Limerick Leader newspaper Online Edition


Saturday, February 12th, 2005


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Launch of new online business marketplace

OVER 50 businesses with a combined estimated turnover of 17.5m are listed for sale or are seeking investment on a new on-line marketplace for trading Irish businesses.

Set up by Limerick businessmen John Ahern and John Ryan is set to become the first port of call for anyone who wishes to buy, sell or invest in an Irish business.

Currently the types of businesses listed for sale range from fast food outlets to financial services companies.

They include a Health and Fitness Club in Ennis, a School of Motoring in Galway and Internet Operations Company in the Leinster area. The sale prices being sought range from 40,000 to 350,000 while the turnover ranges from 40,000 to 750,000.

"Based on the stats, we currently have 2,000 visitors a month," said John Ahern. "In the first two weeks of officially launching the site we had 940 visits. The numbers are growing dramatically week-on-week.

"The range of businesses listed and the level of enquiries is providing a unique view of the movement of Irish businesses and will help us build-up a profile of the most popular type of businesses being sought or being put up for sale," added Mr Ahern.

This is the first venture of its kind in Ireland and it will be useful to those wishing to buy or sell a business and those sourcing franchise opportunities. It will also interest the private equity market as the site listings will attract investors seeking businesses and businesses seeking investment.

John Ahern is the founder of Go2mobile, the first company in Ireland to deliver a range of mobile messaging solutions to the corporate sector. John Ryan, is the Technical Manager for Go2mobile.

The costs for placing a business for sale, seeking a business or franchise varies depending on the length of time a business is advertised. The standard rate is 149 per month for a three-month listing, with a special rate of 49 per month for small businesses. The amount of information given in relation to any business is at the discretion of the person placing the advert.

There is also a free mobile/text alert service. Anyone registered with the site can be informed immediately if a business matching their requirements comes up for sales or if a buyer matching their requirements logs an interest.



It's back to school time

VISTAKON staff have gone back to school as part of a new partnership with St Enda's secondary school.

Staff from the contact lens manufacturer are taking part in two programmes in the school: the skills at work programme and the student mentoring programme. With the skills at work programme, staff from Vistakon visit the fifth years around five times per year to educate them about the world of work.

The student mentoring programme involves staff from Vistakon acting as mentors for identified students at the school. This takes place over two years with the Leaving Cert students visiting their mentors at Vistakon monthly. Mentors stress the value of education and advise on topics such as careers and preparing CVs.

The project is being supported by Business in the Community, a non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing corporate responsibility.

Business in the Community was founded in January 2000 and target the top 100 companies in Ireland. It runs the Schools Business Partnership nationally, supported by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Education and Science, the Dublin Funds Industry Association, and Marks and Spencer.



LIT hosts renewable energy conference

LIMERICK will play host to a high profile think tank on renewable energy heating practices when the National Renewable Energy Heating Conference takes place on Thursday, February 17 at the Millennium Theatre, Limerick Institute of Technology.

The conference, which will be addressed by Minister for Labour Affairs, Tony Killeen TD, will play host to over 100 delegates from all facets of the industry.

Hosted by the Renewable Energy Skillnet and featuring national and international speakers, the conference will be an opportunity for all stakeholders in Ireland's renewable energy heating sector to share information and exchange ideas on technology trends and best practices in specification and installation of renewable energy heating systems. The keynote speaker will be Mr Aidan Burke of the Construction Industry Federation with further presentations from key industry leaders, policy makers, suppliers and academics.

Those interested in attending the conference, the Renewable Energy Skillnet training courses or looking for further information can email or telephone 061 329744.



Heineken and ERC renew deal

HEINEKEN will continue as the title sponsor of the European Rugby Cup for another four years, until 2009.

The partnership between Heineken and ERC was first forged when European club rugby's elite competition was launched in 1995 and has developed into one of the longest running and most successful alliances in the professional game.



Russian deal for Shannon Aerospace

SHANNON Aerospace has provided assistance to Russian operator Kaliningradavia in accepting its first western-built aircraft, a B737. This plane will be the first of five Boeing 737s to be delivered to the airline in 2005.

Kaliningradavia was established in 1978, operating Tupolev-134A aircraft to transport passengers and cargo within the Soviet Union.





Switching on our light bulbs


"I was so proud to be an Irishman to stand on top of the world. For a short time in the history of our planet I had the privilege, not once but twice, to stand on that patch of ground five and a half miles high in the sky at which jet liners cruise. A place that was pushed from the bottom of our seas to the top of the world. The power, the energy and the feeling was amazing" - Pat Falvey


I HAVE been infatuated by Mount Everest going back to my school days and have looked at numerous documentaries tracking the journeys of those amazing people who dared to scale it's peak which all started back on May 29, 1953 when Hillary and Tenzing reached the summit and conquered the goddess of the sky or Sagarmatha (the Nepal name).

Everest was formed over 60 million years ago and has a height of 29,035 feet above sea level, which is approximately five and a half miles high. The summit is no larger than a snooker table and has claimed the lives of many climbers over 120 years.

If you reach the summit you can see Tibet, India and Nepal and if you have access to the internet you can see a 360 degree view of the summit at

Reaching the summit is not an easy task when you are climbing in sub zero conditions, facing massive snow and ice avalanches, hurricane force winds and the prospects of hypothermia (the dramatic loss of body heat) which can be terminal.

Why am I mentioning all this to you this week? I had the privilege of meeting with one man that has faced these challenges more than once and fought the elements to reach the summit twice on May 27, 1995 and May 18, 2004.

His name is Pat Falvey and his story is a clear example of a person who started out with everything, lost it all and with it his self esteem, but fought back to fulfil his dreams and is still doing it today. This man has stared at the depths of despair and went thorough a lot of soul searching but with sheer determination, a positive attitude, self belief and a renewed passion for life conquered his fear of failure and achieved his dreams.

I get some people stating to me that I am always referring to being positive and is this realistic but it is far better than throwing yourself down and having a pity party.

I think a lot of people need to read or listen to hope in their lives as the world is full of negativity and bad news. With all this negativity pelting down on you it makes sense that positivity is needed to balance the scales a bit. I wrote a piece two weeks ago about appreciating what you have and I received a beautiful text message from a lady recovering in hospital stating that the piece gave her a lift. Look, we all need a lift, a kind word, a pat on the back, recognition, a show of appreciation and it costs nothing to give it and yet it is like a rare jewel to get it. I guess a lot of people wait until the person is dead and gone to say good things about them, a fat lot of good it is then.

Pat has agreed to come to Limerick on March 9 to the Castletroy Park Hotel to do a seminar titled Operation Everest - The Psychology of Success with Catherine McGeechy and myself. He uses awesome digital imagery to highlight his points and has wonderful stories to tell on the capacity of the human spirit. I hope you can make it there as the last seminar we ran was a huge success and I think people got a lot out of it. The cost of the seminar is 135 and it starts at 9am and finishes at pm so your whole day will not be tied up. If you want to book a place on the seminar you can email: or contact me directly and we can send you out an application form.

They say that we all have what it takes to achieve our goals; all we need is someone to turn on our light bulb. Lets hope we achieve that.


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