Category: Archive

Business Briefs Last call at Virginia’s Ireland’s Own pub

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

Offalyman Pat Troy has, after 20 years, closed his well-known restaurant and pub, Ireland’s Own, which was located at North Royal Street, in Alexandria, Va. Speaking about the closing night on Sunday, Feb. 6, Troy said: "When you are in a place for 20 years and all your friends are there, the sadness comes because some great people were there."

"We had a great closing," Troy said. "The sad part was Monday when everything had to be auctioned off."

Among the items sold was the table at which President Ronald Reagan sat while on a visit to the bar. Troy bought the table himself for $1,000. Troy said he had to auction off the items in the bar and restaurant because of legal reasons.

Troy is at present preparing to open a new business, Pat Troy’s Restaurant & Pub, at 111 North Pitt St., Alexandria, which is close to the former Ireland’s Own.

The new premises, which Troy hopes to have ready in time for Alexandria’s St. Patrick’s Parade on March 4, is beside his store called The Irish Walk, where the Irish Echo is sold.

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High-tech workers needed

Just like Ireland, Uncle Sam is crying out for high-tech workers. Many of the Irish with these skills are now staying at home to take advantage of the Celtic Tiger economy. And many who have been in the U.S. have returned to Ireland.

Now, high-tech companies are urging Congress to expand an immigration program to let them hire more foreigners. Congress temporarily expanded the program in 1998, increasing the number of six-year visas from 65,000 to 115,000 per year. That expansion will end next year.

Last week, Republican lawmakers introduced legislation to increase the number of skilled foreign workers into the country. Democrats have proposed allowing international students to work in the U.S. after graduating from U.S. universities.

Meanwhile, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney has appointed a committee to review his federation’s immigration policy. The committee is due to meet this week in New Orleans.


Social welfare fraud in Ireland amounted to nearly £200 million last year. Six people were sent to jail and suspended sentences were imposed on another nine. Fines were imposed on 72 people.

Guinness for the spirit

The Stamford, Conn.-based Guinness Bass Import Company, the unit of Diageo PLC that distributes and markets Guinness stout in the United States, is adapting its sales pitch to make the brand more appealing to Americans, especially those in their mid-20s who often favor imported beers.

A revamped advertising, promotional and public relations campaign, with the new theme "Guinness refreshes the spirit," began running last week in selected markets.

Betting times

Another indication of booming Ireland. Bookmakers increased their turnover by £219 million last year, a 42 percent increase on 1998.

Provisional results compiled by the revenue commissioners from the tax returns of bookmakers show turnover from off-course betting grew to £730 million last year from £521 million in 1998.

From July 1 last year, betting tax was reduced from 10 to 5 percent.

Good news after bad

Waterford is to get more than 250 new jobs. NTL is to set up a new customer management center in the city, employing customer service, tele-sales and technical support staff.

NTL bought Cablelink last May from RTE and Telecom Eireann for £535 million.

Last week, Italian company Luxottica announced it would lay off two-thirds of its staff at its Waterford plant, where it makes Ray-Ban sunglasses. Seventy-five staff had been let go from Luxottica before it made its announcement; now, 165 more will lose their jobs.

Waterford City has an unemployment rate of 14 percent, far above the national rate.

IBO news

The Irish Business Organization of New York will hold a networking breakfast on Feb. 22 at 8 a.m. in the Mezze Restaurant, 44th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. Details, call Bill Buckley at (212) 627-2111.

A networking breakfast on Long Island will take place March 1 at 8 a.m. at the Irish American Society in Mineola. For details, call Brian Cunningham at (516) 746-2133.

In South Jersey, there will be a networking dinner on March 2 at 7 p.m. in Fishtales Restaurant, Atlantic Highlands. Details, call Bernadette McManus at (212) 571-1150 or Jim Hinckley at (732) 747-0066.

In Northern New Jersey, the IBO will hold a networking breakfast on March 7 at 8 a.m. in the Grasshopper Restaurant in Carlstadt. Details, call John Corkery at (201) 796-2571.

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