Mar 30, 2005

Dublin Car Hire - new website

Irish smoking ban 1 year old.

Ireland's pioneering smoking ban has won widespread support despite fears it would put pubs out of business, anti-smoking group ASH said on Tuesday.

The ban on smoking in pubs, restaurants and workplaces, introduced exactly a year ago, was expected to meet widespread resistance here where the pub culture of a drink and a smoke were considered part of its lifeblood.

Instead, the sight of smokers huddled outside pub doors is now a familiar one.

"The general support for this health initiative is extremely high and has increased further since its introduction, even among smokers -- and exceeds all expectations," said ASH, noting the new law had 97 percent support in pubs and restaurants.

Professor Luke Clancy, chairman of ASH's Irish branch, said the ban could become the "health initiative of the century."

The group estimates that tobacco kills six times as many people in Ireland as road accidents, work accidents, drugs, murder, suicide and AIDS combined. Dealing with smoking-related illnesses is a massive drain on health resources.

"As expected, the scaremongering predictions, such as the projected loss of 60,000 jobs, have not materialized. Neither have vast numbers of public houses closed -- in fact the selling price of these establishments continues to increase," Clancy said.

Mar 28, 2005

Easter 1916

Living in Ireland - you can't ignore the history of this country.
Easter 1916 is still remembered by many every year - bu less and less bother with it as time goes on.

This BBC page has some of the details.
You can even go on organised tours of the places involved.
For a republican viewpoint - you could look at

Aljazeera reporting on 1916 remembrance rallies across Ireland

Aljazeera.Net - Sinn Fein-IRA rallies across Ireland

Easter 1916 was the date of the "rising" which probably led to the creation of the Irish Republic. It is remembered with parades in parts of Ireland - but the parades are getting fewer every year.
Sinn Fein are under pressure recently because of accusations of involvement with bank robberies and murders. Sinn Fein are not a major political party in Ireland - but they do have a handful of elected representatives.

Mar 26, 2005

Irish Album Charts March 24 2005

Chart Track

The link it to the top selling albums in Ireland this week. Probably lots of similarities with the UK and even the US charts. A few Irish artists in there like Paddy Casey and Declan O'Rourke, Moby , Christy Moore and Brian Kennedy.

Mar 22, 2005

Ireland to get Digital Films in Every Cinema - Ireland Putting Digital Films in Every Cinema
Apparently Ireland has the largest percentage of filmgoers in Europe - and we are now to have digital cinemas.
Read the stry for more details.

Mar 17, 2005

Happy St Patricks Day

It's a bank holiday here in Ireland today - St Patricks Day .
We're off to a local parade then probably a visit to the pub for a couple of pints?

Wherever you are have a good one!

Mar 10, 2005

Ireland has low taxation

RTE Business - Drop in labour taxes fastest in OECD

Even though people do complain - the figures now show that Irish workers pay the third lowest tax and social insurance contributions in the industrial world.
Ireland has had the largest reductions in tax and social insurance since 1996.

These findings are contained in a new report on taxation and wages published today by the OECD in Paris.

The report also finds that when child benefit payments are taken into account, the Irish tax and welfare system is the most generous in the world for single income families on average industrial wages.

Only the Mexicans and Koreans pay lower tax and PRSI rates than the Irish. Workers on average industrial wages in Ireland typically pay 10.6% of their salary in income tax - the 11th lowest out of 30 countries.

They also pay an average of 5% in PRSI contributions - the fifth lowest social insurance rate in the OECD. Taken together, this means the Government takes 15.7% from the pay packets of average industrial workers, the third lowest in the industrialised world. The rates are more than 40% in Denmark, Germany and Belgium.

Today's report also finds that child benefit payments for two children in Ireland are greater than the amount paid in income tax and PRSI by a single income family on average wages. The only other country in the OECD where this occurs is Luxembourg.

This might imply that Ireland's tax and welfare system is the best in the world for single income families on average industrial wages. But don't forget VAT , medical charges, cost of books for schoolchildren, exam fees for secondary schools
On the other hand - there is no property based rates or "council tax".

Mar 4, 2005

Yahoo! creates 400 jobs in Ireland

Yahoo! creates 400 jobs in Ireland | The Register

Another major internet company moves to Ireland - Yahoo, Google Ebay Microsoft all have Irish bases now.

Polish workers paid less than Irish


Construction Jobs in Ireland

World News Article |

An army of construction workers from all over Europe has invaded a Dublin suburb to finish building the biggest shopping centre in Ireland.

Languages from Hungarian to Polish to Romanian spill out from the fast-food restaurants on the high street, reflecting booming Ireland's new status as a magnet to builders from all over Europe.

"Ireland pays the best," said Paolo from Portugal, sipping from a polystyrene cup during a break on the edge of the 18- acre building site. He says Ireland pays nearly 50 percent more than similar work in Germany or Holland.

For centuries Irish construction workers emigrated to the United States or Britain to find work. Now Ireland has to import labour from abroad to build transport links, houses and shops for its fast-growing economy.

The Irish helped build the London underground system, the Manchester ship canal and the New York subway.

The back-breaking work and dangerous conditions they suffered building some U.S. railways led to the expression that the tracks had "an Irishman buried under every tie (sleeper)".

More recently, Irish labour powered the British post-war building boom of the 1950s and 1960s, throwing up blocks of flats and motorways across the country.


But Ireland's economic boom of the last 10 years has changed all that.

The number of construction workers has more than doubled over the past 10 years, with almost one in eight employed in the island now working in the building industry.

And there is still a shortage of workers.

The hunger for builders is fuelled by projects like the 850 million euro Dundrum shopping centre which opened its doors on Thursday.

The development will house a theatre, cinema and shops including the upmarket British department store Harvey Nichols and the first Irish branch of Swedish clothing chain Hennes & Mauritz.

Officials say it's difficult to estimate the number of immigrants from the newly enlarged European Union in Ireland as they do not need visas to enter, but one labour union representative said 45,000 Poles work in the country.

There is another, darker, side to the booming industry.

Unions have investigated some contractors who they say could be exploiting workers from non-EU countries such as Ukraine, Romania and Turkey by paying knock-down wages.

So far there have been no complaints from Irish builders about foreign labour pushing down good wages that average around 600 euros (314 pounds) a week.

"There is plenty of work so everyone is happy at the moment," said Eric Fleming, construction secretary at the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU).

But he said Irish workers may start to gripe if work dries up and construction companies slice into pay packets to maintain profitability in fights for contracts.

"This boom can't continue forever," he said.

Complaints from Irish builders against foreign colleagues would echo the Shoreditch riots of 1736 when London workers rose up against their Irish counterparts in the belief that they were working for less and pushing down wages.

The experience of the Irish builder has come full circle.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.