Archive for the ‘Cork’ Category

100 years of Ford and Engaging Body Language

April 24, 2017

100 Years of Ford in Cork, Ireland

On Friday last I interviewed Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and the Executive Chairman of the company that bears his family name.

He was here in Ireland, along with his terrific wife Lisa and equally terrific sons Will and Nick, two of their four children, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ford establishing a manufacturing plant in Cork.

In the University College Cork auditorium packed with pensioners from the factory, business students, and local dignitaries, we had a “fireside chat” about the future of mobility, technology and leadership.

I’ll write more about what he said on the topic of leadership, for my next week’s column in the Sunday Independent, which will also happen to be close to the 100 day mark for the presidency of Donald Trump, leader of my birth country, the United States. But, meantime, back to the Ford Company leader, if you weren’t in that auditorium to see him speak, you missed something critical: seeing how he delivered.

To me, Bill Ford exemplifies the skill of using body language to enhance a presentation.

Bill Ford at UCC

He didn’t hide behind the lectern when he gave his opening remarks like so many other CEO’s I have interviewed.

He didn’t pace around the stage. He didn’t rock or bob on his feet as he stood. He was poised and confident in the centre of it, angling his body to different parts of the room as he addressed them.

He didn’t read from a fumbling set of papers.

He looked directly out into the audience.

And perhaps most of all — he smiled!

His body language was a critical component of how he so compellingly connected with that audience.

Go online or if you’re here in Ireland, get over to your newsagent and pick up a copy of The Sunday Independent and discover my top three tips how you can become more engaging in that way too.

And, of course, shameless plug, that’s one of the communications skills I train and coach here in my directorship role with Fuzion Communications. So, I’m happy to help you and your organization power-up.

Like the Ford Company says, “The Future is Unwritten.”

And much of how your future gets written is up to you!

Great relationships equal great communications.

Gina London - Fuzion CommunicationsGina

Gina London is a former CNN anchor and international campaign strategist, now Strategic Communications Director with Fuzion Communications. She serves as media commentator, MC and corporate consultant.

 

A Woman’s Place is in the House, Leinster House

February 25, 2016
aine in the house

Áine Collins TD, Letting everyone know where a woman’s place should be!

I am so proud of my friend and my TD Áine Collins.  

She is one of the most honest, tenacious, intelligent and loyal people that I know – which are all great traits for a politician and for a friend.

I have seen first hand how much she cares for the community and bearing in mind her background as an accountant, entrepreneur and farmer’s daughter, how she has fought hard for the SME and farming sector and for safeguarding our rural communities and smaller towns that are just as relevant to the future of Ireland as the big cities.

For any undecided’s out there in the Cork North West Constituency, I would like to ask you to please vote for Áine.  Even if you have promised your No 1 elsewhere (why?), if you could give her your second or third preference.

During the last general election, Greg and I reached out through social media to candidates of all parties (well bar Sinn Fein – but that’s another story!!) just to get conversations going around the election.  Post election Áine was one of the few who continued the engagement, even after she got our vote she genuinely wanted to know what she could do for us SME owners in Leinster House and Greg and I have both seen first hand, if we put an issue in her direction, she is like a dog with a bone trying to get it sorted.

She always listens and she is like that with everyone she comes in contact with.  She has done some amazing and often unsung work including setting up the Cork Foundation – totally her idea – which very successfully now reaches out to the Cork business community at home and abroad and she has personally cajoled them into helping fund new enterprises and community projects.

In my home town of Ballincollig, when all sources of possible funding were exhausted she managed to secure €5k for the inaugural Ballincollig Music Festival, which thousands attended free of charge on a sunny Sunday in August in Ballincollig Park. It would not have happened without her.   Also in Ballincollig she secured funding for a vital research project by international experts, which will help the development of the business proposition in the town.

I could go on, but I don’t want this to seem like a party political broadcast.  

I am so proud to call Áine my friend and over the past five years she has also been a valued colleague on various projects, she was even a client for a short while and I am honoured to have been along a little of her journey so far, representing us in Leinster House.

Aine Collins TD294.jpgI believe, in our constituency of Cork North West and in particular in the fantastic place I call home, Ballincollig, that Áine, is really the best option.  Not just because I am her friend, but because I believe that she is the best person for the job and that the best place for Áine is in the house – Leinster House.

