By Charlie Grendon, CEO of Get Solutions

Energy Awareness

Water doesn’t just come from the sky, or electricity from the socket.  Actually they do but our job is to show you that there are many different kinds of energy available – and the cost can vary hugely depending on contracts, source and technology.

Often SMEs sign up to their energy provider, set their budget and set up their monthly direct debit without giving energy further consideration.What SMEs don’t realise is that frequently a static account quickly moves up to the premium cost level


Review your bills

The next step is to review your bills. There are many aspects to examine closely – it is not just cost per kilowatt. Did you know your bill consists of several service charges, and these can vary or increase dependant on the supplier.  Also, if you exceed your agreed level of kilowatts then you can jump into a punative cost per unit – rather like a loan shark.

We are happy to provide a procurement billing review as an annual service for you on a complimentary, no obligation basis.


Use Energy Saving Technologies

Switching from regular bulbs can make a huge difference on your monthly bills. Initially, we recommend LED lighting which can reduce your cost by as much as 66%. With a single swap out. However, there is a warning – make sure you only purchase quality products. Sub standard lighting can not only maintian your levels of cost through increased maintenance but also damage fittings.


Reduce your usage

There are many simple steps to reduce your consumption of energy. Turning down a thermostat or setting timers is a good start and can significantly and positively impact your bills.

Turning to clever inventions can also assist – such as the addition of a Solar Cool product which when fitted to cold storage, heating or air-conditioning units can deliver energy savings of between 40 and 53%.


Change your provider

Are you still in contract? Many SMEs fall out of contract without notice and continue to pay premium bills. The first step is to examine your contract, make a note of when you are released or take action immediately if you are unencumbered.

When looking for better priced energy do not rely on cost per unit alone. This can be impacted by standing charges and penalty rates if consumption goes up.  Ask questions of your provider – do not be swayed by a seemingly low unit rate, or ask us to find the best deal for your individual needs. Get solutions provide this service without charge. Keeping you informed every step of the way.


Maintain your equipment

While new technologies can save you money, so too can old fashioned maintenance. An old or creaking unit can cost more money to run than newer, more sophisticated and energy efficient machines. Again, attention to detail on your usage surges can highlight possible energy pits, and our software can help you identify this by monitoring specific socket outputs to help stay on top of your energy levels.

Think Energy, Think Get Solutions







Bray Wanderers launches Social Responsibility Charter


Bray, Ireland, 26 September 2016… Bray Wanderers FC, or the Seagulls as they are affectionately known, is this week launching a project to develop a new Social Responsibility Charter.


The club will invite all of its stakeholders to engage in a process that includes a survey, discussions, conversations and input from the community that will lead to the development of a Charter that defines what the club stands for and how it reflects a modern, community-based approach to football.


The project is championed by club chairman, Denis O’Connor. ‘According to UEFA, football is an integral part of global society and, as arguably the world’s most popular sport, it has an invaluable role to play in driving social development and bringing its influence to bear,’ he says.


‘We are immensely proud of the club and its traditions. We have put together a great management team and selected an array of talented young players. This is already paying off in our fantastic results, including last Saturday’s win over Sligo Rovers. Now we want to make sure that everyone in the community can get involved and more importantly, get behind this talented club,’ says O’Connor.


The club has appointed Dermot O’Brien as the project leader to develop the Charter. O’Brien is well-known Youth and Community leader having worked professionally in Bray for 20 years in this area. He is an international trainer attached to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. He teaches in Liberties College and is a volunteer with Be Well Bray amongst other interests.


‘The football club is not separate to the community, it is part of the community and has a role to play within the community,’ says O’Brien.

‘We are excited about the prospect of building connections and having the scope to make positive contributions to the wide variety of wonderful projects and initiatives that are making a difference in Bray, Wicklow and South Dublin,’ he says.


Bray Wanderers FC is on a journey. O’Brien is looking to find out more about the dreams and ambitions both on the pitch and off for the club. He is tasked with taking those ambitions and achieving common goals through collaboration between the football family and the wider community.

