10 Jun

Denis O Brien ; Greed, Oil & Topaz

i) Denis O Brien Siteserv 06-06-14 Rent-a Fence to Irish Water t.b.c

ii) Denis O Brien 10-06-14 Topaz-Statoil-Shell-Dutch Shell t.b.c


If N.A.M.A  is unknowable , unseen , illogical, unaccountable and if it is beyond intelligence TOPAZ-DUTCH SHELL-SHELL-STATOIL-ION EQUITY-KPMG-BOI- AIB know no boundaries or just care less.DOB images

Begging belief on MY Facebook  PAGE the 3rd November 2013 that  Denis O Brien will outbid the mightier Goldman Sachs (for whom he is a stakeholder by way of the Trilateral Commission) for TOPAZ-SHELL who as will be seen are only separated on paper.
Bank of Ireland-Denis O Brien-KPMG v Goldman Sachs or rewarded by Goldman Sachs.

What followed is the usual trail of corruption created over time by Denis who bought the controlling stake on the 13th December 2013 watched on or cheered by FG,FF,Banks,Corporations and The Usual Suspects mentioned in each company especially Anglo-IBRC and NAMA.

What’s not in the Denis O Brien controlled  spINDO  Fionnan Sheehan is that John Mulcahy of NAMA will be busy as his company Jones Lang LaSalle was also one of those in the leaked IBRC creditors list who are now transferring unsold borrowings to the National Asset Management Agency via theirs and Denis O Briens friends KPMP .

Among them are borrowings related to TV3, Arnotts, the Racing Post, Topaz and stockbrokers Davy.
The Irish investors who own the Racing Post said they would bid for their own borrowings of €150m. There is also speculation TV3 would try to buy back its loans.
Arnotts’ borrowings of €200m have been linked to Selfridges and the House of Fraser.
Davy had paid off more than half its loan and plans to purchase the outstanding €140m.
Two bids were expected for the €185m loan of petrol retailer Topaz, with one coming from its significant shareholder Denis O’Brien.

So is Denis stealing more shares in our our oil to Shell back to us…..and are they all buying back their own shares which were ours for pittance from their own friends ?


Thinking of and watching  #thepipe #rossport as predicted on the 3rd November 2013 and it pained me to be right as there should not be this level of corruption ignored by so called governance when Denis O Brien bought for pittance the controlling share in Topaz 13-12-2013 from his mates yet owes millions to the indirect bank who took over the direct bank and NAMA who he purchased from with Bank of Ireland where Denis sat on the board also.

O’Brien gains control of Topaz as Davy partners buy stockbroker

Roisin Burke

Draghi Speaks At The World Economic Forum…Denis O’Brien, Irish billionaire and chairman of Digicel Group Ltd., right, speaks during a meeting at the Hotel Seehoff on day three of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 43rd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the five day event runs from Jan. 23-27. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg *** Local Caption ***Denis O’Brien…I

Businessman Denis O’Brien is set to gain control of Ireland’s biggest petrol retailer while investment company Doughty Hanson has bought back its loans in TV3.


Mr O’Brien (pictured), the founder of the mobile phone company Digicel and a key shareholder in the publisher of this newspaper, is set to buy €304m worth of loans linked to Topaz, sources involved in the sale told the Irish Independent yesterday.

Topaz has 330 service stations across Ireland. Mr O’Brien’s spokesman did not respond to questions.

The Topaz deal is part of a loan auction that also included the debt of businesses including Arnotts and the ‘Racing Post’. Final bids closed last Friday and the special liquidator is now selling the loans in most cases. At least four sale deals have been agreed, it is understood.

Private equity manager Doughty Hanson said last night that it bought €250m debt attached to TV3. David McRedmond, who is the chief executive of TV3, said the deal ended “an uncertain period for the company”.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan welcomed the conclusion of the bidding phase, saying that the special liquidators expect that 84pc of the portfolio will be sold to third parties for prices in excess of the independent valuations.

The remainder will go to NAMA. About €2.5bn face value worth of loans were put up for sale as part of the €22bn IBRC liquidation.

