Wednesday 23 January 2019

Are our moaning mammies real force behind Ireland's entrepreneurs and business go-getters?

> A MOTHER'S place is in the wrong and nowhere is this more true than in Mother Ireland. But it was a surprise to hear this week that even the recession can be blamed on the ma.

Ireland, according to Gordon McConnell of DCU's Academy for Entrepreneurship, has a disastrous support environment for entrepreneurs. We don't encourage them. And the reason?

The mammy, Gordon told Drivetime, says to young entrepreneurs: "When are you going to get a real job? Have you not had enough time messing around with that hobby?"

Despite this, "we have more entrepreneurs, per head of population, than England or France or Germany", said JJ Killian of Ignite Business Solutions. "We should take advantage of that."

But maybe -- think about it -- the growth in entrepreneurs is not despite the cross advice, but actually because of it. Mammies -- as we all know -- have their own counter-intuitive ways.

> Liveline was carjack land this week: it was 6am, a dark morning last Saturday week when Wendy Taaffe, who runs the Whistle Stop chip van near Ardee in Louth, was driving to work in her jeep, towing the chipper.

She got out to open a gate, heard a car running, and the next thing a man dressed in black and a balaclava was raining kicks and punches on her, in silence. Not a word spoken. Wendy jumped up "out of sheer temper" shouting "you are not taking my chip van" and hit the man, who struck her a tremendous blow on the side of the face.

She stumbled and fell in front of the van. The driver of the car reversed, and Wendy rolled frantically to get out of the way as the car drove off.

She stumbled to a neighbour's house -- hiding when she saw the car coming back at speed.

She had a broken ankle, a fractured spine, bleeding to the head and the womb, muscle and tissue damage to her leg, and bruising on her shoulder and back.

"I've just been through hell and back. Unreal," said Wendy.

She's been trading there for 14 years, and reckons someone was sending her a message -- they wanted her trading spot.

Droves of customers rang in, talking about how Wendy knows all their kids, and maintains a sense of community between all the truckers -- her chipper is the centre of their mobile world.

"If somebody decides to take your place, they won't be supported by all us truck drivers," said caller Ciaran. "That's a guarantee. There's not one truck driver in the country will support anyone else there. So they're wasting their time trying to bully you out."

"She has principles," said trucker Mike from Limerick. "Stick to them!"

> "Cyclists -- be careful out there!" warned George Hook on The Right Hook as the wind rose. "Election posters are whizzing around -- especially Chris Andrews'."

Why Chris Andrews? Hooky blamed inadequate string.

But real policy wonks know it's a message to the Greens: John Gormley, Chris is coming to get you.

Cyclists beware.

Drivetime, Radio 1, weekdays; Liveline, Radio 1, weekdays; The Right Hook, Newstalk, weekdays

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