Archive for the ‘Change Management’ Category

Serious safety risks to ALL users in the ‘Coolroe Meadows Active Travel Scheme’ proposed by Planning Department of Cork City Council

August 9, 2022

This post is about the proposed ‘Coolroe Meadows Active Travel Scheme’ by Cork City Council, with contributions from our friends and neighbours in Greenfields and Coolroe Meadows.

Contributors: Tim Butler, Greg Canty, John Cassidy, Kevin Cooper, Pat Downing, Tom Doyle, Maeve Murphy, James O’Brien, Elish O’Brien, Deirdre O’Mahony & Senan Power

9th August 2022

We would like to start this post with a positive note about Cork City Council:

Proactively promoting safe “Active Travel” should be encouraged and embraced.

However, any careless, desktop plan, that has not been researched properly, that will without doubt lead to huge safety risks for ALL users, as well as leading to congestion and inconvenience should be stopped.

This is not about voicing a concern, or an opinion.

This is about stopping Cork City Council from making a huge mistake and in the process putting people at risk, not to mention wasting money that could be used in so many other, much needed ways.

They won’t appreciate “the noise” that our community in Greenfields and Coolroe Meadows are making now, but in the long run they will hopefully appreciate the efforts that we are making to prevent a serious mistake, as mentioned already.

An Overview

For someone that isn’t familiar with the Greenfields/Coolroe Meadows estate:

Cork City Council want to install cycle lanes on both sides of the road through the estate, complete with bollards and in the process remove key road infrastructure, existing traffic calming measures, some green areas and 23 mature lime trees.

The road through our housing estates, which is much busier than any of us would like, joins the West side of Ballincollig (a few hundred metres up from the White Horse Bar and Restaurant) to Exit 2 of the Link Road.

The road from Coolroe Meadows (the village side) goes through to Greenfields (with a landscaped roundabout joining the two estates) and exits on either the Link Road, a poor back road to Ballincollig and another poor country road that leads to Killumney and beyond.

With the nature of this road it is a thoroughfare for cars, trucks and motorbikes, but not for bicycles, except for (in the main) any cyclists from the estate itself.

This might seem unusual, but when you consider where the road leads (at Greenfields side), being practical (and safe) very few bicycles will go or come from outside the estate.   

The need..

If there was a huge need for this cycling infrastructure the residents would welcome it with open arms.

There is not.

Cork City Council is trying to solve a problem that does not exist and in the process cause unnecessary problems that carry with them serious safety risks.

Many of the residents have been living on the estate for over 20 years and there has never been a problem. It is well laid out and there have been no incidents that any of us can recall.

We all welcomed the two electronic happy/sad face speed signs that have been successful in getting people to adhere to the 50km speed limit, which works well.

The Process

As well as the actual subject matter there were numerous flaws with the “consultation” process that was executed by Cork City Council for the Coolroe Meadows Active Travel Scheme.

Incorrect naming of the scheme

The title of the scheme is incredibly and carelessly misleading: ‘Coolroe Meadows Active Travel Scheme’.

Coolroe Meadows is one part of the housing estate, there is no mention of Greenfields, which is the other part.

Maybe, this was a careless oversight or it could be viewed by some as a deliberate act to mislead and not draw attention to the subject matter. 

We know that many of the residents of the Greenfields half of the development glanced at the incorrectly named development and concluded that it had nothing to do with them.

If anything, the whole estate is often referred to as “Greenfields” by all residents. 

Timing of the notice

The timing of the notice (issued 1st July, closes 2nd August) clearly coincides with peak holiday times for many people, which could be seen as quite a deliberate act, and certainly not one with the intention of informing all residents of the proposed development.

Quite a few residents are still completely unaware of this matter and many more require a fair and reasonable amount of time to be able to study this issue and be allowed to make a submission if they wish to do so.

Many of the residents who had “spotted” the notice and realising the dangerous consequences of it, resorted to calling door to door to alert their neighbours about the scheme. 

We produced our own literature at short notice, which was delivered to every house in the estate and we also erected signs throughout the estate to inform residents about the scheme.

It was clear from this process that many people were on annual leave. 


The website for making submissions is not fit for purpose and in our view it discourages people from making a submission.

  • The submission portal crashes continuously and this was experienced by many residents that we spoke to
  • Requiring people to register and create a password in an age of GDPR is quite off putting
  • When people were making a submission, the website was reporting that there were zero submissions: most people felt that they were the only one making a submission, which made them feel that “they were the only ones” with an issue
  • The website quoted a 4pm deadline on the 2nd August for submissions while the accompanying literature quoted 5pm

As with everything else to do with this scheme, it was careless and certainly not fit for the purpose of allowing people to make submissions easily.

We are concerned that this will lead to a large amount of unsuccessful submissions.


These issues were flagged with Councillor (and resident of the estate), Garret Kelleher who informed our group that any delay to the process would not be allowed by Cork City Council.  Another Councillor Colm Kelleher made a similar request to the Council and was also refused.

