What Now for Ireland in the Era of Brexit and Trump?

Dublin-based Hibernia Forum is running a major conference on February 23 entitled, What Now For Ireland in the Era of Trump and Brexit?’. It will be held from 9am-3pm in the offices of Connect Ireland, on 14 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.

Quadriga Consulting’s CEO, Jeff Peel, will be a guest speaker at the event.

Speakers will include Olivia Buckley, Director of Communications with the Irish Tax Institute; Lucinda Creighton, former Irish Minister for European Affairs; Christopher Butler, Chief of Staff at the Americans for Tax Reform; Cormac Lucey, former Irish Government adviser and political commentator.

After an economic crash and a period of correction and austerity, with much sacrifice made, Ireland has made a remarkable recovery and is now poised again for strong commercial growth.

However, the country suddenly faces major challenges on the international horizon in the shape of the British ‘Brexit’ referendum vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as US President, promising a renewal of protectionism and a vigorous return of American overseas investment back to the US. Along with a EU increasingly keen on tax harmonisation, these are significant challenges for a recently recovered economy.

What are the implications for Ireland as a small open economy, overwhelmingly dependent on both US inward investment and on overseas trade with the neighbouring UK? Will the new US administration curb the tax breaks that encourage American companies to locate abroad?

Will Brexit mean the return of a hard border between North and South Ireland with all the implications this has for trade, travel and investment? What will happen to the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland, and could a ‘hard Brexit’ mean that Ireland ‘thinks the unthinkable’ and reconsiders its long term future in an unstable EU.

In short, what are the decisions investors and planners should make, and could the prospect of Trump’s election and Brexit actually offer as much opportunity as it does disadvantages? The Hibernia Forum has assembled a conference to examine all these possibilities and questions. Experts from the US, UK and Ireland will discuss the implications of these momentous political events and how they should be judged and faced in 2017.

Further information about the event (and latest speaker information) is available here.  Your can register here.

Business of Evidence Event, Belfast, December 7

The findings of a study, The Business of Evidence, commissioned by the UK Market Research Society (MRS), will be presented at an upcoming event in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on December 7 .  This report reveals that since 2012 the UK’s research market has grown by over 60%.

This insight into the ‘business of evidence’ market reveals the new direction of the market research sector and prompts many questions with regard to where the future of the market lies.

Join the Market Research Society NI for a presentation by Julie McClean, Senior Manager, Research to Insight (r2i) for PwC on the findings of The Business of Evidence. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Albert Hamilton of CARD Group and Chairperson of the Market Research Society NI. Jeffrey Peel of Quadriga Consulting will be joining the panel as well as Fiona Rooney of Ipsos MORI and client-side research representatives from the commercial and education sectors.

Hosted by PwC, this event is open to MRS members, staff of MRS Company Partners and anyone within the research and marketing communities interested in enhancing the reputation of research, developing opportunities for professional networking and best practice exchange in Northern Ireland.

Date:      Wednesday 7th December 2016

Time:      12.30 – 2.30pm

Venue:   Google Hive, PwC, Ground Floor, Waterfront Plaza, 8 Laganbank Road, Belfast BT1 3LR

Lunch:    Included

CPD:       1 hour

Booking: As spaces are limited please book early by email:  networking@mrs.org.uk.

Ireland Post-Brexit Conference

We have decided to postpone this event (originally planned for March 2, 2017) to a later date.  You can pre-register your interest in the event using the form at the foot of this post.  

Since the people of the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union there has been a lot of discussion about what the decision means for UK/Irish relations…and for Ireland itself. We’ll assemble some of the most important speakers to debate whether Ireland’s future lies within the the EU, or outside.  

Since the UK’s EU Referendum result was announced on June 24, 2016, here has been much focus on what will happen in terms of trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – as well as trade between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land-border with the EU.

UK-Ireland trade is important. In 2015 the UK imported some Euro 14.7 billion from Ireland and exported just under Euro 20 billion to Ireland.

Some of the questions being asked are:

  • What will happen if the UK government decides to leave the single market…will this mean a ‘hard border’ between Northern Ireland and The Republic or will nothing much change?
  • What happens (if anything) to the Common Travel Area – the bilateral arrangement between the UK and Ireland that means that people can move across the border without any checks?
  • Can an electronic system obviate the need for customs posts?
  • Does the devaluation of the £UK mean that Irish exporters will be at a permanent disadvantage (while UK exports to the Republic appear relatively cheap) or will Sterling just float back?
  • Will tariffs return if the UK leaves the single market or will common sense prevail?
  • What are the opportunities emerging from Brexit for better trade relations between both nations?
  • Should Ireland consider following the UK’s lead…is Eirexit an option?

