7 Summits – Aconcagua Prep 4: Our Deepest Fear

Good Monday morning to you,

This is from Marianne Williamson’s book written in 1992 ‘’Return to Love’’ and while sometimes referenced to Nelson Mandela it is indeed the speech “he actually never gave”…

This is a very powerful piece I received in a framed picture of Mount Everest prior to my departure there in April 2014 which had a profound positive mental impact on me, especially the line “we are powerful beyond measure’”.  I had prepared mentally for what I thought was ahead of me but this piece gave me a real sense of responsibility, a power of “actually, why not me” self-belief. This poem empowered me.

It is our light that frightens us not the darkness … Our presence automatically liberates others!

Having enjoyed success in my own life I have incredible self-belief and confidence within myself.

I have seen how my efforts, my hard work and success has impacted, has inspired and has motivated others which drives me even further.  This is reflected in the last line of the poem; “Our presence automatically liberates others”.

Take Care and Keep Your Dreams Alive! 



The Panel welcomes three new team members

The Panel are pleased to announce the appointment of Conor O’Reilly, Susan McCrarren and Daniel Walsh to their recruitment team.

Conor O’Reilly joins us after gaining over 11 years Treasury, Retail and Investment Banking experience. Conor will work together with our Managing Partner Anne Keys and Senior Recruitment Manager Liam Murphy in the Funds & Investment Management division.

Susan McCrarren joins on our graduate programme, training with our various divisional teams to get the requisite experience to become a recruiter for The Panel in due course.

Daniel Walsh also joined the team via our graduate programme, and will like Susan complete his in-house recruiter training before entering into a fully-fledged recruiter role.

We wish all three the very best and we are delighted to have you on-board!

#TeamThePanel #LifeAtThePanel

Left to right: Conor O’Reilly, Susan McCrarren and Daniel Walsh.

7 Summits – Aconcagua Prep 3: Blame the TV

Good Monday morning to you,

Many years ago I sat in complete captivation watching a climbing documentary. It was explaining the risks, the dangers, the heights, the altitude, the cold, the wind, the showers, the blizzards, the climbers and their attitude and appetite for adventure and repeated adventure despite mountain and Mother Nature’s discomforts. What struck me were the rewards after the effort, the satisfaction of summit and the real emotion of returning safely to base camp and the elation of returning home afterwards.

I’ve often been asked why climb? Why endure such discomfort? Why risk your own life? Why?

George Mallory, who died on Mount Everest in 1924, once said …

“If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of the mountains and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life.”

George Mallory and Andrew Irvine’s tombstone at Mount Everest Base Camp

In Banjo Bannon’s book, “Ascending the Dreams”, he wrote…

‘’If you are asked why you climb mountains by someone who does not understand the mountains, that someone will never understand the explanation, nor will they ever’’! 

The fascination of the mountains was always there for me. But I could only imagine or try to imagine what it would be like to reach a summit. The same thoughts were streaming through my head as I stood and looked out at Mount Everest from just above Base Camp. Having made it that far I was also praying that Mother Nature and the Mountain Gods would afford me the opportunity to climb and return safely.

Mount Everest from just above Base Camp

I felt the same captivation and inspiration when some years ago I attended a charity function and presentation in Belfast hosted by Noel Hanna. I was so in awe of what Noel had achieved, I decided to make my dreams a reality and having spoken to Noel, whom I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet previously, I signed up for the next expedition and climb Mount Elbrus in Southern Russia in 2012.

A great friend of mine, Peter, who had invited me to the function and presentation was somewhat taken back with what he thought was my impulsiveness, but as I explained; my dreams, my ambitions, my intrigue of the mountains and the challenges they offer, it all made a little more sense to him. He later became one of my sponsors, something which for me was a real, but greatly appreciated surprise, but also an affirmation of his belief in me.

So there you have it. It was the TV’s fault!

Take Care and Keep Your Dreams Alive!



The Panel attends the Air Ball 2017 – Casino Royale 2

On Wednesday 15th November, The Panel was delighted to attend the annual Air Ball – Casino Royale II fundraiser in aid of Darndale Childcare Centre.

The event, which is organised by the aviation leasing industry and now in its 3rd year, brings together the Irish aviation leasing community to fundraise for a very worthy cause.

Attendees were treated to a casino / aviation inspired event, including a silent auction to help raise money for the charity of choice, Darndale Childcare Centre.   

Attending the event from The Panel was: Richie Goggin (Senior Recruitment Manager, Financial Services & Aviation), Anastasia Myachina (Consultant, Financial Services & Insurance), Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR), Louise O’Leary (Senior Recruitment Manager, Banking & Treasury) and Grace Leonard (Consultant, IT & Business Development).

All images courtesy of Air Ball 2017.


7 Summits – Aconcagua Prep 2: Begin and Prepare

Happy Monday to you,

All of my climbs to-date has been challenging in very different ways and with these challenges many fears have had to be faced and overcome. In overcoming these fears, the fears themselves must be identified and conquered. In my case, believe it or not, my greatest fear was heights!

In preparation I researched fear and panic. The fine lines between the two, which can blur a decision and lead to disaster or death on a big mountain. I learned how to remain calm and in a conscious state of mind to make the right decision or the very next step to safety. In other words, staying in absolute connection with yourself and your being and feeling the situation, dealing and coping with it. In addressing my own fear; heights, I decided to spend a day ‘zip-lining’ in Tibradden. A day I vividly remember for the adrenalin, the stress, the anxiety, the cold sweats, the nerves, the actual 100% determination to succeed and get myself to the next ‘’safe’’ base and push on further. This was all despite my absolute fear of heights and being clipped in safely, which made for no consolation!

At the end of day I felt so fulfilled, so proud of myself for having faced up to my biggest fear. The exact same feeling which Iain Lee (I’m a Celebrity 2017) felt and exhibited on finishing the ‘’Space Your Fears’’ challenge. Accomplishing and completing zip-lining helped me overcome my fear of ‘’heights’’, while realising that this fear would need to be further tested/trained in order to build my climbing self-belief. I decided that the next stage for me was to try abseiling and undertake rope training. I knew that these challenges would also prepare me for future climbs.

Mount Everest was of course one of those climbs and the demands mentally and physically required were beyond anything I had ever previously experienced and bar research and the help from close climber friends I may not have been able to visualise what was to be encountered. Thus I needed to prepare for mental and physical extremities at levels I had not previously experienced.

Big mountains expose climbers to unnerving foot-holds, ledges which overhang and descend beneath you. One mistake is not tolerated. Below is the 2nd Step on Mount Everest with a mere 28,000 feet below me! … This is where my mental and physical preparation helped me to emotionally deal with it and complete this stage to the summit. And this had to be done ‘again’, on descent!

I knew there was so much more to encounter to the summit but I remained calm, stayed in the moment and enjoyed the experience and return to safety made it all so much worthwhile. 

Mount Everest – 2nd step at 28,000 feet.

Finally, while preparing for anything I always try and first visualise the goal and then work backwards to what is required and complete in small steps to the ultimate success, in this case it was summiting Mount Everest.

We all have our aims, ambitions and determinations to succeed and I truly believe preparation, hard work, belief in yourself and confidence will enabled you to succeed.

I’ll leave you with two of my favourites sayings … 

Take Care and Keep Your Dreams Alive!