Forty Years Serving Waterford

Can you remember a time when Hooper Dolan wasn’t part of The Mall? The insurance broker, which first opened its doors in 1978, ranks not only as a firm fixture within Waterford’s business community, but among the country’s top independent broker networks. With 12 offices nationwide, the group now employs over 170 staff nationwide with 42 of those jobs in situ at its head office on The Mall. From humble beginnings in a small office in Michael Street, four hard working entrepreneurs set out to provide an innovative service for the city and its environs.
The combined expertise of Ronnie Dolan, Benny Hooper, Ann O’Shaughnessy and Martin O’Connor provided clients with considered, professional advice on their insurance requirements.
Over the past four decades, this dedication to customer service has seen the company flourish, as current Chairman Paul Dolan, son of founding member Ronnie Dolan explained.
“When you’re involved in the financial affairs of your fellow citizens and fellow business people you have the responsibility, the opportunity and the privilege of making their lives more secure and infinitely better. You’re there for them when they need you most.”
In the decade since his father’s passing in 2008, Paul said the world of insurance and financial advice has changed at an unprecedented rate.
“The pace of change has been almost unimaginable to previous generations,” he said. “In the insurance sector, like many others, you’re working in a global market and to stay ahead and deliver best value for your clients, you have to adapt and grow.” Paul added: “That growth gives you not just greater power of negotiation with insurance companies on behalf of your clients but it also provides the firepower to invest in the best people, have the diverse range of expertise required, and crucially, to invest in that on an ongoing basis.”
From a regional perspective, Paul Dolan believes that stakeholders across the South East “need to think big”, citing Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) as an integral element in the ongoing development of the region’s economy.

“Such institutions are really important to us in sourcing young talent who typically graduate with the financial fundamentals addressed academically, ready for application in a commercial environment. But that is essentially just the beginning. We then develop and hone those skills and our high level of staff retention speaks volumes for both the quality of recruit we attract, and the expertise we in turn provide them with.” Paul Dolan continues: “We’re talking about not only excellent recruits here, but very impressive young men and women who in turn have become valued colleagues at Hooper Dolan Insurances. I have no doubt that they could operate equally successfully anywhere in the world in their chosen field but they’ve opted to stay and build their careers here in Waterford and that’s a great source of pride for us.” Cathal Lowe is Chief Executive of Hooper Dolan Insurances. An alumnus of both De La Salle College and WIT, Cathal has also served as President of Brokers Ireland and last year had the distinction of successfully merging two broker organisations into one national body which now represents over 1,250 firms.

Paul Dolan, Chariman at Hooper Doaln Insurances, The Mall

Paul Dolan, Chariman at Hooper Dolan Insurances, The Mall

Insurance, he says, is a people business. “Our clients are involved in every walk of life and in a very diverse range of businesses,” he said. “Insurance is a necessity, not a luxury, and our job here at Hooper Dolan Insurances is to utilise our expertise in the market so as to provide the best options tailored to the individual needs of our clients.” When someone unfortunately suffers a loss, Hooper Dolan takes the claims process from A to Z on behalf of the individual or business. “It’s usually a very difficult time for people and insurance has become very complex with a myriad of clauses and conditions,” said Cathal. “It’s important that all procedures are followed correctly. And given our position in the market we have more power when negotiating with insurance companies than any individual would have in attempting to settle a claim.”

Giving something back to the community has always been a key consideration for Hooper Dolan Insurances.”We value the support we get from the community and we believe with our success we have a duty to support the community in whatever way we can,” said Cathal. “That’s why we like to support organisations such as local GAA clubs, the Waterford Camogie County Board, Waterford River Rescue and Spraoi, just to name a few. And come December, Hooper Dolan will act as joint sponsors for the Waterford Athletic Club Half Marathon.”
Last month a gala dinner was held at Faithlegg House Hotel to mark Hooper Dolan Insurances’ 40th Anniversary. It proved to be a most enjoyable evening, as Chief Executives from the country’s leading insurance companies joined Hooper Dolan staff, both old and new, for a night of celebration.

Cathal and Paul recognise their responsibility as custodians of the Hooper Dolan legacy. The current incarnation of Hooper Dolan Insurances is still expanding but the old mantra, catering for their clients’ insurance needs while providing trusted advice remains paramount. Thanks to a marriage of optimism and hard work 40 years in the making, Hooper Dolan Insurances has established itself as a cornerstone of the local, regional and national insurance industry. Here’s to the next 40 years!

For further information, call Hooper Dolan Insurances on 051-860670 or visit

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