Mr O’Brien “fought off” Topaz founder Neil O’Leary’s finance company Ion Equity and a consortium that included Mark McGoldrick’s Mount Kellett and Goldman Sachs.

Davy Stockbrokers confirmed last night that partners had bought the €140m debt linked to a management buy-out with financing from Bank of Ireland.

Dublin private equity group FL Partners was said by one source to have bought some of its borrowing but to have also been unsuccessful on the ‘Racing Post’.

Borrowers are said to have had the edge in bidding for their own loans. The level of information available to non-borrower bidders was criticised by some bidders as having been too sparse.

Dialogue was continuing yesterday between bidders and KPMG.

Big-name investors looked over the data on this book of trading businesses, including John Grayken’s Lone Star and Kennedy Wilson.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/obrien-gains-control-of-topaz-as-davy-partners-buy-stockbroker-29834280.html#sthash.ylSBS51q.dpuf


In 1999, Saga Petroleum became a part of Norsk Hydro and in 2007 a part of Statoil. In July 2009, Vermilion Energy acquired Marathon Oil’s stake in the project.[6]

Statoil service stations in the Republic of Ireland began to rebrand as Topaz, following the acquisition of the company in 2006 by Irish oil firm Topaz Energy Group.

Statoil is a partner of Royal Dutch Shell in the Corrib gas project, which entails developing a natural gas field off the northwest coast of Ireland. The project has proved controversial with some Irish residents. In the summer of 2005, five men from County Mayo were jailed for contempt of court after refusing to obey a temporary court injunction forbidding them to interfere with work being undertaken on their land. The ensuing protests led to the Shell to Sea campaign that opposes the project.

Statoil service stations in the Republic of Ireland began to rebrand as Topaz, following the acquisition of the company in 2006 by Irish oil firm Topaz Energy Group.

Topaz has indeed quietly removed all mention of Shell from its retail brochures and marketing material, but it is still a Shell licensee, and happy to own up to it for an international audience.

“About Topaz

In 2005 Topaz Energy purchased the oil products business of Irish Shell and Shell Northern Ireland. It went on to acquire Statoil Ireland in 2006. Topaz Energy currently operates as a licensee for both brands in Ireland.”

Laura ? Laura ? come back Laura

Topaz is not a Shell Licensee & has no Involvement with the Shell Corrib Gas Project

by Laura – Topaz Fri Apr 29, 2011 15:32

Hi Ferdia, SAyed and other interested parties. In 2005, Topaz Energy Ltd. bought the retail and commercial fuels business of Shell in Ireland, following that company’s decision to disengage from its downstream activities in the Irish market. In 2006, Topaz purchased the Statoil business in Ireland. Topaz rebranded the complete network of previous Shell and Statoil sites in 2008 but between 2005 and 2008, Topaz Energy Ltd. were obliged (By Shell) to refer to the company as a Shell licensee. The brochure posted above is out-dated and from this time. We are no longer a Shell licensee. The 1,400 Topaz employees are not paid by Shell or Statoil, but by Topaz Energy Ltd., a 100% Irish owned and run business.

I have clarified categorically that Topaz Energy Ltd. are not associated in any way with the Corrib Oil Gas project, are not a ‘front’ for Shell and are not a Shell licensee.

Laura from Topaz


by Ferdia – S2S Fri Apr 29, 2011 16:59
Thank you for that clarification. Another question: Do Topaz drill for and refine their own fuel products, including placing them for sale on

their forecourts? This is a genuine enquiry, because I don’t honestly know. If it’s the case that they don’t and that they merely sell the

products of other oil Companies, particularly Shell, then they’re part of the problem, not the solution. It has always been my assumption

that much of the petrol in Topaz’s pumps is supplied by Shell, who take their cut without the hassle of people turning up to vent their

anger at the treatment of Erris people and the Giveaway of our Natural Resourses. I’m totally open to correction on that, and I’m hoping

you’ll stay with this thread for a while, because if your’e a troll you’re at least quite a well-mannerred one. So the question is: whose fuel

products are Topaz selling, and what kind of cut is each side getting?

