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Economist’s warning at launch of new-look website for Galway business



Ger Finan, Finan O' Byrne Accountants, with Pat O'Dwyer, City Life Galway, and Niall Rooney, City Life, Galway at the City Life Galway client seminar in the Ardilaun Hotel.

The upsurge in the property market is only gaining renewed momentum – but one economic guru is already predicting that the tide will turn again as soon as three years time.

Irish Life Investment Managers chief economist, Lenny McLoughlin, was speaking at the City Life Galway seminar in The Ardilaun Hotel recently.

Celebrating four years in business, City Life Galway organised the event to thank its clients and officially launch its new website,

The seminar was also a chance for clients to hear about a new line of investment portfolios and benefit from expert advice about the economy, the Budget and tax issues.

Mr McLoughlin gave an overall positive assessment of the property market as well as the economy.

“The Irish recovery is outpacing the rest of the Eurozone, and the economy looks set to grow by four to five per cent in the next couple of years,” he said.

Property has also been ‘exceptionally strong’ in the last couple of years – and will remain so for the next two years at least, said Mr McLoughlin.

But he warned that, by 2018, “we will have seen the best of the current cycle”.

City Life Galway managing director and certified financial planner, Pat O’Dwyer, reflected on the last four years – trying to establish a new business in the toughest of trading times.

“We received the licence from the Central Bank on November 7, 2011. Many suggested I was mad to set up a business in the throes of an economic recession. In many ways I was, but there were so many who needed help in those days with their financial matters,” said Mr O’Dwyer, who has more than 25 years’ experience in financial services.

Mr O’Dwyer previously worked with Standard Life as a business development manager before going on to co-found City Life Galway along with Ted and Eamon Dwyer of City Life in Cork.

Reflecting on his 40 years as a financial advisor, Ted Dwyer, founder director of City Life Wealth Advisors, described how he started the business in 1971 “on a wing and a prayer” and that he is delighted to see it evolve and grow.

He said: “I didn’t have much money when I started. I got €3,000 from the bank manager in AIB… In 2008, the economy collapsed and it was a most traumatic time for us, and our customers. However, I believe problems often create opportunities; it’s the only concept that will keep a businessperson sane when all hell is breaking loose.

“We made positive changes to the way we do business. All our customers know now, and at all times in the future, why and where their money is invested… None of our customers have all their eggs in one basket.”

Based at 17 St Mary’s Road, City Life Galway provides services in financial planning, risk assessment, investment management, pension advice, life assurance, income protection, and business protection.


Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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