Andrias Moynihan TD, later informed the group that there would be an extension, but only a postal one. 

There was no advertisement to tell people in the estate that this deadline was extended and we learned that councillors who had requested an extension only heard that a postal one was granted through third party social media accounts.

The Proposal.

The proposal includes:

  • The removal of existing pedestrian crossings (with one poorly located replacement)
  • The removal of seven turn lanes (to individual housing estates)
  • The removal of medians
  • The removal of an existing roundabout
  • The removal of 23 mature lime trees

The proposal includes the installation of:

  • Cycle lanes on the road in each direction
  • Bollards to enclose the cycle lanes
  • Ramps at entrances to estates 

The proposal does not take into account:

  • Provision for the school buses

In the section below we will take each of these issues in turn and explain carefully why there is a serious issue with what has been proposed by the planning department of Cork City Council.

Removal of existing pedestrian crossings     

Currently, there are five pedestrian crossings along the Coolroe Meadows/Greenfields road.

These were developed to allow children to safely meet friends in other areas in the estates off the road and are also used by walkers who utilise the estates for recreational exercise, particularly in the evenings and at weekends.

These have worked perfectly for over 20 years and to the best of our collective knowledge there have been no accidents or issues.

It is user friendly and it works perfectly providing opportunities to cross safely in a number of locations.

Best practice – research has recommended that pedestrian crossings should be placed 80 to 100 metres apart in an urban setting, and that distances over 200 metres should be avoided.

The road is about 875 metres long so the two crossings in the proposal will be 400 metres apart on average. As well as being too far apart, neither of the two pedestrian crossings that are proposed are in the Coolroe Meadows section of this road and children use play areas on both sides of the road.

A person in Coolroe Meadows will not walk to Greenfields to cross the road. Once again, this plan was not thought out.

This proposal to reduce the five pedestrian crossings to two will increase the likelihood of pedestrians being struck along this stretch of road. Where pedestrian crossings are too far apart or where they do not facilitate the natural flow of people, pedestrians will decide to cross in a more direct, unprotected route.

Putting pedestrians at risk like this is careless in the extreme, and quite a backward step. 

The removal of seven turn lanes

Turn lanes provide additional physical separation between turning traffic that is slowing or stopped as well as traffic flowing in the opposite direction. Turn lanes have been shown to reduce crashes in many countries.

Essentially, the Coolroe Meadows-Greenfields road was developed as an estate road with many branches which became a major access road to Ballincollig due to the development of the Ballincollig By-Pass. 

The seven turn lanes reduce the chances of rear-end or sideswipe crashes along the road.

Cork City Council’s proposal to eliminate the turn lanes will increase the likelihood of rear-end crashes, stall traffic flow and cause traffic jams. Cork City Council  have not made any attempt at assessing the likely impact of their proposal on road safety in their report. 

Removal of road medians

The road medians work well with the lead up to turn lanes as well as separating traffic in each direction throughout the estate. This becomes very important at the pedestrian crossings, making these safer for those crossing the road.

The road medians also allow traffic some extra space if this is required to pull past a cyclist, to pull around a parked school bus, or in the event of an emergency vehicle, to allow extra space for them to easily pass by existing traffic on the road,

Effectively these provide extra road space should it be required and in doing so they make the road safer for all users.

The removal of the roundabout

The Greenfields roundabout at the centre of the estate facilitates a busy traffic pressure point, allowing traffic to easily and safely join the road from the housing estates at either side of the road.

The roundabout is very effective at slowing down traffic coming through the estate, allowing residents to safely join the road. The approaches to the roundabout incorporate a path, which also allows pedestrians to cross safely at this point.        

The removal of this roundabout would allow all traffic to pass through the estate quicker, putting all users at risk, as well as removing the existing opportunity for pedestrians to cross the road.

The replacing of the roundabout with a busy four arm junction is an extremely backward step, it is introducing a huge safety risk for all users, as well as huge inconvenience for all road users trying to exit or enter the estates at either side.

We refer to a European Commission Road Safety Report about junctions and roundabouts as follows:

[Junctions, at-grade or grade separated, are locations of high accident concentration. In most countries 40 – 60% of the total number of accidents occurs at junctions. Consequently, special attention should be given in determining the type, the shape of junctions, as well as the number of junctions along a road axis and the efficient design of each one.

The main objective of junction design is to increase convenience, comfort and safety while at the same time enhancing the efficient movement of all road users (motor vehicles, buses, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians).

Junctions are intended to operate where vehicles often must share space with other vehicles and pedestrians. Negotiating a junction requires many simultaneous or closely spaced decisions, such as selection of the proper lane; manoeuvring to get into the proper position; need to decelerate, stop, or accelerate; and need to select a safe gap. 