The ‘phase one’ survey is available online now.


Email and paper copies can be organised by request for those who are not in a position to access the online survey. For more info


For media enquiries please contact Jillian Godsil on 0872366603 or via email



Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Jillian Godsil’s personal financial circumstances. Last week, she decided to compile a series of essays written over 2012 which traces her feelings and views on debt and austerity in this beautiful country of ours. In addition, she has written two new pieces, Debt Never Sleeps and Hope which sum up both the terrible effects that unrelenting debt places on the individual as well as the hope that still dares to survive.

50% of ALL proceeds to Pieta House, the frontline charity for the prevention of suicide and self harm

Buy a hard copy here   Buy a kindle version here

Introduction to Let’s Talk about Debt (extracts from main book)

Let’s talk about DEBT is a personal view of how the policies of austerity are affecting the ordinary people in Ireland. Despite living in a time of pervasive and global communications, the real impact of austerity in Ireland is hidden through a mixture of fear, shame and the stigma of financial ruin. There are very few who will put their head above the parapet. Even worse are the many that have chosen the ultimate way out – suicide rates are rising dangerously in this country and things are not getting better. As a people we need to talk about Debt.

‘Let’s talk about DEBT’ is a series of three essays on surviving debt in Modern Ireland.  They form part of a larger collection written over 2012 in which I seek to explore what it is to survive massive personal debt, the kind that keeps you awake at night, steals your home in broad daylight and robs you of your ability to earn an income. These things by themselves are traumatic but when you have teenage children who need your support – financial, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual – then the debt has the potential to totally sink you.

Over the past five years I have gone from mild insomnia to a full blown chronic condition.  Closing my office and losing my long term colleague back in September 2012 was almost the death knell for my wellbeing. Without my children, ironically the source of my ultimate and long-term worry, I would have floundered.  Without them, I would have given way. Thankfully, I am now looking into 2013 with more clarity and more sleep than I could muster in the latter half of 2012.

My eldest daughter was chatting with me recently. She remarked how she had woken repeatedly during one night: at one, at four, at five and finally at six am just before the alarm went off. At each time, bar the last, she said how glad she was to know there were hours to go before she must wake. It was only the last waking, when she felt most sleepy, that made her cross. I distantly remember that feeling in the past, the luxuriant knowledge that comes from waking many hours before the alarm and knowing the time would be put to good use in slumber. Nowadays, if I wake, then I count in horror the hours I must toss and turn, walk the floors, or shiver in my bed waiting for the morning and the death of insomnia. As the dawn light creeps across the bedroom floor, then my eyes grow heavy and a great tiredness overcomes me. I swear I would give up a vital bodily organ to be allowed remain asleep at that point such is my fatigue!

But debt does not have its own way all the time. To live well is said to be the greatest revenge you can extract on your enemies. To live is indeed the starting point to counter debt, and to live with hope is the next step. Baby steps. In this, I am reminded of the war poem by Lawrence Binyon in which he famously said: At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.’ I am very fortunate to have two brilliant young women who are with me as I go to bed and who are with me in the morning, chivvying me to get up and be ‘at it’!

I also have an amazing supporting family and friends. And even more amazing strangers and well-wishers who cheer me as I falter on my unsteady way.

I do not treat debt lightly but nor will I surrender to its dead hand.

This is for the army of people who are holding it together for their families and friends and neighbours. We will overcome!

Introduction to Does my DEBT look big in this?

Jillian Godsil became broke and famous by a series of random and connected actions. Once a successful businesswoman and aspiring writer, she was hit by the double whammy of divorce and recession. Accordingly she was left in possession of a rather large mortgage (in excess of €1,000,000) on a Georgian manor house worth less than half that amount. Her ex-husband returned to the UK and became bankrupt, effectively giving her and their two children the entire debt. She fought every way she could but she could not hold back the tide. In 2011, she made a video to sell the house which went viral. She received an offer of €500,000 but the banks refused the sale. In Irish law even had the bank accepted the offer, she and her two children would still have been held liable for the balance.

