Job losses continued in Ireland last week. At the Ardagh group’s Irish Glass Bottle subsidiary in Ringsend, 325 jobs were lost with the announcement that the plant will close.
A survival plan implemented one month ago failed because customers were unable to give firm commitments for new orders.
Also, the DuPont textiles plant in Derry was seeking 30 voluntary layoffs after its U.S. parent company killed off 2,000 jobs around the world, trying to save $120 million.
In Dublin, Solectron announced that its electronics plant in Clonshaugh will shut by August, with the loss of 375 jobs.
Card fraud could
soon be history
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Credit card fraud in Ireland could be eliminated by 2005, if the Irish Payment Services Organization is successful in introducing new microchip and PIN security measures for plastic cards.
At present, as much as euro 5 million is lost annually to banks due to credit card fraud.
Instead of signing a receipt, consumers would use a PIN number for every card transaction, eliminating a fraudster’s ability to forge signatures.
“The chip card is key. We see this as the central move to eradicate counterfeit fraud. The PIN is the added bonus, which provides even more security than signature,” said Stewart MacKinnon, chief executive of IPSO.
France has virtually wiped out credit card fraud using the same methods for the last 10 years, he noted.
“It’s a case of developing the standard and all moving together because fraud has an international character. It’s not domestic, so we need to work together on this,” MacKinnon said.
Card fraud in Britain topped euro 666 million last year, said MacKinnon, and he added that if the UK adopts the new card security measures, international fraudsters would turn their attention to Ireland next, unless Ireland kept up with the UK in protecting cards and consumers.
Bankrupt for 18 years, former carpet entrepreneur Matt Kelly has some unusual property interests, according to news sources in Ireland.
After handing over euro 6 million to the Internal Revenue Service and other creditors, Kelly still has euro 10 billion in commercial property in Dublin.
A lawyer for the liquidator of Kelly’s carpet emporium told a Dublin court last week that Kelly was “a unique species of bankrupt, a multimillionaire.”
Kelly has said through sources close to him that he feels he has been hard-done-by, forced to trade through other names over the years as the IRS and other creditors pursued him.
In his defense, Kelly told the court that “apart from two assault convictions, I have not been in trouble with the law since I was 21 years old.”
Pub chain expands
Enniskillen is the latest site for a J.D. Weatherspoon’s pub, the product of the aggressive bar-opening UK chain. The company now has well over 500 locations around the UK.
The new spot in Fermanagh will create up to 40 new jobs. Some have criticized the pubs as monstrosities of blandness, but their popularity is unrelenting.
The interior features a selection of paintings, photographs and text relating to the history and colorful characters of the area.
Small business excellence
Northern Ireland’s economic success lies in small businesses, according to Invest Northern Ireland, a new economic development agency that advises investors big and small to look at the province’s micro industries.
Enterprise Minister Reg Empey used the small accounting firm of M.D. McGrady and Co. in County Down as an example. Fifty years in business, the company employs just 16 people, but has 1,500 clients in Ireland, the UK and the U.S.
Invest Northern Ireland aims to create 4,500 businesses in the next few years
The Minister said the agency intends to increase employment by 19 percent, turnover by 22 percent and external sales by 25 percent in the small and medium enterprise sector over the next three years.