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Michael Branagan

Internet pioneer Michael Branagan started two of Ireland's earliest web service providers.

A chartered accountant, he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in London for a year before joining Woodchester in 1989. He became an associate director and head of branches at the bank. He played a key role in introducing new technology there.

He was head-hunted by Monaghan entrepreneur Macky Moyna in 1995 to help set up and manage Indigo, one of Ireland's first internet providers. It expanded rapidly and was bought by Eircom, becoming their internet arm.

Mr Branagan co-founded Internet Ireland, also around this period. International News and Media (INM) bought it in 2000, and with Mr Branagan at the helm it launched Unison, the online portal for INM's national and regional titles, including the Sunday Independent.

He started up Deep-Insight in 2000, a customer relations and HR consultancy. He was a director there until 2007 and is still a shareholder. He now manages Blue Cloud ICT, a web and telecom consultancy. He is also chairman at tech adviser firm Curach Consulting, which Deloitte Ireland acquired last month.

Undaunted by the current climate, he and his wife Alison Ryan are hoping to build a €40m hotel and apartment complex on 25 acres they own in their native Skerries, north county Dublin.

Sunday Indo Business