The Business

    Saturday 10 - 11am


    Saturday 25th April

    Lords of Strut

    Canada's world-famous Cirque du Soleil cashed in its chips this week, selling a majority stake to US and Chinese private investors, valuing the firm at $1.5bn. So, there’s yet another good reason to run away and join the circus... Cormac and Cian of circus act The Lords of Strut - who also run The Circus Factory in Cork - joined Richard in studio to talk about big top business.


    Having started out as a company which was run from their homes selling a range of baby products online, Martina Craine and Suzanne Brownes' Clevamama now has more than 80 products of their very own, and distribution centres in Dublin, Britain, China and Los Angeles. They've just returned from Russia where they've closed a major new deal...

    Noel Fitzpatrick, Supervet

    Noel Fitzpatrick got his first taste at a veterinary career at the age of 11, lambing on the family farm in Co. Laois . He has since gone on to set up a specialised orthopaedic company, Fitzpatrick Referrals in Surrey in the UK, which employs over 140 people, and he also fronts the very popular Supervet series on Channel 4.

    Alan Dukes

    What started out as a Freedom of Information request about the sale of Siteserv to a Denis O’Brien company in 2012 has mushroomed into a wide-ranging review of IBRC’s handling of a number of transactions prior to its liquidation. The row has also thrown a spotlight on tensions between the Dept of Finance and senior figures at IBRC during that period. Alan Dukes who was chairman of IBRC at that time.

    Saturday 18th April

    Our Vinyl Offer

    Staying with the music theme, it seems that vinyl is enjoying something of a renaissance… This week, for the first time, vinyl-only singles and albums charts for the UK made an appearance. Richard brought vinyl junkie and Deputy Editor of Hot Press, Stuart Clarke, into studio to get an appraisal of his mint condition, original pressing, 12-inch of New Order's 'Blue Monday'.

    First Contact Music

    Today is International Record Store Day, which shines a spotlight on the independent music shops around the world who have managed to survive the download revolution. But what about the bands who are trying to break into a notoriously cut-throat industry? Liam Geraghty met some musicians, and the woman they've been working with who is helping them to monetise their music and get that elusive big break...


    Movidius is an Irish company that specialises in developing vision-related hardware and software for mobile devices. They were in the news this week after landing an additional €37m in investment funding, and announcing plans to create 100 new jobs in the near future. It has even been suggested that the company might soon become Ireland's first homegrown billion euro business in quite some time. But it hasn't all been plain sailing, as co-founder and COO, Sean Mitchell, tells Richard.

    The Misfit Economy

    What do Somalian pirates, computer hackers, and inner city gang leaders have in common with the tech entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley? According to Kyra Maya Phillips - whose new book is 'The Misfit Economy' - the answer is that they are all innovators. She spoke to Richard from London about the lessons that businesses can learn from the black economy.

    John Boyle

    John Boyle grew up in Camlough, Co. Armagh, and after an extended stint as a bread van driver found himself having to reassess his life at the tender age of 25. He opened a bookmaker's shop in nearby Markethill that has now grown into the BoyleSports empire of 205 outlets, a thriving online business, and an annual turnover in excess of €1bn.

    Saturday 11th April

    Lack of Engagement in the Workplace

    A recent report states that 64% of Irish employees are not engaged in their work and a further 20% are actively disengaged. In other words, they hate their jobs. Why is this figure so high? What can employees and, more importantly, employers do about it? To shed some light on the whole matter of disgruntled employees career coach, Ronan Kennedy, joined Richard.

    How to Fly a Horse

    Kevin Ashton was a technology pioneer at MIT, and the leader of three successful start-up companies in the US. Based on his own experience and research on those around him, he has just written “How to fly a horse: the secret history of creation, invention and discovery”.

    Investing in Cider

    Heineken announced plans this week to invest €20 million over the next five years in a new cider, and C&C has declared that they will be restructuring their British operation… It seems that cider is enjoying something of a renaissance. The industry here is valued at €366m, and a growing number of craft producers are also keen to take a bite out of the market. Liam Geraghty went out to meet some of them…

    Fee Paying Schools

    Fee-paying schools were back in the news this week, after Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan revealed that she has been lobbied to remove a proposed cap on the enrolment of children of past pupils in the new School Admissions Bill. At a time when lots of couples are struggling to pay mortgages, taxes and various other day-to-day living expenses, why do some parents still choose to fork out, when the school around the corner can arguably provide an education every bit as good? Dympna Devine, Head of UCD's School of Education, and entrepreneur John Teeling, joined Richard in studio to discuss.

