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The Irish Edge: How Enterprises Compete on Authenticity and Place

Finnbarr D. Bradley & James J. Kelly

At a time when public policy remains focused on foreign direct investment as the primary engine of the Irish economy, the authors argue that a greater focus should be placed on growing high-calibre indigenous enterprises that are rooted in Ireland, but stand tall on the international stage.


  • The Irish Edge tells the stories of successful Irish enterprises that have survived and thrived through the recession, building on authenticity, culture, tradition, place, identity, language and sustainability.
  • The businesses in this book compete, not only on the basis of identity, but by adapting themselves to what is now called the modern ‘experience’ economy.
  • Such businesses include: Inis Meáin, which the Financial Times headlined ‘A Chic Knitwear Outpost in the Aran Islands’; Cnoc Suain, a restored seventeenth century hill village in Co. Galway; Ballymaloe Cookery School; animation enterprise Telegael; craft companies like Louis Mulcahy and Wild Goose Studio; brewing and distilling enterprises such as Cooley Distillery; and food ventures such as Country Choice and Folláin.

    The Irish Edge proposes an economic recovery based on such strong, identity-driven, modern enterprises that use local and traditional resources, along with technology, to create something appealing and new.


Available in:

Paperback ePub

Publication Date

May 2013


978-1-909518-00-1 (Paperback)

978-1-909895-04-1 (ePub)

No. of Pages



234 x 156


Business & Economics

About the Co-Author

Finbarr D. Bradley teaches green business at UCD and is a former professor at DCU and NUI Maynooth.

About the Co-Author

James J. Kennelly is Professor of International Business at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.