A fair question…….

by Jherek Carnelian – Hawkwind Fri Apr 29, 2011 17:05

and we expect the Commercial Marketing Co-ordinator with Topaz to have all the answers.

Wondrin why

by Porky – None Fri Apr 29, 2011 19:36

Can’t figure why Laura felt the need to come on here, considering that this thread had become more inactive than the space between eamon Ryan’s ears. But now that she has, i think she’s opened a can of worms, because the question Ferdia is asking is a good one. I think we’d all like to know what the connection is, if any between shell and Topaz. If this lady is a co ordinator ro whatever. she should answer the question. I hope she has’nt gone to ground becase, to be fair, everyone has treated her wiyh respect so far, so seh has nothing to fear. But maybe she has something to hide.

Topaz is Shell in Ireland

by SAyed Mon May 02, 2011 11:57

There seems to be a very strong connection between Shell and Topaz, despite what Laura says. http://www.topazenergy.ie/en/news/TOPAZ-AND-SHELL-AVIAT…LAND/

Maybe she could explain why every other country in Europe has Shell stations except this one, and no other country has Topaz stations except Ireland.

It’s not that Shell is using Topaz as a front in this country is it?

Topaz is an Irish petroleum retail chain, operating all over the island of Ireland. The legal entity was formed in 2005 and previously traded under the Statoil and Shell brands, until 2008 when the Topaz brand replaced both in Ireland.[citation needed] Topaz, a 100% Irish owned and managed company is Ireland’s largest fuels and convenience retailer.[citation needed] It is also the largest supplier of home heating oil in Ireland.[citation needed] It is a secondary of Ion Equity Limited, a venture capital company that also used to ownSWS Group and USIT.


The company was formed by Ion Equity in 2005 as a vehicle to take over part of the Irish operations of Royal Dutch Shell plc (the filling station and home heating operation, Irish Shell Limited) as well as the Irish operations of Statoil. This was controversial in itself, as the Competition Authority, which must approve large mergers and acquisitions, failed to take a decision on the takeover of Statoil’s assets within the time frame allowed, thus automatically approving the deal. This was the first time this had happened in the Authority’s history.[citation needed]

The company was slow to reveal its branding strategy, continuing at first to trade under the Shell, Statoil, and Fareplay brands.[citation needed] However, beginning in 2008, Topaz began replacing both these brands with its own. The Fareplay brand, which Topaz owns worldwide rights to, has also been retired and replaced with a number of Topaz convenience store brands including Topaz Restore and Topaz Express.

As of 2012, Topaz currently operates 118 Company Owned Company Operated (COCO) sites in the Republic of Ireland and 1 site in Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is due to roll out a new loyalty scheme in 2013.

The current CEO is John Williamson have been appointed in February 2012. Williamson previously held the role of CF.

Topaz spending €50m rebranding Shell and Statoil stations nationwide

By Niamh Hennessy

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

TOPAZ, the private business group backed by Denis O’Brien, is investing €50 million in rebranding the country’s Statoil and Shell service stations as well as the expansion its network.

The move follows the purchase by Topaz of the Irish retail and commercial fuels businesses of Shell and Statoil in 2005 and 2006.

Topaz says the planned expansion will create 400 new jobs and is largely confined to the greater Dublin area. However, the company said it is also looking for opportunities in the Munster area, which it sees as a key geographic location.

As well as the 350 Statoil and Shell stations, the rebrand will include 100 convenience stores, 250 trucks and seven sea terminals.

Topaz chief executive Danny Murray said the company’s ambition was to redefine the service station experience for Irish consumers.

“We want to put the consumer at the heart of our business model and get away from the Big Oil approach to retailing. We’re looking forward to working through our directly owned stations and through our dealer and distributor networks to transform the offering for Irish consumers,” he said.

Mr Murray added that the company wants to double the value of non-fuel sales over the coming years.

They already sell four million cups of coffee, eight million cold drinks, two million sandwiches, five million newspapers and 14 million confectionery products a year.

The first two Topaz-branded service stations and stores opened yesterday at Dublin Port and at Citywest in Dublin.

