By Stephen McKinley
Bailey’s Irish Cream has announced that it will create 50 additional jobs outside Belfast.
An investment of _64 million will build a plant at Mallusk, the company has said, close to high quality supplies of cream and to the ports.
Simon Litherland, managing director of Baileys Supply Company, said sales of the rich, creamy chocolate liqueur are likely to double in the next five years.
“The company has examined many locations around the world for a second site,” he said. “The critical factors for the location of the new plant included supply of high-quality cream, infrastructure, access to ports and brand heritage factors. Belfast is therefore an excellent choice.”
South Antrim MLA Jim Wilson said, “It’s a real boost for my constituents and I wish them every success in their venture.”
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Windy times are ahead for Northern Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, as it considers a proposal to build a wind farm off the north coast that could generate enough electricity to power several towns.
The news comes after similar ventures have shown initial success in the Irish Republic.
As many as 60 windmills, each up to 40 meters high, could produce as much as 150 megawatts of power — the equivalent of a small power station.
Local farmers may protest the plan, as the windmills would be visible from the scenic North Antrim coast — one of Northern Ireland’s main tourist attractions.
The European Commssion has praised Ireland for its conversion from the punt to the euro.
Pedro Solbes, spokesman for the Economic Affairs Commissioner, pointed to Ireland and the Netherlands as having had the most trouble-free changeover.
“In Ireland and the Netherlands, the changeover is practically complete and very little national currency remains in circulation,” he said.
This means that it has taken just nine days for the new European currency to sweep the country and displace what is known as the “legacy currency,” the Irish punt.
Ireland will soon get interactive television courtesy of Sky TV and Nevada tele.com.
An agreement between the two companies will see a range of new online interactive services made available to Sky Digital’s Irish digital satellite television audience in the first half of 2002. Services available at launch will include e-mail, betting, voting and interactive advertising.
Until now, Sky viewers in the Republic have been able to access only those interactive services that are accessible via the broadcast stream, such as Sky Sports Active’s enhanced soccer and rugby coverage and Sky News Active.
Philly food talk
The Ireland Chamber of Commerce will hold a discussion on investing in the food industry on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Union League, 141 South Broad St., Philadelphia. Entrance will cost $40 for members and guests and $50 for non-members. Details, Kevin McGeehan at (215) 574 3100.
Ireland’s Department of Finance has calculated that the reintroduction of mortgage interest relief for investors buying second properties could cost euro 50.8 million in lost tax revenue.
Documents produced by the Tax Strategy Group raise the possibility that the government has been advised to legislate in the forthcoming Finance Bill to tighten up on EU state aids for development.
Ryanair rolls on
Ryanair has said that it may buy 75 to 100 new aircraft from Airbus or Boeing, just weeks after Easyjet, Ryanair’s main rival in the cut-price airfare war, said it would make similar purchases.
Last fall, Ryanair placed advertisements in specialist magazines seeking used Boeing 737s.
Because manufacturers have had cancellations from airlines, industry watchers have said that Ryanair is in a position to negotiate a good price for new aircraft.
Ryanair transported 10.24 million passengers last year.