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Olivia Mcgill

Dublin, Ireland
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About Olivia
Olivia McGill is a freelance journalist, editor, content writer and comms and PR expert based in Dublin, Ireland.
Interview (Video / Broadcast) Fact Checking
Business Arts & Books Breaking News

Kombucha Na Dálaigh is just the tonic

04 Nov 2022  |  Think Business
Marianne O’Donnell, founder of Kombucha Na Dálaigh, discusses her journey of establishing a kombucha business in Donegal, Ireland. Motivated by personal health issues and a passion for nutrition, she emphasizes the company's zero waste principles and local sourcing. O’Donnell highlights the support received from Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Local Enterprise Office, while also noting the challenges of scaling production and navigating funding applications. She advocates for a more streamlined support system for food entrepreneurs and shares her future plans to expand production and promote Donegal as a Slow Food destination.

Family and community are at the heart of Lulabelle boutique

21 Sep 2022  |  Think Business
Betty Stuart, founder of Lulabelle boutique in Dun Laoghaire, shares her journey of establishing a fashion boutique that emphasizes honesty, community, and local craftsmanship. She discusses the challenges of cash flow, decision-making, and the lack of support for small local retail start-ups and single parents. Stuart's future plans include transforming her shop into a boutique and workshop, expanding her online presence, and providing a unique offering to the Irish market.

Mantra Strategy puts meaning at its heart

31 Aug 2022  |  Think Business
Lisa-Nicole Dunne, founder of Mantra Strategy, emphasizes the importance of purpose in business success. Mantra Strategy helps organizations authentically live their values and integrate Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion programs into their culture. Dunne discusses the challenges faced during the company's inception, including cash flow issues during Covid and the lack of support for non-tech service start-ups in Ireland. Despite these challenges, Mantra Strategy has thrived by offering flexible contracts and innovative programs. Dunne highlights the importance of clarity in business mission and shares her pride in achieving financial independence through her work.

Allwayswithyou harnesses AI to transform elderly care

26 Apr 2022  |  Think Business
Allwayswithyou, a Clare-based company co-founded by Ger O’Keeffe, is leveraging AI and integrated care to enable elderly people to stay healthy at home, thus easing the strain on health services. The platform is hardware-agnostic, scalable, and focuses on proactive care. Challenges include engaging with health services and overcoming fear or distrust in technology adoption. The pandemic accelerated digital health acceptance. O’Keeffe suggests Ireland could improve support for high-risk entrepreneurs and shares lessons on business strategy. Allwayswithyou received positive feedback from a national care program and plans to expand in Ireland, Scotland, and North America while enhancing their AI engine.

Donegal craftsman rides wave of success

24 Nov 2021  |  Think Business
Cathal Sheridan, founder of HuKu Balance, transformed his passion for surfing into a global business by creating sustainable balance boards. Despite initial challenges with cash flow and the impact of the pandemic, the company saw increased sales and growth. Sheridan emphasizes the importance of sustainability, offering biodegradable products and a circular economy model. Support from the Local Enterprise Office and a business Priming Grant were crucial in the company's early stages. Looking ahead, Sheridan plans to expand the product line and grow the team, maintaining the company's base in Donegal.

Fernwood Flowers champions sustainable floristry

05 Nov 2021  |  Think Business
Brigid Riley, founder of Fernwood Flowers, discusses her passion for sustainable floristry and the journey of her business. After living abroad and returning to Ireland, she started Fernwood Flowers in 2016, focusing on organic, seasonal flowers to reduce environmental impact. Challenges included establishing a brand identity and customer base, which were overcome with help from ACORNS, a support program for female entrepreneurs. The pandemic required adapting to new circumstances, such as moving wedding dates and starting an online gift bouquet delivery service. Riley emphasizes the importance of financial planning and encourages entrepreneurs to be brave and knowledgeable about their numbers. She notes the supportive culture for small businesses in Ireland and looks forward to a busy future post-pandemic.

Focus on Diversity: Creating a positive workplace

21 Oct 2021  |  Think Business
Focus on Diversity, founded by Barry Walsh, aims to bridge the gap between large multinationals and Irish SMEs in diversity and inclusion (D&I) practices. Walsh, who gained experience at Dell Technologies, created the website to promote D&I efforts and facilitate collaboration. Despite challenges like web design skills and time constraints, Walsh leveraged support from ThinkBusiness.ie, Trinity University Dublin, and Step Up Ireland. The pandemic provided Walsh the time to develop the site, and he plans to focus on Irish businesses and potentially launch networking events in the future.