Cork – Let’s Shake it up!

January 5, 2015

 

Good to Great

2014 was a good year.  There were definite signs of recovery, which our own business could see first-hand through our offices in Cork and in Dublin.  We were finding that people and businesses may not have had more money to spend, but there was an air of optimism and that there was a willingness to invest once more, in their businesses, in their homes and on themselves.

In Cork there were a number of indicators that have helped generate this air of positivity.  Work began on One Albert Quay, by John Cleary Developments and BAM Construction, which is initially creating 300 construction jobs and once the construction phase is completed will accommodate up to 1,800 new workers in the city centre. This is one of the largest projects of its type in the whole of Ireland at the moment.

We saw award-winning Cork entrepreneurs such as Dan and Linda Kiely of VoxPro, growing from strength to strength and announcing that by 2016 they plan to employ 4,000 highly skilled people in Cork.

The Cork Convention Bureau continued to punch above its weight, attracting international conferences to Cork in 2014 to the value of over €9 million.

Work continued on the Cork Marketing Strategy – or Cork INC as people have started to call it, where all of the major stakeholders, led by Cork City and County Councils are looking at more joined up thinking in promoting Cork to Foreign Direct Investors.

As part of this project, the research showed us that Cork is seen as a special place to do business. Not only is it economically viable with an intelligent and motivated workforce on our doorstep thanks to our terrific education institutions, but it is also seen by everyone as a great place to live. When it comes to ‘life success’ which is a combination of career and quality of life, Cork beats most other locations globally, hands down.

When we were working on this project it was fantastic to hear so many people playing back to us what we already knew!

Cork also led the charge in the tourism sector with visitor numbers up and the hospitality sector reporting a busy high season. Visitors flocked to attractions such as the English Market, Blarney Castle and Fota Wildlife Park as well as the wilds of East and West Cork.  A lot of visitors know what a special place Cork is!

All of this has made 2014 a good year for people living in Cork. However we can’t just stop at this and we need to be on the front foot and really shake things up and make things happen for ourselves.

As anyone who knows Fuzion and in particular my partner Greg Canty, will know that we are big fans of Jim Collins, the American business consultant and author.  Jim’s most famous theory is how “good is the enemy of great”.  He believes that good organisations can unwittingly slip into a mind-set of  good is good enough and that this complacency can prevent the organisation becoming great.

My wish for Cork in 2015 is that we don’t slip into this mind-set.  Cork is perfectly set to take full advantage of the upturn in the economy which now seems to not just be rhetoric, but fact – instead of thinking “good”, let’s plan for “great”.

As a really nice pre-Christmas boost, IBEC announced that economic growth in Ireland is expected to hit nearly 6% in 2014 – the strongest rate in Europe, with continued strong growth predicted in 2015. If Ireland can be the star of Europe why not work together to make Cork the star of Ireland.

Cork stakeholders have a responsibility to make sure that we take full advantage of these positive figures and that this time next year; we are all saying that 2015 was a great year for Cork, that we did not get complacent with “good”, but worked towards being “great”.

I have many things on my wish list for 2015.

Cork Convention CentreOne wish is that finally we get going on the much-needed Convention Centre.  There have been enough delays on this for a variety of reasons – many of which I can’t fathom – but Cork needs it urgently if we are to be seen as a “great” player in this arena.

Something desperately needs to be done with our amazing city centre. We are passing way too many empty retail units on Patrick Street and even more empty offices on the South Mall and neighbouring streets. I hope that 2015 is the year we see some tangible initiatives to really fill these empty spaces with a creative mix of uses. With some creativity, positive incentives and initiatives and by working together we can get these streets buzzing once again.

Cork Airport is haemorrhaging flights and this flow needs to be stopped in 2015. I think we all know the answer to this one and my hope for Cork Airport in 2015 is that it gets more autonomy from Dublin and becomes an independent airport. Shannon Airport is thriving to the detriment of Cork Airport and this needs to be addressed urgently. Not only do we want access to fantastic destinations for business and pleasure, we also want to see this traffic reciprocated with more overseas visitors able to discover our fantastic city and surrounds through direct access through our state of the art airport.

We have two very proactive and powerful new CEO’s in Ann Doherty for Cork City Council and Tim Lucey for the Cork County Council who need to continue to show us leadership and steer Cork together towards a great year in 2015.  They both have vast experience in heading up major organisations and now they need to lead us through positive change and progression.

