Padraic's Feed
Jan 2, 2015

Ex-Irish minister to form new party ahead of wide open election

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s former Europe minister Lucinda Creighton said she will form a new political party ahead of scheduled parliamentary elections next year that polls predict will signal a major shift away from dominant parties.

Despite an upturn in the economy, government support slumped throughout last year at the expense primarily of independents, raising the prospect that any new party could have a considerable say in the forming a fresh coalition in 2016.

Dec 12, 2014

Protest and political strife: Inside Europe’s fastest growing economy

DUBLIN, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Fergus Reynolds has supported
Ireland’s governing Fine Gael party for 43 years, but this week
he joined tens of thousands of people to march against them and
pledged never to vote for Prime Minister Enda Kenny again.

Since taking voluntary redundancy five years ago, the
62-year-old former bank worker’s income has been stretched by a
new pension levy and a property tax. When his son-in-law lost
his job, he began to help pay his mortgage as well as his own.

Dec 11, 2014

Irish economy ekes out growth in third quarter, on track for strong 2014

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s economy grew just 0.1 percent in the third quarter as an austerity-weary public appeared to refrain from spending, but the country is still set to be the fastest-growing economy in Europe this year, data showed on Thursday.

That was weaker than some analysts expected, but a surge in gross domestic product in the first six months of the year means little if any quarter-on-quarter growth is now needed to meet government projections for GDP to expand almost 5 percent this year.

Dec 10, 2014

Tens of thousands protest against Irish water charges

DUBLIN (Reuters) – At least 30,000 people marched on the Irish parliament on Wednesday in a third day of mass protests against new water charges that have spurred the biggest opposition movement since the financial crisis erupted in 2008.

Ireland is expected to be Europe’s fastest-growing economy this year after its exit from an international bailout in 2013, but the water issue has touched a raw nerve in a public wearied by years of austerity and frustrated by an uneven recovery.

Dec 4, 2014

Irish PM’s party slumps to third place in opinion poll

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael party slumped into third place behind Sinn Fein in an opinion poll on Thursday as its popularity collapsed to an 11-year low amid a surge in support for independents.

Kenny’s party emerged from an international bailout Ireland completed a year ago as the most popular party but has had a wretched year, with recent mass protests against new water charges exposing frustration over an uneven economic recovery.

Dec 4, 2014

Ryanair raises profit forecast after surge in passengers

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair (RYA.I: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) raised its profit forecast for the second time in a month on Thursday following a 22 percent jump in passenger numbers in November as new high-frequency routes to mainstream European airports proved popular.

Since a pledge last year by outspoken Chief Executive Michael O’Leary to stop “unnecessarily pissing people off,” Ryanair has also shifted its focus to business travellers while cutting use of small regional airports.

Dec 4, 2014
via FaithWorld

Vote for same-sex marriage would be grave injustice – Irish Catholic Church


(Celtic cross at Ballinskelligs Priory, 18 March 2008/Ulrich Hartmann)

Ireland’s church said it would be “a grave injustice” if gay and lesbian couples were granted equality in marriage as it began an uphill battle to persuade voters to reject same sex marriage in a referendum next year.

Ireland will hold the vote just over two decades after the once stridently Catholic country legalised homosexuality and as the once dominant role of Catholicism fades amid revelations of rape and beatings by priests and members of religious orders.

Dec 4, 2014

Ryanair raises profit forecast after surge in passenger numbers

DUBLIN, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Ryanair raised its profit
forecast for the second time in a month on Thursday after
passenger numbers jumped 22 percent in November, a rise which it
said was due in part to the improvements it has made to its
much-criticised customer service.

Since a pledge last year by outspoken Chief Executive
Michael O’Leary to stop “unnecessarily pissing people off,”
Ryanair has slashed penalty charges such as for excess baggage
and not having a boarding pass, overhauled its web site, tripled
its marketing budget and launched business class fares.

Dec 3, 2014

Irish unemployment falls sharply, but consumer sentiment stalls

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s unemployment rate fell sharply in November and mortgage arrears hit a two-year low, but stalling consumer sentiment suggested the country’s firm economic recovery was still being unevenly distributed.

The jobless rate, which has been falling steadily from an early 2012 high of 15.1 percent and at a faster pace in recent months, dropped to 10.7 percent last month, as the number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell for a 29th successive month.

Dec 2, 2014

Ireland has concerns over Britain, Germany “patent box” proposal

DUBLIN, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Ireland is concerned about German
and British proposals to tighten tax breaks linked to patents,
as it looks to replace a much-criticised tax loophole with its
own patent-based tax scheme, Finance Minister Michael Noonan
said on Tuesday.

Dublin decided in its October budget to phase out the
“Double Irish” loophole that multinationals used to save
billions of dollars. It intends to bring in a “knowledge
development box” in a year’s time, similar to so-called patent
boxes in other jurisdictions.