Are they finally noticing?

Did you ever notice that there are certain channels on your television you hardly ever watch? Not just in terms of special interest ones, either. Then, one day, something is stumbled upon that tweaks even a modicum of interest. Of course, it won’t always happen, but, occasionally, said airwave will end up with a new devotee.

On the ‘goggle-box’ closest to home, BBC2 and CNN would amply qualify as the most dormant. Save the all too frequent channel hopping caused by insomnia, the only times the former usually gets a run is either during Wimbledon or the World Snooker Championships. Or if an episode of Dad’s Army was spotted! One can’t recall stalling at the latter at all, until a sleepless night recently!

Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan
As ever in these cases, it was something that could be related to on a localised level that caused the remote control to be put down. Namely, a half hour programme entitled Ireland – Beyond The Bailout. Which, as it says on the tin, involved the American network sending a reporter this way in search of signs of recovery.
He found them, as well. It is beyond question that horrendous mistakes were made in the build up to and management of the financial crisis. Now, in the circumstances, some might scoff at the following observation, but, regardless of the situation in life, there’s bound to be positivity there somewhere. Sometimes, you just have to look for it.
When the likes of CNN roll into town, you wonder are they finally noticing that fact? Previously in a business column, reference was made to how farming and agri business was doing its bit to keep the economy ticking over – and more than that. Only fitting, then, that our American visitor visited a dairy/suckler enterprise in the midlands as well as highlighting the work done by Bord Bia in pushing Irish produce.
At the time of the last business output on these pages, the significant avenues being afforded to farmers and food producers by the presence of the likes of Aldi and Lidl in the Irish market wasn’t taken into account. It’s now clear, though, that such newer – and increasingly powerful – players in the market are now giving smaller operators a chance where once they’d have been squeezed by the bigger chains.
Most significant in the US report, undoubtedly, was comment on expansion – formative, but positive nonetheless – in terms of IT businesses and even signs of a resumption of construction in some places. That those two were highlighted is both interesting and telling. And surely good signs.
With the former, the appeal is obvious. Most people go to college these days and vast numbers know their around a computer. That’s why any business that can is using the internet and other technologies to advance themselves. More than that, such things are the basis for innovations such as the Dublin Web Summit and– the latter headed by Samantha Kelly from Wexford. Both focus on promoting businesses and – by extension – helping them promote themselves. Harnessing the power of technology and, in particular, social media being crucial to strategy. Yours truly can, albeit belatedly, vouch for the power of such things as traffic to desired locations is, slowly but surely, on the up!
Perhaps, however, even more relevant was the feature on construction. The sector bore the brunt of the economic collapse – both in terms of blame and actual hits. Yes, some of it was merited. A culture of recklessness certainly did abound in some places, but, there was a serious element of tarring everything with the one brush.
Still, that in seeking signals of betterment the CNN spotlight chose to amplify whatever positivity there is in the sector was surely telling. Put simply, building means growth, in many different ways. As was said here regarding another matters not long ago, an individual holding a given view is one thing, others concurring with same adds considerable weight.
Others have noted the shoots of growth. More than those featured in the report as well. The Comer brothers – who have long been successful multi-nationally – have been adding to their Irish portfolio hand over fist in recent times. As people that continued to do well when others struggled, they won’t have been buying for ornamental purposes.
Shrewd operators – which the Comers unquestionably are – will only invest if they feel there’s quite a return to be had on their stake. Which means development and that in turn will mean employment. A lot thereof, if the spinoffs are taken into account.
You can partly understand what Minister For Finance meant when he said “We can’t afford to go mad again” but if there’s hope there it should be highlighted. In conclusion it’s worth going back to farming, the contribution it and as a consequence agri business are making cannot be underestimated.

More interestingly, however, there seemed to be a big number projects related to same at the Young Scientist Exhibition. The shoots of growth seem certain to continue. 

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