Topaz, one of Ireland’s largest privately-owned companies, has a turnover of over €3.5 billion a year.

It directly employs 1,300 people in Ireland and is owned by ION Equity and other investors, one of which is believed to be businessman Denis O’Brien.


Interesting stuff from Aine Coffey and Brian Carey in the ST Biz today on Topaz and Denis O’Brien.
Topaz(which imports about half of the State’s motor and home heating fuel and almost all of the aviation fuel) was caught short by the IRBC liquidation and had to refinance it’s working capital arrangements with BOI, reportedly in the space of 24 hours.
Denis O’Brien owns 28% of Topaz and Neil O’Leary of Ion Equity owns around 35%. That goes back to a deal in 2005 when Ion and O’Brien took over former Shell and Statoil interests in part using loans from Anglo.
Now Denis O’Brien is objecting to attempts by Topaz to refinance its discount invocing facility tthrough AIB and BOI and has written in the last fortnight to the banks and shareholders involved to signal his interest in acquiring the entire debt owed and reinvesting with a view to taking control of the company.
Game over as far as ownership of Topaz is concerned.
It should be recalled that O’Brien got a write down of 64 million from IRBC last year when partnering with Trafigura to take control of UK oil refiner and distributor Blue Ocean Associates.Ireland

Tax Dispute Denis on the move;


Brian Cowen and former AIB chief appointed to board of Topaz

Newly appointed non-executives also include Emmet O’Neill of Smiles Dental

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen has been apointed to the board of Topaz

In October 1994, it was revealed that Cowen had 1,000 shares in Arcon, a company to which he was in the process of awarding a mining licence. He quickly sold the shares and apologised in the Dáil for causing himself and his colleagues “some embarrassment”.Brian Cowen

Arcon International Resources plc[edit]

Arcon is an Irish registered mineral and mining exploration organisation. It manages the Galmoy Zinc Mine, carrying out foregoing mineral exploration activities.[4] Galmoy is now run by the Swedish owned company Lundin.

Conroy Diamonds and Gold see Trilateral Commission members

Conroy Diamonds and Gold was established in 1995 to exploit the discovery of the Galmoy Ore deposits – now in production as a major zinc mine. Its current activities are on a geological structure known as the Longford-Down Massif.[6]


Mark Paul


Sat, May 3, 2014, 12:37

First published:Fri, May 2, 2014, 17:51


Topaz, the fuel and retail chain owned by Denis O’Brien, has appointed former taoiseach Brian Cowen and Colm Doherty, the former managing director of AIB who was appointed in 2009 after the bank guarantee, as directors of the company.1374350_655935374440036_113076184_n

Mr O’Brien, who bought out Topaz’s loans from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to take control of the company last year, has also joined the board of the company, which has revenues of about €3.2 billion and controls about a quarter of the Irish forecourt market.

Lucy Gaffney, a long-time associate of Mr O’Brien’s who also sits on the board of Independent News and Media (IN&M), has also become a director. Sean Corkery, who is the chief executive of Mr O’Brien’s building services company Siteserv, has also joined the board.

Mr O’Brien’s nephew, Emmet O’Neill, who recently sold Smiles Dental for €36 million, has also become a director of the company.

Topaz has refused to confirm the fees that will be paid to Mr Cowen and the other directors to serve as directors.

John Callaghan will remain as the chairman of the board of Topaz, along with its chief executive, John Williamson, while Niall Devereux, the company’s chief financial officer, also joins the board.

The company made a loss of €13 million last year. Mr O’Brien, who had been a minority shareholder alongside Neil O’Leary’s Ion Equity, gained full cotnrol last year when he bought its €300 million of loans from IBRC for about 50c in the euro.

Ray Burke FF Lobbied OR Coerced

Shell to Sea, Ray Burke, and the irresistible gombeenism of Ireland

There is a strong element of NIMBYism in Ireland. If you want to widen your gateposts in Dublin, there’s always a chance that someone in Kerry could object – redefining the very concept. Or if you want to link towns and cities with a motorway (statistically the safest roads) or replace death-trap bridges (see Slane) there will be no shortage of consciensious objectors trying to put the mockers on it.

