Analysis
It's estimated that there are currently around 4,000 drones in use in Ireland

The rise and risks of the drone industry here

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent No matter what your viewpoint, there’s no denying that the drone industry is shaping up to be big business. Some estimates say it’s poised to grow at 19% per annum between now and 2020. A European Commission funded report reckoned the annual value of the industry could hit €14bn by 2017, and at that point it will be employing 70,000 people across the continent. And that’s just Europe. The value is not just …

New York cardinal rounds on accusers

The Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, has accused opponents of quoting out of context his 2007 statement to the Vatican that he was strengthening a diocese’s protection against litigation by sex abuse victims by putting most of its assets into a Cemetery Trust Fund. He says they’re ignoring the fact that the civil law at the time required him to move the money beyond diocesan control. Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, the Cardinal also praised this month’s bankruptcy …

The NICE Economy

Mervyn King – now there’s a name you don’t hear much these days.  But the former governor of the Bank of England must have made an impression on the Economics staff at Goodbody Stockbrokers, who have adapted one of Mervyn’s acronyms to describe the current state of the Irish economy – and that acronym is NICE. In the Irish case it stands for Non-Inflationary Credit-less Expansion (the original referred to UK growth in the 1990s, which it characterised as Non-Inflationary …

The A-Z on Google’s changeover to Alphabet

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It came as a surprise. But mostly a pleasant one investors say. Last night Google announced plans for a fairly major revamp of its corporate structures. The move will see the creation of a new parent company called Alphabet, which will be led by current Google CEO Larry Page. Within it will sit the myriad of other units that currently make up the Google stable. And what a range of businesses there now …

Permanent TSB needs to introduce accountability

It is difficult to see how Permanent TSB’s chairman Alan Cook can justify the lack of sanctions against any staff or management at the bank. To recap: The bank overcharged almost 1,400 mortgage customers. The mortgage holders’ case was supported by a decision by the Financial Services Ombudsman. The bank then appealed the Ombudsman’s decision to the High Court. When it lost the bank took the issue to the Supreme Court. While it ultimately withdrew the Supreme Court case, in …

Should horse sulky racing be banned?

On the Hebron Road into Kilkenny nestled in between a McDonald’s drive thru and the local cemetery is a small halting site. A crescent of bungalows. Outside on the green, young horses graze, at the back of the bungalows, horse carts rest against walls and sheds.

New Horizons opening up on dwarf-planet Pluto

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent The next 48 hours will prove another important milestone in space exploration, as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft makes its closest flyby of the dwarf-planet Pluto. The mission will open up a brief but fascinating window on the object, once considered by astronomers to be a planet. So what is New Horizons? Approximately the same size as a baby grand piano, and weighing 454kg, New Horizons is a small unmanned spacecraft packed with instruments …

Ordinary Greeks suffer in high stakes game with Europe

It is both startling and sad to witness an economy seize up. The Greek government believes the paralysis, which it hopes will be short lived, is collateral damage in the fight it has picked with Europe. Time will tell if it is right. In the meantime, Greek businesses are suffering a death by a thousand cuts, which is costing jobs. Many restaurants and shops only accept cash now. Retailers are reluctant to deposit their takings in the bank, because they …

The Field of Dreams Investigation: An Update

Sharp-eyed Prime Time viewers may recall an investigation broadcast in September last year about a “strange transaction” involving a piece of land in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim. More than €500,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on a sloped field and costs related to the application to build social housing on that field. The investigation resulted in an internal audit report being drawn up by the Department of Environment. That report has now been completed, it contains a number of interesting recommendations. For those …

Greek government engages in game of brinkmanship

After continuous financial instability and cutbacks since 2008, it is easy to see how heaping additional debt and further austerity on to Greece was unpalatable. Conditions on the ground in Greece have worsened and it is almost impossible to see how repeating the same fixes were ever going to lead to a different result. From that point of view one could easily have sympathy with the view taken by the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras who castigated the conditions the …

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