In 2012 things got worse. Her company failed and bailiffs were sent in but her story continued to travel around the world. This time, instead of online and viral, she went offline and traditional. Her story was featured on Irish, English, Belgian and American television broadcasters. Her claim to fame was to be featured on BBC2’s Newsnight. Still, it made not a blind bit of difference to her downwardly spiralling financial crisis. Asked why she kept talking, even as she was backed into a financial corner, she cited one reason; suicide. She believes she has been given a voice to keep talking about debt, what it feels like, how to live with and please God, how one day to conquer it. Ireland of 2011 witnessed two suicides every day. While not all were down to financially reasons, a significant proportion could be attributed to such a cause.

Jillian’s mantra is that she is not ashamed she failed financially. She worked bloody hard but life threw her a curve ball. In Ireland financial failure is viewed as a stigma, unlike other cultures which view it as a necessary path for any businessperson worth their salt. It is ironic that the quote ‘Fail once, fail better the second time’ is from none other than Irishman of letters, Samuel Beckett.

When people tell her that the banks cannot get blood from a stone, Jillian’s response is to say ‘Yes, but it is very hard being that stone’. Banks are very powerful institutions and can jump up and down on little people. It hurts. It hurts a lot. Likewise, having no income is very painful, especially when one was successful before. Surviving debt is a tough road. It is not easy. It is very hard to share the reality of the day to day choices that have to be made. Jillian began 2011 an ardent and keen volunteer in many areas. She ended it an accidental activist. But one important thing she learnt along the way. She is not afraid.

On the plus side, Jillian is now a full time writer. Poverty and writing are good bedfellows. Here is a collection of her blogs from 2012. Some of them are funny, some of them irate and some of them painful and sad. She started the year in good hope but that too was almost crushed along the way. Almost. She has learnt that even the toughest of times will pass. She had learnt she is not afraid.



Appy Christmas

It’s FREE for everyone, so share an APPy Christmas with all your family and friends, for you never know who the 1 in 4 might be – even YOU!’

Dublin, Ireland, December 14, 2012…#depressionhurts today launches, a FREE APP to provide immediate support, help and advice for those affected by depression, suicidal thoughts & bullying. Located ‘in the Cloud’ it just needs a link, part of this evenings launch, for instant access from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop.

Norah Bohan, co-founder of #DepressionHurts, says:”One of the big issues with depression, suicidal thoughts or bullying is that people need help immediately. We wanted to provide a go-to app to allow people to find instant information, help and emergency support for themselves or others.”




web update on bullying
#depressionhurts a twitter based enterprise has NO budget, other than ‘a currency of goodwill’ yet has managed to provide an incredible support service, including creating websites and The App, designed by Pratheesh Kumar of, follows this pro bono tradition..

Another supporter has generously printed & will distribute 25,000 copies of a downloadable ‘help card’. Designed to fit wallet or purse, it includes key help & contact information. Cards will be distributed to various colleges, youth centres, community groups with some given direct to the general public in Dublin.

The App & video advert to accompany it, which features Dublin’s The Lindy Hops,  will be launched at 8:30pm Friday 14 December on twitter.

The website provides a wealth of comprehensive information, useful links and valuable support to users, including real life stories and experiences of those affected by the illness. Specialist sections exist with content for Teachers & Students and also Employees, Employers & Trades Unions as treatment of Mental Health within the workplace is an area where stigma is seen to be a particular problem.

The site also provides a downloadable Helpful Hints section, including cut out and carry card with hints and contact details for emergency use.



Info: Norah Bohan 0044 7976 601885 @TalentCoop

Alan Lavender – 00353 87 8524903 @AlanCeltic




New store to turnover 100k on the first year

Tipperary Crystal, the leading designer of Irish crystal and glassware, as well as other high end designer produces in ceramics, textiles, scented candles and jewelry, has opened a new outlet in Rathwood, the destination shopping and activity centre, located just outside Tullow, in the Wicklow/Carlow border.