I would ask that they would be confident and brave and a lot more than just safe pairs of hands. Our local politicians and all other stakeholders must support them in this regard and even allow them to take some risks as they push forward.

A colleague of Fuzion’s in our work on the Cork Marketing Strategy over the past year and a half, Malcolm Allan of Place Matters, puts it brilliantly when he says “if you continue doing the same thing, you will get the same results”.  Malcolm is one of the leading global figures in Place Marketing and sees great potential for Cork, but we need to bear his words in mind in 2015.

Let’s make 2015 the year that we really changed things in Cork, taking full advantage of the economic improvements and that we all played our part to make things happen. So much has been invested in plans, consultants, research etc. so let’s make 2015 the year that Cork took major steps to take its rightful place among the leading city regions in Europe and beyond.

My last wish is that all of us genuinely work together and apply a ‘rising tide’ mentality so that overall Cork benefits and not specific interest groups.

Let’s make sure we all have a great year, because Cork and all Corkonians born and bred and those like myself who are lucky enough to be adopted by Cork and to call it home, deserve it.

Lets shake it up!

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron is a Partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

This post first appeared as an Opinion Piece in the Evening Echo 2-1-15

Ghost signs and seeing differently

October 29, 2014

Ghost Signs of Cork

A short tale about where things come from..

One of the things that Steve Jobs, boss of Apple asked us to do was to “Think Different“. As part of what I do as a designer, and as something that I bring to my role as the creative director at Fuzion and as an educator with CIT, I ask people to take this notion and to adapt it slightly to “See Different“.

Often, as designers, we are asked to create work that we know nothing about. To fashion “a design” almost from the air.

..but the truth is that we research our subjects and topics, referencing all sorts of things and cross referencing them with the topic over and back. Part of this research is now (thankfully) fuelled in a large part by the internet, and what we can make out is relevant to our clients and their products and services, important as part of the message and right for the work by means of imagery, fonts and colours.

Hamlet by BeggarstaffSome of what we look at is the historical aspect of things – what the heritage of something may be and if there is a point of reference that we can use as inspiration to take us to the next stage of the design process – this could be anything, from the beautiful work of the Beggarstaffs (from the mid to late 1800’s) to the work of the utterly influential Bauhaus and so on.

As part of the heritage aspect, something I have found myself becoming more aware of and absorbed in over the past few years are what are termed “Ghost Signs“. These often overlooked and ignored relics are of a time when design really didn’t have a name, when graphic artists were the sign makers, the advertising creatives and the commercial image makers.

The internet is awash with people finding what essentially are a popular history of design, applied to exterior walls, used as emerging spaces ripe for advertising and announcing. Many, if not most, of these have disappeared from our urban landscape as new architecture has been added, but some remain, and this is where part of the notion of “See Different” comes in…

Cork. my home city only has a few left, one from a highly rare form of ghost sign where the information was created by using mosaic tile, the others a mix of painted walls and surfaces, but they give us a snapshot into a bygone time and a bygone craft.

And to see these ghost signs, you need a few things – one of which is luck. The other, well in order to see differently, you need to simply start looking up!

The corners of junctions and gable-ends were a favourite location for these notices, as were the large brick surfaces high over commercial buildings, such as on Cork’s Washington Street (where there are only two left) were also a prime spot.

And frequently, they have almost disappeared due to age, abandonment, being covered over and left to the elements. And this is where you need to See Differently, to bring them back into view.

On a recent trip to London, on a journey across the south of the city’s suburbs – one I have taken dozens of times, I saw a number of them that I had never noticed before, offering funeral home services, soap, chocolate milk, beer and matches. All reminders that someone somewhere once needed “a designer“.

And what is it that makes them of interest to me?

I love the the typography, I am fascinated by the history of the people both offering their services on these signs, and the craft involved in the planning, the design and the execution of these large-scale works. Just as the early websites fall into a digital dust, these signs are clinging on to remind us that..

..not everything is made of pixels, and finally, that good design is design that lasts.

Check out an interesting website that captures these designs from the past: www.dublinghostsigns.com

Jonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads our creative Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland 

Cork needs your valuable input!