An important safety aim is to match the speed at which drivers negotiate the junction with the complexity of the decisions to be made. This can be done, for example, by only allowing simple merging manoeuvres on high speed roads or by ensuring that drivers reduce speed on the junction approach (e.g. by deflection of path through a roundabout). Sight lines should provide drivers with sufficient information to make safe decisions, but not tempt them to try to select short gaps in conflicting traffic flows]

The report specifically mentions left turns (in an Irish context this would be right turns)

[It should be noted that left (right) turns are high risk movements on a level junction. Research results in Great Britain have shown that these movements (right turns in Great Britain) are responsible for around 70% of all accidents on three-arm junctions]

Please note that what is being proposed is an even more dangerous four arm junction.

The report proposes that in situations like this, a roundabout is a perfect solution that reduces risk:

[Converting junctions to roundabouts can improve safety and traffic flow. 

Roundabouts can contribute to road safety in the following ways:

  • Conflict points between the traffic streams are theoretically reduced
  • Roads users entering the roundabout have to yield to road users already in the roundabout, thus they are forced to observe traffic at the roundabout more carefully
  • All traffic comes from one direction
  • Left (right) turns are eliminated
  • Speeds are reduced, as drivers have to drive around a traffic island located in the middle of a junction

Roundabouts reduce the number of injury accidents depending on the number of arms and the previous form of traffic control. There appears to be a larger effect in junctions that used to have yield control than in junctions that used to be traffic controlled. Fatal accidents and serious injury accidents are reduced more than slight injury accidents]

Intuitively and from experience of the estate, we know that the roundabout was well designed taking into account the residents as well as the traffic passing through.

What has been recommended goes against all best practice – it is introducing a proven safety risk to replace a proven safety solution and it must be stopped.

The removal of 23 mature lime trees

There are 50 mature lime trees lining either side of the main road through Coolroe Meadows (from R608 to the roundabout at entrance to Greenfields) (48 limes on the west and 50 on the east side plus a few new recently planted ones, so ~100). Each tree is 7-9 m tall. They have circumferences of 50-90 cm at breast height and all are about 25 years old.

Ecological importance – These lime trees play an important ecological role in our urban estate. Lime leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of many moth species, including the lime hawk, peppered, vapourer moths which are found in the estate. These moths are in turn food for bats which are protected species. Lime trees are also host to very large numbers of aphids which extract sugar from the leaves. The aphids then excrete a dilute sugar solution as a liquid waste which honey bees drink (so important for local honey growers). The aphids are a source of food for many animals including other insects and birds (long tail tits are regularly seen feeding on the trees). Thousands of ants move up and down each tree trunk every day to milk the aphids and protect them from predators. These ants are also food for birds. 

Importance as a carbon sink – A lime tree of 9 m height and diameter of 26.5 cm has a total carbon biomass of 0.86 tonnes (including underground roots). As they are mature they will continue to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at much greater rate than any new young trees that are planted e.g. it will take ~50 young trees to grow for 1 year to capture the amount of carbon in one of these mature lime trees! The removal of 23 mature lime trees will potentially see all this carbon released back into the atmosphere as they break down.

Aesthetic and health effects – The 100 lime trees are visually very impressive as you walk or drive down through Coolroe and now these mature trees are an integral part of our civic space. But beyond the visual, many studies have now shown that even short-term exposure to urban green spaces (such as our road of lime trees) can reduce stress, increase positive emotions and mood, and increase mental and physical health. Even a quick survey any evening will show hundreds of people walking or running along past these trees. There is no doubt that Coolroe Meadows/ Greenfields estate is a place where people choose to exercise for improved mental and health reasons.

The introduction of “road” cycle lanes

The proposed road cycle lanes are just 1.5m in width.

The left 0.4m has drains which cyclists will need to avoid

If bollards are used (as part of the proposal), it would further reduce the usable space to the cyclist’s right as they would need to avoid contact with them. This would equate to approx 0.4 of further unusable space.

This leaves a safe width of only 0.7m, a typical cyclist cannot maintain this position so precisely.

If a parent is cycling with a child, it will likely result in the child in the cycle lane and the parent cycling in the car lane beside them.

If bollards are used it will also lead to dirt piling up in the cycle lane, as we can see wherever these are in place. The road sweeper will not be able to clean inside the bollards, which is already an issue outside Colaiste Choilm school in Ballincollig.

The dirt will become dangerous when wet and will further encourage cyclists to use the road.

As experienced cyclists will tell you,  a bad cycle lane is worse than no cycle lane.

Bollards as part of the cycle land infrastructure

We have already outlined the issues with bollards and why they are not a solution.

There are three further issues with bollards as part of this plan:

  • They prevent cars from pulling in for emergency vehicles (this is already an issue in the centre of Ballincollig)
  • They prevent school buses from parking to collect and drop off children
  • They are unsightly and are not appropriate in a residential setting

Introduction of ramps at the entrances to each estate

There is no need for any such interference with the roads in the estate, which functions quite well currently.

The faster moving traffic due to the removal of the roundabout, the removal of turn lanes and medians and the introduction of ramps, are collectively and disproportionately punishing the residents of the estate in favour of through traffic.

Entering and exiting their estates will be more difficult and will lead to increased risk taking, adding even more risk to this already poor plan.

