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Rea Group Launches new services – Presentation

Friday, August 27th, 2010










I wish to outline to you:

1 . Who are the Rea Group

2 . Who are the team

( a )main team

( b )support team

( c )services to-date

© Rea Group

( d )new services
( e )new website


Back in 1974, William J. Martin and I faced the choice of being redundant

or buying out the Boss when a sharp Recession hit Agriculture in 1974 (not

unlike today).

We were either naïve or bright enough to consider that we could succeed in

providing an Agricultural Consultancy Service on a commercial basis and

succeed against the State Advisory Service which was free of charge. We

were proved right.





As you can see we have agriculturalists, taxation specialists, environmentalists, engineers,

planners, marketing personnel, lawyers, horticulturists, foresters, valuers, economists,

rural development specialists and administrators. As you can see over the years we have

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assembled a dynamic team with expertise to meet out clients’ evolving needs. This team

from the wide variety of backgrounds is at clients’ disposal. You can see details of our

team on our website.


• Agricultural consultancy
• Land and property and business transfer

• Family disputes and settlements
• Compensation reports

• Compulsory Purchase Orders
• Accountancy and taxation services

• Agri-Environmental services and EU farm schemes
• Environmental impact assessment

• Investments products
• International business consultancy



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Back in the 1980’s, our Company was substantially involved in negotiating

solutions with over-borrowed Farming and other Businesses – that

substantially arose due to Interest rates increasing from 8% in 1977/78

period to 21% – 24% in the early 1980’s and rampant inflation.

This resulted in the then Government (Fitzgerald Government) putting in

place the Farm Rescue Package which helped in a substantial way to give

light to both the Borrowers involved and their Banks.

I find it thoroughly amazing that the Head of NAMA, the Bankers and the

Financial Regulator are lacking in imagination as to how to put in place a

mini-NAMA for small Borrowers and Businesses.

I would suggest to the Government that they should lead on this matter and not be

blinded or intimidated by the bureaucrats of the state who have failed in their duty to the

Government and the people in the past i.e. previous Financial Regulator + Central Bank.

The present crisis has been aggravated by a total famine of credit. This is likely to be

aggravated by new regulations announced this week by central Bank – we are now

moving from under-regulating of the banks to being over-regulated.

In 2009, a E.U. Fund was made available for small Businesses and it has

recently emerged that very little of this has been drawn down.

I would suggest that this is because of a lack of commitment by the Banks.

We are offering a Service to deal with two issues :

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Businesses and Farmers that are being denied Credit by their


Businesses and Farmers that are over borrowed and in a most serious

and deteriorating position that has to be dealt with.

The Rea Group has put in place an experienced Team consisting of :

Richard Rea – Business Consultant with extensive experience in debt difficulty.

David Walsh – Well experienced in financial difficulties and their resolution.

Patricia Calleary – Engineer and planner with wide experience in site assessment.

Oliver Ryan-Purcell – Agricultural Law expert

Harvey Jones – Negotiator

In addition, we have strong Professional relationships with other colleagues

who have experience in this area to enable us handle the cases that are

present. Set out on our new website you will find more detail on this service.

The Government has obtained commitments from the Banks to make

€3 Billion available for viable Businesses. However, the viability of many

Businesses has been severely damaged by the delay in providing suitable credit lines.

In Survey conducted by ISME, as recently as February last 55% of credit applications

were rejected

Received Credit Refused Credit
NOV 2008 43% 57%
FEB 2009 52% 48%
MAY 2009 42% 58%
OCT 2009 58% 42%
FEB 2010 45% 55%

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The Government apart from trying to insist that Banks make facilities available, have to

ensure that the Banks do not talk out of both sides of their mouths by :

Making more Credit available


As a condition – charging more for existing Credit or demanding extra security that

is just not available.

(I wish to acknowledge that certain bank managers will facilitate their customers where

they can – and a lot of ordinary workers in the banks are under duress themselves from

their head offices)

In another Survey commissioned by I.S.M.E., it was found that from May 2009 – to early

2010, 80% of respondents considered that the Banks were making it more difficult to

obtain additional Finance. Unnecessary bureaucracy is being put in place at present by a

particular bank to deal with new or extended applications.

Our services consist of:

Identifying the magnitude of the problem so as to design a Debt Management Plan

to aid recovery where this is an option.

Devising a Strategy to protect Family Assets and safety of Inheritance where this is


Taking over and managing the problem and negotiating settlement in circumstances

where there is a possibility of doing so.

Reviewing the Security position, Personal guarantees, and the circumstances that

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led to the Financial difficulty. Investigating the possibility of reckless lending and

Having established the facts of each case, advising in association with our retained
reckless advice and the Bank Loan guaranteed.