Cork woman left homeless by California fires recalls terror and dreams of a new home

10 Sep 2020  |  Independent.ie
Zita Harrington Biehle, a single mother of six originally from Castletownbere, West Cork, Ireland, has been living in California since 2000. Her family recently lost their home to the devastating fires in California. Despite no initial signs of danger, Zita and her children had to flee their neighborhood as a 'firenado' destroyed their home and possessions. Now living in temporary accommodation, Zita misses the simple comforts of home and is concerned about the impact on her children, who have lost their school and friends. The family is adjusting to their new reality with the help of community support, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to assist them. Zita is taking life one day at a time as she navigates the aftermath of the disaster.

'Suicide tears families apart' - Mother who lost both sons urges families to talk

10 Sep 2020  |  Independent.ie
Karen Docherty, a Dublin mother, has endured the tragedy of losing both of her sons to suicide within a span of three years. Her eldest son, Stephen, struggled with drug addiction and ultimately took his life at the age of 30. Her second son, Graham, a successful software developer, died by suicide at 22, just days after his birthday and shortly before his graduation. Karen has since been speaking publicly about the dangers of suicide and the importance of awareness and prevention. She has written a memoir about her experiences and advocates for mindfulness in schools, suicide awareness training, and addressing drug problems. Karen also shares her own battles with suicidal thoughts, emphasizing the need to keep communication open, especially with young men, to prevent further tragedies.

Budget 2019: No Immediate Change to Carbon Tax

10 Sep 2020  |  Independent.ie
In the Budget 2019 announcement, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe stated that there would be no immediate change to Ireland's carbon tax, despite recommendations for increases from various bodies including the Climate Change Advisory Council and the special Oireachtas committee on climate change. The government plans to invest significantly in climate action, with a focus on energy efficiency and renewable objectives. However, environmental groups, particularly Friends of the Irish Environment, have criticized the decision not to raise the carbon tax, calling it a missed opportunity for effective climate policy. The article also includes the perspective of Mícheál Fleming, a citizen who, despite the financial benefit of no tax increase, is concerned about the long-term impact on climate change and the lack of incentives to switch to electric vehicles.

Making Ireland autism-friendly

05 Mar 2020  |  Think Business
Adam Harris, inspired by his own experiences growing up with autism, founded AsIAm, an organization aimed at promoting understanding and inclusion of autistic individuals in Irish society. AsIAm works to empower the autism community and partners with businesses to create autism-friendly environments. They provide training, accreditation, and develop frameworks for various sectors, including a partnership with Supervalu that led to autism-friendly shopping experiences and the establishment of Ireland's first autism-friendly town, Clonakilty. Harris discusses the challenges he faced starting AsIAm, the support from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and the local community, and the impact of their work. He advises others in social enterprise to engage with their communities and be strategic. Harris also calls for better support for social enterprises in Ireland to address social issues effectively.

Warning issued to motorists as temperatures expected to drop to -3C over Bank Holiday weekend

25 Oct 2018  |  independent.ie
AA Ireland is advising motorists to exercise caution due to an expected increase in traffic and a drop in temperatures to as low as -3C over the Bank Holiday weekend. The organization suggests allowing extra travel time, reducing speed, and checking car batteries, especially for those planning cross-country journeys or not using their cars over the weekend. Met Eireann forecasts colder than average conditions with overnight frosts and a risk of icy patches, with a gradual recovery in temperatures expected the following week.

Man (35) arrested after woman's body found in Dublin apartment

20 Oct 2018  |  www.independent.ie
A 35-year-old man was arrested after the body of a woman was found in her apartment in Cabra, Dublin. The victim, a mother of two originally from the north inner city, was discovered in the afternoon, and the suspect was detained later in the evening. The Garda Technical Bureau examined the scene, and a post-mortem is scheduled. Local residents expressed shock and sadness over the incident, and investigations are ongoing.

'The cheapest hotel in Dublin tonight is €240' - Businesses say VAT hike will ensure tourists stay away, and call on Ross to resign

10 Oct 2018  |  www.independent.ie
The Irish Government's decision to increase VAT from 9% to 13.5% has sparked significant concern among businesses in the tourism sector. Stakeholders, including Adrian Cummins of the Restaurants Association of Ireland and Pat McDonagh of Supermac's, argue that the hike will lead to job losses and deter tourists. The sentiment is largely negative, with calls for Minister Shane Ross to resign. The increase is seen as particularly harmful given the looming uncertainty of Brexit. While Fáilte Ireland acknowledges the challenges, it remains optimistic about long-term growth. The overall reaction from the industry is one of disappointment and concern over the economic impact.

