Christmas 2017

As Paul McCartney phrased it perfectly:

“The party’s on
The feelin’s here
That only comes
This time of year
Simply having a wonderful Christmas time…”

Soon it is the time of year again when everyone is celebrating Christmas with their family and closest friends. When people get together to share meals, to laugh, talk and reflect on the year.

Cards are being sent, gifts are being exchanged, good food is being prepared and everything slows down. We all take time to spend quality time with our families and be at home. And then the parties and nights out in the run up (and including) New Years eve.

As every year Christmas 2017 will be no exception!

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Chambers to Fight for Cork Limerick Motorway

Cork and Limerick Chambers are to join Forces to campaign for the n20 between Cork & Limerick to be upgraded to a Motorway and become the M20.

The n20 is a highly significant commercial route linking the cities of Limerick and Cork and facilitating connectivity along the wider Atlantic Corridor.

While there have been repetitive discussions about upgrading the road to motorway status, all plans were shelved following the economic collapse of 2008 -2010.

In 2017, however, the new Government committed €1m in funding for Transport Infrastructure Ireland to re-start the planning process for the M20 motorway.

Seeing this development as a an opportunity to push for additional funding in the upcoming mid-term review of the national Capital Investment Plan, Cork and Limerick Chambers have joined forces and commissioned Indecon Economic Consultants and RedC research to assess the socio-economic benefits of upgrading the N20.


Ireland to significantly increase beef exports to the USA

Ireland will be able to significantly increase its beef exports to the USA following an agreement between the two countries that could be worth millions of euro annually to the Irish agriculture industry

Exports of Irish beef to the USA last year were estimated at over €14m and US authorities have agreed to allow Ireland become the first EU member state in more than 15 years to export manufacturing beef there.

This is beef that is typically used in burgers and processed foods, and almost one million tonnes of it is imported by the US every year.

This opens up the prospect of food chains like McDonalds using Irish Beef in the USA, something they have been doing for a long time in Europe, buying beef from 18,000 Irish family farms

This will be a huge boost to Irish farming.


Donegal & Kerry top Blue Flag Beaches list 2016

Donegal and Kerry have come out on top of the 2016 list of Blue Flag beaches in Ireland for 2016.

The full list (below) sees Donegal and Kerry achieving 13 Blue Flags each followed by Mayo with 11.

County Beach/Marina
Clare Ballycuggeran
Clare Kilkee
Clare Whitestrand, Doonbeg
Clare Mountshannon
Clare Cappa
Clare Fanore
Clare Lahinch
Clare Spanish Point
Clare Miltown Malbay
Cork Garrylucas
Cork Inchydoney
Cork Owenahincha
Cork Barleycove
Cork Tragumna
Donegal Bundoran
Donegal Culdaff
Donegal Fintra
Donegal Downings
Donegal Killahoey
Donegal Marblehill
Donegal Lisfannon
Donegal Murvagh
Donegal Naran
Donegal Magherawarden
Donegal Shroove
Donegal Rossnowlagh
Donegal Carrickfinn
Dublin Balcarrick, Donabate
Dublin Portmarnock
Dublin Killiney
Dublin SeaPoint
Galway Traught
Galway Cill Mhuirbhigh
Galway Loughrea
Galway Tra an Doilin
Galway Tra Mhor, Indreabhan
Galway Salthill
Galway Silverstrand
Kerry Ballinskelligs
Kerry Ballybunion North
Kerry Ballybunion South
Kerry Ballyheigue
Kerry Banna
Kerry Derrynane
Kerry Fenit
Kerry Inch
Kerry Kells
Kerry Maherabeg
Kerry Ventry
Kerry White Strand
Kerry Rossbeigh
Louth Port
Louth Templetown
Louth Clogherhead
Mayo Dooega
Mayo Carrowmore
Mayo Clare Island
Mayo Mulranny
Mayo Golden Strand
Mayo Mullaghroe
Mayo Silverstrand, Dugort
Mayo Keel
Mayo Elly Bay
Mayo Keem
Mayo Bertra
Sligo Rosses Point
Waterford Clonea
Waterford Councellors Stand
Waterford Dunmore Strand
Waterford Tramore
Wexford Curracloe
Wexford Courtown
Wexford Morriscastle
Wexford Rosslare Strand
Wexford Ballinesker
Wexford (new) Ballymoney North Beach
Wicklow (new) Brittas Bay North
Wicklow Brittas Bay South
Wicklow Greystones South Beach
Cork The Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina
Cork Kinsale Yacht Club Marina
Kerry (new) Fenit Marina
Westmeath Killinure Point Marina
Wexford Kilmore Quay Marina
Wexford New Ross Marina

Paul O’Connell retires from Rugby :(

The IRFU have this morning announced that Ireland’s heroic leader Paul O’Connell has retired from all rugby.

He had struggled to recover from the hamstring injury that had ended his international career during the Rugby World Cup in France last autumn but was contracted to play with French side Toulon. In the end it was a move that he could not complete.

The Munster great released the following statement through the IRFU: “It is with deep regret that I have decided to retire from professional rugby following medical advice. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all at Rugby Club Toulonnais for their understanding and support over the past few months.”

Former teammate and predecessor as Irish captain.  Brian O’Driscoll made one the first of what will be many tributes paid to the Limerick man as news of his retirement spreads this morning:



Whitegate Oil refinery Sale still on the cards.

The possible sale of Ireland’s only oil refinery in Whitegate, Co Cork is back on the table despite parent company, Phillips 66,  appearing to pull the plug on the sales process last year.

The US multinational energy company recently confirmed to Irish Newspaper, The Irish Examiner, that it is considering selling the refinery, which employs 300 people in East Cork, but again reiterating that that, longer-term, it expects that the “asset will be challenged”.

The ageing refinery’s  future has been shrouded in uncertainty for a considerable period of time with little progress being made in terms of securing its longer-term future.

Phillips 66 are under a contractual obligation to the Irish Government to operate the facility until July 2016.


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Cork City to Challenge Merger plans with county

Cork City Council decided last night to seek a judicial review of “the administrative actions” of the Cork Local Government Review Group which has recommended a merger of Cork city and county councils.

This is also expected to be the first challenge to the constitutionality of government policy in relation to combining local authority areas.

Tonight’s council meeting was addressed by former Cork Local Government Review (CLGR) member Dr Theresa Reidy, following which it was agreed to mount the legal challenge.

She co-authored a “minority report” with fellow group member, Prof Dermot Keogh, opposing the merger recommendation which was presented to Environment Minister Alan Kelly last week.

Dr Reidy told councillors that it was clear from the review process that cities are engines of regional growth and “must have independent autonomous governance to drive economic development”.

A merged council would take decision making one step further from citizens, she said, although she did not elaborate on how this would be the case.

Business groups are divided over the proposal, with Cork Chamber of Commerce and Cork Business Association members taking opposing stands on the report.