GRAPEVINE: Enet’s networks playing key role in State’s path to economic recovery; plus other business stories

Grapevine: Irish business diary with news from Enet, Irish Distillers, Quintain and others
GRAPEVINE: Enet’s networks playing key role in State’s path to economic recovery; plus other business stories
John Gilvarry and Peter McCarthy in Enet’s newly completed €1m headquarters facility in Limerick.

Telecoms network provider Enet believes that Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) have been playing a pivotal role in delivering the broadband to sustain business through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Enet, which operates the largest alternative wholesale telecoms network in Ireland, has just opened its state-of-the-art Network Operations Centre (NOC), which is part of the company’s new €1m headquarters facility in Limerick.

The new NOC will operate on a 24/7 basis all year round, monitoring 5,400km of fibre infrastructure, including the Irish State’s MANs, proprietary metro networks, a unique dark fibre backhaul infrastructure, as well as one of the largest licensed wireless networks in the country.

Following this expansion of its premises, Enet is also now hiring for a number of new engineer roles within the NOC. Rigorous health and safety protocols, in line with Government advice, have been put in place for staff returning to work in the new facility.

“The MANs play a pivotal role in removing any telecoms or bandwidth barriers and introducing greater choice and competition to the market. The success of this strategy is underlined by the performance of the Limerick MAN, which is one of the largest of the MANs in the country,” said Peter McCarthy, Enet Group CEO.

“Now, more than ever, it’s important that businesses like ours continue to make sensible investments that will prime us for future growth, so this is a very proud day for Enet as we scale up our Limerick operations. This new state-of-the-art facility doubles the size of the premises we have in Limerick and will enable us to continue to deliver a genuinely world-class service for our customers.”

In Limerick City alone, the fibre network operated by Enet, known as the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), provides connectivity to 30 retail service providers and has allowed for greater choice, quality and competitiveness of broadband services in the area.

Enet currently works with over 80 different retail service providers to bring high-quality broadband and wireless to more than one million end users throughout Ireland.

The high quality of the Enet MAN along with the high-bandwidth services available over the network has played an important role in the city securing a significant share of foreign direct investment.

Staff returning to work in Enet’s new €1m headquarters facility in Limerick. Enet works with over 80 retail service providers to bring broadband and wireless to more than one million end users.
Staff returning to work in Enet’s new €1m headquarters facility in Limerick. Enet works with over 80 retail service providers to bring broadband and wireless to more than one million end users.

Enet has unveiled its the new NOC investment as the company continues to deliver services through the Covid-19 pandemic. The rest of Enet’s building will also be gradually opened over the coming months in line with government guidelines, with a formal opening later in the autumn.

The business, which has offices in Limerick and Dublin, has moved from its previous premises to a new standalone 14,000 sq ft location in the National Technological Park, Plassey.

Enet has been headquartered in Limerick since 2004 and the business currently has over 120 employees across the Limerick and Dublin offices, with 75 located in Limerick.

John Gilvarry, chief technology officer at Enet, said the new network operations centre expands upon the company’s existing range of services.

“This is an important investment milestone for the business. It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our customers and to delivering a genuinely world-class service for them,” said Mr Gilvarry.

“With this new NOC in place, we expect heightened visibility of all monitored interfaces and links so that we can focus our troubleshooting, reduce our mean time to repair and manage a much larger infrastructure estate.”

Enet operates a fully integrated, nationwide network. The network is open access in nature, enabling retail service providers to deliver quality bandwidth services to their customers throughout Ireland.

Enet’s shareholder is the Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF). The IIF, managed by AMP Capital and Irish Life Investment Managers, invests capital for 28 institutional investors, 25 of which are Irish pension funds, trusts and investment managers.

To-date, the fund controls over €500 million of investments across energy, telecoms, tourism, and healthcare in Ireland.

Katherine Condon, appointed as a distiller with Irish Distillers.
Katherine Condon, appointed as a distiller with Irish Distillers.

Irish Distillers enjoys continued growth

Irish Distillers continues its ongoing expansion with the recent new appointment of Katherine Condon as distiller at Midleton Distillery.

The Cork-based global producer of Jameson and other globally successful whiskeys, reported 30 years of consecutive growth, with sales of eight million cases in 2019. Its brands are exported to 130+ markets, with over 70 of those experiencing double or triple-digit growth.

Katherine will report to newly appointed master distiller, Kevin O’Gorman, with responsibility for the production process from brewing to distillation.

Katherine said: “I am honoured to be appointed as distiller. This role represents a time-honoured craft and it has been a privilege to learn about the art and science of distilling from icons of world whiskey like Brian Nation and Kevin O’Gorman.

“I look forward to using the wisdom and experience I have inherited to continue their legacy of quality, while driving innovation as I continue my career in Midleton. I am incredibly excited about the future of Irish whiskey and the role that I can play in it.”

Tasting all distillates daily, Katherine will oversee the quality of all new pot and grain distillates. A chemical engineer, she joined Irish Distillers in 2014 as part of the Graduate Distiller Programme.

She was appointed distiller at the Micro Distillery in Midleton, Irish Distillers’ hub for innovation and experimentation with new distillate styles. From there she moved to the main distillery as a process technologist and, most recently, production supervisor.

During her time with Irish Distillers, Katherine has played a vital role in the production of many new innovations, including the Method and Madness range.