Provision for a bus stop

There are school buses that stop between the entrances of the Fernwalk and Woodberry estates near the Greenfields roundabout. 

This serves as a collection point for children living locally, many of whom are dropped off by adults arriving in cars and parking nearby. The existing median, which the proposal would remove, has allowed passing cars to pass a stopped bus. 

The plan takes no account of this, confirming the lack of basic research that went into this plan.

General safety

During the course of over twenty years the estate has thankfully had an exemplary safety record, with no serious (or even minor) accidents that we can think of.

If there were genuine safety concerns the residents of Coolroe Meadows/Greenfields would be the very first to clamour for relevant improvements.

Existing cycles usage

As already explained the cyclists using the road network in the estate will predominantly be residents.

Of those surveyed adult cyclists use the road and will mainly use it to exit or enter the estate on the Coolroe Meadows side.

Cycle traffic is minimal and cyclists report that there are no issues, with the medians allowing for cars to safely pass, if the need arises.

Younger cyclists will mainly use the wide, low density footpaths on the estate, and in all likelihood will not exit from the estate onto the busier roads.

False Statements in the Proposed Plan

We wish to refer to a number of points in the Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Report

Risk of accidents: 

In relation to the risk of accidents the report states:

As the development involves the upgrading of services, the risk of accidents should be reduced

This statement is incorrect – Services have been downgraded, which increases rather than reducing risks as we have carefully outlined above.

The report states that the project “is unlikely to have a significant impact on the landscape of the area

The removal of mature lime trees, grass verges, a beautifully landscaped roundabout and the introduction of plastic bollards will have a huge, and very unnecessary impact on the landscape, as well as damaging the environment and carbon footprint.


The Cork city Council ‘Coolroe Meadows Active Travel Scheme’ as proposed, is a careless desktop plan that was prepared with no proper research and one that goes against all best practice and road for road safety guidelines..

The plan is a poor attempt at solving a problem that does not exist, and in doing so it would not only destroy a well planned and well functioning road layout, but it would introduce significant safety risks for all users.

As well as being an extremely poor plan, there were also significant issues in the naming of the plan, the timing of the consultation and the IT systems to support the processing of submissions.

On behalf of the concerned residents of Coolroe Meadows and Greenfields we wish to state that it is our clear objective to reject this plan, and in doing so to prevent Cork City Council from making a serious mistake that will put ALL road users at risk.


We are calling on all councillors to meet with us and represent our interests in this matter.

We are inviting councillors at their convenience to meet with a representative of the estate before the 24th August and walk the estate to fully understand the serious safety consequences of the proposed plan.

We have also invited councillors to attend a meeting of residents on the 24th August at Oriel House Hotel at 8pm.

Cork City Council Planning Department

We have also invited the planning department to attend the meeting on the 24th to listen to our serious concerns.

Contact Us

For queries or suggestions please email:


We will update you with any extra information on this blog post including meetings and updates for Councillors and Planners.

Are the government entering dangerous territory with home working proposals?

January 26, 2022

My first reaction when I read the headline was have they totally and utterly lost their marbles?

“Employers to have at least 13 grounds to refuse remote working requests”

Before I say any more can I state clearly that I am all for home working and have every intention of continuing to do this for both myself and the fantastic team that we have at Fuzion Communications……BUT it is very early days and way way way too early to start introducing anything as we are all still reeling from 22 months of uncertainty and confusion.

The government should not be weighing in on this conversation now, creating rules and guidelines at this very unusual time where everything is still in a flux and at a time when many businesses could be thinking about restoring some long overdue social contact, reigniting comradery and cohesion without battling with an extra psychological obstacle caused by this intervention.

Yes we have all had to work from home in anything from our comfortable homes with oodles of space and spare rooms we were never using to our bedsits where our bedrooms and kitchens are now offices, and we have got used to it and of course it is very convenient (for some) as well as being time and cost effective.

However, we still don’t know the long term affect of this on us both personally (we are social creatures) and professionally as it is way too early in this change experiment. Covid has done huge incremental damage to everyone and we need to start healing and being human again and professionally meeting each other is a necessary part of that.

Am we missing a simple point – If I offer you a job to do work in this proper place of work because that is how I want this work to be conducted (for whatever reason) and you accept then these not the conditions of employment?

If the “working from the office” scenario no longer suits the employee in this fluid marketplace where there is huge demand for talent then they will move on and take a role where an employer is happy with that flexibility. If an employer loses great talent and cannot attract new talent then they are the big loser and the open market will quickly correct itself with those offering the appropriate flexibility winning out.

We don’t need government intervention on this – do we?

Imposing a new rule book about entitlement to home working (what they are constructing is exactly this cloaked in other language) on employers will be hugely problematic and is a very unfair imposition and this will only lead to unnecessary stresses and tensions in workplaces throughout the country as we all grappling with these conversations already.

Team spirit, a learning environment, collaborating with colleagues, personal development, positive atmosphere, having fun, confidentiality and even in some cases pure supervision are just some reasons why an employer might want to insist on office working, but then again maybe we don’t need to give one and shouldn’t have to?

