Optometrist Noel sees the big picture

    Noel McCrystal

    THIS week’s High Flyer is Noel McCrystal, principal optometrist and owner of McCrystal Opticians in Dungannon.

    What was your first job?

    My first job was working in a restaurant in Donegal when I was 16. I qualified as an Optometrist in 1993 and my first professional role was as a Locum for a year in England, I then went on to establish McCrystals 23 years ago.

    What qualifications do you have?

    I have a degree in Optometry from Manchester University and am also one of the few practitioners in Ireland to have a diploma in Schoolvision who have twice awarded us for ‘Outstanding Contribution to General Practice’.

    What do you attribute your success to?

    Definitely my sense of determination. Having had dyslexia, I became very focused on helping others to combat the symptoms associated with the condition. I have often found that people with dyslexia are real fighters.

    How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

    I am professional and friendly; a big picture thinker and I don’t get stressed by the small things. I am also a bit of a perfectionist, and like to focus on finding solutions.

    Who do you look up to in business?

    Sir Allen McClay from Almac for his ability to develop a business that has helped millions of people through science. I admire anyone who has created a success business that enriches the life of others.

    How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

    I have a fantastic team who have worked with me for a very long time. There is a lot of trust on all sides, I give my staff space and flexibility to do their jobs, and in return we have developed a very strong and reliable team.

    If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

    I think that Northern Ireland would benefit from more stability and a working government. If we could establish the fundamentals then hopefully the rest will follow.

    What website or app could you not do without?

    For me it has to be Netflix. In my downtime I like to watch some of my favourite shows including “Medici”.

    What was the last book you read?

    Due to my dyslexia in younger years, I didn’t really enjoy reading but have started to read more in recent years. I prefer fiction but I do read ‘Optician’ magazine from cover to cover every fortnight!

    What car do you drive?

    A dark grey BMW.

    Tell us something interesting about yourself?

    I collect Armagnac, and Scottish whiskeys from the early 1900’s, I even have a couple of bottles of whiskey from Dunville & Co. whiskey distillery which was based in Belfast in the 1800s, and early 1900s.

    What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

    I love to travel and spend time with my family. We especially love Italy, France and Northern Spain.


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