By Harry Keaney
The Irish Business Organization of New York has chosen former president M’ve O’Malley as grand marshal to lead its contingent in this Friday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the city.
O’Malley, a Limerick native who works as a marketing executive with Enterprise Ireland, said that IBO members will meet for a pre-parade lunch in the Red Blazer at 32 West 37th St.
IBO members and their friends intending to march in the parade should be on East 48th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues, by 3:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. will join New York Gov. George Pataki in hosting a special breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.
The invitation-only buffet is expected to attract about 1,000 men and women. It will take place just before the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The governor will arrive at the grand ballroom in the Waldorf Astoria following the traditional Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a few blocks away.
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Master of ceremonies for the breakfast will be Jim Ryan, anchor of the "Good Day New York" program on the Fox television channel.
Among those at the ICCUSA breakfast will be Alfred Smith, the new chairman of the board.
On what will be President Clinton’s last St. Patrick’s Day in office, the American Ireland Fund will honor him at its national gala on March 16 in the National Pension Building in Washington, D.C.
Senator George Mitchell, who chaired the Northern Ireland peace talks leading to the Good Friday agreement, will present the president with an award for his support of that process. Mitchell has also been mentioned recently as among those who might be considered for the vice presidency by Al Gore.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will be in attendance at the event and British Prime Minister Tony Blair will speak via a video message.
Euro bank warning
The European Central Bank issued a warning to Ireland last week about excessive wage settlements.
The warning came as unions and the government were negotiating a deal which may be worth 15 percent or more during the next three years.
The bank also expressed concern at rising inflation. Irish inflation is running above 4 percent.
The ECB report focuses attention on the money supply in Europe, saying it is well above the level targeted as ideal by the bank. This is likely to be even worse in Ireland because of the promised tax breaks of last December’s budget and a £40 billion national development plan about to kick in.
A £220 million investment in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, by Mercury Holdings, is expected to generate 6,000 jobs. The 100-acre site at Tinnahask Upper, known locally as Moneylittle, will include a technology park, a business center, industrial warehousing and light engineering facilities, 240 houses, a new port access road and a new railway station to service the site. According to Gerry Morrissey, financial controller with Mercury Holdings, it will also include an educational outreach center which will be linked to Carlow RTC.
Mercury also hopes it may be possible to develop the deep sea port close to the site as a third port for the East Coast. The port is at present privately owned by Cement Roadstone.
Dublin-based Baltimore Technologies has become one of the first Irish companies to buy a firm in Japan with its takeover of NSJ for $24.9 million. The Japanese company, which employs 51 people, has an exclusive contract to supply the Irish firm’s products. But in order to retain this arrangement, NSJ has had to pay Baltimore $22.4 million.
In real terms the Dublin software company will pay out $2.5 million for a 75 percent stake, according to news reports in Ireland.
Meanwhile, Trintech is to create more than 150 jobs during the next 12 months in Dublin. The e-commerce payment firm has started construction of a new 30,000 square-foot E-Commerce Center for Excellence beside its headquarters in Leopardstown.
PaineWebber has made an investment in Dublin-based e-commerce holding company Enba. According to news reports, PaineWebber’s stake is valued at $400 million.
New anti-smoking regulations
Ireland’s minister for health, Michael Martin, has announced tough new measures to control the sale and advertising of tobacco, especially to young people. Martin intends to outlaw the sale of cigarettes to under-18s, and to ban packet sizes of less than 20 cigarettes.