This is the job, this is where the work is to be done, would you like to accept it? Isn’t that how it works and isn’t that the contract we both signed up to?

If that doesn’t suit, employees will vote with their feet and find a different employer.

In a good positive working environment there will be flexibility about this and other issues – this makes total sense BUT we are still figuring out and as I said already, trying to land on guidelines and rules now when we are still in flux is premature at best.

In a hybrid culture you will 100% lose out as an employer with this approach but surely you are entitled to determine the conditions of work without having to worry about workplace circumstances that are totally out of your control?

The idea that you may have to appear in the labour court to justify to a judge why you are insisting that a certain employee works from the office is just crazy and 1,000 steps too far.

Government ….home working is great and will sort itself out all in good time.

Please…leave us breathe

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

I had a great 2022 because…

January 1, 2022

I’ve been doing this post for quite a while now about planning for the year ahead and using a clever visualisation trick to help me along the way as subscribers of my blog will attest to.

I’m writing this post on the 1st January 2022 sitting in my office (the space that pre-Covid was known as a small bedroom!) and Bert (one of my four legged buddies) is after joining me and lying on the little bed that I have in here for him. He’s probably wondering are we back to that relentless routine that we were on last year and most of the one before that?

As an aside ….a hungover Dee has just made an appearance and has reminded me about the fantastic New Year’s Eve we had last night with our great friends Tommy and Joan and Ellen my daughter and her fiancé Mark. As usual we played music all night long, we ate some great food, drank wine (and other alcoholic temptations), called family members, sent messages to friends and….we were introduced to the most wonderful, feel good, fun fun fun Italian Christmas song called Dominick the Donkey from the sixties!!

I am extremely grateful for the life we have.

Ellen works as a Special Needs Assistant at St.Paul’s Special Needs School in Cork and she tells me the kids love this song – it’s not hard to see why!!

This must be listened to standing up and you must sing along and clap your hands!

While last year was a good one for me despite the unusual circumstances, I was really glad of the end of year break when it came and as sure as eggs are eggs it has flown by and I find myself at the beginning of another year and thinking about firing up the engines again.

Of course I want to change it up a little (or a lot) and of course I want it to be a good one but at the core of all of that is me, that little old (er) me that needs to stare at a mirror and realise that I am the same one that inhabits this body and essentially I probably won’t change a whole pile. Having said all of that, let’s reflect and learn from the past and lets take that and march forward and try to take some control and create that better future.

The other thing I am mindful of as I approach this exercise is that in order for it to work properly I need to really understand me, my limitations and my habits and in that context I must create a little structure or framework (another shite word, but you know what I mean) to increase the chances of success.


I had a great year because..

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help me get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and it has made a big difference, and as I look back at last year (even despite Covid) I can see the things that I have achieved as a result of this focus. In Fuzion we also ask all of the team to do this – it is really important to us that everyone in the team achieves their own personal and career goals.

Making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year we find ourselves at the beginning of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

Benjamin Zander - The Art of Possibility

A few years ago I was inspired by a book about goal setting in a different way called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (disbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

Taking this approach, you can apply it by doing some simple visualisation about the year ahead and tapping into all of Your Possibilities.

Take a quiet few moments so you can concentrate with a blank sheet of paper and a pen and do some visualisation – Take a few deep breaths and relax and close your eyes.

Now imagine the last working day of this year, just before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest. You are feeling really satisfied as you reflect on your fantastic achievements during the year. Some of these were personal things and some of these were professional things – you are feeling great because you have achieved them.

Now open your eyes and start writing:

I had a great year because ….

Now off you go – list the things that will make this year a great one for you.

Take your time and be as specific as you can including all of those business and personal goals that will give you that huge sense of satisfaction on that last working day of the year.

This is the starting point – when you are ready you need to study this list and start figuring out how you can go about making this list come to life.

Put your piece of paper in a safe place so that you can refer to it throughout the year to make sure your list of possibilities stays on track.

The Framework!

Let’s try a few things to make sure this is a list that goes beyond today!

Accessible – As an enhancement to that exercise how about re-writing that list on a notepad on your smartphone (or any other device that you use on a regular basis).

Reminder – To make sure you revisit your list on a regular basis maybe set a reminder on your calendar to check back on it. Does monthly work for you or do you need to check it more frequently?

You decide knowing how you are so choose a time of a particular day of the week or time of month that is most likely to work for you (some day on the last week of the month isn’t the worst idea of all)

Action! – No doubt there will be a mix of actions that will be required to bring the list you have visualised to life. How about when you check that list (at those scheduled times) you decide on some realistic tasks that you can do (big or small) to start moving things along.

Month by month/ Season by season – On your list there will be items that can only happen at certain times of the year. It is no harm marking those with the relevant time periods or even changing the order of your list to reflect that.

Next week/next month – When you do your regular check on your list highlight the things that you can start doing next week or next month (or today!) and again be realistic, you won’t be able to do everything together.

Update that list – Why not change things during the year as circumstances change but make sure that this isn’t an easy way to abandon your initial great intentions.

