Zurich is proud to support Senior Times magazine’s podcast series where broadcasting legend Mike Murphy interviews prominent Irish figures. In the second episode, Mike talks to businessman Denis O’Brien.
When Mike Murphy interviewed Denis O’Brien, he had told him he was in Paris on Sunday, went on to Mexico City for one night, had meetings and lunch, then flew back to Dublin for 7.30am on the Wednesday to be at his son’s rugby match. His travels ahead (before Corona Virus hit) included Vancouver, Samoa, Fiji, Papa New Guinea, Hong Kong, and then back to Dublin.
Although businessman Denis O’Brien spends a lot of time travelling for work, he always makes time for his children and family events. He says business went brilliantly for 15 years, but the last 3 years have been difficult and he is managing business more intensively nowadays as things are changing rapidly and everything is more dynamic.
Digicel is a Caribbean mobile phone network and home entertainment provider operating in 33 markets across the Caribbean, Central America, and Oceania regions. Denis says that Digicel will come through this a stronger company and strengthen the balance sheet of business.
Mike asked Denis about the infamous Moriarty Tribunal, starting with was he upset at the findings? Denis spoke at length about this as it was upsetting and it was a huge thing that he went through in his life.
Mike commented that the image people have of Denis in spite of his philanthropic work is him walking in and out of tribunals and court cases. Denis said that image isn’t consistent with the positive things you do, there is more of a negative image of him in Ireland, but that doesn’t concern him.
Denis speaks about his family and his 4 children who’s ages range from 11 to 20 years old. He speaks highly of his wife and admits he does discuss business deals with her. Denis goes on to talk about his mother who is a formidable and delightful woman. She has very strong views and is very strongly anti Sinn Fein. She is also very interested in what’s happening in the Middle East and is very anti Trump.
He speaks further about his family, siblings and his father and what he taught him when he was young as his father had set up his own businesses.
Philanthropy is a very important part of his life, he had huge involvement after the earthquake in Haiti and worked with Concern a lot, built schools, and put a lot of work into teacher training as they weren’t educated themselves. A very proud moment for Denis was when he opened a school in the deprived country.
To end the interview, Mike asked Denis where is Ireland going and what should we be doing. Denis says we should be doubling down in artificial intelligence and genetics and focusing on those sectors.
To listen to the podcast in full, please click here:
Mike also speaks to Andy Franklin Miller from the Sports Surgery clinic in Santry, as he did in episode 1 of the Senior Times podcast – if you missed that podcast, please click here to listen to it again, and you can find our previous blog post about that podcast here.
Mike talks to Andy about back pain, Andy advises that you can go to the clinic if you have back pain without a referral, and back pain is very common as people get older. He tells a lovely story about a 70 year old woman coming to visit him with back pain and not being able to move very well, and now she works out at a gym!
You can listen to the podcast in full by clicking below