Former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson can expect a grilling from RTÉ journalist Bryan Dobson when he headlines the Pendulum Summit in Dublin tomorrow, according to organiser Frankie Sheahan.
The annual event, which will see around 7,000 attend over two days, sees a lineup this year including prominent Brexit campaigner Mr Johnson, Hollywood star Colin Farrell, legendary Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody and television personality Ruby Wax, as well as a host of business coaches and speakers.
Former Irish and Munster rugby international Mr Sheahan, who won 29 rugby caps for Ireland as a hooker, said Mr Johnson was under no illusion that he was in for a tough time with the veteran RTÉ journalist following his keynote speech at the Convention Centre Dublin.
“The timing is outstanding for Boris Johnson to appear. Brian Dobson is going to go at him hard, and in fairness to Boris, he is well up for it after speaking to him on the phone. He will be thrown out of his comfort zone,” he said.
Ruby Wax was one of the most well-received speakers the event has seen in recent years with a presentation on the concept of mindfulness, while US graffiti artist and entrepreneur Erik Wahl was the surprise standout on the first morning for the 3,000 in attendance, urging them to embrace creativity in order to grow business.
Leinster rugby coach and former England boss Stuart Lancaster emphasised the need to fail before attaining success.
He infamously failed to lead England as hosts out of the pool stage of the World Cup in 2015, before resurrecting his career as a coach at Leinster
“I failed on the public stage, and it's what made me a better coach. I'm not Joe Schmidt (current Ireland coach), I'm not Marty Johnson (former England captain and coach), I'm not Eddie Jones (current England coach), I'm Stuart Lancaster and it's important to be yourself. People want to see who you are, and pick up on that authenticity.”
Mr Lancaster offered a light barb towards his fellow countryman, Mr Johnson, in relation to Brexit.
“Whether it's England or Ireland, I think of us all as one big family, and you can tell Boris I said that tomorrow," he said.