I am very excited as we celebrate our 50th anniversary as a business on 8th January 2023, which was formally part of the hugely successful Joe Duffy motor group. In the company, I have always enjoyed the passion for delivering the highest service levels to our clients while recognising the essential ingredient of compassion which has served us so well. I am also proud of the 100% credit rating we have maintained.
The significant milestone of the business was the MBO in August 2004 when I bought out my then partners, Bill Thompson and Owen Crinigan, which allowed me to install my unique stamp. I remember that, at the time, the feeling was likened to when I was given the keys to my first house, allowing me free artistic expression.
A much more recent exciting event was accreditation with AIBF for two years consecutively while being conferred as a Fellow (FAIBF) at the prestigious ceremony held in the Aviva Stadium. Many people have asked what the secret to my success is, and my answer is the innate instinct to follow and emulate the right people in the right organisations decisively.
Post my MBO. I remember when I forged a business relationship with Velo, a medium-sized UK leasing company based in Marlow and commenced trading as Velo Ireland. After Leasedrive Group acquired Velo, I chose not to renew the licence when it became due, as I felt we were not compatible. I remember contemplating what logo in rebranding I might use, and while looking at the V in Velo, inspiring a slight alteration was to be our new SWOOSH LOGO. I chuckled to myself, remembering I seldom got one of those at school. The usual cynics accused me of plagiarism while I enjoyed that familiar feeling of glee in having the truth on my side.
I also recall the exciting times leading up to the proposed formation of the European Fleet Alliance back in 2007, which did not proceed due to technical matters. The process was a great learning curve with meeting people from different cultures at the conferences across Europe, and no, it wasn’t strictly business, for we got to know one another quite well over the period of a few years. To this day, I believe the EFA was a missed opportunity for our industry.
As I reflect on the business, I can say without hesitation that I have experienced exhilarating times and, thankfully, did not make too many errors of judgement rather than the repetitive being the real mistake. Timing plays a vital role in getting it right, and I consider myself fortunate with attracting a marvelous team of people around me who are all committed to client service in a spirit of unity. I especially want to mention my business partner Ian Flood who has been by my side since 2002, providing an extension of my values with more youthful energy.
As a dynamic company, we are thriving with riding on the crest of our wave, and I believe now is an optimum time to seek a new Strategic Alliance Partner to re-invigorate our business.

Eugene Haines, Managing Director