The Ultimate Review – at the end of the year check that list…how did you do?

One of the things on my list was to get back to writing on a regular basis again – this is a good start!

Enjoy realising all of your possibilities..

Have a Win Happy New Year !!

This clip of Benjamin Zander is really motivational and well worth watching.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Snobs about jobs ..

September 30, 2021

I’m reading an ironic headline this morning in the Irish Times, which comes a few weeks of hearing the same stories coming from the UK:

“Lorry driver shortage ‘an imminent national emergency’ in Ireland

Yep…it’s another one of those jobs that we look down our noses at when we talk about careers as we push our young population towards “good” jobs in STEM and in the professions.

My daughter is studying to be a….

You must be so proud ….

We’ve all heard it!

And now we realise that we don’t have builders to build the houses we need, we don’t have painters, carpenters, electricians, we don’t have chefs to cook the food we enjoy in our restaurants and hotels, we don’t have bar staff to serve us drinks and now we clearly don’t have lorry drivers to move all sorts from A to B and in the same breath some break into a cold sweat about the amount of immigrants entering the country and people stuck in direct provision limbo.

If Covid has and continues to teach us anything, it is that many of those jobs that we don’t really value and the ones that we most rely on.

Let’s lose the job snobbery and encourage people to chose careers that suit them and show them the respect they deserve – we need you..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The slow and long road back to the office ..

July 13, 2021

Oh…you want me to deliver the session in person, in Dublin?

This was a simple enquiry to facilitate a social media strategy session to a group from an organisation and then provide some specific bespoke training on one of the social media platforms.

We were having the usual conversation except the only sticking point was that they wanted a full day session with their group and I was trying to discourage this.

I find that if you stay at training too long then people get tired and what they learn in the morning they end up forgetting in the afternoon. It’s best if they get a chance to slowly digest, process and try it out for themselves.

I normally suggest half day sessions, when everyone stays fresh and then allowing a week in between so that everyone can practice and then come back to progress further.

It must be on the one day because we have the hotel booked” she said.

It was only then that the penny dropped and I understood why she wanted it on the same day.

This threw me as I hadn’t been faced with this in a long time and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it.

Ok, lets do it ..

As it turned out there was a mix up with the hotel booking on their end and the training was cancelled (after all that !!) and while I was disappointed a big part of me was delighted!

I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect and disruption of it.

Travelling and delivering training sessions in person was part and parcel of the last 10 years (pre Covid), but the truth of it is that I have been doing this from the comfort of my little home office (converted bedroom) for the last 16 months and it works really well.

It’s convenient for me and participants, I’ve tweaked my delivery for online and it works really well, it’s cost effective and it also means they get a fresh “Greg” who isn’t after driving for a few hours and all that goes with it.

The big conversation that I was having with myself was “how inconvenient and pointless” that travelling/in person/ hotel experience would be compared to the very convenient way that I have replaced it with, and with no negative impact on the learning experience.

However, I do love the face to face in person training and as a social creature I love the energy you get back from a “live” group and the special learning dynamic that can happen. This will always have it’s place but only when necessary.

I know my simple example of this in person training session will be replicated very soon with so many of those things we have all been doing in the course of our work while working from home.

People have had to take on board new work habits which are now deeply embedded and there are parts about these that are very convenient as well as being cost and life effective and they won’t want to give them up too easily.

We can all talk about hybrid but this could be a very slow and long road back to the office and we need to be really careful to preserve what is working because it is possible to get the job done and ….

Win Happy!


Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Pushing out to the edges..

February 7, 2021

Dave Grohl

I was reading an interview in the Irish Times weekend Magazine with the singer/songwriter and guitarist of the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl where he was chatting about their new album, ‘Medicine at Midnight‘.

The band are a few decades into their career and Dave had also been the drummer with Nirvana, and just 25 years old when that band finished due to the death of Kirk Cobain. I wonder did he play that famous gig in Sir Henry’s in Cork – were you there?

The Foo Fighters are a huge band and they have a big following and with each new album there must be a pressure to stick to the “winning formula” and style that has earned them so many loyal fans, or do they refresh, reinvent, reinvigorate and go down new paths, that could be quite risky musically and commercially.

In the interview Dave says “You have to feel comfortable and confident enough to push out to the edges a little bit every time you do it – otherwise it’s just not fun, it’s just not exciting

My question for you is – is this just the privilege of musicians, writers and artists to think like this?

Is it just these types of people that can have that luxury of “pushing what they do out to the edges” just because life gets boring and less fun, or can that thinking apply to all of us?

This life of ours isn’t a rehearsal. and we do owe it to ourselves to “push out to the edges” – of course we have to pay the bills, but we can also refresh, reinvent, reinvigorate and explore some new paths.

The opposite is just too big a price to pay..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland






Grrrrrr…..Great Presentation

May 31, 2020


This week in the middle of the Covid lockdown we found ourselves presenting to a really great prospect, one of those who was thankfully staying positive at this time and looking for ways to engage with their target audiences.

