By Harry Keaney
It seems the Irish government is finally beginning to lose its patience with the perpetual predictions of increasing housing prices.
According to a recent Dublin house price survey by Sherry Fitzgerald, the country’s largest real estate agency, prices could rise by a whopping 20 percent this year.
And according to another report, from NCB Group, house prices may rise by 15 percent, and possibly 17 percent, this year.
Such reports are the last thing the government wishes to hear, particularly when it is desperately seeking foreign workers and emigrants with expertise in certain sectors to return to the country.
Housing minister Bobby Molloy was clearly not pleased by the results of the surveys. "I am very concerned that hype on house-price increases can instill panic among potential house buyers and heighten their fears for future market trends," he said.
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NCB based its findings on four factors: labor force growth, declining household size, growing real personal disposable income and Euro interest rates.
Sinn Féin’s economics
Although Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economy is booming, almost every politician visiting the U.S. from Ireland, North or South, still throws out the plea for more inward investment. Last Thursday, Sinn Féin national executive member Caoimhghín O Caoláin made the pitch on behalf of the Cavan-Monaghan constituency, which he represents in Dáil Éireann.
"We seek and invite inward investment because we have a lot to offer in return," O’Caoláin told a press conference in the Sheraton Hotel, in Manhattan, on Wednesday. "Not only corporate Irish America but corporate America has opportunity in Ireland."
When the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, was asked if he could see Sinn Féin members ever being ministers in the Republic’s Dáil, he replied that the party going into coalition government was something it would have to decide on. But, referring to the recent controversial budget from the Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrat government, Adams asked, "How could Sinn Féin ministers be part of a coalition that discriminated against women, parents and the homeless?"
Éircom has lodged £50 million sterling to apply for a mobile license in Britain. Éircom is one of the 13 telecom players who submitted applications for the new UK licence which would allow
much wider use of mobile phones to access the internet, send faxes and hook up with the stock exchanges.
The £50 million, which is a refundable deposit, represents an initial outlay only and market analysts believe that the £1.5 billion investment, incorporating £400 million for the licence and another £1 billion investment in infrastructure, would be needed if Éircom secured the licence.
However, the involvement of a joint venture partner in the deal would significantly reduce the capital investment for Éircom.
More Intel jobs
Intel is to provide up to 600 jobs in Leixlip, Co. Kildare. The recruitment drive is part of a £500 million investment package to introduce the latest microprocessor technology. The computer chip manufacturer already directly employs 4,300 people in Ireland.
Irish Networking Society of Boston
On March 1, the Irish Networking Society of Boston kicks off the St. Patrick’s Day season when it will welcome Kathleen O’Toole, former secretary of public safety for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a member of the Patten Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland.
The society meets the first Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the FleetBoston Building at 100 Federal St., 35th floor. Admission is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. A social hour follows every meeting at Tiernan’s on Broad Street in the financial district.
The next meeting of the society will be held on Feb. 2 and will feature John Hegarty, CPA and treasurer of the society. The topic for the evening will be "Saving Money on Your Taxes."
The society’s annual general meeting and election of officers for the year 2000 were held on Jan. 5 at the FleetBoston Building. The following officers were elected: chairperson, Glenn Daly (reelected); secretary, Fergal Woods (reelected); meeting coordinator, Sheila Farragher-Gemma; treasurer, John Hegarty (reelected); marketing officer, Tom Slattery; public relations officer, Daniel D. Murphy; web administrator, Alice Duffy; newsletter editor, Ellen Fleming; member development officer, Mary McGovern; membership officer, Declan Prenty (reelected); social secretary, Dan O’Neil; legal, Dan Dwyer.
For more information, log onto http://www.celticweb.com, or call for a pre-recorded message at (781) 446-8074. The society’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.