Alf Smiddy appointed chairman of Cork Local Government Committee

The Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, today announced the appointment of an independent statutory committee to review the Cork city boundary and other local government arrangements in Cork. Granite Digital’s chairman, Alf Smiddy, has been asked to chair the newly formed committee. Alf said he was “privileged to be asked by the Government, and specifically the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. Alan Kelly to Chair the Cork Local Government Committee, and specifically to carry out an objective and independent review of Local Government arrangements in Cork City and County, including the boundary of Cork City.”

The Committee is required to carry out an objective review of local government arrangements in Cork City and County, including the boundary of Cork City, the local government areas and the local authorities for such areas, and to prepare a report making recommendations for improvements in such arrangements with respect to: –

(a) whether the boundary of Cork city should be altered and if so, recommendations with respect to the alteration of the boundary; or
(b) whether Cork City Council and Cork County Council should be unified; and
(c) any further related matters on which the Minister may request the Committee to make recommendations during the course of its review.

The committee is comprised of the following members:

  • Mr Alf Smiddy (Chair);
  • Mr Tom Curran;
  • Professor Dermot Keogh;
  • Mr John Lucey, S.C.;
  • Dr Theresa Reidy.

The committee is tasked with completing its work within 9 months and the report will be subsequently published by the Minister.

Granite Digital Chairman Speaks at Cork Marketing Breakfast

It was no great surprise when our own Chairman here at Granite Digital

Alf Smiddy, was invited to speak at the Cork Marketing Breakfast on Tuesday the 21st of February 2012. Aside from his work at Granite Digital, Alf has plenty of other impressive business experience and knowledge to his name.

Alf was the former Chairman and Managing Director of Beamish & Crawford Plc for many years as well as the director of a number of companies across a range of sectors including Financial Services, Technology, Research, Tourism & Hospitality, and Agriculture & Food. Alf is a Fellow of the Marketing Institute, and is also a Chartered Accountant with a Masters in Executive Leadership.

At the presentation, Alf discussed Marketing Management, Branding and the importance of leadership in Marketing. Thanks to his former Chairman position at Beamish and Crawford and other expertise relevant to the industry, Alf was able to speak at length about some of his experiences during the development and introduction of many beer brands. He also discussed the Leadership in the Marketing function as well as his stance on results and executive decisions from a marketing point of view.

Throughout his career Alf worked for and alongside Marketing Directors of Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, The Miller Brewing Company, the Fosters Brewing Group, et al, all of whom became part of the International Beer Business.

Alf Smiddy joins Kilkenny Group as they open new outlet in East Cork

Kilkenny Group opens stunning new Design Centre in East Cork and welcomes Granite Consulting Chairman, Alf Smiddy, to Board of directors

Leading Irish craft and design retailers, the Kilkenny Group have gone back to their roots with their newest venture, the Shanagarry Design Centre in east Cork.
Formerly the Stephen Pearce Centre, the 12,000 sq. ft. emporium has undergone a complete refurbishment and it was officially opened on Monday, May 31st by President of Cork Chamber of Commerce, Ger O’Mahoney.
Synonymous with promoting Irish design and quality Irish craftsmanship, the Kilkenny Group is owned and run by Cork business woman, Marian O’Gorman.
Set in a stunning location with a dramatic coastal backdrop, the gallery style Shanagarry Design Centre lends itself quite naturally to Kilkenny’s long tradition of supporting Irish art and crafts in action.

The new Design Centre represents the expanding company’s eighth Irish store with outlets in Cork city, Dublin, Galway, Killarney and Cashel as well as a hugely successful online sales website (
The Shanagarry Design Centre offers customers the wide range of beautifully crafted pottery and accessories, jewellery and fashion, homeware and gifts for all occasions that the Kilkenny shops are renowned for.
Customers can browse through the collections of designers such as Orla Kiely, Alan Ardiff, Louis Mulcahy, Rachel Allen and Jack O Patsy, to name but a few, while soaking up the creative atmosphere of the Centre.
New to Kilkenny at the Design Centre is an exclusive children’s clothing and toy department with adorable fashions from Nicki B and Little Lily/Calla Lily and toys and books from Tractor Ted, Nino Toys and Think Pink Blue 2. Ideal for that truly unique kiddies gift!
The Shanagarry Design Centre houses six design studios where members of the public can observe at firsthand local artists creating their handcrafted pieces.

