The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition unveiled as official media partner of the Guinness PRO14 Final Series

PRO14 Rugby, The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition have launched their partnership ahead of the first ever Guinness PRO14 Final at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on May 26, 2018. The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition will act as the official media partners for all six games in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series for 2018.

Fans of the Guinness PRO14 as well as readers and subscribers of The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition will benefit from exclusive offers, bespoke events and premium content as the anticipation intensifies ahead of this season’s showcase game at Aviva Stadium – visit or for more.

It is an historic season for the Guinness PRO14 after the Championship’s expansion into South Africa, which now sees the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings compete across hemispheres against teams from Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

With their world-class sports journalists and a stable of former international players and coaches available to provide insight and expert analysis, The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition will be able to provide their readers, subscribers and Guinness PRO14 fans with the best coverage in the run up to the Final on May 26.

From Monday to Saturday, The Times, Ireland Edition delivers sports news and opinions from their expert team which includes Ronan Early, Garry Doyle and Ewan McKenna and Enda McEvoy. The Sunday Times offers an in-depth and authoritative mix of sport from reporters such as Peter O’Reilly, Stephen Jones and Christy O’Connor.

Dermot Rigley, Commercial and Marketing Director for PRO14 Rugby, was thrilled to unveil The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition as the latest partner for the Final Series: 

“The Times brand is known right across the world for its excellence and now that the Guinness PRO14 has become a truly global rugby Championship featuring some of the best players in game, it’s an ideal fit.”

“The excitement around the Guinness PRO14 has never been greater. The Championship is more competitive and unpredictable than ever, scoring is up, so too are attendances and viewership while our clubs are getting great results in European competition. On top of that, ticket sales for the Guinness PRO14 Final are really strong so we’re certainly the rugby tournament that has everyone talking and that will provide great content for readers and subscribers of The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition.

Oliver Keenaghan, General Manager with News Ireland, says:  

“We are particularly delighted to be working as media partners to the Guinness PRO14 Final Series for 2018. The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition are known for their high quality reporting and analysis on a broad range of sports and rugby plays a central role in the sports’ coverage of both products. We look forward to some top-class games over the coming months.” 

Ronan Early, Sports Editor with The Times, Ireland Edition, says:

“The Times, Ireland Edition invests in high-quality rugby, reporting day after day. We complement this by employing the best columnists in the business, Donncha O’Callaghan and Eddie O’Sullivan. We see rugby as a priority and as such, we are delighted to work as media partners to the Guinness PRO14.” 


For more information about exclusive offers, content and events follow PRO14 Rugby and The Times’ digital channels:



Twitter:            @PRO14Official                       @SunTimesIreland       @thetimesIE

Facebook:       @PRO14Official                       @thetimesIE


ABOUT THE GUINNESS PRO14 CHAMPIONSHIP: The Guinness PRO14 Championship is made up of 14 clubs – four Irish, four Welsh, two Scottish, two Italian and for the first time this season two South African teams. Teams play a total of 21 games in the regular season across two conferences with the six top-ranked teams qualifying for the Guinness PRO14 Final Series.

A total of 295 International players appeared in the Guinness PRO12 during the 2016/17 season with 26 players from the Championship called up to the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.


ABOUT THE GUINNESS PRO14 FINAL SERIES: The Championship knock-out stages consist of six games in total. A Play-Off match to earn the seventh European Champions Cup place; two Semi-Final qualifiers, two Semi-Finals and the Guinness PRO14 Final.

The 2nd Placed teams from each Conference will host Semi-Final Qualifiers against the 3rd Placed teams from their opposing Conferences. The winners of those games play away to the 1st Placed Teams from Conference A and Conference B in the Semi-Finals with the winners reaching the Guinness PRO14 Final.

The Champions Cup Play-Off game will be contested by the highest ranked teams from each Conference who have not automatically qualified for the Champions Cup. The team with the highest points total will be awarded home advantage with the winner qualifying for the European Champions Cup as the seventh-ranked team from the Guinness PRO14.




The print edition of the Ireland edition of The Times 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.

In addition to providing a unique perspective on Irish news and sport, The Times, Ireland Edition ensures readers are always in the know about the global news agenda due to the wealth of content generated by over 200 journalists in London and 36 correspondents across six continents, all complemented by superb contributions from international names such as Caitlin Moran and Giles Coren.



The Times, Ireland Edition and The Sunday Times

Know your times or follow us on @thetimesIE

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.”


For more information and regular updates, check out or

follow us on Twitter @_IonSolutionsLtd


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