Experts in relation to Summons, Legal proceedings, Judgments, Bankruptcy,

Attachment Orders, Freezing of Personal Assets, setting aside Asset Transfers,

Schemes of Arrangements and Defenses.

The Rea Group wish to point out that a very substantial amount of Farming and

other Business can be saved by early intervention with good financial action,

strategic advice and negotiation.


Ireland is now regarded as one of the most expensive Countries in the

World for Litigation.

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Recent changes have come into play by the Court Service in respect of

Mediation – Michael O’Connor, Barrister and Oliver Ryan-Purcell, agricultural law

consultant will outline this.

The Rea Group have been providing Expert Witness Reports to Solicitors since the Rea

Group commenced.

The Rea Group are now joining forces with Barrister Michael O’Connor BL and Oliver

Ryan-Purcell, agricultural law expert – who has had a long association with the Rea

Group. They have put in place a Team of Accredited Mediators who will be in a position

to offer a Mediation Service to a wide range of Businesses including Agriculture,

Construction as well as the area of Employment Disputes, but not limited to these. The

Rea Group would see itself as being able to facilitate solicitors and their clients resolve

disputes in a cost effective manner.

I introduce Oliver Ryan-Purcell who is leading the Mediation Division

of our Company.

The traditional method of dispute resolution is the Court Process – preceded perhaps by

off the record attempts at settlement. As you well know, this generally public procedure

can be cumbersome, expensive, time consuming and stressful.

Mediation is an alternative form of dispute resolution which is both growing in popularity

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and is also, as Michael will show, now encouraged in various pieces of European and

domestic legislation.

Mediation is a simple process generally involving one or perhaps more meetings between

the mediator and individual parties to the dispute or both parties together as appropriate.

These meetings take place at mutually convenient times and places such as hotel rooms.

The parties effectively communicate through the mediator who merely guides and

facilitates the process and helps the parties to explore all options to achieve settlement.

Communication is re-established, stress is virtually eliminated, confidentiality is assured

and all sorts of options for settlement are explored.

The process is very much ‘off the record’ and the parties are free to terminate it at

any time and their legal rights and remedies remain unaffected. Cost is minimal when

compared to Court proceedings.

Parties remain in control of the process as opposed to the Court Process when the parties

are subject to the Court Diary and procedure.

There is a written mediation agreement beforehand setting out the ground rules. Once

settlement is achieved, it is recorded in a settlement agreement.

Otherwise, there is no official or binding documentation of any kind.

Accredited mediators are qualified to handle any type of dispute but obviously it helps

when the mediators have a particular understanding of the type of disputes they are

mediating including the relevant law and practice. I have been in rural private practice

as a solicitor with particular emphasis on agricultural law for upwards of thirty years

but have now opted to cease practice in order to become a professional mediator and

agricultural law consultant.

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Personally, my area therefore would be in the area of agricultural/family/succession/

inheritance/farm partnership formation and dissolution/ neighbour/ private landlord

and tenant/ conflict i.e. what would be termed the civil area generally involving private

parties. Michael O’Connor would tend to deal more with the commercial area including

company, commercial leasing, shareholder and section 205, winding up and/or related

petitions, large debt recovery. Obviously both of us would have the advantage access

to the wealth of knowledge and expertise available from other support members of the

Rea Group and we will be joined shortly by more people from within the Rea Group

as they themselves become accredited and who will have particular expertise in such

areas as accounting and taxation, investment on and off farm and of course farm and

other business, family settlements, family disputes, employment disputes, construction

disputes, bank disputes.

A mediator’s intervention at an appropriate time could save hundreds of thousands of

euro in court costs.

Again, it could be the difference between the happy survival of a united farm or family

business on the one hand or the destruction of a farm/business and an unending family

feud on the other. The intervention of a respected confidential mediator when parties

need some differences ironed out and while they are still on good terms can often be a


Matters that need resolution where communication between parties on such issues is

difficult and where any publicity must be avoided at all costs, literally cry out for the

intervention of a good mediator. By providing highly competent completely confidential

professional mediation services, the Rea Group can save huge expense and unending

heartache for people while at the same time greatly enhancing their assets, livelihoods and

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enjoyment of life generally.
Mediation is the sensible way of the future in solving conflict and the Rea Group are to

the fore in leading that way.

I introduce Michael O’Connor Barrister to give background of the legal



Our Company has been involved in a wide range of Services but many

people are not aware that we have been involved in assisting our Clients and

others in developing Business outside of their Farming activity.

Over €425 Million is being made available under the Rural Development

Programme to assist new businesses in rural areas.

