Category: Archive

Business Briefs Foley picks children’s home for donation

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

Part of the privilege of being selected by the Irish Business Organization of New York as its business person of the year is that the honoree is allowed nominate a charity to benefit from a special IBO donation of $10,000. This year’s IBO business person of the year, Wexford native Michael Foley, incoming group chief executive of Aer Lingus, has chosen Children’s Sunshine Home in Foxrock, Dublin, to be the recipient.

Children’s Sunshine Home, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, is a residential home providing specialized care for 30 children with severe physical and learning disabilities and the needs of their family members.

The Arthur Clements Awards, named after the County Down man who cofounded the IBO, will go to Dan Comiskey, president, Power Staffing; Eugene Flanagan, proprietor of Flanagan Productions; Colleen Foley, sales associate with Environmental Waste Management Associates; and James McGuire, president of Teledotcom, Inc.

The IBO’s Celtic Spirit Award will go to the St. Brendan Restoration Committee, of which five of the founding members are also IBO members. The committee has worked to preserve and restore the small 12th century Church of St. Brendan the Navigator in Clonfert, Co. Galway, considered one of the finest examples of the Hiberno-Romanesque style. The committee’s efforts have resulted in having the site listed on the World Monuments Watch Millennium List of the World’s 100 Most Endangered Sites. It is the first time an Irish building has been featured on the list, the most prestigious register of historical sites throughout the world.

The awards will be presented during the IBO’s gala ball on Oct. 20 in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan.

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Worries at shipyard

The Belfast shipyard Harland & Wolff could face a "controlled closedown" if it is unsuccessful in its effort to recoup £23 million from a U.S. customer, Global Marine, according to Harland & Wolff’s parent, Norwegian-based Fred Olsen Energy.

A hearing to resolve the dispute — over the completion date for a deepwater drilling rig — between Global Marine and Harland & Wolff began in London last week.

Fred Olsen Energy has agreed to fund Harland & Wolff on an interim basis, but only until the end of this hearing. If Harland & Wolff were to succeed in recouping the £23 million, it would trigger the release of about £5 million in British government aid.

There have been several hundred jobs lost at Harland & Wolff this year. More job losses are expected although all eyes are now on the current arbitration hearing involving the £23 million. However, a hearing on another dispute with Global marine over £133 million is not due to be heard until next year.

Meanwhile, Harland & Wolff is awaiting hundreds of millions worth of potential work to be confirmed in definite orders.

Mr. Dell drops in

Ireland as the nerve center for Dell’s success story and the backbone of European operations, according to the founder of Dell Computer Corporation, Michael Dell.

Dell recently visited his company’s plants in Limerick, Dublin and Cherrywood, which employ more than 5,000 people.

"Dell is proud of the contribution we make to this country’s economic success. I am delighted to be here spending time with employees at our facilities in Ireland,” he said.

It is estimated that Dell contributes indirectly to 30,000 jobs in the Mid West Region. The company sources raw material to the value of £200 million annually in Ireland.

Dublin choking

The boss of one of Ireland’s top real estate houses has joined calls for new national transport plan for Ireland.

Mark Fitzgerald, executive chairman of property advisers Sherry FitzGerald, last week urged the government to set up an agency to oversee the development of the country’s infrastructure.

FitzGerald said that Dublin in particular was "choking on its own prosperity."

Banker’s thoughts

Small economies, such as Ireland, tend to have a higher degree of national openness, which implies that specific responses to divergent economic developments may be less effective and thus should be further-reaching than in the larger economies, said Willen F. Duisenberg, president of the European Central Bank, during an address last week at the annual dinner of the Financial Services Industry Association in Dublin. In his speech, Duisenberg spoke about "the challenge posed by different inflation rates across countries or regions within the euro area."

In Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economy, concern has been mounting about the growing inflation there and consequent increasing wage demands.

Dealing with ways to lessen the effects of different inflation rates within the Euro zone, Duisenberg said that as regards structural policy, it was important for countries to implement reforms in the product, labor and capital markets aimed at increasing overall economic flexibility and which would increase the degree of flexibility of national economic policies in reacting to country-specific events and common shocks. National governments, he said, have no time to lose in taking measures to increase the flexibility of these markets.

"The current favorable economic environment provides an excellent opportunity to undertake the necessary structural reforms in euro area countries with vigor," Duisenberg said.

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