Posts Tagged ‘Tommy Doyle’

Tommy Doyle – How to be a winner?

March 19, 2018

Tommy Doyle celebrates with Mick O'Dwyer

In 1993 at the age of 28, I was appointed General Manager of a Guinness owned drinks company called Deasy & Co. We were a wholesaler, supplying beer and soft drinks to pubs, off licences and shops in Cork and Kerry as well as manufacturing our own soft drinks.

We had a distribution depot in Cork city and a distribution depot and manufacturing operation in Clonakilty in West Cork.

At this point in time I had been the Financial Controller for nearly four years and I’ll admit that I was starting to get very bored as I was just repeating myself each year and I needed a new challenge. When asked would I take on the role of General Manager it was huge for me and it opened up a new exciting career path for me.

One of my first big tasks as GM was to appoint a Sales Manager and I recruited from our own team of sales reps.

I appointed a guy called Tommy Doyle who was working with us for about a year at this stage. Tommy had moved from Tralee to Cork to work with us and he had a big reputation as a Kerry GAA football star.

Being quite honest, I never had much interest in GAA, so I didn’t quite appreciate that Tommy had won seven senior All-Ireland medals with Kerry and the depth of character that it takes for such a monumental achievement.

I quickly saw this when Tommy took on the sales manager role and watched his hard work, total commitment, drive, determination, incredible focus, teamwork and motivation transform the performance of our team of nine sales reps, which led to huge company performance.

Since those days in Deasy’s I worked with Tommy again in other roles and witnessed further success. He has since moved onto general management positions, and has with no surprise been successful in various industries.

He is now the General Manager of the Kinsale Bay Food Company, a successful business in the very competitive food sector in Ireland. The company, based in Cork produce a wide range of award winning, quality gluten free  products, which can be found in the multiples as well as artisan stores throughout Ireland.

Time and time again I have seen this very special, highly driven man achieve huge success in every role that he has taken on.

During the ‘Beast from the East‘ recently when we were all housebound I managed to grab Tommy (he lives close by!) for over an hour, with the help of a bottle of red wine (it had to be Michel Lynch for nostalgic reasons) to find out what you need to do to win your first All-Ireland medal, what it takes to win seven and how these winning attributes transfer so effectively to the business world.

Fuzion Win Happy Podcast

I captured this, some fascinating insights into the legendary Kerry manager, Mick O’Dwyer and much more in a special episode of the Fuzion Win Happy podcast.

If you have the time click the link above and enjoy.

A big thank you to my great buddy Tommy Doyle for his friendship and for some valuable lessons he has taught me since 1993!

Greg Canty 

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



Tommy has turned out to be one of my best buddies

Career changing photographs

April 6, 2014

Tommy Doyle, High Court Case against Guinness

I walked out the door of the High Court with my good friend, Tommy Doyle and out jumped a photographer.

Before I knew it Tommy put his arm around me and “snap” the photo was taken, which appeared in national newspapers the following day as they covered Tommy’s high profile High Court case against Guinness, which had been settled on the day.

This court case was very high profile with the media as Tommy Doyle was a former Kerry GAA star with seven All-Ireland medals and here he was taking on the might of Guinness in a constructive dismissal case with strong suggestions of a price fixing cartel, which was a potential time bomb for the industry.

When I was General Manager of a Guinness subsidiary in Cork, Deasy & Co., Tommy was our very brilliant sales manager and a really great guy to work with. You could see all of those motivational traits and steely determination which brought him huge success on the field transferring to the business arena.

To this day Tommy is the very best sales/relationship manager I have come across.

After I left Deasy’s to take a senior role with Guinness things fell apart with the management of Deasy’s and Tommy. In my view the wrong person was put in charge of the company and instead of working with Tommy he put the boot in and they clashed immediately. I believe they tried to force Tommy out but they underestimated his steely determination to hang in there.

A super effort eventually broke him, which led to a serious bout of sickness and the court case, which was eventually heard the day of this photo.

Unfortunately for Tommy he became one of the most hated man in the drinks industry because of the court case.

