Managing director, Nightline
Your favourite grocery shop?
Dunnes Stores in Portmarnock or Swords for the “big shop” and my local Spar in Malahide for incidental shopping
How long is your typical working day?
Usually about 10 hours at the office then maybe another hour or so reading or working on email at home
How do you describe yourself?
Someone who is hard to describe. But in a few words: hardworking, honest, thirsty for knowledge
What’s your favourite Irish product?
Guinness. I’ve been a (responsible) fan for a long time and the product quality and consistency just seems to get better all the time. And Flahavans Porridge, it’s a wonder food. Natural and very sustaining and from another great Irish company. The quick oats are very handy to prepare in the morning
What’s your favourite brand, outside of the brands you represent, and why?
Of Irish brands, I think it would have to be Aer Lingus. Despite massive changes in the past few years it still offers a great sense of welcome and security and Irishness. Internationally, Google is a phenomenal success. For a brand name to become a verb must be one of the most important milestones in its journey. Google achieved being synonymous with searching the web very early into its existence
What piece of legislation would you introduce/change?
On a personal level I think the legislation regulating the opening hours of off-licences and alcohol sales in retail outlets is daft. Why can’t I go out to my local store after 10pm to pick up a bottle of wine?
From a business point of view, I hope that the government addresses the EU directive to liberalise the postal sector by 2011. They also need to deal at EU level with the issue whereby private operators in the postal and parcel sector must charge VAT and state-owned (former) monopoly postal operators are not required to charge VAT
What historical figure would you invite to dinner?
Ernest Shackleton (the Irish explorer from the early 20th century)
The best gift you ever received?
My daughter aged 8 and my son aged 4
What possession could you not live without?
Probably my BlackBerry, after that it would be my Garmin Nuvi
What was your childhood dream/ambition?
Long time ago now but I’m fairly sure I wanted to open a shop of any kind
What’s your ambition now?
To continue on our journey to build Nightline into a great company and a respected brand. Personally, to continue to learn and grow along the way
What’s the worst ad ever?
It was that bad I can’t remember it! I thought the TV ads to launch Oatibix were a bit silly but they must have been effective if I can still recall them
What’s your favourite ad at the moment?
Probably the recent Aer Lingus ad with the guy stripping off layers of T Shirts
Your favourite newspaper?
The Irish Times
Who is inspirational in Irish business?
In retail, Feargal Quinn and Margaret Heffernan. As an individual, Michael O’Leary has to be one of our greatest success stories
In your opinion what’s the next big thing?
In our industry the next big development will be the introduction of postcodes. This will help us streamline our sorting and delivery processes, reduce costs and remain competitive
What (if anything) was the last thing you bought on the internet?
I buy books and CDs regularly from Amazon
What’s your pet hate?
Trying to order online and not being able to get past the “enter your postcode” field