Category: Archive

Business Briefs McDonald’s plans to ‘supersize it’

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

The Celtic Tiger is a hungry beast, it seems, and fast-food giant McDonald’s is only too eager to satisfy.

As the Irish economy booms, there will be many more of the famed McDonald’s golden arches popping up throughout the country. That’s because the U.S. company has announced that it is to open another 37 restaurants in Ireland during the next three years.

The expansion will entail investment of about £40 million. About half of the new restaurants will be franchised with the remainder being operated by McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland.

Passenger numbers

More than 900,000 passengers passed through Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports in January, a sharp increase on the same period last year, according to Aer Rianta.

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The majority of the passengers, almost 750,000, passed through Dublin Airport, a rise of 17 percent on last year’s figures. There was also a 43 percent increase in transAtlantic traffic, to 41,824, at Dublin.

"Strong transAtlantic and UK market growth were also a feature at Shannon Airport during January as the airport handled 73,617 passengers, a 21 percent increase over the same month last year," according to Aer Rianta.

Cork Airport handled 81,738 passengers, an 18 percent increase over January 1998.

Meanwhile, a £35 million development is to take place at Belfast City Airport. The airport’s Canadian parent company, Bombadier ‘rospace, proposes to build "world-class facilities" at the airport, including a new terminal.

IBO news

The Irish Business Organization of New York will hold its monthly meeting on March 10 at 7 p.m. in Shelburne Hotel, on Lexington Avenue, between 37th and 38th streets. The speaker will be John Sharkey of MCI.

On March 24, the IBO business breakfast forum will take place at 8 a.m. in the Mezze Restaurant in New York.

The IBO’s trade show will take place May 19 in the 200 Fifth Avenue Club, in Manhattan.

New offices

The Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. has moved its executive offices to 556 Central Ave., New Providence, N.J. The telephone number is (908) 286-1300.

The new facilities include expanded office space and a conference room, and has its own entrance adjacent to parking space.

The ICCUSA had its executive offices in Fairfield, Conn., and, early in its 10-year history, maintained offices in lower Manhattan.

ICCUSA recently announced the appointed of a new president and CEO, Maurice Buckley. He succeeds Pat Keogh, who is now vice chairman of the board.

Software acquisition

Irish software company Euristix has been sold to Nasdaq-quoted Fore Systems for $81 million. According to the Irish Times, it is the biggest acquisition yet of an Irish technology company. Euristix currently employs 150 people at its Dun Laoghaire offices. Fore’s headquarters are in Pittsburgh.

Ireland a hub?

Telecom Éireann is creating a major electronic commerce transaction center to handle large-scale global online shopping projects. According to the Irish Times, the multimillion pound plan marks the first attempt by a company within Ireland to create the combined infrastructure and support services necessary to attract large corporate e-commerce projects and, if it is successful, could help establish Ireland as a European e-commerce hub.

Tully appointment

The Irish pharmaceutical company Elan has appointed the former chairman of Merrill Lynch, Dan Tully, to its board of directors. Tully was formerly vice chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, vice chairman of the American Stock Exchange, and chairman of the board of governors of the National Association of Securities Dealers. He was chief executive of Merrill Lynch from May 1992 to December 1996 and chairman from June 1993 to April 1997.

He who pays the piper . . .

Labor leader John Sweeney is not running for any political office in the U.S., but he’s sure no pushover when it comes to matters political. The AFL-CIO, of which he is president, has vowed to raise at least $26 million to help elect Democrats and moderate Republicans to Congress next year.

Jobs watch

The Swedish information technology company Sigma is to set up a software development center in Ennis, Co. Clare, which is expected to create 45 jobs during the next three years.

In Belfast, engineering company Mackie has laid off another 100 workers as hopes for finding a buyer for its remaining businesses fade. Mackie’s workforce has fallen from more than 300 at the beginning of the year to 80 workers who will be kept on for the present, although the businesses are being wound down.

The U.S. company Universal Foods Corporation, which trades in the Republic of Ireland as Freshfield Foods, is to close its frozen vegetables facility in Midleton, Co. Cork, with the loss of 65 jobs.

In Portarlington, Co. Laois, 300 jobs are at risk as the Arlington Avon jewelry plant is reviewing its future. The plant is the largest employer in the town and its loss would be an added blow following the closure of the Butler engineering plant in 1996 when 130 people lost their jobs.

Travel tip

Aer Lingus is now offering its "April in Ireland" fares which start at $448 round-trip. Details, call (800) 474-7424 or a travel agent.

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