Unwashed Spinach recalled from supermarkets following Listeria contamination

28 Sep 2018  |  independent.ie
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has initiated a recall of various spinach products, including Oaklands baby leaf spinach, baby spinach leaves, and mixed leaves containing spinach from supermarkets such as Lidl, Aldi, Dunnes Stores, Tesco, and Supervalu due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The affected products have best before dates ranging from 22-26 September. Retailers are advising customers to dispose of the packs, and some products distributed to caterers are also affected.

Gardai arrest man (20s) after 32K drugs seizure

27 Sep 2018  |  independent.ie
Gardaí from the Midleton District Drugs Unit seized approximately €32,000 worth of suspected cannabis herb during a search at a house in Magners Hill, Youghal, Co Cork. A man in his 20s was arrested and detained at Cobh Garda Station under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996. He has been charged and is scheduled to appear before Youghal District Court.

Young woman attacked twice on same night in pub

21 Sep 2018  |  independent.ie
Amy Curtis, 26, was attacked twice in one night by two women and a man in Tallaght, Dublin, resulting in a fractured cheekbone and eye socket, a broken nose, and lacerations to the head. The incident has severely affected her work and personal life, leading to anger, sleeplessness, and panic attacks. Gardaí are investigating the August 10 incident, and Amy hopes CCTV footage will aid in bringing her attackers to justice. She had to take over a month off work and rely on family support for medical bills.

Cork mother-of-six left homeless by California fires

10 Aug 2018  |  www.independent.ie
Zita Harrington Biehle, a single mother of six from West Cork, Ireland, living in California since 2000, lost her home to a 'firenado' during the California fires. Despite no initial signs of danger, the situation escalated quickly, forcing Zita and her children to evacuate. They are now living in temporary accommodation in Fall River. Zita misses the small comforts of home and is concerned about the impact on her children, who have lost their school and friends. The family is receiving support from the community and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help them.

The Debate Over Multi-Academy Trusts in School Governance

27 Jul 2016  |  www.theguardian.com
The article discusses the growing trend of schools in the UK joining multi-academy trusts (Mats) and the debate surrounding this movement. The government advocates for Mats, suggesting they bring about efficiency and improved standards, especially for weaker schools. However, critics like Michael Wilshaw of Ofsted express skepticism, comparing Mats to Walmart and questioning their focus on quality. The article provides insights from various educational leaders on what schools should consider before joining a Mat, such as ensuring alignment of values, understanding financial implications, and assessing the trust's resources and future plans. It emphasizes the importance of due diligence and strategic planning for schools considering such partnerships. The piece also highlights concerns about the loss of control and transparency in financial matters post-academy conversion. The series is funded by Zurich Municipal but maintains editorial independence.

Have a clear vision – informed by past experience and the current situation

14 Mar 2016  |  www.theguardian.com
The article discusses the key components of a successful fundraising strategy for non-profit organisations. Michelle Chambers of Think consultancy and Janine Edwards from the Foundation for Social Improvement emphasize the importance of having a clear vision with a monetary goal, understanding the current challenges, and learning from past experiences. They also highlight the need for conducting external and internal audits to assess strengths, weaknesses, and threats. Ian Wilson from Alzheimer’s Research UK shares insights on mitigating risks in fundraising, suggesting a vulnerable persons policy and close departmental alignment. The article underscores the necessity of aligning fundraising strategies with the wider organisational strategy and being clear about the purpose of fundraising efforts. It concludes with the idea that a fundraising strategy should be informed by the entire organisation to ensure a shared understanding of priorities and objectives.

The power of people in charity success

18 Nov 2015  |  www.theguardian.com
The article discusses the importance of people in the success and potential failure of charities, as highlighted by speakers at the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network's Charity Leaders Live event. Judith Davey from ActionAid emphasized the need to inspire people through the cause and ethical practices, including sharing stories of impact and paying a living wage. Jonathan Plumtree from Zurich Corporate Savings stressed the importance of connected leadership and strong governance. Helen Giles from St Mungo’s Broadway criticized the underinvestment in people management within charities and called for better recruitment and training. Debra Allcock Tyler from the Directory of Social Change discussed the clarity of roles and the focus on beneficiaries. Stephen Pidgeon, a fundraising consultant, spoke about the importance of treating donors with respect and engaging them in the cause. The article underscores the value of people in sustaining and transforming charitable organizations.

Five ways charities can tap their people power

18 Nov 2015  |  the Guardian
The article discusses the importance of people in the success and transformation of charities, emphasizing the need for ethical practices, connected leadership, better investment in people, clear role delineation, and improved donor treatment. Key insights from various charity leaders highlight the significance of inspiring people through the cause, maintaining a grounded and strategic leadership, investing in good people management, ensuring role clarity, and valuing donors' contributions. The discussion underscores the critical role of trustees and executives in aligning with the charity's mission and effectively engaging with beneficiaries and donors.

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