The Rea Group have been involved in undertaking Feasibility Studies for

such new Business, negotiating Credit facilities and providing on-going

services once established such as Accounting and Taxation, and Strategic

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and Marketing advice, but this has not been widely known.

A number of our Clients have agreed to participate in our Website so I now

intend setting out briefly what these people achieved.

As many of these people only developed their business concepts in the tail end of the last

recession, their vision and stories are important so as to give hope to existing people who

want to develop their own business

Ballacola, Co. Laois

They are farmers who developed and market their
own stone products and stone products from other

Moyne, Co. Tipperary

reinstated an old castle in line with
best practice and developed an
excellent tourist product.

John & Patricia Hourrigan
Co. Limerick

they supply natural and synthetic Murroe,
grass to a wide variety of customers
for landscaping, sports, golf, ornamental lawns,
putting greens and tennis courts, in addition they
are farmers

Abbeyleix, Co. Laois

These two clients are farmers -
but they are unique in that they
owned no land. They developed the
Abbeyleix Manor Hotel

Cahir, Co. Tipperary

The Apple Fram was well-
established prior to Rea Group being
retained by Traas Family in the

© Rea Group

1970’s. They produce apples and wonderful
juice which has won a large number of
Bridgestone awards and are developing other
innovative products


While this business is based in
Dublin the Principal Kate Bowe is from Thurles.
They are market leaders in the arts and film PR

Co. Armagh

This company are market leaders
in fertilizer-free potatoes and other products.
The Rea Group were involved with them at the
conceptual and development stage of the business

The new website sets out details of these companies.

This nationwide range and diversity of business demonstrate the ability of

Rea Group to make a positive contribution to a wide range of businesses.

We need as a Community to support new Business ventures. Far too much

time is involved in Dail Eireann and in the Media on the Blame-game for

our present position, but insufficient energy is being spent on how to get out

of our present difficulties. We cannot change the past but we can change /

influence the future if we are positive.

The smart economy promised by the Government and supported by all parties will

provide some jobs but unless we fundamentally reform, how the State does its business –

then this Country will not have a sustainable recovery.

Government Policy has to be smart and the Government needs to do its business smartly

to overcome our problems.

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Greater competition in relation to the provision of state services needs to be introduced

– it is wrong that the State provides a very substantial subsidy to State organizations in

circumstances where there the private sector is denied a similar subsidy. State and semi-

State agencies could be privatized or a voucher system introduced enabling the service

recipient to choose from a number of service providers resulting in an improved service to

the individual and saving to the State.

When I was a youth in the 1960’s, I constantly heard stories about the

Economic War in the 1930’s and the emergency during World War II. We are at present

in an economic war but the steps necessary to help resolve it are not been taken quickly


The McCarthy Report set out the cuts necessary as a start. I consider 90% of

the McCarthy Report should be implemented immediately and that

McCarthy should be asked to prepare follow-up Reports.

In the 1980’s, many Graduates emigrated and returned in the 1990’s. We now have many

Graduates with no prospects of employment and little prospects in other Countries either.

There is – I consider – an obligation on existing businesses in association with the

Government to provide work experience to such Graduates which will help fuel our


While F.D.I. is very important in job creation, the most reliable way to

re-build this economy is with indigenous industry – either Agriculture / Food

Tourism or Intellectual Enterprise generated by people in Ireland.

However Agriculture over the years has been down-graded.This is regrettable because as

an indigenous industry agriculture has a number of positive characteristics Farming and

the agri-food industry contribute more than their sizes relative to other sectors, to both

© Rea Group

employment and exports.

The ratio of imported production materials used in agricultural production relative

to home produced inputs and to exports is low by comparison with other sectors in

the economy.

It is a relatively stable industry in that food demand remains constant irrespective

of booms and recessions. Ireland is well placed to meet increasing world demand for

Farmers are encouraged to provide public goods such as the protection of the

environment and enhancement of the country side. They are compensated for the costs

involved in this through schemes such as REPS and AEOS. However the main business

of farmers which is food production is currently unprofitable and is leading to stagnation.

This is not sustainable.

When favourable economic conditions are made available to farmers and businesses they

will respond.

Agriculture can help lead the recovery but only if the Producers of the raw material are

rewarded for doing so.

There is little point in Farmers being told – you will get a good price for Food in 2020 or

Provision of public goods by farmers on its own will not lead to any improvement

in the Agricultural Economy.

