Business and Leadership Ltd.

Football is back. Finally. It is the NFL’s Hall of Fame weekend, and much media attention has been focused on Brett Favre. Known at “the Iron Man” during is tenure in the NFL with an insane 297 consecutive starts over a 20-year career. It is fitting that Favre enters the Hall of Fame along with the late-Ken Stabler. There are numerous parallels between both quarterbacks. Both went to southern colleges. Stabler to Alabama and Farve to Southern Miss. Both had slow starts to their respective careers. Both led eventual powerhouse teams which respectively went down as dynasties in the NFL. Both won a Super Bowl championship, and experts agree each…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) has admitted to “multiple breaches of financial services law and regulation” and has entered into a settlement agreement with the Central Bank. The Central Bank said today that the settlement follows the conclusion of its “most significant and extensive regulatory investigation to date”. The investigation, which focused on INBS’s commercial lending and credit risk management processes, began in 2010.  It related to the building society and certain people involved in its management between 1 August 2004 and 30 September 2008. Between 2008 and 2010, INBS had losses of more than €6bn, mainly due to the impairment of its impaired loan book.  Under the National Asset…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

The Telecommunications, Software, and Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology is co-ordinating an EU-funded project to help build the global technical infrastructure for a fifth generation (5G) telecommunications network and mobile internet. The 30-month CogNet (Cognitive Networks) project has received almost €6m in EU funding as the only Irish-led project approved under the Horizon 2020-financed, 5G Public, Private Partnership programme (5G-PPP). Current telecom providers have just started the process of rolling out 4G, and 5G is likely to start appearing around 2022. A multinational project, CogNet will develop solutions to provide a highly automated and more intelligent level of network monitoring and management, improve operational and energy efficiencies,…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

The sudden closure of department store Clerys in June 2015 raises some interesting corporate governance issues, writes Niamh Brennan, Michael MacCormac Professor of Management at University College Dublin (UCD). By way of background, Clerys is a department store in Dublin’s main street, O’Connell Street. Until recently it was a family-owned business, having been established in 1853. It has a particular place in Dubliners’ hearts, as many courting couples would arrange to meet under Clerys clock. In 2012, Clerys was purchased by Boston-based US firm of turnaround experts Gordon Brothers for €14m. Fair play to Gordon Brothers. It sold the fine building on O’Connell Street housing the Clerys trading business to…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Tech multinational EMC has developed an innovation platform from its Cork base specifically designed for industrial internet of things (IoT) development, in partnership with Vodafone Ireland. Involving an initial €2m investment and called Infinite, this is the first large-scale Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) approved industrial IoT innovation platform in Europe. The platform is spread across three data centres – those of EMC, Vodafone and data centre and cloud provider Cork Internet eXchange in Cork. IoT involves processes such as manufacturing to everyday objects, including household appliances and even clothing, containing sensors that are connected to the internet and generating data for analysis. Infinite encompasses all the significant technologies, domains and…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

NUI Galway has today named the four recipients of its 2015 honorary degrees. The four, who will be conferred this Friday (12 June), are: Áine Brazil, vice chairman of Thornton Tomasetti, New York, USA; Billy Lawless, Chicago-based Galway-born businessman and vice-president of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Svante Pääbo, Swedish biologist and director at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany; and Phillip Smyth, director of the Shannon College of Hotel Management. NUI Galway president, Dr Jim Browne, said each has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of engineering, public life, genetic science and the international hospitality industry. Brazil will be…

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End to Voucher Expiry Dates Proposed in New Consumer Legislation

A ban on expiry dates in gift vouchers and new rights in services and online contracts are among the proposals of new consumer rights legislation being published today for a consultation. According to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, the legislation represents the most far-reaching reform of consumer law in decades. It is designed to make consumer rights clear to consumers and businesses by replacing the overlapping combination of primary, secondary and European legislation in place currently. It will also give consumers a range of new rights. As well banning expiry dates for gift cards and vouchers, it includes statutory rights and remedies for consumers who download or…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Researchers from the Nimbus Centre at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) have secured €1.5m in EU funding as part of the development of two international projects. The Horizon 2020 projects are in the ICT for Energy Efficient Buildings call for 2015. The first is called ‘Tools for Continuous Building Performance Auditing’ led by Dr Susan Rea and Dr Alan McGibney. The second is ‘Modelling Optimisation of Energy Efficiency in Buildings for Urban Sustainability’ where Dr Christian Beder with Juan Manuel Escaño and Dr Niel Canty will optimise building energy control mechanisms, and implement automatic fault detection and equipment maintenance. A virtual reality environment will be created, allowing building maintenance staff…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for the agriculture sector globally and Ireland can lead the way in this new revolution, a conference in Kilkenny heard today. Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG) hosted the ICT Agricultural conference, which was addressed by EU commissioner Phil Hogan. By bringing together people from both the agricultural and ICT industries, common opportunities can be identified and the potential captured as a national strategy geared towards developing an export-focused ICT-agriculture industry, WIT president and TSSG founder and director, Prof Willie Donnelly said at the event. “We are working with our existing partners to develop new relationships to…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

The National Library of Ireland’s complete collection of Catholic parish register microfilms is to be made available online for free later this year. On 8 July, the NLI will launch a dedicated website with over 390,000 digital images of the microfilm reels on which the parish registers are recorded. The NLI said it has been working for over three years to digitise the microfilms. According to the NLI, the parish register records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history before the 1901 Census.  Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,091 parishes throughout the island of Ireland, and consist mainly of baptismal…

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