The new cafe at the Centre offers high quality, locally sourced food with fresh fish from Ballycotton, locally smoked salmon, meat and fruit and vegetables. The food is freshly prepared every day by Head Chef Frank Bouille. The menu includes home-made breads, cakes and scones; a selection of seasonal hot and cold dishes cooked to order and a tempting variety of mouth-watering desserts.

Speaking at the official opening, CEO of the Kilkenny Group, Marian O’Gorman said: “We are very excited about this, our latest development.It is a unique venture, the only one of its kind in the South of Ireland. East Cork is renowned for its creativity and as Kilkenny’s core ethos is promoting Irish craft and design, we believe this centre is the perfect location to showcase the best of both local and national talent. Our vision is to make the SDC a centre of excellence for Irish arts and crafts and we intend to work closely with the Craft Council of Ireland to achieve this.”

Ms O’Gorman welcomed newly appointed non-executive director, Alf Smiddy to the Kilkenny board saying he would be a great addition to the company. Continue reading

Alf Smiddy of appointed Chairman of Quintas Group

Granite Consulting are delighted to announce here that The Quintas Group, one of Ireland’s leading independent Accountancy, Taxation and Financial Services Groups, has today 29th April, announced the appointment of their own chairman Alf Smiddy as Chairman of the Group.

The appointment of one of Ireland’s most high profile business leaders is a further step in the continual development of Quintas, which is headquartered in Cork.

The Quintas Group consists of four specialised divisions, and caters for a wide range of clients in the private and public sectors, and includes SMEs and major International organisations. The four divisions include Registered Auditors, Customer Financial Services providing personal and corporate Taxation, Financial Management, Audit and Accountancy Services, Wealth Management and Renewable Energy.

At today’s board meeting, Quintas Group Managing Director, Tim McCarthy stated “Alf brings to Quintas a wealth of senior management experience at the highest level in Industry, gained both in Ireland and internationally. Through this appointment we are making a conscious decision to invest in strengthening the commercial and industry experience within Quintas at the highest possible level”.

Tim added “At Quintas, we see ourselves as not only providing our clients with expert Accountancy, Taxation, Financial and Wealth Management Consultancy; but also as proactive business partners working alongside them as they develop and expand. High service levels, innovation and industry knowledge is critical in the new economic reality, and by bringing an industry leader and expert of the calibre of Alf Smiddy onto the Quintas Board, we are showing a commitment to our clients, and an investment that can offer our clients more than the traditional accountancy firm.”

Alf Smiddy is a Chartered Accountant by profession having worked with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and also at the most senior levels in the Irish and International beverage industry, including 12 years as CEO and Chairman of Beamish & Crawford plc and across a broad range of other private and public sector enterprises.

On his appointment, Alf stated I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Quintas Board, and engaging with the Quintas leadership team in steering the organisation into a new growth phase for the Group. I hope to bring my extensive industry knowledge to the table, and look forward to working with such a progressive and innovative team, and delivering unparalleled services for clients.”

Alf added “Over recent years the Quintas Group has gone from strength to strength, and their highly experienced and motivated team have the drive and dedication for success, both for themselves and their clients — I see the Group playing a key role in achieving this success for their clients and for the Irish business community in general.”

The Quintas Group is one of Ireland’s leading successes in the Financial Services Sector over the last few years, with turnover growing from €1.5 million in 2005 to a record level of over €6 million in 2009. Quintas has managed to achieve this while maintaining its key focus of individual personalised service, and always striving to offer added value to its expanding client base. Quintas has a team of 60 dedicated professionals, with offices in Limerick and Cork. Quintas Energy is a division of the Quintas Group and is based in Seville in Spain, and also recently opened an office in Rome, Italy with expansion plans for the UK and US later this year.

Well done and best of luck to Alf from all the guys at Granite.