Ryanair launches winter 2015 schedule

As another ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano appears across European skies, Scotland has been forced to close its airspace and many flights to and from the country’s airports have been cancelled. Irish carriers Ryanair and Aer Lingus have had to cancel multiple inbound and outbound flights at Shannon, Dublin and Cork airports until 1pm today. Irish airspace remains open but passengers are advised to check their airlines’ websites before travelling to the airport. Ryanair has continued its protests against the closure of airspace because of volcanic ash. Last year, the no-frills airline claimed the six day closure of European airspace, which resulted in the cancellation of thousands of flights,…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

General Electric (GE), the world’s second largest company with annual revenues of US$150bn, has acquired an Irish smart grid software firm FMC-Tech for an undisclosed sum. FMC-Tech was one of the dozen investments resulting from GE’s 2010 ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid. The company, which is headquartered in Shannon, Co Clare, has developed an intelligent network monitoring system for the utilities network. A year ago GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt announced GE’s Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid , a US$200m open innovation challenge to find and fund the best ideas for bringing the power grid into the 21st Century. Co-funded by four venture capital firms, the challenge aims to leverage GE’s scale, technical expertise and client relationships…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

A jobs boost is expected to be announced in Roscommon today by the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton. The Minister will announce the creation of about 100 jobs by a US company, the IDA Ireland chief Barry O’Leary indicated this morning. The report today follows speculation that 10 multinational companies are expected to make significant investment announcements by the end of next month. During the first four-and-a-half months of the year, more than 25 multinationals have announced that they are either opening or expanding in Ireland.

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

After weekend reports that the supermarket chain may be up for sale, the Superquinn Group of Trade Unions has requested a meeting with senior management to discuss the job security of their 2,500 members. Mandate Trade Union, SIPTU and the Bakers’ Union said they have written to management seeking an urgent meeting on the future ownership of the company. Media reports at the weekend suggested the company, which has 23 stores nationwide, was seeking a buyer. The claims were denied by Superquinn despite Musgraves making a recent approach to take over the group. According to the reports, however, Superquinn’s board is opposed to an immediate sell-off of the company. Gerry…

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Sean Quinn again points finger at accountants

Following revelations that Quinn Insurance lost more than €700m in the year prior to it being placed into administration, former head of the insurer Sean Quinn is still insisting the blame lies with the accountants currently in charge. Quinn has claimed that the business had €1.1bn in liquid assets and €464m in property when Michael McAteer and Paul McCann were appointed as administrators. The Irish Times this morning reports that the Quinn family said it was inevitable the reported losses would be “substantial” because the administrators were putting aside far greater amounts of money to meet claims than was the norm in the industry. Calling for all documents relating to…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Giant supermarket chain Tesco has reported increased sales and profits for its full financial year ended February 2011. Tesco Ireland Although the group does not reveal a specific breakdown of figures for Ireland, it said that some countries that were slow to recover from the global recession, including Hungary, Ireland, and the western United States were now showing signs of improvement. “In Ireland, like-for-like growth in the year was significantly stronger, and although it was broadly stable during the second half, the two-year trend has continued to improve,” the group said in its trading statement. Excluding petrol, like for like sales grew 3.9pc at Tesco’s Irish division. The majority of…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

The Central Bank of Ireland has issued a collectors’ item, gold proof €20 coin today, which will be sold for double its value. The coin, one of the smallest in the world, is just 11mm in diameter and features a depiction of a Celtic High Cross. It weighs just 0.5g but will cost collectors €40 to purchase. The design on the miniature coin is the work of renowned Irish artist Thomas Ryan. It pictures the Celtic High Cross in a monastic setting alongside the Irish Round Tower and bears the Irish Harp in “exceptional detail”, said the Central Bank. Ryan has previously designed the 1990 £1 coin, featuring the red…

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Share receiver appointed over Quinn family shares

Anglo Irish Bank, which will remain a minority shareholder in Quinn Group, has appointed a share receiver over the Quinn family’s shares in the group. The share received has already appointed a number of non-executive directors to the board of directors of Quinn Group. As a result, Sean Quinn and the Quinn family will no longer have any role in the management, operations or ownership of the Quinn Group. A share receiver takes control of the shares only, and not the assets, businesses or employees of the Quinn Group. The share receiver has also been appointed to the Quinn family’s international property group. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan welcomed the…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Following a decision by Alicante Airport to introduce extra fees, Ryanair has said it will cut 31 routes and 2,000 jobs from the Spanish base. The airline said the 80pc cuts will include slashing its aircraft base from 11 to just two, as well as decreasing flight routes from 62 to 31. Ryanair said it will now run less than 200 flights per week, compared to more than 600 previously operated. That will add up to a decrease of 2.5 million passengers per year. The airport’s operators AENA has decided to enforce the use of airbridges, which will add about €2m costs for Ryanair. The airline believes the airbridges are…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Irish-based gold exploration company Conroy Gold and Natural Resources announced good news from its drilling programme in Armagh this morning. At its Clay Lake gold target, the exploration company found that three more of its holes intercepted gold mineralisation, including 11.5m of 1.44g/t gold. It also discovered 53m of stockwork at 0.60 g/t gold, including 10.25m at 1.37 g/t gold. The Clay Lake area has been a massive success for Conroy, yielding the highest gold-in-soil values recorded by the company on its Irish exploration licences. Commenting, Chairman, Professor Richard Conroy said, “I am very pleased with the results which further confirm the potential of the Clay Lake target. Overall, we…

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