I’m off to Belfast today to talk with Brian Spence and the Dalriada trustees. They’ve been billed the Regulator’s Rottweiler and I didn’t do much for their brand by dubbing them “Rentokil”.
My day-out is partly to build commercial links and partly to understand the misunderstood. Dalriada are keen to set the record straight.
I have three schemes I want to use to better understand the Dalriada way, NOW pensions, Friendly Pensions and the Ark Pension Schemes. Dalriada’s involvement in all three has been or is to remedy things that have gone wrong, but are they surgeon, executioner or undertaker?
Dalriada was a Gaelic Kingdom that encompassed the Inner Hebrides such as Islay , Mull and Iona, the Mull of Kintyre and the bit of Northern Ireland we now know as Ulster.
The southern end of Iona is one of my favourite places on earth. Belfast ranks alongside Newcastle and London as my favourite British City and Islay supplies my preferred source of alcoholic beverage. Dalriada clearly has more going for it than history would suggest, for it really hasn’t been a force in Scotland since the rise of the Kingdom of Alba in the 9th century.
I rather fancied Brian Spence as a latter day Dalriadan king, but an inspection of the list of Dalriadan kings suggest that the monarchs of yesterday survived as such for a maximum of five years. Spence set Dalriada up in 2003 so will soon have a span three times that.
He strikes me as likely to have been a good Dalriadan king, he has a war-like reputation but a saint-like disposition (at least when we talk). The “sharp stick” with which Dalriada’s QC Moeran threatened to poke the Ark victims , sounds straight from the Gaelic armoury. However a more genial and dedicated group of trustees than Brian has assembled , could be hard to find.
Velvet gloves hide iron fists.
Whatever has happened in the past (and I aim to find this out), Dalriada Trustees seem set for a strong future with a strong leader and a fine bunch of clansmen. I’m going to their head office (Dunadd?) with one of my colleagues.
We come in peace and in the firm expectation of a strong alliance between our firms.