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Business Briefs Ireland should defy Euro Commission: U.S. think tank

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

Ireland has long drawn immeasurable benefits from membership of the European Union, but that relationship should now end, says the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank that issued the call last week after Brussels, it said, had "rapped the Irish government’s knuckles" over the booming economy and what the European Commission sees as out-of-control inflation.

"Why should Ireland, one of the great global economic success stories, surrender meekly to the museum of socialism in Brussels?" the Heritage Foundation asks.

Hole in one for Murphy’s

Fota Island Golf Club in Cork will be the site of Ireland’s biggest-ever golf event: the Murphy’s Irish Open, taking place during the last week of June.

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More than 80,000 spectators are expected, and the event will be broadcast to more than 300 million homes.

Murphy’s CEO Padraic Liston is understandably excited, and said that the event would give an enormous boost to brand recognition of Murphy’s around the world.

Canadian company opens in Dublin

IT solutions developer Xwave is opening an office in Dublin. The Canadian company has recognized the fast pace of high-tech development in Ireland and the new office will service Irish and European customers. Xwave employs about 2,400 people worldwide.

New jobs for Derry

Sixty jobs have been created in Derry by a development at the Ebrington Center in the Waterside. The development will include a 400-seat theater, a sports arena, a bar and a restaurant, according to DUP member and Northern Ireland Minister for Social Development Maurice Morrow.

Big catch

Fresh from its Finnish builders is "Ulysses," the world’s largest car ferry, which will operate between Dublin and Holyhead for the company Irish Ferries.

Costing more than $100 million, the craft has 1.5 square miles of deck space for cars and trucks and can accommodate up to 2,000 passengers.

The boat is scheduled to enter service in early April.

Rampant Ryanair

Ryanair, the cut-rate airline, goes from strength to strength, and has opened a new service from Charleroi Airport in Brussels.

Thirty flights a day are planned from Charleroi to seven European destinations in England, Ireland, Italy, the South of France, and Scotland. It is hoped that as many as 100 jobs will be created at the airport and that 1 million passengers will use this Ryanair leg in the first 12 months of operation.

Ryanair is already off to a cut-price start — it’s scheduled fares range from 80-90 percent cheaper than the Belgian carrier Sabena.

Another Giant

This time it’s a store, not a boat. Superquinn will open a $20 million distribution center at Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin, to store and distribute groceries for the supermarket chain.

Wincanton Logistics, a distribution network expert, will manage the store and the 250 expected new employees. The store will accommodate so many goods that it is hoped that the current annual 400,000 delivery trips between the UK and Ireland will be cut to 100,000. May 2002 is the date of full operations.

Investment news

McKesson HBOC has invested $1.3 million in a software duplication center in Cork.

A start-up, if you please?

Puca, a software developer for online communities, has received $6 million in investment from Netvest.com, a UK-based incubator.

Well-known Internet publishing company Nua has been given $3.5 million from Garnham Corporate Finance.

A $3.5 million investment in Cork-based software company Fastnet Technology will mean the creation of 60 jobs.

Delta partners has put together an equity fund worth $58 million for investment in various Irish high tech companies.

Waterford Wedgewood has posted record profits for the eighth year in a row.

New website

Aer Lingus has just launched its new website with a new feature that allows for online bookings and connecting flights to more than 90 U.S. cities with Aer Lingus partner carriers. The site is also seeking to promote the Aer Lingus frequent-flyer program, which already has 200,000 members.

Merrill Lynch heads for Dublin

Continuing its expansion into Ireland and beyond, Merrill Lynch has announced the opening of its Dublin office. The office’s six staff will deal with personal wealth management for "high net-worth individuals . . . " Doesn’t that just mean "filthy rich"?

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