In our experience, people from a rural background who have been successful in their own

Farming business are more likely to succeed in establishing another non-Farming

Business. This is due to their strong work ethic, previous management experience and

their desire to succeed. What we need is a growing group of positive and innovative

entrepreneurs who have the vision to develop successful Business and wealth, and as a

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consequence create employment from that success.
This Company has been involved with such people and our objective this evening is to

make the Market aware that we are in this Business and that we have been facilitators in

developing new business. We are involved in providing assistance from the conceptual

stage of business ideas and in overcoming barriers to enterprise.








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Mark Fielding of ISME speaking at Rea Group launch

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Mark Fielding of ISME speaking at Rea Group launch

REA GROUP, Cashel 24/06/2010


We must insist that Government subscribe to the terms of Article 45 of the Constitution

If Ireland were a business it would be guilty of reckless trading and wound up

Aprox 230,000 SMEs in Ireland

99% ARE SMEs of which 97% are SMALL 83% are MICRO

54% of ALL employment and OVER 60% of Private sector workers


There are 33 separate ACTS.

Since 2000 there have been 421 STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS relating to employment law administered by the DETE.

Since 2000 there have been 157 REGULATIONS and ORDERS.

We have had 26 EU DIRECTIVES.

In addition I have to deal with 8 Agencies.

  1. Labour Court
  2. Rights Commissioner
  3. Conciliation Service of LRC
  4. Employment Appeals Tribunal
  5. Equality Tribunal
  6. Joint Labour Committees
  7. Health & Safety Authority
  8. NERA

There are 16 individual (JLCs) Joint Labour Committees and 63 (REAs) REGISTERED EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS and God only knows how many (EROs) EMPLOYMENT REGULATION ORDERS.

This is on top of a NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE.

And the jewel in the crown – the many different CODES OF PRACTICE.

Added to all of this there can be up to 5 layers of appeals.

Now if i have a female of childbearing age working for me I have to contend with 14 different Acts and Statutory Instruments dealing with MATERNITY.

There are also more than 30 Acts or Statutes dealing with different forms of leave.


Having mentioned Trades Unions I would like briefly to turn to the issue of representation in the workplace, I believe that the vast majority of employees have no need for a Trade Union; they are educated in their rights and look after themselves. Going back to the days of the union closed shop would be completely unacceptable. And yet ever since the first Programme for National recovery in 1987 the ICTU has argued that in return for their participation in Partnership, Government should provide for STATUTORY UNION RECOGNITION. Let there be no mistake about it the main driver behind this is the dwindling numbers joining the Trade Union movement and the effort to stave off the inevitable demise of the TU movement.

The recent Ryanair decision in the Supreme Court has clarified the situation that there need not be trade union involvement in an enterprise. Because of this ruling, ICTU are back at Government looking for recognition again. We must continue to oppose statutory trade union recognition as it undermines our attractiveness for FDI, both existing and future flows, it is totally unnecessary at small business levels and also for the very reason that our employees do not want it.

In this we all have a major role to play, both in changing attitudes on the ground but also in representing and lobbying at Government level.

If Ireland were a business it would be guilty of reckless trading and wound up

  • Government failure to realise that it no longer has control of
    • Currency
    • Interest Rates
  • Government failure to curtail overheated construction sector
    • Reduce/Remove construction tax incentives
    • Warn of a property tax
  • Government failure to curtail national pay increases
  • Government failure in dealing with sustained erosion of competitiveness
  • Government failure to broaden the tax base
  • Government failure in rein in the banks
  • Government failure to curtail a €7b growth in the public pay bill
    • Adding 71,800 to the public pay roll
    • Increasing salaries 25% above the CPI
  • Government policy not evidence-based
    • Irish language policy
    • Planning policy
    • Decentralisation policy
    • Energy policy
  • Government in paralysis failing to lead with vision, a sense of urgency or courage
  • The Opposition Parties offer no better prospects

I am weary of the dead zone that politics has become. What’s troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics – the ease with which we are distracted by the petty trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working solution to tackle any big problem.

What we’ve seen from government for close to two decades has been tinkering around the edges and a tolerance for mediocrity. There is a constant danger, in the cacophony of voices, that a politician loses his moral bearings and finds himself entirely steered by the winds of public opinion.

If we fail to act, our competitive position in the world will decline. If we act boldly, then our economy will be less vulnerable to economic disruption, our trade balance will improve, the pace of Irish technological innovation will accelerate.

Irish people believe in work – not just as a means of supporting themselves but as a means of giving their lives purpose and direction, order and dignity.

We Irish are willing to compete with the world.

We are willing to work harder than the people of any other wealthy nation.

We are willing to invest in our businesses.

We the small and medium businesses, as Obama says, are the future.

