West Enterprise Case Studies
Donegal Case Study: Cora Tine Teoranta
Cora Tine Teoranta, based in Falcarragh, Co. Donegal employs 25 people in the design, manufacture and installation of the Kelsius wireless temperature and task monitoring system.
Kelsius is a service that automates the process of temperature monitoring in controlled storage and testing environments within the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, alerting designated staff members when temperatures deviate from set parameters. In the food sector, it also provides a fully automated, paperless, HACCP solution that ensures full compliance with food safety requirements and recording processes.
“I joined the company full-time in 2005 having left my position as lecturer in Computer Science in Queen’s University Belfast” says Dr Damien McKeever, Chief Technical Officer at Cora Tine Teoranta. “I already had links with West Donegal: my wife Aine, who works as a journalist for Raidio na Gaeltachta, is a native of Gaoth Dobhair.
“The move to Donegal afforded us better lifestyle opportunities than we had been able to avail of in Belfast and the existing family connections in the area meant we settled in easily”, adds Damien.
When first established, Cora Tine Teoranta received funding from Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Western Development Commission and access to such support was a determining factor in the decision to locate the business in Donegal. Growing the business in the North West has been facilitated by the presence of Letterkenny IT (LYIT) in a number of ways according to Damien. “We have employed local graduates from LYIT and a number of employees in the company have availed of training from LYIT as well as FÁS training” he explains. “Finding highly qualified staff in the local area has not been a problem. Although business in the food sector recently has been a bit slower than we would like, our sales to the healthcare sector have been ahead of target”, he says.
The local infrastructure is perfect for the company’s needs with good road links to Belfast, where the sales and marketing departments are located. “Donegal International Airport at Carrickfin is of great benefit to us; we can take the early flight to Dublin, do our business in the city and return the same day on the evening flight”, says Damien. “Our company depends on internet access. The roll-out of broadband to the local telephone exchange was slow initially, but since it was installed it has been relatively trouble-free”, he adds.
Describing life in Donegal, Damien says “the lifestyle and scenery are inspirational. My journey from Gaoth Dobhair to Falcarragh brings me through a beautiful area. On a typical morning when I round a certain corner I can see Tory island away to my left, while to my right the sun has just risen above the Derryveagh mountains and the vista with Muckish and Errigal is breathtaking. I never used to be a great morning person, but now when I arrive here I find I can get through a lot of creative technical work.”
When the family moved to Donegal, their youngest child was of pre-school age and attended an excellent nursery school very near their home, while their three older children settled very well into the local schools. The benefits of living in an area like the North West of Ireland include more personal time, less stress and more family time, all of which Damien uses to avail of the many amenities on his doorstep. “You can go walking, hiking, mountain climbing, swimming, cycling, golfing, playing football (GAA & soccer) and there are also horse riding and water sports facilities including surfing and kayaking” says Damien. “These days most of my exercise seems to come from swimming and walking - I make plenty of use of the excellent Earagail Health & Leisure Club in Gaoth Dobhair.”
Damien recommends life in the West of Ireland as providing “a better environment for doing creative technical work because of stress-free commuting and agreeable lifestyle. To anyone thinking of making the move, I would say, ‘give it a try’; you may be pleasantly surprised; maybe try a short-term placement in the first instance to see if you can live without traffic!”
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