April 26, 2014

Cork - Big on Life

It’s important that destinations have a clear brand, which captures the essence of the place and one that is easily understood.

For over a year a team of us have been working diligently doing research, gathering information, conducting interviews, holding workshops, reading reports and executing surveys about the Cork Region.

Taking all of the findings, information and feedback we have carefully constructed a Brand Description, which we are now testing.

As part of this process we need your views on the emerging Cork Region brand and marketing strategy to help drive sustainable economic growth.

We have created a micro site to present this brand description so that we can get feedback from the Cork Region, the rest of Ireland and from around the world.

We want to know if it captures the essence of Cork and if the proposition is compelling and attractive as a tool for economic development.

We ask that you read the Brand Descriptor on the micro site and then take a few minutes to answer 12 questions at the very end of the process.

This should take no more than 15-20 minutes, which we know is a big time commitment but we really do need your valuable feedback so we can progress with this work.

You can access the microsite by clicking here: Cork Region Brand Descriptor

Thank you so much for your input!

Greg Canty 

Note:

The draft Cork Region place brand has been developed by a partnership of Cork stakeholders – led by Cork City and County Councils, and also involving Fáilte Ireland, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork Chamber, Cork Airport, Port of Cork and the South West Regional Authority.

The Destination Consulting service of Colliers International in partnership with Fuzion, Location Connections and Placematters is the advisory team.

Destination Branding and the special “DNA” of Corkonians

March 24, 2014

Cork region

We’ve been privileged to have been working on a really interesting marketing project in conjunction with Colliers International, Placematters and Location Connections for the Cork region, which was commissioned by some of the key stakeholders.

Destination branding is something all cities and regions must now consider as they must market themselves in a clear, concise and consistent way to all target audiences they wish to attract. How a region markets itself must be believable and true so that the actual experience matches the reality.

As part of this marketing process you must first understand what the offering is, decide what parts of this offering are attractive to relevant target audiences and then package this offering in a clear brand description for the region.

All the subsequent marketing of the region should be consistent by all stakeholders so that maximum return on investment is achieved and that target audiences develop a clear understanding of the unique offer from that destination.

As part of the research work we conducted about the Cork region we discovered that many people are attracted to the size of Cork, “it’s not too big and not too small“, they love how quickly you can get from the city to the country, they love the nearby  coastline  and they also love the friendliness, humour and warmth of the people.

Even the Huffington Post identified Cork as an “overlooked city in Europe that must be visited in your lifetime!

It is easy to understand the physical attributes of the region but the people dimension is one that is more difficult to pinpoint.

The Queen visits Cork, Friendly City

Is it really true that Cork is a friendly city just as the Lonely Planet Guide declared in it’s Top 10 List of cities to visit? The guide praises the city saying ‘Cork is at the top of its game right now: sophisticated, vibrant and diverse, while still retaining its friendliness, relaxed charm and quick-fire wit.

How can you explain this friendliness?

Do Corkonians really have this special “friendly” gene in their unique DNA?

In our research in Cork we conducted questionnaires with many foreigners working in the Cork region and they consistently told us how they had no intention of staying initially but this is now home and they would not be leaving. Cork is great fun and the people are very “friendly“.

As much as this proud Corkman would like to think people from Cork do not have a special gene, no more so than people from any other part of Ireland.

If it’s not a special gene then why do we behave in such a manner?

  • In Cork you can enjoy a good career with small SME’s or with large multinationals without the big commute.
  • You and your children can receive a great education right on your doorstep
  • You can enjoy a vibrant and friendly city where strangers still chat to each other that is easy to access
  • It’s a relatively safe place to live, visit or go to college
  • You can be in the country or walking on a beach within half an hour
  • You can enjoy a lively, entertaining, art loving, multicultural place where independents can still thrive
  • The food and entertainment offering is diverse and top class
  • You are connected to the world and major city hubs via an airport that is 10 minutes from the city centre.
  • On the very practical side of things Cork is a significantly cheaper place to live than Dublin and a more economical place to do business.

While the career opportunities aren’t as great as in Dublin or London, an internet world makes this less of a problem and the overall sense of well-being from an exceptionally better life balance makes the Cork region a very clever place for people to choose to live their lives.

So why are people from Cork friendlier, warmer and wittier?

