Irish Business Network Scotland


Awards night showcases the strength of Irish & Scottish business links


A host of organisations from Ireland and Scotland joined together on the night of the General Election (Thursday, 8 June 2017) to showcase the strength of the business ties between the two countries.

Hosted by the not-for-profit Irish Business Network Scotland (IBNS), the sell-out awards ceremony attracted representatives from the construction, renewables, creative, professional services and the food & drink sectors as well as attendance from Government organisations from both sides of the Irish Sea.

The event, held at the Edinburgh City Chambers, marks the first anniversary of IBNS, which was launched at Edinburgh Castle in June 2016; its aim is to connect business people of all levels from Ireland and Scotland to explore commercial opportunities.

12 months on, IBNS is celebrating its success with both The Scottish Government and Enterprise Ireland reporting strong export figures.

The night was organised to recognise companies and individuals who have embraced business opportunities. Compared by broadcaster John Morrison, the winners were:

– Innovative Start-Up Award – Urban Tide
– Inspirational Business Leader Award – Georgian Antiques
– Social Impact Award – Green Tourism
– Ireland Scotland Relations Award – Roadbridge

Commenting on the night, IBNS Chairman Colm Moloney said: “The Irish Business Network Scotland now represents an established and effective group of business leaders from Ireland based in Scotland, making IBNS the first stop for any Irish or Scottish business looking at export opportunities in both markets.


The Network represents a group of key decision makers that facilitates an easy and accessible route to market – it is essentially a business development network that is highly effective.

With Brexit on the horizon, we must work harder than ever to keep the collaboration and business links between our two countries alive. There has never been a better time to join IBNS, and the 1000 or so people who have attended our 13 events pay testament to this.

Our winners:

Innovative Start-Up Award – Urban Tide

UrbanTide’s aim is to make cities smart by focusing on the integration of people, data and technology to create smarter, more liveable cities for everyone. UrbanTide delivered Innovate UK’s £24m future cities demonstrator for Glasgow, the key focus of which was the £7.2m OPEN Glasgow programme that explored the value in new digital technologies, opened up city data and created engaging solutions for a range of urban challenges.
Since then, UrbanTide have grown from strength to strength, working with a wide variety of clients and partners to develop smart cities and data standards that are used across the world. The result has been a stimulus to innovation, improvement to service delivery and general economic growth. UrbanTide has recently launched its data-sharing platform, USMART to the open data market.

Inspirational Business Leader John Dixon Owner, Georgian Antiques

John is the founder and owner of Edinburgh-based Georgian Antiques, which celebrates 40 years of business in 2018. Georgian Antiques specialises in providing quality British furniture from the 1680s – 1930s, and stocks the largest range of antiques in Scotland across its two warehouses, covering a total of 78,000 feet. Under John’s excellent and hands-on leadership, Georgian Antiques has become one of the most prominent antique sellers in the UK, receiving the Homes and Antiques Award for UK Antiques Shop of the Year in 2013.
In addition to leading the development of Georgian Antiques, John is also a leader within the Irish-Scottish business community in Edinburgh, organising an annual St. Patrick’s Day Business Breakfast, which brings together representatives of a wide range of industry sectors.

Social Impact Award – Green Tourism

Green Tourism is a sustainable accreditation programme, the world’s largest of its kind, that assists tourism and hospitality businesses to create a framework for improving sustainability within individual organisations and the tourism sector as a whole.

Attracting more than 2,000 members across the UK, Ireland, Italy, Canada and Zimbabwe, Green Tourism’s mission is to encourage and enable people to make sustainable choices that reduce their impact on the planet. They offer guidance that covers all aspects of sustainability, from energy and water efficiency, waste management and biodiversity to social and ethical choices. Operating a three-level award programme, Green Tourism offers either Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditation awards, depending on the sustainability actions taken by the business.

Ireland Scotland Relations Award – Roadbridge

Founded in 1967, and operating in Ireland, United Kingdom, Poland, South Pacific and the Middle East, Roadbridge is a leader in Civil Engineering and has completed major projects for clients in the transport, renewables and energy, utilities, commercial, industrial, waste management and leisure sectors. Operating in Scotland since 2010, the company has completed major civil engineering works in oil and gas as well as renewable energy and transport infrastructure.

Roadbridge has increased its Scotland turnover from £5m in 2015, £30m in 2016 on to a projected £80m in 2017. The company has also increased its workforce in Scotland from 50 in 2015 to over 250 in 2017 with the proportion of Irish based personnel dropping from 80% to 30% over the same period. Roadbridge is currently expanding into public works contracts across Scotland having worked exclusively for private clients over that past 5 years.

Images from the night can be viewed here – IBNS Awards Dinner 2017

The Board and Committee of IBNS would like to thank Malone’s on the Mall & Festival Village for their sponsorship and support of the 2017 Awards Dinner.



Consulate event explores Irish Scottish financial sector links

The Irish Business Network Scotland, in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Scottish Irish Finance Initiative hosted an event at the Consulate of Ireland in Edinburgh to explore and develop links between the Irish and Scottish financial industries on 27 April.