The new Tipperary Crystal showrooms is the latest designer giftware shop to open at Rathwood and is expected is expected to reach a turnover of 100k on the first year. In excess of €10,000 was spent on creating the luxury shop interior in the Carlow centre.

Tipperary Crystal was founded by master craftsmen Joe Foley and John Meaher to great acclaim in the 1980s. Over time, they have partnered with some of the great Irish style icons such as Sybil Connolly and Louise Kennedy to create award winning designs popular on a global field.

Each season, Tipperary commissions some of Ireland’s most talented and well-known designers to create striking collections. Some of the brand ambassadors include artist Graham Knuttel, chef Rachel Allen, restaurateur Patrick Guilbaud and golfing legend Christy O’Connor Senior. In particular, its collection of chandeliers is famous, coming in 50 different styles and available for bespoke design as well.

Originally known for its garden centre and quality furniture store, Rathwood has, in recent years, diversified its offering to cover fashion and entertainment and activities, with a strong focus on local suppliers and quality. Rathwood also has a restaurant and a falconry centre, and seasonal activities include the Rathwood Halloween and Santa train, as well as cooking lessons for children.

Visitors to Rathwood numbered a quarter of a million in 2010, up 20percent on the previous year. New director and 24-year old son of the founder, James Keogh, explains Rathwood has developed into a completely new shopping experience:

“Visitors to Rathwood enjoy the atmosphere and the restaurant, but many people come with the intention of purchasing a gift and especially wedding presents. The addition of Tipperary Crystal to the emporium brings a new dimension to the shopping experience for our customers. We believe it is going to be very popular,” he says.

Robbie Scanlon, managing director, from Tipperary Crystal says: “Rathwood is a good match for our quality product. The Rathwood customer is aligned with our customer base, which enjoys quality products, crafted with care and a keen eye to design. We anticipate this becoming one of our key outlets in the south.”


For more information:

Jillian Godsil, Practice PR, 0872366603,

David and Frances Hatton, parents of Glen, wish to thank everyone who contributed to the astonishing fund raising  appeal for The Glen Hatton Charity. In the past two months a quartet of activities has resulted in €56,000 being raised. There will be a formal presentation of the cheque on Saturday 17th in the Little Moon, Coolboy, Co Wicklow. The benefitting recipient is the new oncology unit in St Ann’s Ward in St Vincent’s Hospital.


The charity, which was set up this year, honours Glen Hatton who tragically lost his life to cancer three years ago while only 26 years of age.  Glen was a most remarkable young man, outstanding in his school and college. Four events were held to raise money. The first was a walk culminating in his homefarm in Loggan, Gorey. The second another walk organised by his college friends in Kildalton. The third a Halloween walk and disco arranged by local friends in Tinahely and finally a tag rugby festival hosted in his alma mater Kilkenny college with a raffle and dinner afterwards.


The Hattons are amazed at the monies raised and want to thank everyone for their hard work and overwhelming support.   “We cannot say enough how thankful we are to so many friends, neighbours and even strangers, who have been so generous with their time, money and kindness.”


Everyone is welcome to the formal presentation on Saturday 17 November in what was Glen’s favourite watering hole.


Rathwood took home the Store of the Year (> 10,000 feet) Award at this year’s Retail Excellence Ireland Awards in partnership with Barclaycard.

The Awards were presented on Saturday night (3rd November) by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins at a gala event held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway. Hosted by TV and Radio personalities, Karen Koster and Anton Savage, as ever, the Awards were a sell-out and were attended by more than 500 representatives of the retail industry in Ireland. The Awards are the biggest event in the Irish retail industry calendar.

Speaking at the event, President Michael D. Higgins said, “Award ceremonies like this evening give me great faith in the ability of our country to rise above current adversities and create new realities.