We had a briefing meeting with them before the lockdown, we got a really deep understanding of their business and the challenges, we brainstormed with the team and we had written a good solid plan with a mix of tactics and some new initiatives that would deliver their objectives.

As with all other meetings at this time we were presenting to the prospect via Zoom with me in my room (the kitchen!), Deirdre in hers (the music room), one of the other team members in their home and the prospect in theirs.

Little does anyone know, but when Dee starts work each day in this lockdown period the two dogs, Honey and Bert wait patiently and when she heads into the room to take her space on the couch, each of them follows suit and chooses a space at either side of her and relaxes for the day, not making a peep except for the intrusion of the postman or delivery man – little Bert lets them know in no uncertain terms that he is the “protector” of this house!

At this stage the two dogs have sat through numerous team meetings, webinars, client presentations and I believe they are the first dogs to attend the Cork Chamber board meeting – that took 200 years to happen!

Anyhow, we were presenting to this prospect and Dee with buckets of professionalism and enthusiasm led the charge through the very detailed proposal – the problem as we saw it, the tactics that we were recommending that should be employed and the “BIG Driving Idea” that we felt would really make this business stand out.

As Dee presented the “BIG idea” she was getting very enthusiastic and animated and as one does her hands were moving accordingly.

Just like the prospect, I and my other colleague were watching Dee on screen and listening to her but we could both hear a very definite “Grrrrrrrrr….. sound”, which was quite unusual.

It was Bert, our gorgeous rescue dog who without doubt was walloped badly in the early stages of his life and since then he gets very protective when he sees hands coming over him.

Dee, quite oblivious because she was lost in the presentation continued with her enthusiastic delivery and again we heard another very definite “Grrrrrr……“.

At this point I had to tell Dee to stop moving her hands around as poor Bert who was alongside her, out of screen shot, could be heard quite clearly pitching in!!

The prospect didn’t mind at all, and if anything it made everything a little more real and genuine.

This Covid lockdown time has been quite unusual and it has asked a lot from all of us. It has made us all very far apart, and in very strange ways it has also brought us very close together, maybe too close!

A big thanks to that prospect, to our team and to everyone else, who despite the awful circumstances made a decision to drive forward and still do positive things when the opposite could have been the easiest thing to do.

During the last recession I found myself using this word a lot….#Positivity

It’s time to get back to it!


Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland




HR – A story of two very different team philosophies

April 27, 2020

HR in a crisis

We all know the story .. on the 12th March, the country was effectively shut down except for essential services.

It was a time when each and every single employer in the country had to figure out really quickly what they needed to do to protect the business during this uncertain shut down period – how long would it go on for, how many bills do I have, how much money do I have in the kitty, how much do I need to survive?

All huge questions and with no simple answers and no playbook to refer to.

What we did next reflects who we are, who the business is, our values, our ethos.

A week later, I checked in on a good friend of mine who worked as a baker in a coffee shop (part of a  small but well known chain) around the corner from our office, just to make sure that he was OK.

What he shared with me was a tale of two very different HR philosophies and two very different approaches to their employees.

On exactly the same day he was given notice by his employer and his partner who manages a creche was also told that her place of business was closing because of the “lock-down”.

However, there was a huge difference between both.

In his case he was “left go”, unceremoniously with no guidance towards where he should go to for supports and no word as to what his status would be when this “pause” was over. Effectively it was a P45.

In her case, she was also left go temporarily, but with absolute clarity that her role would still be there when things returned to normal, she was guided towards the supports she needed and the employer set up a WhatsApp group so that the team could stay in touch during the lock-down.

While both of these scenarios were identical, they couldn’t be any further apart.

I have sadly heard of so many cases where loyal employees were just cast away on the 12th March, with virtually no concern as to how they would put food on their tables next week.

Your team are your business, and how you treat them will absolutely determine how successful your business will be and how deep your team will dig for you when needed.

When the lights come back on, I know of a great guy and all of his colleagues who will be looking for a new opportunity, and I know of a great gal and all of her colleagues who be delighted to get back to work and will dig deep for their employer when the chips are down.

What type of employer are you?


Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


Valuable Business Supports available from the Local Enterprise Offices

April 15, 2020

What a hard to believe, crazy time that we are all knee deep in!

For some it is incredibly busy, coping with fulfilling unprecedented demand in difficult circumstances, for some it is somewhat damaging and messy and for others this “pause” is devastating and real solutions are needed for immediate survival and to plan for a much needed return to some type of normal.

The Local Enterprise Office network has implemented a suite of support services to assist businesses at this time.

We would urge you to look carefully at these valuable supports, not only to assist you right now, but also to make your business stronger going into the future.

There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, all offering these additional supports:

A support we have found to be hugely beneficial for businesses throughout the years is the Trading Online Voucher Scheme

A second voucher is now available for businesses that have previously availed of this support over the years. Having a strong online presence has never been more important, so whether it’s improving your website and online shop to creating an app, we strongly advise you to check this out.

