The Business

    Saturday 10 - 11am


    Saturday 16th May

    Holidaying with your Work Colleagues

    Li Jinyuan, the billionaire chief executive of China's Tiens Group Company, made headlines this week after bringing 6,400 of his staff on an all-expenses-paid trip to France, costing a cool 14 million euro. Would you want to go on holiday with your workmates? Colm Carey, Director of the Research Institute, isn't so sure it's a good idea, and our reporter, Aura McMemanin, has been asking people on the streets of Dublin whether or not they'd like to go on a company holiday...

    Margaret Burgraff

    Margaret Burgraff is a Corkwoman who has been a big player in some of the largest technology companies in the world. She has spent the last 20 years working for the likes of Apple, Palm, Hewlett Packard, and is now a Vice President at Intel's HQ in San Francisco. She will be in Ireland later this month to take part in the ITLG's Silicon Valley Global Technology summit, hosted by Fingal County Council.

    Helen Hall of IAASA

    Helen Hall is the CEO of the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA), which has responsibility for keeping all of Ireland's accountants and auditors in check. Her team of 15 in Co. Kilkare is tasked with keeping track of 34,000 accountants, and the accounts of all of the listed companies. She has had a colourful career herself in Malawi and Rome, working for the likes of the UN World Food Programme and the World Bank. She spoke to Richard about needing some new recruits to tackle the many EU regulations that are coming down the line in the wake of the financial crisis.

    The Breadski Brothers

    The Breadski Brothers have been making a name for themselves all over the country with their brown breads and bloomers, seeded sandwiches and smart breads. They've even had the Taoiseach in to launch one of their new ranges. Our reporter Liam Geraghty visited them in their headquarters in Castlebar to get a slice of the action.

    'Vanity Capital' of the Super Rich

    Lately, there have been a number of shows on our TV screens highlighting the lives of the super wealthy, the 'Plutocrats' as they're now known. In a recent report Merrill Lynch gave their unhinged consumerism a new name - 'Vanity Capital'. It seems that it's a growing market; equating to over 3 trillion dollars right now, and likely to reach 4.5 trillion by 2018. Kirstie McDermott, editor of Stellar Magazine, has taken a look at who's spending how much on what...

    The Department of Finance and the Pillar Banks

    This week, the Department of Finance was attempting, yet again, to strongarm the banks into passing on ECB interest rate cuts to their customers, and to deal fairly with the mortgage arrears crisis. Have they any hope of getting the banks to toe the line? Pat McCloughan, MD of PMCA economic consultants - who worked as an adviser to the Banking Inquiry during its 'Context' phase - and Shane Ross, Independent TD and author of 'The Bankers - How the Banks Brought Ireland to its Knees', joined Richard in studio.

    Saturday 9th May

    Bluebridge Technologies

    If you’re a budding entrepreneur, and you’ve been tinkering away in the garage to create a new invention, maybe you’ve reached the point where you have something beautiful on paper that you don’t have the skills to bring into the three-dimensional world. Bluebridge Technologies is an Irish company that was set up to help people turn their inventive ideas into a testable reality. Our reporter, Liam Geraghty, paid them a visit to find out more…

    The Entrepreneurial State

    The debate around multinational corporations and the tax that they pay - or don't pay, as the case may be - has been going on for some time now. It's been something that's been covered on this show numerous times. Yesterday, Prof. Marianna Mazucatto, author of “The Entrepreneurial State', was in Dublin to deliver a lecture for the Nevin Economic Research Institute. She believes that US companies should be giving more back, because they've benefitted hugely from innovation that's primarily funded by the public sector.

    Beer Wars - Craft vs. 'Crafty'

    The world’s population of beer connoisseurs has been steadily expanding over the last few years, and in the States this week a disgruntled beer drinker from California, Evan Peters, is suing Miller-owned Blue Moon for falsely advertising itself as a 'craft' product. Are there some big beer wars brewing? Aidan Sweeney, Beer Smellier, and Miriam Atkins from Food and Wine Magazine gave Conor an overview.