So I have to admit when I heard, way back when, that protesters were out blocking the roads in Mayo – reciting the Rosary as Gaeilge, no less – in objection to Shell’s proposed gas pipeline going over their land, I was a bit sceptical to put it very mildly.

But just as the State took such a major role in suppressing dissent when Ronald Ronald Reagan visited these shores many years ago – with a special fondness in his heart for the imbeciles of Ballyporeen – you have to wonder if they have some kind of point. Oh, and at that time the Irish prime minister was espoused liberal, Garret Fitzgerald. Welcome Ronnie the warmonger.

Remember too, that the Irish government has never been behind the door when prostitiuing us to the multinationals. OK, we’ve more jobs nowadays than we did in the ‘80s, but there is such a thing as protection.

Then there’s the payoff. While having Google and Microsoft here gives us jobs, you have to wonder about us being the prime facilitators of corporate tax-dodging in the EU. Ask anyone employed in one of these concerns and the answer will be predictable. And understandable. But?

So, no surprise tben, that the Irish government sold us so short when they wrote the Corrib exploration rights off to Shell. Professor John M Simmie, from the chemistry facuilty of NUI Galway, maintained in the Irish Times of August 23rd, 2005, that “ at that time, the country had neither the trained personnel nor the funds to wildcat for oil and gas. It would have been a giant gamble at a time when our economy could not have sustained such a shock.”

OK, 50/1 are odds that the most optimistic gambler would shirk at, but even if your horse wins because the rest of the field falls down, you wouldn’t have backed it unless you thought there was some chance of winning. But it seems that corrupt Fianna Fail politician, Ray Burke, lobbied to abolish existing legislation of the time – which gave the State a 50% stake in any discoveries – to facilitate Shell’s deployment here. You can look further into this at the Shell to Sea website here.

For my part, I know we need energy resources, I know we need investment, I know we need infrastructure. But I also know that if someone like Ray Burke was involved in Shell’s investment here, you have to wonder.

In times like this we need to make the most of the few assets we have to get some semblance of profit for our pains – whilst keeping within international safety standards .



Denis & Bank of Ireland

By Pat Boyle  12-04-2000

THE appointment of Denis O’Brien as a director of the Bank of Ireland – officially a member of the Court of the bank – is a recognition of his enormous achievements in business in a comparatively short time.

The bank said little about the appointment but insiders believe it marks a significant departure from traditional court appointments.

Directors have almost always been drawn from the ranks of those representing the accountancy or legal professions, as well as those from the construction and agri-business industries. These stalwarts have been topped off with the odd estate agent or packaging industry chief, but rarely does a full-blooded entrepreneur get a look in.

Ironically perhaps, the only high profile entrepreneur to precede Mr O’Brien to the Court was his former employer and sometime mentor, Tony Ryan of GPA.

However, the former GPA chief already held a 5pc stake in the bank when he was invited to join the board.

Mr O’Brien, on the other hand, has no significant holding – yet, at any rate – in Bank of Ireland.

Apart from his status as an entrepreneur, Bank of Ireland will be able to draw on his experience of the communications industry revolution, the coalface of the modern business world and the bedrock of the `new economy.’

It will not be lost on many players in this industry that Mr O’Brien was forced to go to the US to get financial backing for the vision that eventually became Esat.

Bank of Ireland, along with its counterparts in the Irish finance world, has played a minimal role in funding new economy ventures, only waking up to the potential of the communications revolution late in the day.

In his new role as a director, Mr O’Brien will have to attend monthly board meetings at which the day-to-day business of the bank is discussed.

He will also have to attend a couple of longer meetings, which see the board members holed up for a couple of days to conduct a more in-depth review of the bank’s business and to explore strategies.

Mr O’Brien will doubtless be asked to sit on or even chair one or more of the three special committees which deal with the audit business, remuneration of senior executives and with social affairs.

But it will be his expected input into the strategic reviews which will excite most interest.

As one insider put it: “We have made a major catch here, someone who has been hugely successful in a short period of time and who has a high profile in one of the most important areas of the economy.”

