Local entrepreneur to appear on Dragons Den

Local Castlebar man Eoin Heverin appears on Dragons Den this Sunday night 1st May2016 at 9.30pm RTE1 with his personalised children’s book business “Tellmystorybook.ie“. Make sure to tune in to see how he does.

local entrepreneur

Intel- International job losses

Computer giant Intel , who have reported a loss in sales of personal computers this year,  announce their restructuring of employment . They plan on reducing jobs by over 12,000. It employs over 5,200 people in Ireland but job losses across Europe have not been specified yet.

Will corporation tax play its part in keeping Intel in Ireland?

Are the skill’s and expertise of our workforce an incentive to save the Irish jobs?


Economics Students-The State and the Irish Economy-Dan O ‘Brien

How has the economy of independent Ireland fared and what role did the State founded in 1922 have in economic performance? During a time of very extensive reflection on the past 100 years, this question has hardly been posed. It is well worth addressing.

Measuring economies, even in today’s world of massive computing power, is very tricky. That is because economies are very complex systems. Measuring them in the distant past is largely guesswork. Think, for instance, of GDP. It is the most commonly used measure of how much an economy is producing and how fast it is growing, but it was not even invented until decades after the state’s founding.

Nor is there much in the way of other hard indicators for the early decades of the Irish state. But of those that exist, they support the commonly held view of a nation that was very poor by today’s standards. They also show that prosperity was a long time coming.
Assessing what happened to the Irish economy in the State’s first decades is probably best done by looking at the number of people at work.
When the first census was taken by the new State in 1926, it showed that 1.22 million people were at work. At the time of the 1951 census, exactly the same numbers were working. Zero growth over a quarter of a century is a pretty dismal record.
It is abundantly clear from this – and other indicators – that efforts to improve agricultural productivity and to industrialise met with only limited success. There is still a great deal of disagreement on why that was, but there is no doubt that the new State came into being at a tough time which made economic development difficult.
Before the new State’s 10th birthday was marked, the Great Depression had taken hold internationally and protectionist policies were becoming the norm, something that suited the first Fianna Fáil government which believed strongly (and wrongly) in self-sufficiency. The Economic War with Britain was triggered soon afterwards. Not long after that, the Second World War broke out. Both conflicts throttled the Irish economy.
It could just about be argued that up to mid-century, Ireland had done relatively well given all the factors that had been militating against economic growth. But that certainly cannot be said of the 1950s.
Europe was then recovering rapidly from the most destructive conflict in its history and the democracies were all opening up to trade. But Ireland stuck with protectionism. The effects were disastrous. The numbers at work plummeted over the course of the 1950s by almost one tenth. We were falling ever further behind the rest of free Europe as it was on the cusp its first ever period of mass prosperity.
By the late 1950s the Irish State as a project was looking like a failure, and that was the case even if one believed that a frugal, spiritual life counted for more than prosperity. Many citizens clearly didn’t share that view and exercised the exit option. So great was the flow of emigrants that Ireland was the only state on Earth to experience a fall in population in the 1950s, according to the data set of economic historian Angus Maddison (whether a weak economy pushed people abroad, or whether emigration drained the economy of the capacity to grow, is a subject this column will return to soon).
Eventually, sense prevailed. Direction was belatedly changed. The opening up of the economy in the 1960s yielded dividends. Most measures of prosperity began to improve and the 120-year period of almost uninterrupted population decline went into reverse from 1961. Joining the then EEC in the 1970s brought new opportunities, and, as the graphic shows, that decade saw the first sustained increase in jobs since independence.
But just as things began looking up, yet another huge self-inflicted blow was delivered. Reckless public spending followed by a sustained failure to bring the State’s finances back from the brink of bankruptcy led to the 1980s being a lost decade. By the census of 1991, fewer people were at work than in 1926 or 1951. That amounted to the worst employment-creation record in the developed world.

But from the mid-1990s to the recent property crash, Ireland went to the other extreme – the Celtic Tiger generated the highest jobs growth of any OECD economy over that period. By all of the many measures that now exist, Ireland surged suddenly to bring itself up to the prosperity levels of our peers. Even when the recent crash and its many painful and lingering legacy effects are taken into account, most of the net gains of the Tiger era have been retained. We are no longer the laggard of North-West Europe.
Again, the debate about what caused the extraordinary lift-off in the 1990s, so clearly illustrated in the accompanying graphic, goes on. All economists agree that many factors were at play, including getting the public finances in order, the benefits of improved education kicking in, greater national competitiveness, the creation of the EU’s single market and many others.

It is my view that entrepreneurialism is the single most important factor – we were poor for so long because we had too few successful companies and we got rich by importing our entrepreneurialism (mostly from America) in the form of foreign direct investment. It can be no coincidence that global flows of such investment increased six-fold over the 1990s, just when the Irish economy blasted off.
The role of foreign companies in the Irish economy – in terms of exports, employment and tax revenues – is without parallel in any other developed economy. In the unimaginable event that they all departed overnight, Ireland would suffer an economic collapse much greater in depth and duration than the property-related one recently suffered. Thankfully, it is almost impossible to conceive circumstances in which such a nightmare might come to pass. It is far more likely that the underlying strengths of the Irish economy will see further investment-attracting success.
The State that was established in 1922 can take credit for this enormous success. The then very unusual route to development of attracting foreign companies has been a State-led process over more than half-a-century. But it must also take a great deal of the blame for the three separate decades of disaster suffered since independence. I can think of no European state that has played as big a role – for ill and for good – in a national economy over the past century.