    Fiona Dawson

    Fiona Dawson is an Irishwoman who has risen through the ranks of a global business which employs 75,000 people and last year had sales of 33 billion euro. Operating in 74 different countries, Mars is one of the world’s biggest privately owned companies, manufacturing more than 100 different brands. Since January, Fiona has stepped into the role of Global President of the company’s Food, Drinks and Multi Sales division.

    Saturday 4th April

    The Egg Trade

    With Easter happening this weekend, we'll all be stocking up on a very specific seasonal treat. The ubiquitous chocolate egg had its roots in the tradition of giving real eggs at Easter in the past. But how is the business of real eggs going? Richard took a trip to Margaret Farrelly's “O'Egg” chicken farm in Mullagh Co. Cavan to find out if the free range market is all it’s cracked up to be?

    Insecure Employment

    Following on from the interview with Guy Standing, Richard was joined in studio by Gerald Flynn, employment specialist with Align Management Solutions, and journalist and commentator, Eamon Delaney, to discuss the new world order of insecure employment, zero benefits, and short-term contracts...

    The Precariat

    Staff at Dunnes Stores were on strike this week, in protest at their precarious contracts. Many of the workers are only guaranteed 15 hours pay a week, but have to be available at short notice for more. In the UK, such “zero hours” contracts have been very prevalent of late. Professor Guy Standing from the University of London has coined a term for the growing number of people from all backgrounds and professions who find their working lives ever-more precarious. He calls them “The Precariat”.

    An Irish-American Advertising Odyssey

    Anyone who watches the TV show Mad Men - which returns this week for its final series - will be familiar with its atmosphere of liquor-soaked offices, clouds of cigarette smoke, sharp suits, and blatant sexism. Prof. Colum Kenny of DCU takes a trip back to some decades from the 1960s to the advertising world of the early 1900s, when Irish-American, James O'Shaughnessy, ruled the roost. Colum has just published 'An Irish-American Odyssey' about James and his family.

    John Fitzpatrick

    The hotel business is in John Fitzpatrick’s blood. He is President and CEO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group in New York, and has received numerous honours including “Irish-American of the Year”. He spoke to Richard about a life spent in hospitality…

    Saturday 28th March

    Managing the Office Ogre

    In a much-publicised announcement this week, the BBC announced that they “would not be renewing” Jeremy Clarkson’s contract, after an investigation concluded that he had physically and verbally assaulted a co-worker, Irishman Oisín Tymon. The whole episode raised quite a few questions about the management of difficult staff, particularly when they’re one of your star performers. At what point do you have to kill the goose that lays the golden egg? To kick this hornet’s nest, Julie O’Neill, Management Consultant with ‘Join the Dots’, and Paul Mooney of Tandem Consulting, joined Richard in studio.

    Around the World

    Siobhan O’Connell of Business Plus magazine joined Richard in studio with news of what’s happening in the global business world. Stories include the death of the man who claims to have brought Singapore from the third world to the first, a superhighway to connect Russia and the U.S., and a precocious Snapchat billionaire.

    The Business of Charity Fundraising

    The charity sector in Ireland is worth €852 million euro a year, but it also takes a lot of resources to raise that kind of money. Although people might not like to hear that their donations are being spent on marketing, administration or staff, recent research by Fundraising Ireland found that it costs the average charity almost 34 cent to raise a euro. We sent Liam Geraghty to find out more.

    Carole White

    Carole White was instrumental in launching the careers of some of the world’s best known supermodels. Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell are just some that she helped to turn into household names, and she has just written a book - called Have I Said Too Much? - about her career in the industry.

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

    Yesterday morning, Richard Bruton announced the findings of Government commissioned research into the potential benefits to Ireland of a transatlantic trade agreement between the EU and the United States. The findings paint a pretty picture, with 10,000 new jobs forecast and an extra 6.8 billion euro in export. So should a deal be struck? Suzanne Lynch, Irish Times European Correspondent, has been following the talks…

    Saturday 21st March


    In the last couple of weeks a mysterious sticker has been appearing on the computers of the cool kids at the Microsoft campus in Seattle and it has received overnight cult status. There have even been rumours of it becoming the new company logo. How important is getting the logo right for a brand? Bob Gray from Red&Grey Design filled Richard in.

