By Harry Keaney
One of the largest selection of Irish goods ever will be on show in New Jersey this weekend when the Ireland Show 2000 opens in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Secaucus.
The four-day event will start at 10 a.m. this Saturday and will continue on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Items on show will include jewelry, knitwear, ceramics, china, glassware, metalwork, fashion, food products, heraldic goods and giftware.
According to show organizers, this event "is a must" for Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh shops.
There will be nightly entertainment with special guest appearances.
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An IBO networking breakfast for people in northern New Jersey will take place May 1 at 8 a.m. in the Grasshopper Restaurant in Carlstadt. For details, call John Corkery at (201) 796-2571.
Two networking opportunities will take place on May 4, one for central/south Jersey and the other on Long Island. The central/south Jersey event is a dinner at 7 p.m. in Shore Casino, Atlantic Highlands Harbor. For details, call Bernadette McManus at (212) 571-1150 or Jim Hinckley at (732) 747-0066. The Long Island event is an 8 a.m. breakfast in IHOP Restaurant, Williston Park, at the corner of Hillside and Willis Avenues. Details, call Brian Cunningham at (516) 746-2133.
Another housing problem
More than half of 18-25-year-olds in Ireland believe that owning a house is now beyond their means, according to a new survey by the National Youth Council of Ireland. More young people are now staying longer in their parents’ home.
"Overall, there is a feeling among young that the government does not care about their plight and that, at the moment, the odds are stacked in favor of property developers and landlords," said James Doorley, president of the NYCI.
The Belfast shipbuilder Harland & Wolff, which is facing an uncertain future because of the loss of an order to build a cruise liner for Cunard, has reported operated losses of £1.1 million on turnover of £406 million last year.
At present, Harland & Wolff is bidding to build two cruise ships. That contract would be worth £300 million but the shipbuilder faces competition from at least two other European shipyards.
Blackstaff on the web
Belfast-based Blackstaff Press, one of Ireland’s foremost publishers, has launched its own web site. The address is http://www.blackstaffpress.com.
The site, launched last month, was designed in conjunction with Textflow, a sister company of Blackstaff Press. Blackstaff’s American distributor, Dufour Editions of Chester, Pa., sell its books to the trade
Launched in Belfast in 1971 with a book of political cartoons, Blackstaff has now published more than 650 titles, covering a wide range of subjects, mainly but not exclusively of Irish interest, from history and politics to fiction, poetry and humor.
Ireland’s population has risen to its highest level in 120 years, according to latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.
The population of the Republic grew by 170,600 to 3,740,000 between 1993 and 1999, an increase of 4.8 percent.
The fastest growth was in Counties Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. The smallest increase was in the border region where the combined population of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo rose to 411,000. During the same period the population in Dublin climbed 5.6 percent to 1,097,700.
Spending on IT
Irish companies and consumers are spending more on information technology than any other country in Europe, according to a new Europe-wide study by International Data Corp., a research and analyst group.
"The strength of the Irish economy is a major factor. There’s lots of activity in the IT sector," said Stephen Minton, research manager at IDC for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and author of the report.
Large IT companies based in Ireland, such as Dell and Intel, help spur growth through their large budgets, but Minton also pointed to the success of Ireland’s home-grown software sector.
Meanwhile, technology giants such as Cisco, Sun Microsystem, Computer Associates and Oracle are joining forces in Dublin to create an incubator unit to start 40 dot.com companies this year, according to an Irish Independent report.
The project will be located in City West Business Park in Saggart, Co. Dublin.
The aim of the scheme will be to allow companies which have not yet begun trading to attend a four-week workshop to see if their idea for an electronic commerce firm is feasible. The start-up firms will then be helped develop a business plan and get funding for their projects.
The project will be based in a 13,000-square-foot center in the National Digital Park in CityWest and will be launched next month.