Irish Independent March 31st 2016


Bank of Ireland Bond Trader Challenge

On Tuesday the 15th of March, Fifth and Sixth Year students took part in the Bond Trader Challenge run by the Bank of Ireland in the Harlequin Hotel. The evening began with an overview of markets and trading. Students then took part in the Bond Trader Challenge, responding to real market scenarios and making decisions on how to manage their own bond portfolio.

Clued-in Credit Union Workshop

Clued-in Credit Union Workshop
On Wednesday, 03 February 2016, Ms Flynn’s second year Business class were visited by a guest speaker, Ms Lena Shaw, a representative from the Clued-in Credit Union program.
Ms Shaw introduced us to the program called Clued-in, a resource aimed at second level students which explains personal finance and the role of credit unions. The aim was that after briefly hearing what the program has to offer, our teacher would deliver it to us in more detail in class.
Ms Shaw began by giving us an overview of the program which is split into different sections.
The first section deals with the importance of money in our lives ‘Money & Me’. Ms Shaw gave us and our teacher a quick quiz to determine if we were savers or spenders. Thankfully, most of our class were SAVERS! The boys that were spenders were given tips on the importance of saving.
After this, we were shown the second part of the program, ‘Spending & Budgeting’. We were shown examples of our needs and our wants. These play an important role in deciding if we should buy something.
The third section deals with ‘Credit & Debt’. Here we were told the difference between good debt (debt that is used for a productive purpose) and bad debt (unsustainable, high interest forms of credit). Ms Shaw then spoke to us about loans and credit cards.
The last section of the program was about Credit Unions, how they are governed and how they differ from other financial institutions.
At the end of the talk, we were told about the project element of the program which we can choose to undertake based on what we will be learning about in the various modules. If our class decides to do the project, our local Credit Union, Castlebar Credit Union would sponsor it. We would all like to undertake the project.
In first year Business class we learned about the topic ‘Money & Banking’. We did class group projects on the various financial institutions. We mainly covered the banks so it was nice to get the opportunity to gain more of an understanding of how the credit unions work.
The key message from the talk was to start saving at a young age and to remember that the credit union is a co-operative and is a brand for its members!

By Paul Grealis

Credit unions in radical bid to join forces and take on banks


Irish Independent Saturday 6 Feb 2016

: Money and Banking & Personal Finance



A radical shake-up of how credit unions operate is being planned in a bid to turn the movement into a third banking force.

The proposal is to pool the assets of the movement, which amount to €13bn, and create a central organisation that would act collectively.
This would allow them to take on the banks, but retain their local connections. It may finally clear the way for credit unions to offer mortgages.
Leading management guru Eddie Molloy has come up with proposals to radically reform how credit union operate.
Dr Molloy, who has advised the likes of Intel, Guinness, Rehab and Ibec, is proposing that credit unions form a federated system, with a strong central structure. This is similar to the model successfully operated in Canada.
This would allow them to maximise their strengths, develop new products, and benefit from greater scale and savings from the economies of operating collectively.
According to the regulator for the sector, there are 335 active credit unions in this country.
But because each one is owned by its members in the community, or workforce where it operates, they are run separately. This means they are unable to harness the collective strength of the movement.
There are, for example, a number of different IT and payments systems used across different credit unions.
The aim of the new proposals is to see credit unions develop like former humble farmer co-operatives Kerry and Glanbia, which have been transformed into multinational businesses.
Dr Molloy was engaged by the Irish League of Credit Unions to come up with a transformation plan, but the aim is to involve credit unions that are members of the rival CUDA body, the Credit Union Development Association.
Almost three million people are members of credit unions, with credit unions the brand that Irish customers have the best experience with, according to recent research.
They have combined savings of €13.4bn, with combined assets of €14.8bn.

Dr Molloy said: “It is a sleeping giant. The strength and weakness of credit unions is that they are locally owned and operated. But being local means they are less alert to the potential of the national aspect.”
The aim is to have someone who is a member of a credit union in Kerry be able to use the services of one in Donegal.
“Credit unions all operate as islands. The idea is to move from an atomised movement to one integrated at the centre, a sort of federal arrangement.”
The proposals are to be put to a vote in April at the annual general meeting of the league.
He said there is strong support from credit unions spoken to at a number of seminars.
The league’s rules of affiliation will have to change, with huge emphasis on strong management and operational skills being put in place in the new central organisation.
Dr Molloy has recommended a two-year timeframe to implement the changes. He said regulator Ann Marie McKiernan was anxious to see a new business model for the movement.


Good news for jobs today


Centra to create 480 new jobs and open 16 new stores as sales hit €1.54bn

Pictured below, Ray Kelly, MD Centra.




Irish independent 1/02/16

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