    Private Members' Clubs

    The very notion of a private club conjures up images of exclusivity, but many of them that have managed to survive the economic crash have had to re-invent themselves just to keep going. Richard dusted off his best blazer to pay some of them a visit.

    Michael McAteer

    Insolvencies, receiverships, and examinerships are phrases we have all become accustomed to hearing in recent years. The process of dealing with a company that has found itself being categorised as insolvent requires a certain set of skills. Michael McAteer is a partner with Grant Thornton, and he's one of the most high-profile receivers in the country.

    Immersive Tourism

    Over the last few years there have been many new initiatives put in place to make Ireland a more attractive destination for international visitors. To discuss the growing trend towards themed tourism, Richard was joined in studio by Fiona Monaghan, Head of Operations for Fáilte Ireland in the West and Mid-West, and Keith McDonnell, co-founder of the recently established 'St. Patrick's Camino' walking trail...

    Gerald Lawless

    Gerald Lawless is a Galway man whose international hotel career has brought him to Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and even Dublin. He is now the President and CEO of the Jumeirah Group in Dubai, where he lives.

    Saturday 14th March

    Parental Influence

    A question which lots of aspirational parents inevitably spend many hours on is whether the ingredients for success in life are down to genetics, or can they be created through a combination of nurturing and skillful guidance? Career coach Karen Frampton and JJ O’Connell, Chief Executive of Family Business Ireland, mull it over.

    McQueen and Galliano

    The world of high fashion is notoriously full of flamboyant characters and massive egos. It’s also cut-throat, built around global brands and vast fortunes. Dana Thomas has been writing about the characters which inhabit this world for many years. Her latest book is “Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano”.

    The Future of the Naomh Eanna

    The MV Cill Airne is a 1960's passenger ship that has been converted into a restaurant and bar, docked at the North Wall Quay outside Dublin's Convention Centre and doing great business. The team behind that refurbishment now have plans for a similar project in Galway. Liam Geraghty reports…

    The Brodericks

    The company has grown this year to become a 6 million euro business…with its products now on sale in 25 different countries.

    Rebranding the IFSC

    Earlier this week, Minister Simon Harris announced a new strategy to rebrand and expand the InternationaI Financial Services Centre, with the planned addition of an extra 10,000 jobs. Pamela Newenham, business journalist and editor of “Silicon Docks: The rise of Dublin as a Global Tech Hub” joined Richard to discuss...

    Saturday 7th March

    South by Southwest

    Next week’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, will see a huge number of people working in the global tech and creative industries congregate to exchange ideas and hopefully find new business outlets. Donal Scannel of Gigstarter and Nick Keegan from Greenletterbox will be in attendance. Members of the band Dott joined the conversation from Galway, and played out with a sample of the music they'll be bringing there themselves...

    The Reputation Economy

    We’re all becoming increasingly concerned with issues surrounding privacy and security on the internet, but Michael Fertik - author of 'The Reputation Economy' - believes that we need to be far more conscious about how we manage our image and profile online, even if we don’t have a particularly active presence on social media...

    Maths in the Morning

    Although all of us will have come through the education system with a basic understanding of maths, do we actually remember much of what we were taught? Brian McCoy of The People Group has started a new course for business owners and salespeople who want to brush up on the difference between markups and margins...

    Niamh Gunn

    Niamh Gunn was a founder and Managing Director of's Corporate VAT Division. However, four years ago she decided to make some fundamental life changes when the everything just became too much for her. She has since turned that adversity into an entirely new project called The Well.

    Construction in Focus

    Earlier this week, Finance Minister Michael Noonan stated that he believed Irish developers are not using the correct funding models to get projects off the ground, and that those who don’t embrace the new model will get left behind. Is this a sign that the Minister is frustrated by the lack of activity in the construction sector? Paddy Kelly, Managing Director of Tegral, and Conor Skeehan, Chairman of the Housing Agency, discuss.

    Saturday 28th February

    The Threat of a 'Brexit'

    This week the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce held a conference in Dublin entitled “Shoulder to Shoulder: Winning Strategies for the Global Pitch', which was attended by a large number of figures from the international business and political community. One of the main points of discussion was the possibility of a British exit from the European Union. John McGraine, President of the Chamber, and Stephen Booth, Research Director of the Open Europe Think Tank in London, analysed the potential impact on Ireland.

