Can-do attitude will see us through, says O'Brien
Published 02/10/2010 | 05:00
ONE of the country's leading businessmen has told more than 800 budding entrepreneurs not to let anyone get them down about Ireland.
Denis O'Brien said that a "can-do" attitude to overcoming hardship was part of our heritage and that the challenges now facing the country were ultimately fixable.
"Ireland is going to be terrific. It might take a little bit of time for us to recover but we are going to come out of this blip we're in at the moment," the Digicel boss said.
Mr O'Brien was speaking to second- and third-level students from 22 schools across Kerry, Limerick and Cork who were taking part in an entrepreneurial programme where they received mentoring from some of the country's top business people, including Sarah Newman of 'Dragons' Den' and 'Prime Time' presenter-turned-entrepreneur Mark Little.
Mr O'Brien described 'blue sky day' in Tralee yesterday as "an oasis of happiness and optimism after one of the blackest Thursdays". He told students that Irish missionaries and NGOs such as Concern, Trocaire and GOAL had given Ireland an excellent reputation in emerging markets which would pave the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
He had this advice for them: "Get involved in some community organisation, whether it's the GAA or another club, but just get involved in something locally and be able to talk to anybody, regardless of their walk of life." He added: "If you borrow bad money, pay it back and, above all else, keep your word."