The Trading Online Voucher can also be used to support the below:

  • Website Creation
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Media for Business
  • Search Engine Optimisation

To find more about the online trading voucher and the eligibility criteria visit and contact your local office.

If we can assist you to put a practical plan together in any of these areas give us a call and we will do everything we can to help.

As well as the Trading Online Voucher, there is a range of different supports available to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

An overview of all supports available:

Trading Online Voucher Scheme
Second voucher available


Can you do more business online?

The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets.

There is up to €2,500 available through the Local Enterprise Offices, with co-funding of 10% from the business. Funding can be used towards adding payment facilities or booking systems to your website or developing new apps for your customers.

The voucher can also be used towards subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions, to help companies quickly establish a retailing presence online.


Business Continuity Vouchers 
Apply for €2,500 in consultancy

The new Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people.

The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs (at no cost to the company) and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the business challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

If we can be of assistance, please contact us and we will talk through the challenges you are facing.

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses


Business Loans  

First 6 months are interest & repayment free
New low rate of 4.5% through the Local Enterprise Offices

The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses.

It’s designed for micro-enterprises that are a) having difficulty accessing Bank finance and b) impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.

To view loan features click here.


Lean for Micro
Become a Leaner business

LEAN for Micro is available to LEO clients to help build resilience within small companies.

Under this programme, clients can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert (a qualified practitioner), who will work with the company to introduce lean principles, undertake a specific cost savings project and assist the company in benchmarking its performance. LEAN for Micro can also be used to help implement new remote working and physical distancing guidelines.


Mentoring Advice and guidance
Now free of charge 

Grants for new and established businesses

Under the Local Enterprise Office Mentor Programme, clients work with an experienced mentor to identify solutions to areas of exposure within their business. With advice and guidance from their mentor, clients develop strategies that are more robust, which address issues and maximise potential opportunities when the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.

Training and Webinars 
Upskill and network remotely,
for free

Local Enterprise Offices have moved training programmes, workshops and networking meet-ups online, covering areas such as cash management in a crisis, leading your business through COVID-19 and advice for employers impacted by the crisis.

Training programmes are free of charge and places can be booked online, through your Local Enterprise Office.


LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

For existing companies and potential start-ups that meet eligibility criteria (such as employing 10 or fewer people with the potential for growth and job creation), Local Enterprise Offices can also offer financial supports to help manage current market challenges:

  • Business Priming Grants
  • Business Expansion Grants
  • Feasibility Study Grants
  • Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters Grant

To view the full details on the supports available to your business and the criteria visit:

Depending on how the situation evolves, criteria may change so please refer to the above website for updates.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can offer you advice during these difficult timesand try to stay positive and seriously think about using these supports, for today and a much better tomorrow….it will come!

Best wishes from all at Fuzion.


(086) 8311156  

Greg Canty is the Managing Partner of Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing, Dublin and Cork offices

The Fear Virus and the Pause

March 19, 2020

The pause

Last night was the first night that I slept the whole way through without waking in a week.

The few other nights before that, ever since we were all told that schools, colleges, events and public gatherings were to cease for at least a fortnight, I was waking early due to the fear of the unknown. Yes this fear was about the health of those around us but most definitely it was about the effect that this time would have on our business, that thing that puts food on the table for us and our team.

I guess we are much better off than many in other sectors, whose doors were immediately closed leaving their businesses vulnerable and their teams facing an unthinkable and uncertain period when they don’t have the pay packet that feeds them and covers their high rents and mortgages.

This FEAR that had me waking, without doubt has all of these people wide awake and it is real, tangible and debilitating.

I got so angry when I read a headline today stating that a certain city manager made a statement that he wasn’t prepared to give any commercial rates break to businesses who were forced to close.

Has your pay packet been affected sir?” 

Maybe we can manage a week, maybe two, maybe three, but beyond that there are serious concerns that has everyone fearful, a debilitating fear that will be worse than any Coronavirus and one that can eat deep into your soul and your well-being if you can’t cope with it.

The only way the FEAR virus can be taken away, is if we know that none of us will be left hungry, that no one will be evicted if we can’t pay our rents and mortgages, that our credit rating won’t be affected if we can’t make loan repayments and that we will be provided for if our wells dry up.

As long as everyone in this complex money chain can be both human and realistic, and play their part during this “Pause” of normal activities then we will all be fine.

What has happened will pass, and the “Pause” will slowly change to “go” and normal activity will once again resume and we will all go back to working and bill paying as we have always done.

To their credit, our government is moving fast and seem to fully appreciate the difficulties caused by the “pause” and are putting realistic measures in place to ensure that everyone is looked after at this time.

Once we know it will be ok, we can start to sleep again and take this very unusual window of time to take stock, appreciate our friends and families, look after our communities and look forward to the day that we can step back on the treadmill of our normal lives.

Hopefully we will return to this normality with more kindness and acknowledgement of the precious lives that we enjoy and a much better appreciation for those that are vulnerable, not when it is a “pause” but all of the time.

This is a Pause, try to get some sleep.


Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland