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Gamers enter Dragons’ lair

 

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Start-up gaming company, TreyBro, caught the attention of Dragons’ Den Gavin Duffy on last night’s (Sunday, April 24th) programme, when the entrepreneur and communications consultant offered €60,000 investment for a 22.5% stake in the 12-month old company.

 

The company was founded by Waterford twins Daniel and Michael Treyvaud and Tipperary native Patrick O’ Callaghan in April 2015. The avid gaming enthusiasts turned mobile application developers created TreyBro as a way to connect gamers across the globe.

 

As graduates of Waterford Institute of Technology and University of Limerick respectively, Daniel, Michael and Patrick worked in Cyber Forensics at PwC in Dublin.  Whilst there they learned how to solve problems with creative solutions. Combining their love of gaming and a wealth of IT knowledge, TreyBro was born; a free mobile application designed to discover and connect gamers based on what they are playing and match their skill level across all the top gaming platforms, such as PC, Xbox Live, Sony PSN and Steam.

 

Co- Founder Michael Treyvaud explains that there are approximately 1.8 billion gamers in the world with a spend of $91.5 billion directly linked to the gaming industry in 2015.

 

“TreyBro is to gaming as Tinder is to dating. Effectively, we are gaming match-makers. TreyBro matches players with gamers who have a similar skill level, but maybe different strengths.” 

 

“An analogy we like to use is, imagine eleven goalkeepers turn up to play for the same team, the game is unbalanced and bereft of a whole myriad of skillsets – the chances of winning the league are slim! However, TreyBro will source the players that complement a gamer’s particular skill set.”

 

Patrick O’Callaghan adds, “The primary issue with multiplayer co-operative and competitive games was that up to now, match-making was poorly serves and quite ineffective at connecting like-minded players. The reality is that matchmaking systems are designed to quickly fill a gaming server with entirely random players. There is no focus on the end-user experience. The result is either total defeat or an unsatisfying victory. The relationships between the gamers are non-existent.”

 

Regarding negotiating with a ‘Dragon’, Patrick agreed it was a tough but ultimately rewarding experience. “There was several reasons we were delighted Gavin chose to invest in us. Principally because he seemed enthusiastic about us and that enthusiasm was infectious. He is someone I see TreyBro working well with and we are more excited than ever about changing the gaming scene forever.”

 

Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford Local Enterprise Office commented on the start-up’s growth. “It’s great to see such enthusiasm by these three young men in focusing the spotlight on Ireland as an innovative hub for technical excellence. Having already received global exposure at last year’s RISE Conference and GamesCom in Germany, undoubtedly the future of gaming technology is assured.  With plans to expand and create employment in the area, TreyBro is the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirt that is flourishing in the South East and one that Waterford Local Enterprise Office is proud to support.”

 

At just 12 months old, TreyBro, which operates from the South East BIC incubation centre, has received many awards and plaudits.  In October, 2015, co-founder Michael Treyvaud scooped the Best Start Up Award in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) Waterford final with a prize fund of €20,000. Also, as part of Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers program, TreyBro was awarded $10,000 worth of Amazon Web Services to support the site’s hosting. The company has availed of the FbStart programme, which provided a package of free services including hosting and advertising support.

 
Waterford Health Park offers visitors a prescription with a difference for a walk at globally-regarded Mount Congreve Gardens

 

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Visitors to Waterford Health Park can pick up a prescription with a difference this year – one offering free entry for a walk at the nearby Mount Congreve Gardens that have been formally recognised in the United States as a ‘Great Garden of the World’.

 

The multiple award-winning primary care campus has teamed up with Mount Congreve for 2016 so that visitors to Waterford Health Park can enjoy the 70 acres of woodland gardens and the four acre walled garden at Mount Congreve.

 

At the gardens which are close to the river Suir and just outside Waterford city, walkers can enjoy spectacular views with over 3,000 trees and shrubs, more than 2,000 Rhododendrons, 1,500 herbaceous plants, 600 Camellias, 300 Acer cultivars, 600 conifers and 250 climbers.