The event brought together members of the Irish Business Network Scotland with some 40 representatives of the Scotland’s financial sector and Irish financial services companies.

FS Crowd

Opening the event, Consul General of Ireland Mark Hanniffy welcomed guests and explained that Ireland is a globally recognized centre for specialist International Financial Services.

Ireland is home to more than 400 companies active in this area, including some of the world’s largest International Financial Services companies in sub-sectors such as banking, funds, asset management and investment, insurance and reinsurance, fintech and aircraft leasing.

Over 200 Irish-owned companies are at the leading edge of international finance services in a range of sectors including payments, fintech and fund services, and the Consul General welcomed representatives of a number of those companies wCG welcomeho travelled from Ireland to attend the event.

Consul General Hanniffy also noted that Scotland is a world leader in asset management, insurance and banking, with upwards of $1 tn of assets under management.

David Clarke and Colin Imrie of the Scottish Irish Finance Initiative then made the case for increased collaboration between the Irish and Scottish financial sectors in the years ahead, while Dr. Devraj Basu of the University of Strathclyde Business School outlined the particular benefits of partnership in the area of fintech.

In his remarks, Chairperson of the Irish Business Network Scotland Colm Moloney noted that the event was an excellent opportunity to strengthen links between the Scottish and Irish financial sectors, and emphasised the important role of the Irish Business Network Scotland in facilitating increased collaboration between financial services companies on both sides of the Irish Sea.


IBNS member Eamon Fallon speaks to Irish Voice

The IBNS is delighted to receive coverage from one of our members, Eamon Fallon of True Potential Wealth Management about his family’s journey from their native Sligo into Scotland.

Eamon explains how his introduction into the Irish Business Network Scotland has helped him grow and nurture his role within the Irish business community in Scotland. And help him remain close to his roots back in Sligo, with the connections he continues to build through his membership of the IBNS.

To read and download the article, click the image below, and learn more about his role as a Wealth Management Partner, and the challenges he has faced and overcome within his business through Britain’s triggering of Article 50.

Eamon Fallon Article


This article featured in the Irish Voice, a long-term supporter and member of the IBNS, was sponsored by Eamon Fallon of True Potential Wealth Management. Visit his website by clicking here.

IBNS Anniversary Awards Dinner – Sponsorship Opportunities

The Irish Business Network Scotland’s First anniversary and Awards Dinner will take place on Thursday 8th June in City Chambers, Edinburgh, so make sure you save the date in your diary if nothing else! Around 120 guests representing the top businesses supporting trade links between Scotland and Ireland will attend the dinner.


Why not raise your company’s profile by sponsoring the IBNS’ awards night or an individual award? Full event details, including table bookings and programme for the night will be available in the coming weeks. An opportunity to nominate businesses for the awards will also be sent to our members in late April.

If you are interested in sponsorship options, please contact David Greenlees, Tel: 07539 013298, Email:

Please click on document link below to review sponsorship packages currently available.

IBNS Anniversary Awards 2017 – Sponsorship Options

IBNS 2016 – Our Success in Colour

In follow up to an earlier blog on the IBNS’ first year, please have a look back to some of the fantastic events and successes that has made 2016 such a wonderful first year for us.

Click below to download our 2016 success stories brochure


A look back to 2016


We are taking on new members every day, and seem to be reaching all corners of the globe at times! In order to make this a successful business network, we need to keep bringing in new members, with new ideas, new industries, and fresh opportunity to connect and share opportunities.

Please join the IBNS for 2017 and be part of another year of valuable events, keynote addresses and networking opportunities.

Sign up here



A year in the making – IBNS

Just a short note to thank our members for supporting the newly formed IBNS this year. Just over 12 months ago, a few of us sat in the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh discussing this new venture – was it feasible, was it needed, would it add value to people’s business focus? These are questions that 12 months down the line we can safely say YES to all.

The impact the network has made has been huge, far-reaching and strongly recognised throughout the member base, influencing organisations, and also, both Scottish and Irish governments.DM19IBNS.jpg

A huge thanks has to be offered to a number of key influencers, that without their support, the Network would have struggled to have made such an impact. Firstly, to the Consul General, and Vice-Consul General of Ireland to Scotland, Mark Hanniffy and Anne-Marie Flynn respectively.  Enterprise Ireland, who are key partners of the IBNS, with whom we worked very well together on an initiative with the Donegal Trade Mission last month.

A very big thanks to John Webster and his team from within the Scottish Government.  John is heading up the Scottish Innovation and Investment Hub in Dublin, and our partnership with him and ScottishThe Irish Business Network Scotland (IBNS) is a not-for-profit organisation that connects high level business people from Ireland and Scotland to identify and explore new collaborative business opportunities. Government is vital to the continued reach of the Network, through the promotion and enhancement of the strong trade and business links between Scotland and Ireland.  The Irish Government has widely recognised the value of the IBNS as it has grown this year, which has been demonstrated through their financial support20160617_RSM_054 in 2016 to allow the Network to form.  We had key members of government attend several of our events, including the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and several of his ministers from the Irish Government, as well as cabinet ministers from Scottish Government.  Overall, a very large endorsement from our governments in the work we are doing!