Maybe this ideal sized region with an abundance of natural attributes just makes us happier?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Colliers International offer Destination Consulting services

Placematters are Destination Branding experts

Location Connections are an International FDI  site selection consultancy

It all works out in the end!

March 5, 2014

Fright !

Last week we had a very successful event, the unveiling of the plans for Nano Nagle Place, at South Pres on Douglas Street – an event that we at Fuzion and an initiative that the people of Cork can be proud of.

Even though everything went well on the day and was a great success there was months of preparation and organisation that went into the event and as a result, a number of sleepless nights on my end!

I’m a worrier by nature so organising the Nano Nagle Place event, was something that had me on my toes for the last few weeks.

With so much interest from the Presentation Sisters worldwide, the people of Cork, the media, local businesses, relevant organisations and the general public and so much to organise including invites, heating, lighting, speakers, recording, signage, photographers, media there was a lot of boxes that needed to be ticked for such an important and high profile event.

Luckily for me we worked closely with Michael O’Sullivan the CEO of South Presentation Centre Ltd and I had the Fuzion team on hand to jump in at any time and on the day we had all hands on deck.

I have organised many many events over the years but with each event comes new challenges, new faces, new ideas and new expectations and so for me each one is like my first.  This can be both a good thing when the adrenaline kicks in and makes sure I don’t miss a beat and a bad thing as the nerves always seem to kick in.

Mary KennedyThe event was expertly MC’d by RTE’s Mary Kennedy, (who was as lovely in person as she comes across on TV) with the South Presentation old school hall filled with hundreds of people all eager to hear about the plans for Nano Nagle Place.

The next time my nerves kick in and have me awake at night I’ll do my best to remember ….It always works out in the end 

Edel Cox is a PR Executive withFuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

Neil Prendeville – Game Changer for who?

February 22, 2014

Neil Prendeville - 96FM, Redfm

When your main rival steals your prize asset it will no doubt be a Game Changer – for who depends on yourself.

This week we saw Cork’s Red FM, the second most popular radio station in the city make a bold, brave move by securing the services of popular and often controversial DJ Neil Prendeville from their local dominant rival, 96FM.

Neil is extremely popular because he is a brave DJ who isn’t afraid to take on issues and give his opinion. Many love him, many will tell you they hate him but most importantly for Red FM, many many listen to him. In terms of radio shows it is by far the most popular outside of  some shows on the national radio stations.

This was a huge move as Neil Prendeville, who has been with the station for 25 years has a large and loyal following, 116,000 listeners according to the latest JNLR figures.

While the move is an obvious game changer I wonder is it a game winner?

The listener profile of RedFM is much younger than it’s local rival and this move will certainly bring an audience that are not a natural fit for the current profile of the station.

Stevie G - Red FM Stephen GraingerUnfortunately this move meant that some great and very popular DJs in RedFM lost their contracts including the Cork music legend Stephen Grainger or Stevie G as he is known. Stevie G would have had a good following but unfortunately for him, nothing to match the pulling power of Neil’s show.

While the change will bring new listeners who will “move the dial”?- will it work overall for the station?

It is understood that Neil will operate his usual morning time slot, which will attract his loyal listeners but where will the younger RedFM listeners go to? I can’t really see them staying with the station as Neil’s show is quite different.

Ironically the success of this game changer depends on how 96FM react – will they try to find a like for like replacement, who I doubt will be able to compete with Neil or should they grab the opportunity to do something new, challenging and totally different and inject fresh energy to morning radio in Cork?

When a competitor grabs your prize asset it’s up to you to make sure the change works in your favour and not the other way around.

96FM, it’s up to you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Bob Savage joins the Smarter Egg Club

November 26, 2013

Bob Savage - EMC

You have to hand it to him – Aodan Enright from Smarter Egg did a great job!

Not only did he do a great job with his really interesting and enjoyable event this week, at the White Horse in Cork but he has done so well with his Smarter Egg concept of learning, which has evolved gradually since he began a number of years back.

I was one of the early converts – I was immediately intrigued by what Aodan described to me when I met him at a networking event years ago and he didn’t disappoint with a very unique (I hate that word now) business and personal learning experience.

Aodan even had me speaking at one of his first events, which I was thrilled to do.