The talents of our people combined with our strong sense of community spirit, inclusiveness and partnership are key strengths which will serve us well in delivering on the limitless possibilities that the Irish people are capable of achieving”.

Addressing an audience of over 500 retailers the President acknowledged, “As business people, you will be all too aware of the hard realities facing employers and employees” and continued “The budgetary and austerity readjustments in recent years have clearly impacted on household incomes with the result that retail sales have fallen dramatically. Retail is on the front line and the first to suffer the effects of the recession”.

The President highlighted the importance of the retail sector saying “It is important, however, to remember that the retail industry continues to be a huge part of our national economy, not least in the very valuable number of jobs it provides in every townland and community in the country. As an industry employing over a quarter of a million people, it directly impacts on the day-to-day lives of all our citizens and contributes so much to our national life.”

David Fitzsimons, CEO, Retail Excellence Ireland added, “I want to commend all of the retailers who entered this year’s Awards. I particularly congratulate the Awards finalists and winners. The highest standard of service, customer engagement, display and levels of investment amongst Irish retailers made choosing this year’s winners particularly difficult. These Awards are about recognising and awarding excellence. In a market with very selective consumers, recognition as an industry leader will be of significant value.”

“High standards are particularly important given the very severe challenges currently facing Ireland’s retail industry. It is clear from the quality of this year’s entrants that the retail industry is playing its part in trying to keep businesses open and over 255,000 people employed in retail in jobs.”

Retail Excellence Ireland is the largest retail industry group in Ireland with 11,000 store members employing 110,000 people. Over 600 stores entered this year’s Awards. Other Award winners on the night included:

National Company of the Year – The Loop, Dublin Airport

National Website of the Year

Manager of the Year – Liam Coady, Nestor’s SuperValu Oranmore Town Centre, Galway

Rising Star of the Year – Louise Almond, Sam McCauley Chemists, Carlow Shopping Centre, Carlow



Note to Editor:


The President’s speech is available on


Full results from the Retail Excellence Ireland Awards 2012


National Store of the Year 2013 – The Food Store, Ballyhaunis Road, Claremorris, Mayo


Best Store (under 1,000sq.ft) – The Irish Whiskey Collection, The Loop T2 Dublin Airport, Dublin

Best Store (1,000-2,500sq.ft) –McGovern’s, Bedford Row, Limerick

Best Store (2,500-5,000sq.ft) – The Food Store, Ballyhaunis Road, Claremorris, Mayo

Best Store (5,000-10,000sq.ft) – The Kilkenny Shop, Nassau Street, Dublin

Best Store (+10,000sq.ft) – Rathwood, Rath, Tullow, Carlow


National Company of the Year – ARI | The Loop, Dublin Airport


National Website of the Year


Manager of the Year – Liam Coady, Nestor’s SuperValu, Oranmore Town Centre, Galway


Rising Star of the Year – Louise Almond, Sam McCauley Chemists, Carlow Shopping Centre, Carlow

For further information contact:

Aoife Sweeney, Retail Excellence Ireland – 087 6670534

David Fitzsimons, Retail Excellence Ireland – 087 2535482

About the Retail Excellence Ireland Awards

The Retail Excellence Ireland Awards in partnership with Barclaycard recognises Ireland’s best retail stores, companies, people and websites. This is the 15th year of the industry awards which command over 600 entries annually. The awards function is to drive retail excellence in Ireland’s largest industry – Retail.


About Retail Excellence Ireland

Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) is the largest retail industry trade body in Ireland. REI aim to enhance the consumer’s retail experience by developing top class retail standards and skills, and promoting a vibrant and competitive world class retail industry in Ireland.

Retail Excellence Ireland involves 1,000 leading retail companies who operate over 11,000 stores in the Irish market. REI is a not for profit organisation which invests in innovative and exciting learning, market intelligence, commercial services, Government representation and member networking initiatives.









David O’Connor wins Best Folk Award at Irish World awards in London.

