Fanta is very excited to also have a limited-edition flavour launching nationwide – delicious Dark Orange, scary snapchat filters available on all packs and exciting partnerships taking place. Make sure to keep your eyes and ears open for the spooky Fanta activity happening – if you dare!”

The station will broadcast from the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin.

HalloweenFM.ie is available online, on your mobile, on your smart speaker and at www.halloweenfm.ie.

MediaCom is Fanta’s media agency.

Follow our socials and hashtag for updates and more

Facebook: @halloweenfmireland

Twitter: @halloweenfmireland

Instagram: @halloweenfmireland

#FantaHalloween

HalloweenFM.ie and Fanta – Bringing you the Nightmare of Halloween

Enet investing €1m in new state-of-the-art headquarters facility in Limerick

Enet, Ireland’s largest wholesale, open-access network provider, is investing €1m in a new state-of-the-art headquarters facility in Limerick. The business, which has offices in Limerick and Dublin, will move from its existing premises to a new standalone 14,000 sq ft location at National Technological Park, Plassey in early 2020.

Enet has been headquartered in Limerick since the company was founded in 2004 and the business currently has over 120 employees across the Limerick and Dublin offices, with 75 located in Limerick. The new office space will accommodate the ongoing expansion of the business and will also include a new high-tech Network Operations Centre (NOC) that will continue to operate 24//7, as well as a dedicated data centre.

Peter McCarthy, Enet Group CEO, says this is a very exciting time for the business: “We are incredibly excited about expanding our footprint in Limerick with this new state-of-the-art facility. In fact, we are doubling the size of the premises we have in Limerick, making it the most significant investment the company has made in terms of a building redevelopment to date.

“This commitment is evidence of Enet’s continued growth, and we look forward to seeing the pioneering work that will come as a direct result of this investment.”

In Limerick City alone, the fibre network operated by Enet, known as the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), provides connectivity to thirty retail service providers and has allowed for greater choice, quality and competitiveness of broadband services in the area. The high quality of the MAN and the high-bandwidth services available over the network has played an important role in the city securing a significant share of foreign direct investment.

“Enet has never said that the MANs directly create FDI jobs, however, the networks certainly play a pivotal role in removing any telecoms or bandwidth barriers. The networks and the world-class service available allow Irish cities and towns to complete on a global scale. The success of this strategy is dramatically underlined by the performance of the Limerick MAN, which is one of the largest of the MANs in the country,” Mr. McCarthy added.

Enet currently works with over 80 different service providers to bring high-quality bandwidth connectivity to more than one million end users throughout Ireland.

Increase in non-residential stamp duty is disappointing says Lisney

Ireland’s largest independently-owned property advisory company gives its reaction to Budget 2020

Lisney, Ireland’s largest independently-owned estate agents, has welcomed many aspects of Budget 2020, which was delivered by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe TD today.

There are a number of elements pertaining to the property market that are positive, in particular:

  • The retention of the Help-To-Buy scheme
  • The inheritance tax threshold increases
  • The additional funding for the Land Development Agency, the Serviced Site Fund and the Residential Tenancies Board
  • Confirmation of the current Corporation Tax rate 

However, in terms of the commercial property market, one of the most impactful and disappointing elements of Budget 2020 is the decision to increase commercial stamp duty by 1.5 percentage points to 7.5%.

According to Duncan Lyster, Managing Director of Lisney: “Today’s increase means that commercial property stamp duty has now increased 275% since October 2017; moving from 2% prior to Budget 2018 to 7.5% from tonight. The Irish market has traditionally been known for being relatively transparent and easy to transact in. This change will be seen as a measure that reduces liquidity and investor sentiment. It brings with it an added uncertainty. I am currently at Expo Real, a property and investment trade fare in Germany, and already I am hearing from investors that this begs the question of what’s next – what interventions will the Government make that impacts the property market in the coming years?