Thanks also goes to our corporate supporters, who have sponsored our launch events, as well as smaller events throughout 2016.  Namely, Allied Irish Bank and RSM Consultancy.

Next year, sees a calendar of events very much focusing on industry specifics. We intend to grow the membership base with a key driver in certain sectors of recognised growth both in Scotland and Ireland. We will continue our core function, to support incoming Irish business people and businesses, as well as provide a platform for outgoing Scottish business people and businesses seeking to make a foothold within the Irish economy.

Over the course of 2017, the IBNS would also like to provide a focus on recognising the emerging Irish undergraduate talent within the Scottish universities, bring them into an IBNS platform for mentorship, as well as providing a step up into Scottish business.

The Irish Business Network Scotland (IBNS) is a not-for-profit organisation that connects high level business people from Ireland and Scotland to identify and explore new collaborative business opportunities.

The Board and Committee of IBNS

Please do continue to spread the word, the network is only as good as its members! If, as a member, you’d like to host and present an event, get in touch with us. We will also be offering an opportunity to our members to support the network through an annual corporate sponsorship package. We are putting together a package that will undoubtably provide an excellent level of exposure and publicity for our corporate sponsor throughout the Network and both national economies.

Have a wonderful break from business, enjoy family life, and we look forward to supporting you in a strong 2017.


Board and Committee of IBNS

22nd December 2016

Old friends- new opportunities- fresh links

Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse to speak at Scottish/Irish network event

With the EU referendum result still casting a cloud of uncertainty over the
business community in Scotland, the Irish Business Network Scotland (IBNS)
offers a beacon of hope, providing the opportunity to foster business
relationships between Scotland and Ireland.

The recently formed organisation underlines its credentials this week hosting
an event at Glasgow’s City Chambers on Tuesday (Sept 27th) with the
keynote speaker, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul
Wheelhouse MSP.

The prestigious venue will be an ideal networking opportunity for business
people from across Ireland and throughout Scotland and underlines the
support IBNS has had from the Scottish and Irish governments.

The Network’s Chairman Colm Moloney a businessman originally from Cork
but now based in Edinburgh, explains the goal of the organisation:

“The relationship between Scotland and Ireland, including Northern
Ireland was born in the mists of time, but is more vibrant, vital and
valued today than it ever has been. IBNS want to create a network that
shares ideas and information, creates opportunities for partnerships
and collaborations while tapping into the experience of those people
and companies that have made a success of broadening their horizons
on both sides of the Irish Sea.”

Colm Moloney is thrilled to have someone of Mr. Wheelhouse’s stature to
address the Network members and their guests:

“We are a fledgling organisation, but since our launch in June we have
had some senior political figures supporting our work including the Irish
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture
Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP. To have someone of
the political standing of Paul Wheelhouse with us on Tuesday and the
continued support of the Irish Consul General Mark Hanniffy who will
also be at the event, just underlines how far we have come in a short
period of time.”

Ireland and Scotland have strong economic links with over £1bn of exports to
Ireland, making it Scotland’s sixth largest export market. These business ties
between the countries play a vital role in each nation’s economic growth. The
UK is the third biggest investor in Ireland, meanwhile Irish business in
Scotland supports almost 6,000 jobs and creates a turnover of over £2.5 bn.

The IBNS is keen to hear Belfast born Paul Wheelhouse’s thoughts, as
Scotland’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, on strengthening
business relationships and creating further opportunities between the nations.
With innovation being a key focus of the Minister, it will be interesting to hear
his views on how growth in sectors such as technology and research and
development can be achieved.

The network has also received backing from the business community, with the
event being sponsored by RSM, a global audit, tax and consulting firm and
representatives from Tourism Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and a host of other
organisations set to attend.

Patrick Norris, head of RSM’s Irish desk in the UK is enthusiastic about his
firm’s involvement with the Irish Business Network Scotland:

“As close partners – both in geography and approach to business –
Ireland presents key trading and investment opportunities for Scottish
businesses. RSM is proud to support the event and we look forward to
hearing from Paul Wheelhouse on collaboration and exploring
reciprocal business opportunities between the two great nations.”

In another show of support for this exciting initiative, Aer Lingus Regional has
provided a prize for the event. Attendees at the event will submit their
business cards, with one lucky winner claiming two return flights on any of the
Aer Lingus Scotland-Ireland routes.


The event will take place on Tuesday 27th September in the Satinwood Suite
of Glasgow City Chambers. The reception will start at 6pm, with speeches
commencing at 7pm.

For any further information please contact Prima Communications and Media
Ltd using the following contact details:

Jim Cassidy: 07775953990
Hannah Runga: 07833230441


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