These and many other questions may not be answerable until the nature of Brexit becomes clearer. But, by March 2017, we will be closer to the UK initiating Article 50 in order to formally leave the EU. It will be a good time to debate the future for Ireland and the UK in a post-Brexit (and post Brexit-hysteria) world.

As a follow-up to our EU Referendum Business Debate held in Belfast in April 2016, we are delighted to announce a debate and conference. This will be a must-attend event for people in business, government or public affairs to get right up to speed on the latest thinking about British/Irish trade in a post-Brexit world.

To help debate some of these issues we have a stellar line-up of speakers including:

  • Douglas Carswell MP – the first elected Member of Parliament for the UK Independence Party (UKIP)
  • Noelle O’Connell – Executive Director, European Movement, Ireland
  • Paul Staines – the Libertarian political blogger and publisher of the Guido Fawkes website
  • Anthony Coughlan – Associate Professor Emeritus, Social Policy, Trinity College, Dublin
  • John McGrane – Director General, British-Irish Chamber of Commerce
  • John Longworth – Former Director General, British Chambers of Commerce
  • Cormac Lucey – Economics Commentator, Sunday Times (Ireland) and Author, Plan B: How Leaving the Euro Can Save Ireland
  • David McCann – Deputy Editor, Slugger O’Toole
  • Keith Redmond – Director and Co-Founder, Hibernia Forum

The event will provide invaluable insight into the political decisions that need to be taken as well as the opportunities for trade. The conference will provide a forum for business people, politicians and academics to discuss and network.

Please complete the short form below to register your interest.

Fill out my online form.


Anaeko showcases object storage credentials for software defined solutions

Client Media Release

Anaeko, the ‘third platform’ developer and consulting business, has today announced that it will be showcasing its IBM Cloud Object Storage expertise at IBM’s data storage event in London from today.

Anaeko has been an active player in the third platform wave over the last decade, focusing on mobile computing, social media, cloud computing, big data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The IBM Technical University is an opportunity for Anaeko to present the depth of its capabilities in software defined solutions – especially IBM Cloud Object Storage built on the Cleversafe platform. According to leading industry analysts, object storage provides vast scale with reduced complexity and reduced longer term management costs. It’s for this reason that the object storage market has been growing markedly on the back of other IT market segment growth such as cloud computing and application specific data analytics.

According to Colm Hayden, CTO of Anaeko, “The success of 3rd platform technologies including cloud, mobile, social and analytics has resulted in the exponential growth of data storage requirements to IDC’s predicted 44 zettabytes of data by 2020. Software defined storage platforms such as IBM Cloud Object Storage extend the scope of traditional storage hardware which is prohibitively costly and complex to manage at this scale. Over the last number of years Anaeko has enabled the delivery of software-defined storage solutions by integrating Cleversafe’s market leading object storage platform with products from Microsoft, Symantec, Veritas, Gladinet, Citrix, iRODS, Cloudera and Apache.”

He continued, “Anaeko combines deep Cleversafe expertise with world-leading integration skills to develop high performance plugins and validate compatibility with object storage APIs including S3 and OpenStack. We’re keen to hear from other attendees at the Technical University about how we can leverage our unique competency.”

Further information about Anaeko can be found at http://www.anaeko.com/

ServiceClarity and Clearvision Partner to Transform Productivity in Agile Software Development


Client Media Release

serviceclarity3Belfast & Southampton, October 12, 2016ServiceClarity, a provider of SaaS-based strategic reporting tools for cloud development and operations managers, has today announced a partnership with Clearvision, consulting specialists in JIRA.

Software developers across the world are increasingly relying on JIRA as a means of managing multiple, concurrent, cloud-based application development tasks and projects. JIRA is developed and marketed by Atlassian who serve over 50,000 customers globally, including 85 of the Fortune 100.

Clearvision, an Atlassian Enterprise and Platinum Expert, helps client companies implement JIRA alongside offering expert consulting, support, hosting and training services for the rest of the Atlassian tools.

Clearvision is now extending its JIRA-focused offerings to customers that need a more strategic view of software projects. By implementing ServiceClarity, customers are provided with a richer, deeper and more strategic view of multiple software development projects in real time.

