Derry man hopes to expand business in city

Sean Rooney at the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. His company Amire won SME of the year award.
Sean Rooney at the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. His company Amire won SME of the year award.

A Derry man who runs an award winning Australian based digital marketing company has said it would be the ‘icing on the cake’ if he could expand his business in the city.

Sean Rooney has been in discussions with Invest NI about the possibility of bringing jobs to Derry.

Sean, who grew up in Pennyburn and is a former pupil of Pennyburn Primary School, St. Columb’s College and Ulster University, runs Amire.

The Sydney based boutique digital marketing company recently won SME of the year at the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

The father-of-three said he knows how ‘skilled and talented the workforce is’ in Derry.

Sean worked in web development for a number of years and moved to Australia with an old school friend, with the intention of coming back after a year.

“While working in web development in Donegal I did a course in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in Dublin in 2000.

“Back then Google was just an emerging search engine so when I went to Sydney I wanted to work in a niche market, something not many people knew about and decided to work in digital marketing. I loved the concept of helping business grow their business via online marketing.”

He set up Amire in 2013, along with his American business partner, and since then they have worked with many international brands such as Unicef, Amnesty International and Compare the Market.

The company also worked on the Australian marriage equality campaign in 2017, something which Sean describes as the proudest moment of his career.

Amire employees have also lectured in digital marketing at the University of Technology in Sydney and worked with a number of Irish brands including “Taste Ireland,” who import Irish food to Australia.

Sean said the company also has a ‘strong corporate social responsibility culture and works hard to give back to both our community and industry’. “We run an ongoing pro bono Google Ads campaign for Oz Harvest, a charity which collects food from large supermarkets and restaurants and feeds the poor.”

Sean said expanding his business to Derry would provide a 24/7 business model for his clients.

“While we’re sleeping in Sydney we could potentially have a Derry team delivering solutions to our clients. It would provide results, in terms of increased online traffic and sales, twice as fast.

“Coming from Derry I know how skilled and talented the workforce is. I love the idea of bringing jobs to Derry, something our town deserves and needs. It would really be the icing on the cake of my career if I can make this happen.”

Sean’s family - parents Dermod and Roisin and sisters Emma and Cathy - all still live in Derry and he brings his three children to visit almost every year.

“The kids love it and we get a giggle at how excited they are to see cows, sheep and other common farm animals while driving around Derry and Donegal. It’s something they don’t see every day in a metropolitan city like Sydney.”