By Stephen McKinley
Find your great granny online. Localireland.com has introduced a family records database — you can access it directly at www.irishfamilyrecords.com. The records available are specific to the 19th Century, including the UK census of 1851 and 1881, and the Antrim census of 1851, and consist of Irish births and marriages. Localireland says the service will be faster and easier to use than most current services on the internet. You can search using forenames, surnames, county of origin, age and year of birth, as well as other criteria. A basic search is free, but more detailed searches will involve a fee.
Despite the number of internet sites and companies in Ireland, the Irish surf the internet a lot less than their European contemporaries. They spend only four hours a month online, and David Day, director of analytical services for ACNielsen eRatings.com in Europe, said this was because of the high costs of using the internet. Day said that as competition increases, this will soon change.
Loose change loose
The Irish Central Bank needs money — in particular, the bank wants coins to be handed in from jam jars and piggy banks all over Ireland. An estimated 550 million in coins is believed to be lurking in bedrooms and down the back of sofas. All currency has to be handed in time for the changeover to the euro on Feb. 9, 2002 — six months after that date, the Irish currency will no longer be legal tender anywhere.
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The U.S. computer giant Dell is said to be preparing to slash its workforce as part of a cost-cutting measure. U.S. sources said up to 4,000 jobs could go, and this would almost certainly mean losses at Dell’s Limerick base. The company warned in January that sales were down and earnings targets would not be met.
Lucent cooking the books?
Irregularities in Lucent Technologies accounting has prompted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the company. The SEC has alleged that $679m in revenue was improperly accounted during the 2000 fiscal year. The investigation is focusing on one-time discounts given to customers and the accounting of software licenses.
More mad cow
Aside from the risks to people’s health, the BSE/mad cow disease crisis could also adversely affect the Irish economy, said Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers. McQuaid said that meat prices inflated 10 percent in Britain during the peak of the BSE crisis there, and a similar outcome could happen in Ireland.
More Ryanair shares
Ryanair raised $120 million from an offering of 10 million shares last week, and CEO Michael O’Leary earned himself about $40 million when he sold 3 million of his own shares. The placing was four times oversubscribed, and will end on Feb. 14.
Online off license
Web site of the week — Slainteonline.com. This company in Dublin city center allows customers to order wine, beer, champagne, cigarettes and snacks from their computers, and will deliver the goods promptly to anywhere in the city for a fee of £2. Delivery time is within an hour of placing the order. The company delivers from 1 p.m. until midnight, Monday through Saturday, and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Managing director Patrick Cumiskey said that Slainteonline wasn’t the first of its kind, but it aimed to offer the broadest range of goods available.