We are now seven years into this property market cycle and the decision to increase commercial property stamp duty is a very unwelcome intervention in the market. The Minister has clearly seen the extended run of significant property investment activity as a politically acceptable target to raise revenue. Stamp duty, as we saw in the last decade, is not a sustainable source of tax revenue as activity is likely to reduce as the cycle comes to an end. This measure may accelerate the end of this cycle. 

We reported this week that over €930m of deals were agreed at the end of Q3, which if not contracted are likely to see some renegotiation and price chipping to reflect the 25% increase in stamp duty.  Additionally, this measure will be seen by many investors who are in the process of selling or considering selling to benefit from the capital gains tax exemption (introduced in Budget 2011) as a form of clawback on the gains made. 

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

According to Duncan Lyster, Managing Director of Lisney:

“Minister Donohoe also spoke of changes to REITs in terms of new taxation measures, particularly in relation to capital gains and the distribution of proceeds from the disposal of a rental property. We don’t as yet have full details on these measures, but we await the specifics with interest.”

Help-to-Buy Scheme

Lisney strongly supports the decision to keep the help-to-buy scheme for first-time-buyers in its existing format for a further two years. 

According to Duncan Lyster, Managing Director of Lisney:

“Part of the decision to retain this scheme is likely to have come from the Parliamentary Budget Office report in September where it found that the scheme hadn’t had ‘a statistically significant impact on prices’. Our analysis shows that first-time-buyers purchasing a newly built home accounted for 8% of all transactions nationwide in the 12 months to July 2019 and in Dublin, it was 11%. In recent months we have noted that the uncertainty surrounding the future of the scheme has been a factor in a slowdown in residential construction. 

“In Dublin, the number of new residential units commencing construction in the year to June 2019 was 27% less than a year previous and nationwide it was 4% less. Extending the scheme will provide certainty to developers in terms of purchaser demand and means that they will continue to build homes. For first-time-buyers, it will allow them to get on the property ladder sooner and take many of them out of the rental market quicker, hence assisting the supply pressures that are in the part of the market.”

Capital Acquisitions Tax (Inheritance Tax)

While Lisney welcomes the fact that the Capital Acquisitions Tax threshold for tax-free inheritance or a gift increased by €15,000 in Budget 2020 for Group A (i.e. children), the firm does not believe this has gone far enough.   

According to Duncan Lyster, Managing Director of Lisney:

“This €15,000 increase brings the threshold for Group A recipients (children of the deceased or gift giver) to €335,000. While it is significantly higher than the €225,000 threshold in place between December 2012 and October 2015, it remains well below the €542,544 on offer pre-April 2009. The increase from the threshold prevailing at the bottom of the market represents an change of 49%. However, when viewed in the context of the inheritance of the family home, it should be remembered that in that period, house prices nationwide grew by 75%. Ideally, we’d like to see the threshold keeping up house prices.”

Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy launches ‘Fishers Inspired’ own brand clothing and accessories collection to celebrate 40 years in business

  • New collection features menswear range as well as merino, cashmere and lambswool accessories such as scarves, capes, throws and blankets
  • Styling workshops with Joanne Costello and Jill Blanc, an evening with rugby legend Ollie Campbell, skincare demos and a Silk Scarf Painting workshop among events taking place to celebrate 40th birthday
  • Were you born in 1979? Pop in for a free coffee and scone to celebrate your 40th!

Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy Ltd., a family-owned, award-winning department store located on a one-acre site in the heart of County Wicklow, has launched a new own brand clothing and accessories collection to celebrate 40 years in business.

Entitled ‘Fishers Inspired Collection’, the new range features menswear, as well as a wide range of accessories for ladies and men. The men’s shirt and knitwear offerings consist of classically tailored designs, along with some bolder styled items, while the range of soft chinos are the perfect base for any contemporary outfit. The ‘Fishers Inspired Collection’ also features an exquisite array of beautifully woven merino, cashmere and lambswool accessories such as scarves, capes, throws and blankets. More products will be added to the collection in the coming months.

Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy, which is located just 45 minutes from Dublin and open seven days a week, already features an extensive range of ladies’ smart, casual and lifestyle clothing, a menswear shop, children’s clothing, a giftware and homeware department as well as an extensive accessories section featuring jewellery, scarves, wraps, bags, hats, belts and lots more.

Brands stocked include Magee, Eden Park, Olsen, Columbia, Joules, Riverwoods, Part Two, Rabe, Baileys, Brook Taverner, Bruhl, Hatico, Seasalt, Noa Noa, Bianca, Betty Barclay, Red Cuckoo, Ria Organics, Jo Browne and Ireland’s Eye. Collections are available both instore and online at www.fishers.ie.

The beautiful 10,000 sq. ft. destination venue in the bustling village of Newtownmountkennedy also hosts the award-winning café and restaurant ‘Food at Fishers’, Salon H, a hair salon, and Beds of a Feather, a bed and bedding specialist store. A curated gallery and craft space called ‘The Schoolhouse Studio and Workshop’ is also available in-store, featuring local handmade art, crafts and photography, with artists regularly working, exhibiting and running workshops there. Extensive free parking is available on-site.

To coincide with their 40th anniversary, Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy is hosting a wide range of in-store events in the coming months such as:

  • Fashion shows showcasing the new collection
  • Styling workshops with Joanne Costello and Jill Blanc – featuring lots of advice and tips on how to embrace your individual style
  • A rugby, wine and menswear event with Ollie Campbell, the former Irish rugby player, wine expert Peter Crosse and Lynn Temple from Magee
  • ‘Natural Skincare’ featuring demonstrations from local brands Jo Browne, Meadows and Ria Organics
  • ‘Silk Scarf Painting’ – make your own silk scarf to take home
  • ‘Wire Art’ – make your own wire sculpture to take home

A range of special offers* will also be available in the coming months to mark the 40th birthday, including:

  • Were you born in 1979? We’d love to help you celebrate your 40th by offering you a tasty scone and hot drink, for free, in ‘Food at Fishers’. Just show your ID at the till to redeem your gift
  • 20% off the ‘Fishers Inspired’ collection
  • Buy three items and get a fourth free
  • A free scarf with every coat purchased
  • A bottle of bubbly with every purchase over €100
  • Fishers will also give customers a €10 gift voucher for every bag full of clothes donated for the ‘St. Vincent de Paul Bag Drop

Renowned for exemplary service, Fishers employs 22 people, with the entire team trained in all aspects of styling and image. A personal shopping service is available to customers at no extra cost, while an in-house seamstress offers an alteration and personalisation service for any garments bought in the store. A customer loyalty programme also offers a range of promotions, discounts and invitations to all in-store events.

The business recently carried out a significant upgrade of its store and grounds to enhance the overall shopping experience. Future plans include doubling the car parking facilities. And for those who can’t bear to leave the beautiful surrounds of Newtownmountkennedy, the old Schoolmasters House at Fishers, a charming self-catering cottage, is now available to rent.

Rebecca Harrison, Managing Director of Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy, says the 40th anniversary is a significant milestone for the store, and developing the new ‘Fishers Inspired’ own brand collection seemed a very appropriate way to mark the occasion.

“Having worked closely with our customers for over four decades, we have gained a unique insight into their expectations of quality, sustainability and durability. We know they are price conscious and want to be perfectly styled. The logical next step was to use this information to produce our own collection which, alongside our brand, will represent those same values. All of the items we sell are designed to stand the test of time as well as being timelessly stylish, and Fishers Inspired Collection will be no different. We love our new ‘Fishers Inspired Collection’ and look forward to adding to it in the coming months.”

For regular updates, check out www.fishers.ie, follow us on Twitter – @fishersofnmk

or find us on Facebook & Instagram @fishersofnewtownmountkennedy

*Specific dates and T&C’s apply – please check out www.fishers.ie/40 for all details