Tuesday 12 December 2017

Shane Byrne - company director and rugby star

Shane Byrne
Shane Byrne

For our company (Arklow Waste Disposal) it's been certainly difficult times.

For our company (Arklow Waste Disposal) it's been certainly difficult times. I believe the economy has stopped dropping; it's not climbing just yet, but we're surviving so far. So for 2014 we definitely want to continue giving the service that we have been to people, to our customers and keeping everyone as happy as we can, as we have been doing for the last 32 years.

With every New Year, you definitely want to feel like there's always going to be a fresh start and new beginnings. We made a lot of changes in 2012 - 13; there was a big upheaval through those years right through the industry. We just want to put ourselves in a stronger position to make sure we're here for another few years to come.

We'll be making everything much more efficient in 2014. We want to make sure that, as we are a complete customer service company, we cater for all the waste industry no matter what your needs are. Will that in mind, there will be changes coming in 2014.

On a personal front, it's just about being able to set your own personal goals - making sure your family are happy and maybe put a few physical challenges out there to keep the body ticking over! Life is for living. 2014 definitely has to be the year for that.


We'll be kicking back in January and putting together an EP of original music. Hopefully we'll have that recorded by April or May. January is a good time to start organising that kind of thing because it gets a little quieter in terms of gigs although we will still be playing around the County Wicklow area in many of our usual venues.

Most of the songs for the EP are written so we'll be getting them tight, writing more and doing some performances of the original material. Once we're happy with the songs we'll book studio time and start recording.

We also plan on putting some videos together and hopefully contacting agents.

The next number months will be busy enough. We have some wedding gigs booked in the UK, and expect to go to New Orleans for a run of gigs in October.

My own personal highlight of 2013 was going to Granada for a month to travel. That was an amazing experience. This year I will go to Peru in South America and also Jackson where I'll play some music and see some gigs.

Last year my resolution was to conquer my fear of water and learn to swim, which I did. I'm already signed up for yoga classes and this year I plan to get fitter, find more time to write music and keep life simple rather than running around not knowing what day of the week it is!


In terms of hopes for the New Year, my primary aspiration at the moment is to get the second book [in the Tír Saga] out the door, the follow up to 'The Magus Conspiracy.' At the moment I'm working hard on getting both the book and the cover done. I'll be self-publishing it, like I did with my previous book, at the end of March. I'm also working hard on fleshing out the third book which is also getting released in 2014 - in December - and that will finish off the whole trilogy.

This year, I want to increase my profile. I'm going to use as many kinds of media as I can, hopefully get on the radio and get my book reviewed in some of the mainstream papers and use all the online social media sites to promote my books. I'm also going to produce a very short video trailer for the first book to help drive sales. I'm writing the screenplay right now. So I'll be juggling the writing, the design of the cover and the production of the trailer over the course of the coming year.


I'm currently doing a Masters in neuroscience at Trinity so I'll be writing a Spinal Cord Injury related thesis.

I started the two-year course in September. I want to become a neuroscientist and essentially an expert in my field.

It has been very difficult to get the exams done. I use speech recognition and the software doesn't recognise a lot of the technical terms and so own. I knew that I would face problems though.

I can't take my own notes so you don't get that re-enforced learning. You don't recall the material as easily if you haven't taken your own notes.

So I'll be on a very academic track for at least the next six months. It's full-time, five days a week.

I'll be chair of the King of Greystones again and a date has been set. Super early bird registration is open for the triathlon on August 10.

As we get closer to the time more details will be fastened down but I'd very much like more beginners to be involved and will focus on that.

The proceeds will go to the Martin Codyre Fund again with any other charities yet to be decided.

It was so gratifying to do it last year and get that feedback that new triathletes have taken it up and it's a great event for the community. It is hard to be involved in though, as I want to be able to do it myself.

My brain is about the only thing that works properly anymore so I exercise that! I just want to learn more, get on with the job and ultimately help with the efforts to come up with a cure for SCI.


2013 was a tough year for everybody and I do hope things begin to pick up. It would be particularly nice to see things start to improve with the economy. I think people have been struggling for the past number of years and they deserve better fortunes. People need something to help raise their spirits.

I also hope 2014 proves to be another successful year for Wicklow GAA, for both football and hurling at all levels. The supporters who show up match after match also deserve huge credit. It doesn't matter what the weather is like, they will be there shouting on their team come rain or shine. It would also be great if we didn't lose so many players to emigration over the next 12 months. It has put a strain on a lot of clubs, not to mention families with loved ones who have had to move abroad.

On a personal level I hope my family, wife Ann and all my friends have a prosperous and Happy New Year, and most importantly of all, that they enjoy good health in 2014.


I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and also thank everyone who helped me this year.

I have to thank MCP, Mondello Park, Nissan Ireland and for all their help. It really has been a great year for me and I have learned so much this season.

I had a great team behind me who were almost like my second family. We went through thick and thin together and always worked so hard. We never let anything get us down and that's what brings out the best in everybody. Sometimes I find it hard to believe how lucky I am to have such brilliant support from everyone and they have really helped me to get where I am today.

My family have also been great and have backed me every step of the way.

I hope everyone has a great New Year's and hope to see everyone back on the track for more success in 2014.


2013 has been a very good year for Wicklow Hospice and our fundraising drive made huge progress.

The year got off to a flying start with the Lincoln Premiere which was kindly donated to us by Daniel Day Lewis. We are nearly at our target of € 3 million between funds raised and pledged. I would like to sincerely thank all our fundraisers and volunteers for their efforts and thank all the people of Wicklow who gave generously to get us to this point.

For 2014 we are confident that Wicklow Hospice will be included in HSE divisional plans in the new year. Negotiations with the HSE about the location for the Hospice are ongoing and we are strongly in favour of the site at Magheramore which was donated by the Columban Sisters.

Wicklow Hospice Foundation has no staff to pay and all monies raised go to the building fund. We have no top ups and our audited accounts can be viewed on the website

I would also like to wish our Patrons, committee members, volunteers and Donors a healthy and prosperous New Year.


We have just completed the construction of a new state-of-the-art veterinary hospital adjacent to our original veterinary clinic on Old Connaught Avenue in Bray, and in 2014, I am looking forward to my daily job more than ever. The new building had been in my dreams for nearly twenty years, and it's hugely satisfying to see it become a reality. We now have the space and facilities to develop new services, such as the cats-only clinic that we now run in our original premises, and high-end referral surgery with visiting specialist surgeons.

I'm also looking forward to more television work: the new series of Animal A&E starts on TV3 in early January, and my weekly vet spot on Wednesdays on Ireland AM will carry on as before.

Social media has become a much more important way of communicating with people about animal health and welfare issues, and in 2014, I expect to spend even more time online, helping people to access useful and important information about their pets, via my website at, as well as on Facebook and Twitter as "Pete the Vet".

2014 will be the year when the new Animal Health and Welfare Act is commenced: this is widely seen as progressive, animal-friendly legislation, and I am hopeful that it will have a significant effect on reducing cruelty to animals in Ireland.

Wicklow People

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