Mary Byrne and Sinead O’Connor honoured too


David O’Connor, the Irish tenor from Wexford, was awarded the prestigious Best Folk Singer by The Irish World newspaper in London on Saturday night. At the glittering gala awards night, host Daithi O’Se presented the award to David who beat off stiff competition to earn the gong. Also receiving awards on the night were Mary Byrne for most original voice, Lisa McHugh for Best Female Country Singer and Sinead O’Connor for a lifetime achievement to music.


David performed two songs which were well received by the capacity crowd of 800 people in the Novolel Hotel in Hammersmith, London.


David’s debut album, ‘Shores of Somewhere’  is being launched on Thursday 22 November in The Courtyard in Ferns where he will perform and sign copies of his CD. One of the songs, If wishes were horses, is to features in a new US romantic comedy film ‘Love a la Carte’ to be released this Winter in the US.


For more information, please visit












Zara’s Planet, the Irish owned equestrian travel company, is launching a pre-Christmas promotion with great value and an opportunity to help support Limpopo Valley School, a tiny Montessori school run by Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris for their staff and children. The school for ten children between the ages of two and six and is a free service.

The Limpopo safaris are for seven nights and are available for three dates in December; 13-20, 20-27 and 27 Dec to 3 Jan and in February one is departing every Sunday. The Limpopo safari operates from the Mashatu Game Reserve at the eastern tip of Botswana. Mashatu is 30,000 hectares and is well known for great herds of elephant (some 800 live there), numerous big cats, leopards, lions, cheetahs and cerval. The area is known as The Land of the Giants because of the magnificent Baobab Tree (of The Little Prince fame), huge sandstone outcrops, magnificent plains and the Mashatus trees.

The area is perfect for horse riding, with many natural ditches and logs to jump, regular game sightings including antelopes, wild dogs, jackals, bat eared foxes and giraffe. It is not uncommon to canter with herds of zebra and wilderbeast across the plains.

Most safaris are tented and mobile and cost from €2,694 per person sharing for seven nights.

Intrepid holiday makers are invited to bring out school materials (books, writing implements, toys) in exchange for a free night in the December safari.

Alternatively, holidaymakers can bring out a no longer needed saddle which would be donated to the villagers, and will be given a free night in exchange, these can be checked in as sporting equipment as no extra charge to the holidaymaker.

Closer to home, holiday makers who share Zara’s Planet facebook page with 100 friends can also avail of a free night.

Finally, anyone taking a holiday in December or February can avail of 50percent off their next visit to Botswana in 2013.

For more information, please visit



As the bewitching Halloween Festival approaches, children of all ages are being entertained in a novel Hallowscream Train at Rathwood, just outside Tullow, Co Carlow. The Hallowscream Train is running from Sat 20th Oct until Wed 31st.  The popular adventure is serious business says managing director, James Keogh, “This year our Rathwood fairies have been captured by a Pooka (or bad goblin to you and I) and we need lots and lots of brave boys and girls to help us find them. The rumour is that the Pooka has imprisoned the fairies in Pumpkins and brought them to his hut deep in Rathwood forest.  Wanda Witch, will lead the search on Rathwood’s Hallowscream Train and she will entertain the adventurers as they embark on their quest,” he says.

Passing the Enchanted Tree and reaching the Bridge of Invisibility the adventurers will then quietly and bravely walk to the Pooka’s Hut.  Here each child will pick a pumpkin and carry it back to the safety of the train.  Ready and waiting then for our returning heroes are Rathwood’s costumed characters that will assist in the carving of each pumpkin and, with the magic words a captured fairy is released.

It is only fair then to give each child their pumpkin to bring home and relay the tales of adventure and excitement of the day with embellishments of course.

Both parents and children are encouraged to arrive in fancy dress and there is a prize on each train for best dressed.  The Hallowscream Train can be booked by ringing Rathwood on 059 9156285 with tickets costing €10 per Child and €4 per Adult.

For more information on times and tickets contact