‘Magee expansion is crucial to the growth of Derry’ - Peter Casey

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One of RTÉ’s Dragons, Derry-born Peter Casey is a businessman who works globally with some of the world’s biggest and most important companies.

But his roots are in the city and one of his four business bases continues to be based in Buncrana.

Appearing in Dragon’s Den for the second year, Peter said, “I made more investments this year than last” and was delighted to see the junior entrepreneurs “delivering very polished pitches.”

But aside from his investments on television, Peter continues to grow his own businesses worldwide.

The father of five is best known for his high end recruitment firm, Claddagh Resources, which has its European headquarters in Buncrana.

Admitting that the reason for basing his business in Buncrana rather than Derry is “down to the corporation tax”, he feels that “the government are making a mistake by not making an exception at the border areas in this regard.”

He continued, “It just seems bizarre to me and it needs rectified.”

When asked about how Derry could encourage growth he simply said, “The government agencies need to sell Derry better and spend the investment monies wiser.

“The expansion of Magee is also crucial to encouraging new business. It needs to happen.”

Peter is also hoping to see all of the universities in Ireland working together more closely.

“I’ve approached Tata in India about investing here and they aren’t saying no. I’m hoping that we can work together to get the Centre of Excellence set up soon.

“As it stands I believe the university teachings are seven years behind what the businesses need.”

Tata are a group of businesses based in India, about which Peter has written a book entitled, ‘The World’s Greatest Company’.

“They are just a brilliant enterprise, and so humble. They own everything from Jaguar to Tetley and much, much more in between. Every entrepreneur could learn a lot from them”

Peter also has diverse investments but he has invested heavily into the Derry property market in recent years.

“Now is definitely the time to buy into property. There’s no better yield and I’ve steadily increased my property portfolio here in the last few years.”

It’s hard to see how Peter finds time to be with his family, who are based in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States.

“It’s a balancing act but I always make sure I’m there at the weekends, even if that means flying in from European the Friday evening and flying straight back on Sunday. But technology is great these days, so I can see them when talking to them, that certainly helps.”

Dragon’s Den airs on RTÉ1 every Sunday at 9.30pm.