By Harry Keaney
The mail order division of Blarney Woollen Mills, based in Blarney, Co. Cork, has closed its 10,000-square-foot warehouse and offices in Fairfield, N.J.
Mark Gorman, Blarney Woollen Mills catalogue manager, said that technology had "released fantastic potential for doing business around the world from Ireland."
Originally, the office in New Jersey gave U.S. customers a toll-free number that they could use from any part of America. Now, the same toll-free number, 1 (800) BLARNEY, will be collected from anywhere in the U.S. and delivered by fiber optic cables across the Atlantic to the Blarney Call Center, in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, which is operated by the call company Fexco.
"The pace of this technology is unbelievable, with many customers now placing orders by fax and e-mail or through the world wide web at www.blarney.com," Gorman said. He added that Blarney had set up a courier distribution network that will bring all goods shipped from Ireland by air into Airborne Express and to the customer within seven days.
Among those now in the job market due to Blarney’s closure of the New Jersey office is Irish Business Organization President Brian Nolan, the Loughrea, Co. Galway man who has been Blarney’s vice president in North America for the last eight years.
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Blarney employed eight full-time staff in New Jersey; during times of peak demand in winter, this rose to about 40.
Nolan, who has expertise in giftwear marketing, direct marketing and the mail order business, will be remaining in the U.S.
Blarney Woollen Mills has been in the news in Ireland recently, although not in the context that its owners would appreciate. For more than a year, a bitter row has flared between two sets of directors. The row, which in essence is about control of the company, recently surfaced in the High Court in Dublin.
Bar Association president
Barbara A. Ryan was recently installed as president of the New York Women’s Bar Association.
She is daughter of Mildred Ryan and the late Edmond Ryan. She grew up in West Islip and graduated from St. John the Baptist High School in 1974, Suffolk Community College in 1976 and Adelphi University School of Nursing in 1979.
Her career in nursing included the position of head nurse at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, now New York Presbyterian Hospital.
She entered law school in 1986, and is a 1989 graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law.
She currently practices in the area of health care law as a partner in the law firm of Aaronson Rappaport Feinstein & Deutsch, LLP, in Manhattan.
Kerry Group’s expansion
The Kerry Group hopes to own at least 10 food ingredient manufacturing facilities in South America by 2009. The first was opened last week, outside Sao Paulo, in Brazil. The official opening was performed by Ireland’s agriculture and food minister, Joe Walsh.
CIE Tours International is offering a long weekend getaway trip "Taste of Ireland," priced from $799 from New York, Newark or Boston, including roundtrip flights, fully escorted sightseeing on luxury motorcoach, superior and first-class hotel accommodations for four nights, full Irish breakfasts and dinners daily. Prices from Chicago start at $869 per person. Departures are scheduled weekly on Thursdays from Oct. 14 through Nov. 18. Return flight to the U.S. is on Tuesdays.
Period house sale
Cullen House, a six-bedroom ivy-covered Georgian house on 60 acres in Slane, Co. Meath, was sold last week for £800,000. The house was built in the 1790s.
California fashion show
In Burlingame, Calif., the gift store Four Green Fields will host a show featuring the latest fashions from "Weave of the Irish," a collection of woven apparel for women, on Sept. 17, from 6-8 p.m. ‘damar Corrigan, a fashion consultant from "Weave of the Irish," will be on hand to discuss the collection. The "Weave of the Irish" collection offers authentic, high-quality Irish knitwear, including wraps, jackets, scarves and coats. Based in the Boyne Valley, in Ireland, prices range from $40 to $200. Details, (800) 443-0372 or log onto www.4greenfields.com.
Networking in Jersey
An Irish networking dinner will take place Sept. 1 in The Seagull, in Hazlett, N.J. Details, Bernadette McManus at (212) 571-1150.
ICCUSA’s 11th annual American Celtic ball will take place Oct. 14 in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria, in Manhattan. Details, (212) 755-4444.