She holds an Engineering degree in Process and Chemical Engineering from UCC and a diploma in Distilling from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Katherine was awarded “The Worshipful Company of Distillers Award” in 2018 and 2019 for outstanding achievement by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Quintain Ireland’s joint managing partners Eddie Byrne and Michael Hynes, pictured in the firm’s Dublin office with Norman Higgins, Quintain’s new head of construction.
Quintain Ireland’s joint managing partners Eddie Byrne and Michael Hynes, pictured in the firm’s Dublin office with Norman Higgins, Quintain’s new head of construction.

Higgins takes lead role with Quintain Ireland

Housing developer Quintain has named Norman Higgins as its new head of construction for Ireland.

Norman previously led Sisk Living, the housing division of leading Irish building contractor John Sisk & Son. Norman brings over 25 years of successful construction delivery experience in the residential sector.

Quintain launched in Ireland in November 2019 with plans to develop 9,000 new homes and 600,000 sq.ft. of commercial space in the Greater Dublin area.

The company’s existing land portfolio covers 460 acres of prime assets in Ireland at Adamstown, Clonburris, Portmarnock, and Cherrywood, and when developed will make Quintain the third largest residential developer in the country.

Norman Higgins said: “Quintain has an ambitious development pipeline on prime sites including projects at Adamstown, Clonburris, Portmarnock, and Cherrywood. I am looking forward to being involved in these projects as Quintain scales up the roll out of its residential developments.”

Norman is a fellow of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors as well as a former chairman of the SCSI’s Residential Working Group, a role in which he oversaw the publication of the highly influential report ‘Real Cost of New Housing Delivery’ in 2016.

He is also a national member of the executive board of the Irish Housebuilders Association.

Michael Hynes, joint managing partner of Quintain Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Norman at a time when we are busy preparing planning applications for several of our schemes, and returning to construction following the end of the Government construction lockdown.

“Quintain’s commitment is to create attractive and sustainable communities delivering the right mix of housing alongside high-quality amenities, and Norman’s extensive experience will be hugely valuable.”

Quintain Ireland’s parent company Quintain Limited is a vertically integrated developer, operator and owner of residential and mixed-use assets; the company is best known for the ongoing transformation of Wembley Park in north London.

Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables.
Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables.

Big opportunity for offshore wind energy

Ireland needs to build on the growing momentum behind offshore wind power, says Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables.

Mr Cooley is one of the hosts of the Offshore Wind 2020 Online Conference, taking place Wednesday, July 1: The webinar is hosted by Energy Ireland and sponsored by SSE Renewables and A&L Goodbody.

“We need to keep pace with the global offshore wind energy market if Ireland is to exploit offshore wind at the scale needed to deliver our renewable energy and carbon emission reduction targets,” he said.

“We’re beginning to see momentum build behind the development of a new offshore wind energy sector in Ireland, but it’s critical we now turn that momentum into a real action plan to kickstart offshore project delivery in the waters around our island as quickly as possible,” he said.

The conference brings together the key stakeholders across government and industry to discuss actions needed to capitalise on Ireland’s offshore wind energy opportunity to help meet 2025 and 2030 renewable energy targets.

Conference themes will include: renewable energy policy; regulatory structures; international experience of developing an offshore wind sector; investing in offshore and onshore grid system to deliver 8.2GW by 2030; the role of an effective marine spatial planning framework; and the development of the offshore wind supply chain in Ireland.

Martin Flynn MD of OK Who’s Next? in Galway.
Martin Flynn MD of OK Who’s Next? in Galway.

Software given free to beauty services

Hairdressers, beauticians, wellbeing, and fitness service providers are being offered free appointment scheduling software to help reboot their businesses.

Galway-based software firm OK Who’s Next? is offering its software free to use for all appointment-based businesses from now to September 1. Businesses can promote their available slots and their clients can book a slot quickly and easily, thus reducing interaction in waiting rooms.

Martin Flynn, managing director of OK Who’s Next?, said: “Many appointment-based businesses such as hairdressers, beauticians, wellbeing and fitness need a boost to kickstart their businesses post lockdown. Unfortunately, many will not survive the lockdown, but with our free software many will be able to re-engage with their clients, safeguard employee jobs and get back to profitability.”

OK Who’s Next? provides appointment management software which allows clients to book appointments in seconds on the free-to-use apps. This allows clients to book a range of appointments, while enabling service-providers schedule appointments safely in line with capacity and staff numbers.

Mr Flynn said: “With the current challenges facing businesses it is more important than ever for local businesses to prepare for what they do best, providing excellent service to their clients while giving clients the easiest way to book those services.”

OK Who’s Next? is listed by the Irish Hairdressing Council as a support for its members to prepare for the “new normal”. It is an Enterprise Ireland supported business headquartered in Galway city.

Sandra Maybury has launched Maybury Marketing.
Sandra Maybury has launched Maybury Marketing.

New marketing firm

West Cork businesswoman Sandra Maybury has launched Maybury Marketing. She will bring her 25 years of sales and marketing experience to working with local business partners.

Sandra said: “I’m really excited for this venture. I love what I do. I love helping others get the most out of every opportunity.”

Sandra has been self-employed for 15 years. Conscious of the impact that Covid-19 has had upon local business, she used the down time to launch her new brand, Maybury Marketing.

Maybury Marketing works with small- and medium-sized organisations to help them to reconnect with existing customers and reach new ones, build their brand, and get their message out there and grow sales. Sandra provides packages tailored to each client’s needs.

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