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Regional Roughhouse

Well that hit the spot.  The Nevin Economic Research Institute’s quarterly economic commentary doesn’t usually lead to Twitter fights and attacks by the Government, but last Thursday’s edition did. And it was all caused by having a look at the CSO’s employment figures for 2014, and trying to figure out where the jobs are being created. In a 58-page report, it was just one page, home to box 2.1, that caused all the fuss. This was an item about trends …

Science funding under the microscope

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent There; they’ve said it. It’s taken a while to pluck up the courage to speak out. It’s taken some time to figure out how they should do it. But finally scientists here have come together, agreed a position and stated it clearly. Enough is enough, they claim. The science funding model in Ireland has to change. For several years now scientists here, and Irish scientists who’ve chosen to or been forced to move …

Plenty of good news – providing nobody blows it

By Business Editor David Murphy The first two month of this year have been defined by the improvement in the economy picking up momentum at a faster pace than many had expected. The speed of the progress has only been matched by politicians making promises about spending the new funds flowing into the Government’s coffers. It is treacherous territory because some of the recent gains are based on international factors which are currently in Ireland’s favour, but won’t remain that …

10 takeaways from Mobile World Congress 2015

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Over the past four days, we’ve walked dozens of kilometres, recorded hours of audio and video and consumed many gigabytes of data to bring to you the best bits from the world’s largest mobile technology gathering, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As we prepare to say ‘adios’, here are a few things we’ll remember about the 2015 show. For extended interviews and other video content from MWC click here

An unhealthy health sector

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan One of the things regretted by senior officials in the Department of Finance is that they didn’t include reform of Health spending in the Troika bailout programme from day one. Instead it crept into the programme around half way through, so a lot of the impetus for taking hard decisions was lost. The consequences of that loss of impetus were laid out in an EU report this week.

Mobile World Congress 2015 – what to expect

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It’s the event that gets the hearts of mobile geeks racing (no seriously, it does). The world’s largest event for the mobile industry is about to kick off in Barcelona. Running from March 2-5, Mobile World Congress (MWC) is expected to attract around 90,000 visitors this year, who will come to see 2000 exhibitors across an exhausting 100,000 square metres of exhibition space. So what can we expect? Well as far as trends …

The value of a Heathrow slot

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan UCD Economist Colm McCarthy presented a paper on the hot topic of Aer Lingus slots at Heathrow Airport at an IrishEconomy.ie conference in Dublin today, making some interesting points in the process. He begins by setting out some basic facts about slots, Heathrow, and the two airlines at the heart of this matter – British Airways and Aer Lingus.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant

By Business Editor David Murphy Many people were glad to see the end of Ireland’s EU-IMF bailout. Leaving it behind shows the country is moving in the right direction, although it is far from the national victory portrayed by some politicians. But the experience of an external force calling the Irish authorities to attention had benefits, too. There were parallels with the way tougher regulation of bankers fostered better behaviour.

The cost of a Greek default

If Greece defaults, we – Ireland – stand to lose €1.7 billion, according to Standard and Poor’s. And most of that loss falls on the Central Bank, the most profitable bank in the country, not the Government, which is only liable for €347m in bilateral loans. Of course the Government’s own sums rely on the Central Bank paying back up the usual billion in dividend, rather than writing it off on a Greek default. That, and the bilateral loan loss, …

Oh my – the problems with public wifi

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent I don’t like to rant – well actually I do. But there are few things that get me more exercised than free public wifi. You know the story. You arrive in a cafe, airport, hotel, conference centre. The sign on the wall says there is free wifi available and because you are looking to increase your speed online and decrease your mobile data usage, you decide to use it. You are given, or …