    David Moore

    There’ll be plenty of Tories in London looking to celebrate this weekend, booking tables in some of that city’s top flight eateries, the establishments that the Michelin people have singled out as suitable for society’s elites using their famous 'Starred' rating system. David Moore has two such London restaurants to his name – Pied à Terre and L’Autre Pied. He was brought up helping his parents run the Swan Lake Hotel in Monaghan town.

    Negotiation Tips

    David Cameron may find himself the leader of a majority government today, but he still has some serious horse-trading and negotiating to look forward to in the near future. Finian Buckey, Prof. of Organisational Psychology in the DCU School of Business, has some advice on negotiating; also, our reporter, Aura McMenamin, travelled to a mart in Blessington to get some tips from some from farmers on how they negotiate effectively...

    The Markets and the British Election Results

    Those of us who like to put our faith in the power of polls to predict political outcomes had something of a rude awakening yesterday, as we munched on our breakfast to the news that the Conservative Party in the UK had somehow managed to secure a majority in that country’s general election. The markets had been subdued in the lead-up to the election; we all know they don’t like the uncertainty… So what now? Will there be a hugely positive response to these results? Is there a sense of relief that the same “business friendly” face will be behind the door at Number 10 Downing Street? Justin Urquhart-Stewart, MD of Seven Investment Management gave Conor his read of the situation.

    Saturday 2nd May

    The Mid-Life Career Crisis

    A recent study of their customers’ habits by the streaming audio service, Spotify, has discovered that at a certain age – 42 years old, to be exact – we have a tendency to abandon our existing taste in music and start to listen to artists like Taylor Swift whose typical demographic is one that is far younger. They have gone so far as to say your choice of playlist can be one of the first signs of the dreaded mid-life crisis. This is consistent with research from the University of Warwick in the UK, which indicates that the early forties is the most frequent age at which job satisfaction is at its lowest ebb, and you're most likely to drift into a mid-life crisis… Louise Campbell, Managing Director of Robert Walters Recruitment, joined Richard to discuss.


    This week saw the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, to the Viet Cong. The event marked the end of the Vietnam War, and the start of a transition period leading to the formal reunification of Vietnam. That country’s more recent history has been marked by an economic and social transformation. From a country ravaged by the effects of war and famine, it has made extraordinary progress in reducing poverty and developing a market economy. Michael O’ Kane has this report on some Irish connections with one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia.

    Around the World

    Siobhan O’Connell of Business Plus magazine joined Richard in studio to guide him through some of the stories from global business and economics that might have escaped your attention. It's our monthly “Around the World” segment, courtesy of the Institute of Directors.


    All the time we hear that money talks, that money makes the world go round. Even Time, we are told, is actually just money... The power of money intrigued Kabir Sehgal so much that he's travelled to 25 different countries to analyse the many different ways we interact with this ingenious invention. Based on this research, he has written “Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us”.

    Stephen Faloon of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

    This weekend, thousands of amateur actors from all over Ireland will be trying to out-perform each other at the RTE all Ireland drama festival in Athlone this week, with no hope of financial reward. For Stephen Faloon, however, every act that appears on his stage has to justify its existence with a healthy bottom line. He's the general manager of the Bord Gáis Energy theatre - one of the biggest showbiz operations in the country.

    Private Coach Operators

    We are now over halfway through a 48-hour strike by workers at Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, an action that has had far reaching repercussions for commuters and businesses throughout the country. The contentious issue is the decision by the National Transport Authority and the Department of Transport to put ten percent of routes out to tender. This has clearly hit a nerve with the relevant unions, but what about those private operators who have been campaigning for years to be allowed to tender for those routes? Are they happy that such opportunity is finally knocking on their door? Feargal Barton is the owner of Barton Transport in Maynooth, which has been in operation since the 1960’s. He is also very active in the Coach Tourism and Transport Council...

    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...

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    Presenter: Richard Curran                        

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