But we can only compete if our government makes the decisions and the investments that give us a fighting chance. What’s preventing us from shaping thatfuture isn’t the absence of good ideas. It’s the absence of a national commitment to take the tough steps necessary to make Ireland more competitive.

In other words, we are willing to do what needs to be done. What’s missing is not money, but a national sense of urgency.

Minister Calleary, I would like to draw your attention to the Crazy People who are here this evening. Some people refer to them as Entrepreneurs; some trade union officials refer to them as “that shower”; some civil servants refer to them as “the new poor”. It’s about these “CRAZY PEOPLE” around you who take the option of starting and running their own business, why? Because they think they can make a difference.

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits the rebels, the trouble makers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They are not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things; I even go so far as to say they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, I see genius, I see an entrepreneur.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

We must insist that Government subscribe to the terms of Article 45 of the Constitution which places an onus on, and commits the State to favouring private enterprise.

As a staunch ISME member company I take this opportunity in wishing Rea Group every success on the launch of this phase of their business cycle.

It’s the begrudgers and naysayers who will always find a reason to say “WHY”. What I see in front of me here tonight is A GROUP OF ENTREPRENEURS – Part of the COALITION OF THE WILLING. While others say WHY? Businesses such as the Rea Group, the entrepreneurs like Richard and all his colleagues and staff have said and will always say “WHY NOT”.

Mark Fielding

Chief Executive


The Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association.

Rea Group launches new services 24/06/2010

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Organiser & Speakers at the launch on new services by the Rea Group are( L – R) Tom Dawson, Rea Group; Mark Fielding ISME; Minister Dara Calleary ( Minister of State for Labour & Reform of the Public Service); Richard J Rea, Principal, Rea Group; Evelyn O’ Donnell, Solicitor, Donal T. Ryan & Co, Cashel; Michael O’ Connor, Barrister; Oliver Ryan – Purcell, Agri Law Consultant, Rea Group.

Present at the launch of new services by the Rea Group were Willie Martin, Martin & Rea (Cork); John Crowley, Crowley Consulting Cork; Evelyn O’ Donnell, Solicitor, Cashel; Mark Fielding, ISME; Minister Dara Calleary ( Minister of State for Labour & Reform of the Public Service); Pat Minnick, President ACA; Anne Marie Clarke, Rea Group; Tom Dawson, Rea Group.

Mark Fielding, ISME, Minister Dara Calleary ( Minister of State for Labour & Reform of the Public Service) and Tom Dawson, Rea Group in attendance at the launch of new services by the Rea Group.

Making a presentation to Minister Dara Calleary ( Minister of State for Labour & Reform of the Public Service) after the launch of New services by the Rea Group is Richard Rea, Managing Director.

Delivering his address at the launch of new services by the Rea Group is Richard J. Rea, Principal, Rea Group with Minister Dara Calleary ( Minister of State for Labour & Reform of the Public Service).

Pictured at the Launch of new services by the Rea Group are Minister Dara Calleary ( Minister of State for Labour & Reform of the Public Service); Evelyn O’ Donnell Solicitor, Donal T. Ryan & Co., Cashel and Tom Dawson, Rea Group.

Present at the Launch of New Services by the Rea Group at the Cashel Palace Hotel on 24/06/2010 are (L – R) William Martin, Martin & Rea, Cork; Calum Bain, Knight Frank; Jenny Kent, Abbeyleix Manor Hotel and Peter Sweetman, Environmentalist.

Present at the Lauch of New Services by the Rea Group at the Cashel Palace Hotel on 24/06/2010 are (L – R) Eamon Long, Wilson Country; Katrina Ryan, Rea Group; Denis Leahy, Tipperary Urban Council; George Mason, Chairman, South Tipperary IFA.

Pictured at the Launch of new Services by the Rea Group are Minister Dara Calleary ( Minister of State for Labour & Reform of the Public Service) and Evelyn O’ Donnell Solicitor, Donal t. Ryan & Co., Cashel.

Present at the Lauch of New Services by the Rea Group at the Cashel Palace Hotel on 24/06/2010 are (L – R); Michael Fitzgerald, Councillor Tipperary SR; Jackie Cahill, President, ICMSA; Philip De Vere Hunt, Auctioneer, Cashel; Tom Hayes T.D.

In attendance at the Launch of new services by the Rea Group are: Geraldine Cleary, Rea Group; Helen Guerin, Rea Group; Michael O’ Connor, Barrister; Oliver Ryan – Purcell, Agri – Law Expert, Rea Group; Ronan Hayes, Rea Group; Minister Dara Calleary ( Minister of State for Labour & Reform of the Public Service); Harvey Jones, Rea Group and Tom Dawson, Rea Group.