On the day of the court case Tommy’s solicitor had summoned nearly every senior player in the drinks industry as witnesses around this price fixing issue. Needless to say this colossal time bomb was of huge concern to Guinness and all other industry players, which they would really want disarmed.

I was at the court case on the day because I was also summoned by Tommy’s solicitor. At the time I was doing well in my early days as General Manager of Nash Beverages, a subsidiary of Heineken. The nervousness was obvious with all of the industry heads who were there.

As the day progressed it was clear that Guinness were making a huge effort to kill this case and were prepared to settle. With my close relationship with Tommy and my good relationship with senior Guinness personnel I ended up being a go-between. Both sides were open to a settlement and this was quickly negotiated with everyone going home late in the afternoon.

This was a huge day for Tommy and when the settlement was agreed he asked would I stay in Dublin for a bite to eat and a chance to chill out.

I decided it was the right thing to do and felt it was ok not to attend a Heineken conference later that evening.

Out we walked and “snap“…that photograph.

The following day the picture appeared in the national newspapers who covered the case and I was politely told in a few quarters that appearing in “the photo” was a big mistake for me.

After that day I must admit I did feel a change of attitude towards me by senior management and a promising start seemed to turn cold despite my input that day, which resulted in a quick conclusion to a case that everyone was relieved with.

Ultimately maybe friendship and loyalty is a better choice than keeping up appearances and other people happy?

Greg Canty

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





Are you doing Laps or going on a Journey?

July 7, 2012
Ballincollig Park, Cork

Laps or a Journey?

Often at weekends we meet our great friends Tommy and Joan Doyle down at the gorgeous Ballincollig Park in Cork.

It’s a huge facility with the River Lee flowing through it, it has football fields, river walks and the ruins from the Gunpowder Mills can be seen as you explore the different spots at the park.

When we go there myself and Dee like to take a full route around the park, moving from the first football field, along the river, exploring the fields further back and coming back via the river letting Bing (our four legged creature) to have a little splash and a drink.

We wander back via the main entrance and have a cuppa and a bun at the fabulous Cafe Chico (Margaret runs a terrific little business there). It’s a nice route and for the most part we don’t revisit any part of the park.

When we meet up with Tommy and Joan we always end up having an argument – Tommy is obsessed with doing laps!! I can’t stand it ….he is happy to do a particular walk at the start of the park and repeat it 10 times.

Tommy is a true Irish GAA legend, winner of 7 senior All Ireland Medals with Kerry, so I guess he spent a lifetime doing laps as part of his training, which is engrained into him (we have a funny friendship as I have zero interest in GAA – we started as workmates).

Sometimes we win the argument and we get  to take our route but often we end up doing his laps routine – it really is mindless repetition, it’s so boring, over and over. I really can’t stand it and only for Tommy’s colourful conversation (he is a great character despite his obsession with laps and routine) we’d never survive it! When we meet them in the evening it’s even a battle to get Tommy to go some place new or try something different.

I get really frustrated and it makes me wonder – why bother doing laps when you can go on a journey?

Isn’t life often like this as we can end up repeating ourselves over and over, the same routine, the same job, the same clients, the same restaurants, the same shops, the same holiday locations, the same walks on a Saturday!

Sometimes routine is safe, comforting and dependable but at times we do have to break out and try something new. In the current climate change was forced on a lot of us and often people will tell you that the change has been a breath of fresh air.

I reflect back on my own journey and in many respects it has been colourful with lots of interesting twists and turns both personal and professional and of course I probably have done a few laps too many in some cases!

Tommy Doyle, GAA Star, Kerry  - 21st September 1986 v Tyrone

What a Journey!

I think of my buddy Tommy and his obsession with laps and then when I Google him I see him holding up the Sam Maguire cup as Captain of the Kerry team  in 1986 in front of a crowd of 60,000 people! How many have taken that journey?

Today I must do something new …

Are you doing laps or going on a Journey?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion PR

Fuzion are a Marketing and PR Firm with Offices in Cork and Dublin