European Investment Bank

The Minister for Finance has said the next chief of AIB may be paid more than €500,000, reports the Irish Times this morning. Although he said it is unlikely, Michael Noonan has not completely ruled out the possibility that the bank may be allowed to exceed its salary cap of €500,000 as it is having difficulties appointing its next chief executive. “As has been stated publicly by the Taoiseach, a compelling case would have to be made for the Government to consider setting aside this cap taking account of the recent decision on the pay ceilings for CEOs of semi-States and senior public sector posts,” Noonan said in response to…

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A passionate European: An Interview with Secretary-General of the EC, Catherine Day

As secretary-general of the European Commission, Catherine Day is the European Union’s most senior civil servant, the first woman to hold this role. On a recent trip to Dublin, she spoke to Ann O’Dea about the challenges and rewards of the job Dubliner Catherine Day joined the European Commission back in 1979 and steadily rose up through the ranks to reach her position today as secretary-general of the Commission, the most senior official in the European Union, and the first woman to hold this role. “That means I have lived longer in Brussels than I have in Dublin, but once a Dubliner always a Dubliner,” she laughs. A passionate European,…

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Pioneering researcher Luke O'Neill on Ireland's life sciences sector transformation

One of the world’s foremost authorities in the  innate immune system, Prof Luke O’Neill has seen a remarkable transformation in Ireland’s life sciences sector over the past 20 years, as he tells Ann O’Dea. From relatively humble beginnings, the life sciences sector today accounts for some 50pc of all exports from Ireland, a figure that has been growing by some 6pc every year since 2000. Life sciences employs in excess of 52,000 people here. One of Ireland’s leading thinkers, Luke O’Neill, professor of biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin, has participated in, and watched, the transformation in the sector since the late Nineties. O’Neill has won numerous awards for his pioneering…

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Lawton

According to Professor Thomas Lawton, the key speaker at last night’s InterTradeIreland 2011 Innovation Lecture, business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to achieve double-digit growth must put together an integrated strategic toolkit to design, develop and deliver a strategy to breakout beyond average economic performance. “Having a joined-up approach to strategy, regardless of the company size or industry sector, is what differentiates breakout companies from the average,” said Lawton, who is a professor at Emlyon Business School in France. “It also requires business leaders to be innovative in their capacity to rapidly and pre-emptively adopt or adapt in markets or industries.” He added, “This results in the creation of a…

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Gender divide

While research continues to demonstrate that boards with greater female representation outperform those without, women are still failing to make it to the boardroom in significant numbers. The Davos World Economic Forum made headlines in January when it announced it would require its strategic partner members, some of the largest corporations in the world, to ensure that a minimum of one in their cohort of five be a woman. The imposition of such a ‘quota’ is a reflection of the dearth of women at the head of major corporations. Internationally, women are still not making it in great enough numbers to the boardroom. In the US in 2010, representation of…

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yemen protests

As the so-called “Arab Spring” protests continue across the Middle East and North Africa, Sinead O’Carroll, has a round-up of what has happened so far today. In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi’s oil chief Shokri Ghanem has defected and travelled to Italy. The head of Libya’s National Oil Corp said today he was ready to leave the regime but was not quite prepared to join the rebels yet. He said the “unbearable” violence led him to quit his job. He told reporters in Rome today that he had witnessed “daily spilling of blood”. He is one of the most senior officials to defect from Gaddafi. The strongest statement he made was that…

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Hosni Mubarak

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is to stand trial in August, alongside his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, for the role they played in the deaths of protestors during January and February. A date of August 3 has been set for the three mens’ initial appearance in court. The Egyptian state news agency reported that they will all face Judge Ahmed Rifat in a Cairo criminal court for corruption, and graft, as well as the killing of protestors. Mubarak has also been fined US$90m for cutting internet access and mobile phone services in the country during the 18-day uprising. If found guilty of “pre-mediated killing”- the most serious charge he…

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At least 20 people have been killed today in Yemen as security forces opened fire on a camp in the city of Taiz but some activists are claiming the actual death toll is much higher. Reports from the ground say that the soldiers tried to clear the area with water cannons, tear gas and sound bombs but then moved in with tanks and guns. Tents used by the protestors were set on fire, according to witnesses, while others were bulldozed into the ground. Meanwhile, reports are emerging that Yemeni warplanes have attacked the town of Zinjibar, which officials say is under Al Qaeda control. President Ali Abdullah Saleh has warned…

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US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama left Ireland last night and flew to London to begin a three-day State visit. The presidential couple had to cut their whistlestop tour of Ireland even shorter on fears that the ash cloud hovering near Irish and UK airspace could prevent them from flying this morning. The Obama’s were greeted by Queen Elizabeth II this morning. The President’s itinerary in London may not be as celebratory as that seen in Ireland as he sits down with UK Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss NATO’s actions in the Libyan conflict and, more generally, the West’s policy toward Middle East political uprisings. Cameron…

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US President Barack Obama

On the occasion of his first official visit to Ireland, US President Barack Obama addressed a packed College Green area. Here is the full transcript and video of what he said: “Hello Dublin, Hello Ireland. My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obama’s, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way. Now, some wise Irish man or woman once said that broken Irish is better than clever English. So here goes: “Tá athas orm bheith in Éireann.” I’m happy to be in Ireland with so many a chairde. I want to thank my extraordinary hosts – first of all, Taoiseach Enda Kenny…

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