Dr Ryan’s tenure as a director coincided with a difficult time for the bank as its exposure to losses in the US led to a hopeless performance by the group’s shares.

Eventually, Dr Ryan sold his stock and quit the court.

Bank of Ireland will be hoping that Mr O’Brien’s tenure is marked by happier times.

Now, at least, Bank of Ireland has someone on board with first-hand experience of the technology revolution and of the difficulties faced by young entrepreneurs in securing capital.

It would indeed be a pity if the feared meltdown in technology stocks does now materialise, just as the old economy mandarins have woken up to its potential!

By Joe Brennan and Finbarr Flynn

Published 28/01/2012


“Bank of Ireland has taken the medicine,” the telecoms mogul Denis O Brien said in an interview with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum‘s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Bank of Irelands Top Ten Equity Partners at the same time Denis cited returning to the fold as BOI had cleaned up their act that he was part of the Iniatiation in 2000.

1.BNP Paribas http://www.icij.org/offshore/french-banks-under-palm-trees

2.JP MORGAN http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-19/jpmorgan-said-to-have-reached-13-billion-u-s-accord.html

3.PRYSMIAN ;Indirectly controlled by Goldman Sachs http://en.cn.prysmian.com/about-us/history.html

4.Roche ; The world’s largest maker of cancer drugs/death/vaccines http://www.omsj.org/corruption/roche-overlooks-80000-adverse-reaction-complaints

5.Volkswagen ; Porsche-Piech families-Mafia Third Reich-http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/designing-cars-for-hitler-porsche-and-volkswagen-s-nazi-roots-a-637368.html

6.Continental ;Schaeffler- Wal-Mart and usual suspect bankers http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-05/schaeffler-said-to-set-pricing-on-6-billion-euros-of-loans.html http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/german-schaeffler-scandal-gets-hairy/

7.Microsoft ; Tax Evasion & of course corruption  http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-microsoft-avoids-taxes-loopholes-irs-2013-1 http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrawrage/2013/03/20/microsoft-whistleblower-allegations-highlight-global-corruption-risks/

8.Repsol ; Oil,  & THE USUAL GREED


9.Societe Generale ; Banks of the usual sort http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-34227_162-57539428/   The Société Générale scandal was one of the first fractures in the facade of what was then broadly perceived as an aggressive but essentially self-regulating financial system, giving rise to early calls against excessive risk-taking and lavish bonuses that have grown steadily louder since.

It came not long after the first indications of the subprime mortgage crisis surfaced in the United States in August 2007 and was followed in March and September of 2008 by the demise of two flagship investment banks, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. In December of that year, Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was uncovered, a fraud that set investors back more than $20 billion, according to estimates by the court-appointed trustee overseeing the case.More recently, Fabrice Tourre, another French banker, and his employer, Goldman Sachs, were sued by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission in April for creating and selling mortgage products that regulators contend were secretly devised to fail.

10.Wal Mart ; 31cent an hour child labour- Hazardous waste- Walmart’s main Money Store partners, GE Capital-Mexico Bribery-http://www.salon.com/2013/10/14/very_sneaky_wal_mart_how_the_mega_retailer_rolled_back_california_regulations/


While Irish banks have written down their assets to market values and been recapitalised, “other banks around Europe haven’t done a mark-to-market”, he added.

The billionaire also had good words to say about Ireland.

“We have taken the cod-liver oil,” he said. “Ireland is definitely on the turn.”

Bank of Ireland shares closed little changed in Dublin after hitting a seven-month high the previous day.

Mr O’Brien, who has a 22pc stake in Independent News & Media, resigned as deputy chairman of Bank of Ireland in September 2006.

He joined the bank’s board as a director in April 2000. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/denis-obrien-prepared-to-invest-as-boi-cleans-up-act-26815629.html#sthash.jLUciCKG.dpuf
O’Brien wants deposit guarantees quadrupled and the banks stuffed with government cash.

Back to Ion Equity

Board of Directors

Neil O’Leary – Ion Equity – Chairman

Neil is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Ion Equity, and also the Chairman of Topaz Energy and a director of USIT and SouthWestern and many other businesses. Neil has conceived and led most of Ion’s acquisitions.

