Category: Archive

Around Ireland: Irish fish superior, says report

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

Irish fish farming is a growth industry, according to a recent study. But perceptions of consumers are lagging, with a still-prevalent attitude that farmed slamon and trout are somehow inferior to those that grow in the wild.

Following reports highlighting the diseases, parasites and bad farming practices on Scottish and Norwegian salmon farms, the reputation of fish farming took a hammering.

“A study which we recently commissioned shows huge differences between the way Irish fish is farmed in comparison to Norway and Scotland,” said Richie Flynn, executive secretary of the Irish Farmer’s Association’s fish farming section.

“Ten to 12 fish share a cubic meter of water in organic farming. In industrial farming, three times more fish must generally swim in the same space,” said Frank Hederman, who runs a fish smoking business in Cobh, Co. Cork.

English, best

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learned in Ireland

Tourism Ireland has decided to exploit the English language as a reason to visit Ireland.

Yes, English. Teaching English as a foreign language, reports the Irish Times, brings in euro 381 million to the Irish economy annually, and accounts for 11 percent of Irish tourism.

“The government intends to double the value of the English as a Foreign Language sector to the economy by 2006,” said Gillian Nother, the manager of an EFL trade and marketing association, Marketing English in Ireland and the Recognized English Language Schools Association.

Nother attended a trade fair in Paris called Expolangues last week. Irish Ambassador P_draic MacKernan inaugurated the fair, which was visited by 20,000 people. MacKernan took part in a lecture — “Irish, a living language” — delivered in French.

Companies to

watch, or buy

“How have the mighty fallen?” asked the Irish Examiner this week, discussing the lamentable state of six of Ireland’s most successful companies in recent years.

Baltimore, Iona, Waterford Wedgwood, Green Property, Parthus and Riverdeep all saw their market capitalization fall below euro 800 million, into the ranks of small cap companies.

Forty-one Irish companies were discussed in a Goodbody’s stockbroker report on small cap companies. Goodbody’s tapped three as very good buys for investors right now: Grafton, Jurys Doyle and Kingspan.

Hot Irishmen, please

How would you like to try an instant Irish coffee? It sounds . . . odd, but now you can judge for yourself. Hot Irishman, a pre-mixed blend of Irish whiskey, Columbian roast coffee and golden brown sugar, is now available in the U.S. thanks to drinks importer Bradley Trading Corp.

Hot Irishman is the brainchild of Bernard and Rosemary Walsh from County Carlow. Just add hot water and top with fresh cream for an instant glass of Irish coffee.

The advantage, according to the Walshes, is that the product is consistent. Rosemary discovered while preparing perhaps as many as 40 Irish coffees at a time at a ski chalet in France that it was hard to make each coffee come out just right.

Coin driving

machines baht-ty

Irish visitors to Thailand may be bringing home more than packs of noodles — turns out that the Thai 10 baht coin is identical in size to a 2 euro coin. Perfect for ripping of pay phones and vending machines, it seems. And a 10 baht coin is worth only 25 percent. Therefore, according to one report, 500 10 baht coins would cost euro 125, but in machines would be worth euro 1,000.

“Each machine has to leave a slight margin of error for all coins it is willing to accept, to allow for slight changes in metal composition, weight or other variations that might take place in the minting process,” said Neil Whoriskey of the Irish Central Bank.

“But if machines are accepting the Thai coins, then they have left those margins too wide,” he said.

Intellectual property

The first-ever Northern Ireland intellectual property conference will be held in Belfast next week, hosted by the Ulster Society of Chartered Accountants and the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

“Recognizing Intellectual Property” will attempt to bring together accountants and lawyers on issues of joint concern.

John Hansen, chairman of the Ulster Society of Chartered Accountants, said: “Commerce in intellectual property has become significant and is likely to become more vital as Northern Ireland further develops its knowledge-based economy. Intellectual property is an asset capable of generating profit. This seminar will give delegates an overview of the issues involved and how intellectual property rights could affect local firms.”

Bye to the Bank

The Bank of Ireland is to vacate its art deco building on Royal Avenue in Belfast, officials have announced.

The registered building on the corner of North Street and Royal Avenue was built in 1928-30 by J.V. Downes of McDonnell & Dixon of Dublin.

The exterior style somewhat reflects the Empire State Building in New York City, some have said.

Donegal expansion

Donegal town’s Mill Park Hotel is planning a major expansion. An apartment block with 20 bedrooms will be built, and 60 bedrooms added to the existing 43-bedroom building.

With a current staff of 40, the hotel’s owners, Tony McDermott and Martin Treacy, said they would take on an extra 20 people if the expansion plans go ahead.

Eye in your tank

Northern Irish consumers and businesses need never run out of gas or oil again. A high-tech solution called UtilityEye monitors fuel levels using satellite technology. Whenever levels fall below a certain point, the “Eye” sends a signal to a satellite, which in turn sends a signal to a supplier. A delivery is scheduled automatically. The system has been developed by Andronics, a high-tech company based in Derry.

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