 

Dr Mark Rowe - the family doctor, writer and speaker who established Waterford Health Park - said of the initiative: “To help promote community health and wellbeing, we’re delighted to combine with the great team at Mount Congreve Gardens to offer this one-of-a-kind ‘prescription’ for what might just be one of the best medicines of all – a walk in the wonderful outdoors. So many people in Waterford and the southeast haven’t yet visited the gem on our doorstep that is Mount Congreve and this is our way of encouraging them to put that right at no cost.

 

“As humans, we are hardwired to connect with nature – something termed biophilia. There is a growing body of scientific evidence to support what we’ve probably all always instinctively known – walking outdoors in a nice environment is great for your physical health, psychological fitness and emotional wellbeing. I call it ‘green exercise’. It’s a great way to reduce stress and recharge, lower blood pressure and boost mood, literally helping you feel and work better. Even personal relationships benefit from connecting with nature. Phytoncides secreted from plants and trees can support your white blood cells to strengthen your immune system. This is something that was central to our design of Waterford Health Park seven years ago and prompted us to create a healing garden that has a very special place at the heart of our community facility.”

 

Ray Sinnott, Estate Manager, Mount Congreve, added: “We’re delighted to partner with Waterford Health Park on this innovative initiative that recognises just what a boost it can be to spend time in the outdoors and there’s nowhere better to do that than at the gardens in Mount Congreve. This is a great time of the year here and there are spectacular colours and displays to enjoy. We’re open from Thursday-Sunday every week and on Bank Holidays from 11am-5.30pm with the last entry to the gardens at 4.30pm. We look forward to welcoming many new and returning visitors in the months ahead.”

 

Learn more at www.whp.ie, www.doctormarkrowe.com & www.mountcongreve.com.

 
WIT research project empowering youth workers to empower young people

 

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Often, service providers, teachers and others who work with or train people of different ages in their workplace or community wish they could ‘get through’ to their clients better or struggle to support them to live to their full potential. Sometimes, the ‘trainers’ find that they could do with a bit of training themselves.

 

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), with its track record in delivering courses on facilitation skills for promoting health and wellbeing, is currently offering that training to youth workers, who are being empowered to empower the young people with whom they work.

 

With the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) and the Mens Development Network (MDN), the Centre for Health Behaviour Research WIT is working on a research project that is exploring the impact the ‘Facilitation Skills for Health and Wellbeing’ training has on youth workers and their organisations across eight organisations nationwide.

 

This project is jointly funded by the National Office for Suicide Preventions and Health Promotion and Improvement, Health and Wellbeing Division within the HSE.

 

“Training in the areas of soft skill development such as communication, interpersonal skills and leadership is essential when working with young people. These skills are fundamental in developing rapport and trust which ultimately enables the work to happen with young people,” said Dr Paula Carroll, one of the research project supervisors and lecturer with the Department of Health Sport and Exercise Science at WIT.

 

“The training model is supportive on a number of levels. Youth workers attend with a colleague from their centre, training is also offered to managers and the whole staff so that the learnings can be integrated into practice within the organisation.”

 

At the core of the training are elements of WIT’s new MA in Advanced Facilitation Skills for Promoting Health and Well Being which is being offered this September in keeping with the demand for these skills among front line service providers and management.

 

Over the years community, social and youth workers, teachers, health professionals, those in positions of management and those working with marginalised or vulnerable groups have completed postgraduate courses delivered within the Department of Health Sport and Exercise Science at WIT and have highly praised its benefit to their work and lives.

 

Lecturers within the department have also delivered training aligned to these postgraduate courses to health promotion specialists across a number of sectors as part of a research project. The current training and research project with youth workers builds upon the learnings of previous research experience and those involved say that it is the most effective training model to date.

 

“The focus of the training is based on facilitation skills carried out through group work and personal development that reflects how youth workers can interact and work with young people. We’re finding that this specialised training helps youth workers accept and understand that everyone is coming from a different place and difficulties completely vary from person to person.”

 

“Youth workers are learning on many levels as a result of this training and these learnings have begun to be integrated into their practice which they believe will benefit the young people with whom they work.”