Neil is a former investment banker and director of UBS Ltd, London, where he was responsible for executing many international transactions across a number of sectors. While a Senior Executive of the London Stock Exchange he had responsibility for listings and market intelligence as a lawyer with McCann FitzGerald. He is a Member of UCC Foundation and Soul of Haiti Foundation.



Jim Costello – CEO & Executive Director.

Jim Costello has been with SouthWestern since 2003. A Qualified Accountant (FCMA) he previously spent 15 years in the Information Technology and Outsourcing sectors internationally. He was Finance Director for Unisys Corporation in Europe (EMEA), General Manager of Managed Services in France and Global Managing Director of the Unisys/Dell Managed Services Alliance.

Through this experience, Jim’s career has been involved in delivering “mission critical” solutions for large and major customers around the world where excellent service has always been the benchmark. Jim has studied Business excellence models in the University of Ulster and Stanford University, California.



Daniel O’Donohoe – Ion Equity.  Non-Executive Director.

Daniel O’Donohoe joined Ion Equity in 2006 and has experience in all aspects of mergers, acquisitions, corporate development, restructuring and private equity investing. Daniel previously worked with AIB Corporate Finance, ING Barings and KPMG and profile advisory transactions include assisting the Grafton Group with its €353 million takeover of Heiton Group plc and assisting the Musgrave Group on its stg£232 million takeover of Budgens plc in the UK.

Daniel is a Chartered Accountant with a degree in Economics and he studied International Business at Harvard University.


Joe Walsh – Non-Executive Director

Joseph ‘Joe’ Walsh is a former member of the Irish Government and a successful business Director. As Minister for Agriculture and Food, Joe Walsh was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, in 1999 for his strategic vision and commitment towards securing Ireland’s position in the growing European and global market for food and drink.

Joe retired from politics in 2005 and has since run a number of Directorships for leading Irish organisations.


Kieran Calnan – Non-Executive Director

As a senior manager of the SWS Group for 25 years culminating in his appointment as Chief Executive in 1996, Mr. Calnan oversaw the diversification of SWS from a single service provider (agricultural services) to a multi-service company that included Renewables, Business Process Outsourcing, Forestry and Business Services.

Currently Kieran is Chairman of the Board of BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mhara/Irish Fisheries Board). He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the UCC ‘Ignite’ programme, an initiative that aims to promote entrepreneurship. Mr. Calnan also played an active role in promoting the award winning West Cork Fuschia brand (aimed at marketing quality products including seafood from the West Cork area) during its formative years.


Paddy Morrissey – CFO & Executive Director

Paddy qualified as a chartered accountant in 1997. Between then and 2008, Paddy worked primarily in the financial services industry for companies such as KPMG in the Channel Islands and Fortis and FEXCO in Ireland. Paddy has gained invaluable experience in areas such as audit and internal control, financial control and analysis, systems implementation and treasury management.

Paddy has overall responsibility for the Finance Department of SouthWestern and also supports the other members of the management team in managing various aspects of the business on a day to day basis.

Paddy is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and is an associate member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT).



Tim Cowhig – Non-Executive Director

Tim is currently CEO of Element Power managing global projects in the renewable energy industry. Tim is a chartered accountant with over 20 years commercial experience, he was instrumental in setting up SWS Energy where, as CEO and Executive Director, he oversaw nearly 200MW of operational wind and 400MW of development projects ahead of its sale to Bord Gais in December 2009.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University College, Cork. Tim is a member of Institute of Directors and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.



Ulric Kenny – Ion Equity.  Non-Executive Director

A co-founder of Ion Equity, Ulric has led a number of its investments since the inception of the business such as SWS Energy and Ocean Media Group.