(I recommend you have a peep at his website and consider trying one of his programmes – it won’t disappoint)

This week at his event he had a number of guest speakers and the high point of the evening was his one to one, up close and personal interview with Bob Savage, CEO of the highly successful EMC in Cork.

I’m not sure if it was the intimate atmosphere of the venue, the fact that Aodan worked for Bob before or if it was just his interrogation skills but it led to a really superb interview and one that gave us a rare insight into a modern, successful business leader.

At times  when asked a question Bob was a little unsure about answering and even stopped to mention that the event was being recorded. Good job Aodan!

However he did open up and gave us some gems:

  • He is big on teamwork and creating a great place to work
  • He loves genuine, enthusiastic people and hates the opposite
  • Passion for what you do is essential
  • He views what he does as a vocation and does acknowledge that he has made personal sacrifices with other parts of his life to reach and maintain the position he holds
  • One of his strengths is that he is accessible and he achieves that by ‘walking around’ interacting with the team and learning from them
  • He takes time out to introduce the EMC recruits because be believes they are the future of the company
  • His secret sauce of success is quite simply ‘people
  • Walking the walk is essential
  • He acknowledges the mentoring and support he received along his journey and admits that at times maybe he didn’t deserve it
  • He has his bad days the same as the rest of us and admits that things have not always been without problems but it is how you react and deal with them that’s vital
  • He loves the excitement of indigenous industry and sees huge potential in Ireland
  • He values his role on the board of Enterprise Ireland
  • In the future he could see himself consulting, assisting businesses and even life coaching “while my stock is still high”
  • Company politics is knowing when to open your mouth and when to shut it!
  • He would have advised his younger self to be more patient, more respectful and mannerly

The particular gem that I loved and took from the session was when he spoke about working hours.

At times you need to do 75 hours in a week but you clearly can’t do that all of the time. The trick is to know when to do it!

That’s one I definitely need to take notice of …way too many 75’s!

Aodan…keep up the great work and Bob…thanks for the refreshing openness and the gems, and welcome to the Smarter Egg club

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Cork ghosts and more things we love ..

September 3, 2013

Cathedral and Shandon - Cork

We are working on a project at the moment and as part of this exercise we asked people a very simple question: “What do you love about Cork?

As you can imagine we received all manner of responses, which are quite revealing about our great City and County.

One particular response from Fiona Whyte is worthy of special attention as it is so brilliant:

What I like most about Cork are the ghosts, the ghosts of the older city, guarded behind the imposing presence of Father Matthew.

Move away from Father, over the bridge, along the quays and up Shandon Street, you leave behind the modern city and its quest for sophistication. Here, in amongst ebony skinned youths and pink-haired girls, the ghosts emerge from steep steps and lane ways.

A man in a long brown coat tips his hat at me as he passes by and I swear it’s Frank O’Connor. Shop fronts cry out Polski. A teenage girl at the bus stop checks out her Facebook updates on her smart phone. But the buildings can’t cover their origins of decades and decades ago and everywhere the music of the Cork accent rings out loud, louder even than the bells at the top of the hill.

Going past the North Cathedral and down Cathedral Walk – my mother still calls it Chapel Lane – children in the school yard are shrieking as they fly from a pig-tailed pursuer.

Girls are whirling ropes and one chants rhymes as the others skip. I think she’s my grandmother. I learned those same rhymes from her, and No. 3, the house where she was born, is just nearby. Its walls have been recently painted white but this cover up of its natural grubbiness is temporary, I’m sure.

What’s more, I’m certain now that if I walk through the front door, beyond the heavy curtain which separates the three foot square alcove from the not much larger living area, I will be greeted with a welcoming if toothless smile from the tiny woman who inhabits the chair in the corner. Her white hair is pulled back in a bun. Her black skirts reach the ground and a heavy black shawl is wrapped tightly around her. She holds court from the corner, though she rarely speaks. But all eyes are trained permanently in her direction, for just above her head, perched on a sloping shelf, is the miracle box, a chest of moving black and white images accompanied by muffled sounds. My grandmother’s mother, she lived to be ninety-six.

Leaving Cathedral Walk, I turn back to town and treat myself to a Moroccan couscous lunch in Cafe Bendec. I look out the window, content that here on Pope’s Quay, amidst the scurry of vehicles and pedestrians, the ghosts continue their eternal patrol

Fiona ….wow!

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in a Cork and Dublin


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