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.

Alf Smiddy invited to speak at Chartered Accountants Cork Conference (9th September)

Alf Smiddy, current Chairman of Granite Consulting and former MD of Beamish & Crawford has been invited to speak at the Chartered Accountants Cork Conference “From Adversity to Success” on the 9th September next in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Cork.

Mr. Smiddy will speak along with Gavin Duffy of Dragons Den fame, Padraic O’Maille of O’Maille Group and David Duffy of The Economic and Social Research Institute.

Alf is a chartered accountant by profession, having worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Cork and Dublin, and also at the most senior levels in the Irish and international beverage industry for over twenty years.

He was Chairman & CEO of Beamish & Crawford Plc for over twelve years, and on the Board and leadership team of Scottish & Newcastle (UK) Ltd (a FTSE 100 company, and the largest brewer and cider Group in the UK and Irish markets combined). He has also served in senior management and board roles across a broad range of other private and public sector enterprises in Ireland including the Cork Airport Authority, Cork Chamber, IBEC, and PLATO Ireland.

Alf is Chairman of Granite Consulting a digital marketing agency based in Cork., Quintas (Audit, Taxation, Wealth Management and Financial Services, and Quintas Energy), and of Eolas International Research Ltd.

He also runs his own company, Alf Smiddy & Company Ltd, which works with organisations in the private and public sectors in Ireland on organisational strategy, marketing and business development, and strategic financial


From Adversity to Success” – Failure is greatly underrated in this country. Traditionally it has been perceived as a negative, odious and bad thing and to be avoided at all costs. Imagine the consequences if every young baby grew up with this mindset. They’d never walk or talk and certainly wouldn’t ever become accountants. All success is predicated upon layer after layer of failure. All high achievers understand implicitly that “failure is the breakfast of champions”.

“From Adversity to Success” therefore is firstly a seminar that reframes “Failure” as a temporary setback that provides the necessary learning, experience and wisdom that enables you to realise your full potential.

Secondly it presents 4 powerful strategies that can enable you to achieve your goals and ambitions faster and easier than you ever believed possible. Learn how to ‘FAIL’ spectacularly:

  1. Focus on what you want.
  2. Act massively in the direction of what you want.
  3. Inspect what’s working and not working.
  4. Learn continuously.

This conference is great value at €150 per person with the third place free with every two bookings.

For more details you can download this brochure for the Chartered Accountants Cork Conference or contact Alf.

For further information:

Mary Rose Desmond,
Regional Development Co-Ordinator,
Chartered Accountants Cork Society,
13 Ashwood,
South Douglas Road,
Tel: 087 219 6935

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.