According to Colm Hayden, CTO of ServiceClarity, “JIRA is a superb tool for managing cloud based software projects. But when many projects are being managed concurrently it’s impossible to tell what’s going on at a macro level, or what productivity levels are being achieved by different teams. ServiceClarity provides this strategic view – allowing software managers to drive efficiencies in development, operations and support by measuring the KPIs that matter – cost, quality, time-to-market and customer satisfaction.  Our partnership with Clearvision allows heavyweight JIRA users to optimise their development and operational processes, reduce cost and deliver business value  – with the support that’s required from a global JIRA implementation specialist.”

Gerry Tombs, Managing Director of Clearvision, explains the logic of this ‘strategic view’ of software development:

“The cloud allows development teams to deliver faster than before, using many ready-made resources. However, it is not uncommon for this to result in project bloat, poorly designed processes, and quite a degree of duplication of effort. By having a more strategic view – made possible by ServiceClarity – JIRA users can reap the double benefits of great project management tools as well as better management of development resources. It’s this combination of strategic and project management that makes ServiceClarity with JIRA particularly compelling. And we’re there to help ensure everything works seamlessly.”

For further information about ServiceClarity please visit http://www.serviceclarity.com/. For information about Clearvision’s Atlassian JIRA services visit https://www.clearvision-cm.com/atlassian/

Let’s Connect in Dubai at Gitex 2016

We have been working in the Gulf region for the last couple of years for a number of leading technology companies. We’ve been building all sorts of content…from corporate videos, to product brochures and web content.

We’re visiting Dubai in October to attend Gitex – the Middle East & Africa’s largest technology exhibition and conference.

It would be wonderful to connect if you’re attending.

Public Policy Research and Comms

Do you ever get the feeling that public policy decisions are often reached as a result of the latest fad or latest media fixation? Sometimes policy decisions are simply responses to simple ‘causality’. For example, sugar results in obesity. Or smoking should be taxed into oblivion. But sometimes such policy choices can make situations even worse. Rent controls, to curb rent inflation, can reduce the stock of available houses to rent. Excessive taxation can feed the ‘grey market’.

The fact is that societies are complex. They involve many interlocking relationships – if one relationship is artificially altered it can affect all the others, often in bizarre ways.

Policy choice can also have a serious and detrimental effect on business.

We help influence public and business opinion by researching and writing about the effects certain policy decisions might have. We organise debates and round tables, conduct interviews, produce video content, write white papers and social media content – all designed to inform people, businesses and politicians.

This little video hints at the type of work we undertake.

If you’d like to know more about the types of public policy work we undertake, please contact us.

Owen Polley Joins as Senior Associate

Owen Polley will focus on public policy related content development
Owen Polley will focus on public policy related content development

Owen Polley has joined the Quadriga Consulting team as a Senior Associate responsible for public policy focused content development.

Owen is a policy and public affairs professional and researcher, who worked for five years for the Conservative Party. While at the Conservative Party he was responsible for policy development, policy support, campaign activities and media. He is an experienced researcher and accomplished writer, accustomed to working on policy documents, news stories, web content, feature articles and detailed briefings. Recently, his projects have included researching the likely consequences of ‘Brexit’ and writing a policy paper on business support for small and medium enterprises.

As a Conservative Party staffer, Owen wrote and researched the party’s local government manifesto for Northern Ireland, as well as contributing significantly to both its European and Westminster manifestos.

As a journalist and commentator Owen has contributed to The Guardian, The Daily Mirror, Belfast Telegraph, FourFourTwo, The Christian Science Monitor, Prospect Magazine, Open Democracy and Conservative Home, as well as other newspapers and magazines. His blog was shortlisted for the inaugural Orwell Prize for political blogging, in 2009.  Public Affairs clients have included the Federation of Small Businesses and Leave.EU.

Owen is a member of the Institute of Accounting Technicians in Ireland and worked in accountancy for ten years. He studied law at Dundee University.

Citizen2020 Workshop Series

As part of our program for 2016/17 we’re running a series of interactive ‘talk show’ workshops as part of Citizen 2020.

Citizen 2020 is a unique community of professionals and information resource focused on how government needs to embrace digital technology to improve citizen experience.

The first workshop will be held on September 29, with further workshops planned for London, Washington DC and California Bay Area.

More information here.