    Around the World

    In the first installment of what will be a new monthly feature on The Business, brought to us by the Institute of Directors, Siobhan O’Connell from Business Plus Magazine joined Richard in studio to take a look at some of the international business stories which have been in the news this week.

    Goldsmiths and Jewellery Makers

    In the last 10 years there has been a resurgence in jewellery making in Ireland. In what was previously a male dominated profession, women are really beginning to show their mettle. Liam Geraghty has been talking to some of the designers who are going for gold ...

    Niall Fitzgerald

    Niall Fitzgerald, born in Sligo and raised in Limerick, has had a varied and colourful career in global business. During his 37 years with one of the world’s biggest companies, Unilever, he became their youngest ever Chairman and Chief Executive. He has also chaired and been on the board of too many organisations to mention, including the World Economic Forum, the British Museum, and Nelson Mandela's Legacy Trust.

    Saturday 21st February

    How The Other Half Fly

    The Residence by Etihad is a new service on offer from the airline on their flight from London to Abu Dhabi. It features a three-room cabin and a butler at your service for the duration of the eight-and-a-half hour flight. It also costs almost 12,500 pounds sterling each way. The butlers for this unique extravagance have been trained by Limerick man Seán Davoren, of the Savoy Hotel in London.

    Bringing Big-Budget Film-Making to Ireland

    John Gleeson - Partner and Head of Media at Grant Thornton - has been instrumental in raising more than €400 million euro in finance for 175 different film, television and animation projects in Ireland over the last 10 years. While we have had much success attracting international television productions to these shores, large-scale filmmaking hasn't been happening at the same rate. He believes that's all about to change...


    Robert McKee has been described by Peter Jackson as “The Guru of Gurus”. He’s a Fulbright scholar, and is regarded as the most sought after screenwriting lecturer in the world. In recent years, he has also turned his attention to business, and has developed the Storynomics seminar for business leaders, which is coming to Killarney in May.

    Casting Movies

    It's Oscars night tomorrow, so no doubt those most coveted of little gold statuettes are getting their last minute polish, the red carpet is being given a good old hoover, and Hollywood A-listers are optimistically preparing acceptance speeches. Closer to home, another Academy had its debut this week when the Bow Street Academy for Screen Acting opened its doors in Dublin. Liam Geraghty went along to find out about the business of creating the careers of some superstars of the future…

    Jim McCarthy of Poundland and Dealz

    Thrifty shopping has become a multi-million euro business, with a number of recession-friendly retailers opening up right across Ireland in recent years. One British chain which has carved out a substantial niche in this market is Poundland which trades under the name of ‘Dealz’ in 40 stores around the country. As his name suggests, CEO Jim McCarthy has Irish roots…

    James Galbraith on Yanis Varoufakis

    James K. Galbraith is an economist and a professor of government in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where Yanis Varoufakis - the embattled, leather-jacket-wearing Finance Minister of Greece's new left-wing government - has been a visiting professor for the last three years. The two men are close friends. Galbraith co-wrote the most recent edition of Varoufakis's 'Modest Proposal for Recovery in the Eurozone', and recently the newly-minted minister in Athens as he was coming to grips with his new post.

    Greek Bailout Extension

    After a week of high-level brinkmanship, European finance ministers last night agreed an 11th hour extension of Greece's Troika bailout. The move gives the new Greek government some breathing space, but does it really provide a solution to their problems? Antoin Murphy is Emeritus Professor of Economics at TCD, and he joined Jonathan in studio to discuss.

    Saturday 14th February

    The Wedding Band Business

    Never let it be said that we don’t do romance on The Business… After a few Valentine's Days and more than a few flowers and chocolates, the natural progression for many Irish couples is the 'Big Day Out'. What’s it like to be working on the frontline? Jonathan Casey performs in one of the country's leading wedding bands, “The Best Men”, and the business side of things is run by his wife, Niamh Brennan, who is CEO of the Music Angel booking agency.

    Making Millions in Merch

    Screens up and down the country are reportedly booked out for the first showing of '50 Shades of Grey', but although the box office will make plenty of money for the producers, much of the real moolah these days is made through merchandising. Timmy McGann from marketing company The Hub at Trade Wins discusses the phenomenon of licensing...

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