Leo O’Donnell (b. 1937)
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Leo O’Donnell (b. 1937)


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Track 1: Leo O’Donnell discusses a number of factors which contributed to the loss of revenue to the company for the first time in 1977, factors such as the introduction of supermarkets in the early 1970s with the consequent pressure to drive down costs, equal pay for men and women and the influence of the Common Agricultural Policy. Track 2: Memories of the challenges of business in Ireland in the 1980s are discussed, as is the problem of trade union unrest, which resulted in strikes in Jacobs on a number of occasions. Track 3: The development of good relationships with shop stewards and decision-making based on mutual respect is discussed. Financial challenges of the time and the need to borrow from foreign banks is also recalled. Track 4: Leo describes the migration of the workforce to the new factory in Tallaght, the flotation of the company on the stockmarket, and the change of personnel on the Board. Track 5: The challenging situation arising from new ownership of the company is described, Leo’s own role as Chairman of both British and Irish firms and his retirement in 1999. A reflection on 27 years of employment with Jacobs is also included.

Additional information



Audio series:

W. and R. Jacob Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

6.50 MB, 19.74 MB, 7.36 MB, 7.98 MB. 16.15 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Chief Executive, W. and R. Jacob (part 2)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore