The nature of Irish politics ensures that many politicians, aware of how precarious their positions are, spend a long time working in their constituency. Some of this is necessary and a public service as TDs help constituents "navigate a dysfunctional system" But, in the worst cases, according to Holly Cairns, they are taking credit for things they haven't done. In this podcast, Cairns discusses her first year as a TD and the issues which energise her. Cairns is determined to fight for what she believes in even if it won't always necessarily transfer into votes.
Since launching in 2016, specialist business lender Capitalflow has advanced more than €550 million to Irish companies. And this is just the start, with its founder and CEO Ronan Horgan telling Ian Kehoe that he wants to “double or triple” the size of the business over the coming years.
In this podcast, Horgan explains how he got the non-bank lender off the ground, revealing the pitch that convinced Pollen Street Capital to back the venture. He also talks about the rise of non-bank lending, the future of financial services and the importance of competition in the lending market.
Horgan also talks about the impact of Covid-19 on his business and its customers and outlines his plan to expand Capitalflow through organic expansion into Europe and through mergers or acquisitions.
Devan Hughes co-founded the grocery delivery platform Buymie in 2015 and is now its chief executive. After launching in Cork in between lockdowns in the autumn, the fast-growing start-up is preparing to enter new cities in Ireland, the UK and beyond. Hughes tells Thomas Hubert about the European markets he is considering for expansion and the growing number of personal shoppers working with Buymie to perform deliveries – many coming from the devastated hospitality industry. He also defends the gig economy model and, having raised over €10 million, discusses how few venture capitalists are prepared to back consumer-facing businesses in Ireland.
Rick Perlstein’s work has concerned itself with the American right, in all its forms, and the tendency of those on the centre and the left to dismiss them.
His four volumes began with ‘Before The Storm’ detailing the rise of Barry Goldwater in the 1960s and concluded last year with the publication of ‘Reaganland-America’s Right Turn’. The historian has observed the journey of the Republican party and its outriders, while also noting how rashly they have been dismissed by Democrats and the media for the past 50 years.
In this interview with Dion Fanning, Perlstein discusses the clear eyed reality of President Joe Biden’s inauguration speech. Biden might have talked about unity but he didn’t flinch when confronting the insurrectionists.
Perlstein has devoted his life to studying the American right but he felt exhilarated watching Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. “Democracy has prevailed,” Biden said. The next four years will tell us more about that, but this week was certainly better than the alternative.
When the economy went into lockdown last March, Kasia Gaborec-McEvoy was concerned Covid-19 could devastate My Name is Ted, the luxury leather accessories brand she established with her husband Brendan McEvoy four years ago. Instead, sales increased by 400% last year with consumers drawn to their high-end leather bags and wallets during 2020. In this podcast with Cáit Caden, Gaborec McEvoy, a law graduate, talks about the decision to leave a senior role at Ryanair to launch a luxury fashion brand in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, and explains how the company has built up a loyal clientele of lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs. Gaborec-McEvoy also talks about sustainable fashion, landing a coveted spot on the Brown Thomas annual Create showcase and the various supports available for female entrepreneurs. Having pivoted My Name is Ted fully online as a result of the crisis. She also reveals that the company is now preparing to raise external funding to drive future expansion.
What do you do when you have already built one global company? For David Walsh, the answer was straightforward: do it again. Walsh made his name and his money with Netwatch, the phenomenally successfully security monitoring company that employed 550 people monitoring 300,000 sites around the world. Having stepped back from day-to-day management of the business a year ago, he has now launched HaloCare, a health security business that aims to keep elderly people living independently in their homes for longer. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, Walsh talks about his ambition of building another major business in his adopted home in Carlow, and why he expedited the roll-out of the business as a result of Covid-19. He also talks about the importance of innovation and culture within any business, how regional towns provide a competitive advantage, and why the government should change the rules around CGT and personal guarantees to promote entrepreneurship.
With Ticketshop, Tommy Higgins was a pioneer of the Irish ticket selling industry and an original backer of Riverdance. When he sold his business to global giant Ticketmaster, he became boss of their European operations. In this podcast with Sam Smyth, he talks about the “torture” of the various competition probes into the industry, the economics of entertainment and the so-called black market in tickets. He also speaks about building his business from scratch, explains why Croke Park is underutilised as a venue, and reveals what acts are guaranteed to draw the biggest crowds. Now retired, he talks about his new role chairing Sligo Rovers.
Oliver Callan is a comedian, a satirist, a voice-over artist, a columnist, a radio presenter and a Patrick Kavanagh enthusiast. But he is also a businessman who has built his own brand and negotiates his own deals. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, he explains why he is his own best agency, and why his diversification into multiple areas meant he was well buffered for the Covid crisis. Callan also speaks about why he focused on the niche of political satire, the role of comedy in a functioning democracy, and the impact of Ireland’s draconian libel laws on his content. Ahead of his end of the year TV show, he also speaks about the rise of Sinn Féin, the enigma of Leo Varadkar and why he will never bow to keyboard warriors.
We like to think of Ireland as a generous nation and most charities are now raising the bulk of their donations during the Christmas period. But new analysis by Benefacts shows that contributions from private individuals have been in decline for decades, while the exhaustion of Chuck Feeney's Atlantic Philanthropies' funds has caused institutional giving to fall off a cliff. The organisation's managing director Patricia Quinn joins Thomas Hubert to discuss the findings with research co-authors Dr Oonagh Breen of UCD and Dr James Carroll of Trinity College.
In the middle of the pandemic, former journalist and twice start-up entrepreneur Mark Little raised another €1.6 million for his business Kinzen. In conversation with Sean Keyes, he explains the importance of combining machine learning with human editorial skills to tackle disinformation as it pops up in the most unexpected corners of the internet. They explore how his involvement in Kinzen resulted from a career in public service journalism, at his first company Storyful and as a senior manager at Twitter, where he learned the true meaning of leadership: "A manager walks into a room and everybody knows that person knows what they're doing. A leader walks into a room and everybody walks out going, 'I know what I'm doing'."