Analysis

New Europeans

The coach lurched to a halt at a dusty crossroads. Rucksacks tumbled out. A small child was rushed out to get sick. The sounds of Arabic filled the evening air. Sixty men, women and children thus began the final walk from the northern edge of Serbia to Hungary. We joined them for the final few kilometres along the overgrown railway track which has become a well-known route this summer for tens of thousands of people from the Middle East and …

The price of medicines

For some people, how the price of medicines is reached may seem like the Third Secret of Fatima. There are many players – who all take their share – from the drug company that makes the medicine and supplies it to the wholesaler, the wholesaler who sells it to the pharmacist, the pharmacist that applies a mark-up and dispensing fee and the State that charges a prescription fee and requires private patients to pay the first 144 euro a month, …

The background to the Aisling Brady McCarthy case

Almost three years after she was arrested following the death of a baby girl in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Aisling Brady McCarthy learned yesterday that the murder charge against her was being dropped. Her lawyer said that the Co Cavan woman has not been able to stop crying with joy, but added that her life has been ruined as Ms Brady McCarthy has spent almost two-and-a-half years in jail and several months under house arrest for a crime she did not commit. …

Motor insurance meltdown benefits nobody

The Irish motor insurance industry is in deep trouble. Its difficulties may only be beginning but they will result in higher bills for drivers and negative consequences for the economy. To recap: RSA’s top three executives departed in a row over insurance claims, FBD is struggling with financial difficulties and Liberty cut 270 jobs last June. Some of the difficulties are caused by the insurance companies themselves but others are caused by the State and the wider insurance environment. 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.

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