 
OPKO Health Expansion to Create 200 Jobs in Waterford

 

WATERFORD, Ireland and MIAMI (April 21, 2016) – OPKO Health Inc. (NYSE: OPK), a diversified healthcare company, today announced plans to create 200 highly skilled jobs over the next five years through expanding the EirGen Pharma facility in Westside Business Park in Waterford and establishing a new Product Development Centre in the Waterford Business and Technology Park. The company is locating in the IDA’s newly built Advance Technology Building (ATB) on the park.

 

The construction of 11 ATBs around the country forms part of the Government’s Regional Jobs Plan, and today’s announcement is supported by the Department of Jobs through IDA Ireland.

 

EirGen Pharma was established in 2005 by two former IVAX Pharmaceuticals executives, Patsy Carney and Tom Brennan.  EirGen focuses on the development and commercial supply of specialised oncology products for global markets.  EirGen was acquired by OPKO Health Inc. in May 2015. OPKO’s planned growth of EirGen’s presence in Waterford over the next five years involves the expansion of EirGen’s existing manufacturing facility in Westside Business Park and the establishment of the R&D Centre with manufacturing capabilities for new sterile fill finish and dry powder inhalation products.

 

Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Richard Bruton said: “At the very heart of our jobs plans is ensuring that we spread the benefits of the employment recovery to cities, towns and villages in every part of the country. The South East suffered particularly badly from the crash and we placed a particular focus on this region as part of our plans since taking office.  It is hugely encouraging that the South East is now enjoying the fastest rate of jobs growth in the country. Today’s announcement that the first Waterford ATB will be occupied by a top-class company like EirGen, with the creation of 200 much-needed new jobs for the city, is a great boost. I wish Patsy and Tom and all the team every success with this project.”

 

Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and CEO of OPKO Health, said: “Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for EirGen Pharma and this investment underpins our strategy to establish Ireland as a Centre of Excellence for R&D and supply chain activities. We appreciate IDA’s  efforts to create an attractive business environment for companies like ours, and we look forward to expanding our workforce by drawing upon the region’s highly skilled labour pool.”

 

CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, said: “I welcome this expansion by EirGen Pharma, which will add significantly to the growing life sciences cluster in the South East.  It is great news that a company that was founded locally is now creating 200 jobs in a key regional location, especially as it is going into the first ATB built in Waterford. It is proof that IDA’s focus on bringing investments to regional locations is working and the strategy of building ATBs in support of that aim is proving successful.”

 

For more information on the new roles, go to www.eirgen.com or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
EY Corporate Relay in this year’s WLRfm Waterford Viking Marathon

 

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WLRfm’s Waterford Viking Marathon introduces the first ever EY Corporate Relay which will take place on June 25th this year.

 

Companies and Business from all industries in the South East are invited to enter a team or a number of teams for this inaugural Cup which is sponsored by EY Waterford.

 

The event is aimed at encouraging social running amongst the business and working community in the Southeast. Speaking at the launch of the EY Corporate Relay, Paul Fleming director at EY in Waterford said ‘EY are delighted to get behind this event.  It’s a great opportunity to encourage a life of fitness and health amongst employees, promote corporate engagement within the community and of course some healthy competition amongst fellow businesses.’

 

Each team will run the Full Marathon route, from start to finish, in 3 separate legs of approx. 8.5, 8.7 and 9 miles and each runner will receive the custom-designed WVM marathon finisher T-shirt, finisher medal and packed goodie bag.

 

The winning team will receive a unique engraved trophy as well as dinner for three in Belissimo, Ardkeen……and of course bragging rights!

 

To enter a team or to find out more see the website www.waterfordvikingmarathon.com.

 

EY Waterford is committed to delivering exceptional client service across their four service lines – Assurance, Tax, Advisory and Transaction Advisory Services. See how they can help build a better working world for you. 1st Floor, The Atrium, Maritana Gate, Canada Street, Waterford Phone 051 872094. For more see www.ey.com/ireland.

 
Plans for major Joseph Mary Plunkett Commemoration

 

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Iarnród Éireann, Mount Congreve & Community Partners Announce Plans For Major Joseph Mary Plunkett Commemoration on 25th June

Iarnród Éireann staff, Representatives of Waterford City Council, Waterford Chamber of Commerce, West Pharma and students representing Mount Sion CBS were at Mount Congreve Estate yesterday to announce plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the renaming of Waterford Train Station after Joseph Mary Plunkett in 1966.

