BMSA's exciting plans to boost West Cork

Barry McSweeney's new initiative could do great things for tourism in West Cork and

Barry McSweeney's new initiative could do great things for tourism in West Cork and technology investment in Ireland.

BY JACKIE KEOGH

 

THE founder and CEO of BMSA, Finbarr McSweeney, has announced the establishment of an exciting new West Cork enterprise fusing technology, sports and the arts.

Finbarr, who is better known as Barry, told The Southern Star that BMSA, which has been operating out of Dublin since 2011, now has a base in Glengarriff – the place he has lived in for the last seven years.

BMSA, which stands for Barry McSweeney and Associates, is an advisory service that works with companies who want to interact with the EU and it specialises in the policy and technology sector.

Through its EU and technology contacts, the organisation has amassed a huge network of international contacts and it is these contacts that BMSA are hoping will spend some of their leisure time in West Cork.

The contacts – who tend to have a high net-wealth – will be invited to experience the best that West Cork has to offer, particularly its fantastic golfing facilities and its rich artistic culture.

At present, BMSA is the working title for the organisation. However, on Saturday, September 28th, it will be officially launched as a company at the stylish Glengarriff Lodge. 

Although BMSA has been offering EU policy and technology advice since 2011, the founder, Barry McSweeney has decided to expand its operations by creating a golf division and arts section.

Barry, who is 63 and a native of Cork city, is an internationally renowned technologist, and he was a former Director General at the European Commission in Brussels. In fact, he has held various positions in Irish and international industry and public service. 

As an experienced manager – who has founded and developed organisations and was responsible for the successful reorganisation of the 3000 person Joint Research Centre of the EU – Barry is ideally placed to bring an added impetus to tourism in West Cork.

A graduate of University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin – where he read biochemistry and clinical biochemistry – Barry went on to be appointed an adjunct professor at the College of Business and Law in UCC in 2010.

He continues to lecture on the Masters Programme in International Policy and Diplomacy – which he co-designed – and he has won numerous awards including the Grand Gold Medal of Comenius University, a prestigious award won by only a handful including John Paul II.

His decision to move to Glengarriff in 2007 was influenced by the fact that his family originally came from the area. He told The Southern Star: ‘I am delighted with the move and I am enjoying living in this beautiful location.’ 

Barry, who, last year, was appointed captain of Glengarriff Golf Club, is probably better known for having organised and led the first group purchase of a ghost estate, the Mountain View Holiday Homes, in Glengarriff in 2011.

He believes that West Cork has largely under-used resources and that more could be done with its vast number of creative people, awe-inspiring scenery, and its strong artistic culture and outstanding golf. 

As an investor, Barry has designed and trademarked a number of golf programmes, which form a key part of his new initiative. These programmes will be targeted at people who would like to significantly improve their golf game over a two-week stay in West Cork.

During their visit, the golfers, who will be staying at some of the finest accommodation available, will also be introduced to technology investment opportunities within Ireland.

This unique concept has already been recognised by the World Federation of Golf Teachers, who have become a partner with BMSA in the development of the various programmes. 

The tuition will take place at the Old Head Golf Links, Bantry Bay Golf Club and Glengarriff Golf Club, where BMSA is also planning to establish a local Golf Academy with indoor facilities, including interactive computer-driven golf simulators, allowing tuition to continue throughout the winter. 

BMSA is also working in partnership with the Cork firm, SkyTec, in the use of unmanned helicopters with eight rotors, known as Octocoptors, to take unique aerial shots of golfers, providing them with unique footage of their visit to Ireland.

BMSA will work together with golf tour operators, musicians and local and national development agencies in order to optimise the potential of West Cork. 

It is currently seeking young golfers with handicaps less than 16 and with TEFL qualifications who will provide training as youth leaders in this unique company.  

The BMSA website has been designed with their, award winning, creative partner organisation Practice and Theory. BMSA also has strong music connections to Choice Cuts and Other Voices, having acted as their fundraiser and digital media advisor.

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