Prior to co-founding Ion Equity in 2000, Ulric worked in transaction services in PricewaterhouseCoopers London and in audit roles with that firm in Toronto and Waterford. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® is run in association with The Irish Times, RTE, Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland, Invest Northern Ireland, Trinity Business School and Digicel.
The 2008 Shortlist Finalists – see attached table

The 12 members of the Judging Panel are:

  • Denis O’Brien, Digicel Group (Chair), (Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 1998)
  • Aidan Heavey, Tullow Oil PLC (Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2005)
  • Brian Long, Atlantic Bridge Partners (Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2000)
  • Pat Maher, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland
  • Liam Nellis, Chief Executive, InterTradeIreland
  • Jerry Kennelly, CEO, Kilmackillogue Capital (Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2005)
  • Padraig O’Ceidigh, Chairman, Aer Arann Express (Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2002)
  • Liam Shanahan, Shanahan Engineering (Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2003)
  • Donal Durkin, Director of Creative and Design-based Industries, Invest Northern Ireland
  • Ann Heraty, CPL Resources Plc. (Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2006)
  • Pat McDonagh, Third Force (Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2000)
  • Michael Carey, Executive Chairman, Jacob Fruitfield Food Group.(Ernst & Young Industry Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2005)


Entrepreneur Company Business Activity  Founded Location
John Flaherty C&F Group Global Sheet Metal Specialist 1989 Galway
Donal O’Riain Ecocem Materials Ltd Carbon Neutral Concrete 2000  Dublin
David Bobbett H&K International Restaurant Equipment Systems – Worldwide 2002  Dublin
Sean Keenan Multis Group Remanufacturing & Remarketing 1994 Galway
 Xavier McAuliff Spectra Group Photographic/Hotel & Property Development 1970 Kilkenny
Danny Moore Wombat Financial Software Financial Trading Solutions 1997 Antrim
Conor Foley Worldspreads Group Financial Spread Trading 2000 Dublin
Brendan O’Regan Zenith Technologies Ltd Process Automation & Control 1998 Cork


Entrepreneur Company Business Activity Founded Location
Lord Kilclooney Alpha Newspaper Group Newspaper Publishing, Printing, Radio Media 1983 Tyrone
Pat O’Flynn AVR Safeway Ltd Sustainable Solutions for Hazardous Waste 1998 Cork
Michael Cullen Beacon Medical Group Healthcare 2002 Dublin
Stephen Grant Grant Engineering (Ireland) Ltd Engineering 1978 Offaly
Howard Beggs Helix Health Ltd Healthcare Information and Communications Technology 1996 Dublin
Neil O’Leary Ion Equity Private Equity Investors  2000 Dublin
Orla Corr McAvoy Off-Site Building Solutions Off-Site Building Construction 1973 Tyrone
Terence Brannigan Resource Group Support Services 2006 Antrim


Entrepreneur  Company Business Activity Founded Location
Tom Marren CES Energy CHP/Tri-Generation. District Heating/Cooling & Photovoltaic 2002 Dublin
Eugene Greene Cooneen Watts & Stone Ltd Military Clothing 2004 Tyrone
Patricia O’Hagan Core Systems (NI) Ltd Core Systems (NI) Ltd 2003 Antrim
Tom Brennan & Patsy Carney EirGen Pharma Pharmaceutical 2005 Waterford
Eric Mosley Globoforce Ltd Incentive Management Solutions 1999 Boston/Dublin
Sean Rowland Hibernia College Education 2000 Dublin
Mark Heffernan   Opsona Therapeutics Ltd Biotechnology 2004 Dublin

Cronies ??????Rewards …..Senator Averil Power is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. She was elected to the 24th Seanad in April 2011 by the Industrial and Commercial Panel,[2] She grew up in a council estate, forgot her roots completely and claims to be the first person in her family to finish school and go to college.She is married to Denis O Briens trusty sidekick Irish Independent political editor Fionnan Sheahan.Prior to her election to the Seanad, she worked as policy adviser to former corrupt FF Minister Mary Hanafin.


Very interesting article on O’Brien also. Its worth recalling that one of Seanie Fitzpatrick’s sons works for Digicel. Also Fitzpatrick’s daughter, Sarah, worked as a volunteer for Haven, O’Brien’s Haiti charity.
Very curious that the article didn’t appear in the Irish edition of The Sunday Times. Or maybe not.

O’Brien is currently being a social entrepreneur in Haiti where his company is involved in  digital communications contracts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>