 

The commemoration will take place on 25th June next at the station and members of the public are welcome to attend.

 

The event will include:

  • The launch of a special hybrid rhododendron, bred at Mount Congreve and which will be named the Joseph Mary Plunkett rhododendron.
  • The unveiling of a memorial garden, which Iarnród Éireann have built at the end of the main platform at Plunkett Station into which Mount Congreve staff will plant seven red camellias, one for each of the seven signatories to the Proclamation.
  • The presentation of new furniture made by transition year students from Mount Sion CBS, including a bespoke box planter, which will accommodate the Joseph Mary Plunkett rhododendron.
  • An address by Donnacha O’Ceallacháin, Curator of Waterford Museum of Treasures about the life of Joseph Mary Plunkett.
  • A speech by Mayor of Waterford City, Cllr. John Cummins.
  • Musical entertainment.

 

Speaking at Mount Congreve, Iarnród Éireann’s District Manager, Emmett Cotter said: “The planned event on Saturday the 25th of June will be the culmination of many months of hard work by Iarnród Éireann and our partners in the wider Waterford Community. Iarnród Éireann has always been at the heart of the community in Waterford and we hope that the event in June and the memorial garden, will serve as a poignant remembrance of the life and sacrifice of Joseph Mary Plunkett”.

 

Michael White, Garden Curator at Mount Congreve said: “It is an honour and a privilege for us here at Mount Congreve to be selected to name one of our new hybrids for Joseph Mary Plunkett to commemorate the centenary of the rising”.

 

Waterford’s 2016 Coordinator, Jane Cantwell, says “Members of our Commemoration Committee 2016 are delighted to be involved with the event being planned by Iarnród Éireann to celebrate Waterford’s connection to the Rising. Iarnród Éireann’s contribution to the Centenary programme, which will incorporate music, literature and a newly created garden, will make the railway station a more attractive and enjoyable experience for the many people who use the service regularly. We are looking forward to celebrating with Iarnród Éireann at the station dedicated to Joseph Plunkett in Waterford in June”.

 

Nick Donnelly, CEO Waterford Chamber said: “In marking the centenary of the Rising, it is particularly significant that we recognise here in Waterford one of the great leaders from 1916 and I speak of course about Joseph Mary Plunkett who was considered to be one of the master tactician’s at the time and the railway station here in Waterford was named after him.

 

In conjunction with the Centenary Programme for Waterford, we are delighted to support Iarnrod Eireann and the various other stakeholders who have collaborated on this project and congratulate all concerned.

 
ACCA Ireland Business Leaders’ Forum, Waterford, Thurs 14th April 2016

 

A large crowd gathered for ACCA Ireland Business Leaders’ Forum on evening of Thursday April 14th in Waterford Institute of Technology.  ACCA Ireland were delighted to welcome Guest Speaker, Robert Finnegan, CEO, Three Ireland and ACCA Ireland newly appointed Chair, Etain Doyle.

 

Victoria Lacey FCCA, Financial Controller of APS Materials and Member of the ACCA Business Leaders Forum Panel chaired the event and thanked our hosts Waterford Institute of Technology, in particular Ger Long, Head of Dept. of Accountancy and Economics, WIT, who was also in attendance. 

 

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Robert who is a qualified accountant by trade, gave some great insights into Three Ireland’s  Mission Statement “Altogether Better” and the rebrand of O2 including the 3Arena with the audience. Robert himself a native of Waterford, attended Waterford Institute of Technology and made reference to his grassroots and local GAA ties along with Three Ireland’s sponsorship of Waterford GAA

 

The local audience made up of 70 plus ACCA Members and their guests enjoyed a glass of wine after the event. By all accounts, the audience were impressed with Robert’s update. He enlightened the crowd with one of his simple rules - communication is key.  He is a firm believer in being direct, open and honest with all feedback, while at all times remaining positive.  Great advice and some we can all keep practising. 

 

 
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