Welcome to the LondonDerry Chamber of Commerce

Connecting Business Northwest

Covid-19 Business Support update 4 – Innovation and the New Normal

Date: Thursday 30 April              

Time: 11:00am – 12 noon

Location: Zoom Webinar    

Event Overview

As businesses battle through the challenges of Covid-19 lockdown, thoughts are now turning towards the concept of restart and many companies are using this time productively to plan ahead. This may mean anything from a simple refurb to bringing back furloughed employees into a changed workplace, potential re-structuring and even a total re-think of business models.

Many companies in the North West are considering how to innovate and re-purpose their operations and skillsets to adapt to the “new normal”.

We will hear from Chamber members Kieran Kennedy, Managing Director of O’Neills and James Huey, Founder of the Walled City Brewery. As the outbreak of the pandemic hit here Kieran quickly adopted a strategy to re-purpose sports clothing production lines to produce scrubs for the NHS frontline. The Walled City Brewery, the craft brewery and restaurant, is now upcycling unwanted bottles of back shelf spirits to hand sanitizer.

Our expert panel also includes Dawn McLaughlin, Dawn McLaughlin and Co.  and Julie Pollock, ConsultHR,  to advise on grants help and employee relations issues arising.

Paul Clancy, CEO, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce will moderate this Q&A session.

If you would like to attend this webinar please email Anna Doherty [email protected] to register.


Panellist bios:

Kieran Kennedy

Kieran has over 40 years’ experience working in the textile manufacturing and social enterprise sectors. He is managing director of O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Limited since 1988. Kieran is also chairman of Strabane Training Services and chairman of Strabane BID (Business Improvement District0, both voluntary positions. In 2019 Kieran was awarded the Global Ireland Award for service to Irish enterprise by the Consulate General in Boston.

James Huey

James is an ex Foyle College and a Trinity College Dublin graduate who joined Guinness as a brewer in 2002, finishing in Dundalk Brewery in 2013 as Production Manager.

Returning to Derry, he set up the Walled City Brewery, the first brewery-restaurant in N.Ireland as the first commercial tenant of Ebrington Square.

The WCB has won multiple awards since reopening including the Best Gastropub in Ireland at the 2018 RAI Awards, and then as Georgina Campbell’s Most Atmospheric Restaurant in Ireland in 2019. It closed its doors on 15th March 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Julie Pollock

Julie Pollock is the Owner of Consult HR who specialise in providing human resources and employment support to a wide range of employers throughout Northern Ireland.  Julie’s expertise lies within the high risk end of people management and she has specialised in providing expert HR advice to SME’s in areas such as: Redundancy, investigations, dismissals, bullying and harassment, grievances, contracts of employment, TUPE and more recently the Job Retention Scheme and Furloughing staff.

Dawn McLaughlin

Dawn McLaughlin is the Vice President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. She is also principal of the progressive, award winning practice in the North West, Dawn McLaughlin & Co Chartered Accountants. Dawn trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse where she managed the SME department in the North West branch before establishing her own practice. For the past 35 years Dawn has specialised in advising locally owned and managed SME’s throughout the UK and Ireland.


Moderator bio:

Paul Clancy

Paul who has been recently appointed as CEO of the Chamber has more than 20 years director and management level experience across a range of sectors. These include agriculture, drinks, manufacturing and construction.

His priority is to support local businesses through the current crisis.