2017 Womens Rugby World Cup to be held in Ireland

Ireland is to host the 2017 Womens Rugby World Cup, it was announced today. The competition will be held at venues in Dublin and Belfast.

At the time of entering their bid to host the tournament, the IRFU said it intended to host the  pool stages at UCD before moving to Belfast for semi-finals and finals at Queen’s University Sport and the newly developed Kingspan Stadium at Ravenhill.




Apple to Expand Irish operation

Apple Inc has announced that it has signed a lease on a Cork City centre office with capacity to hold 350 people. The move is a result of plans to expand its EMEA Customer Support operations in Ireland.
Apple has had a presence in Cork since a manufacturing operation was founded in 1981 and despite scaling back the manufacturing capacity in the late 1990’s has continued to grow as a major centre of the IT Giant’s global presence.

“Apple is one of the many global technology companies with operations in Ireland,” said an IDA spokesperson, “Since it established in Cork 30 years ago, it has been a significant employer in the southwest region.”

Ireland’s debt is manageable according to ECB president

The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jean Claude Trichet, said yesterday that Ireland’s sovereign debt and banking crises are not impossible to deal with and he believes the country can overcome its problems .

“My working assumption is that Ireland can do it, Ireland will do it,” he told MEPs in the European Parliament. He stressed that Ireland had to regain its credit worthiness and that the international community had backed the rescue plan.

In a warning to would be bondholder burners he added that the ECB is working off a policy that no eurozone country will default on its debt.

In a separate question, Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell suggested that the ECB’s low interest rates during the property bubble fueled Ireland’s problems.

However, Mr. Trichet hit back, hinting that Ireland’s issues were somewhat self-inflicted and in an apparent attack on the economic management of the previous government added that “National policies have to take [interest rates] into account, and to exert appropriate influence to cope with possible difficulties”

“You might say that interest rates were too low for Ireland, (but) they were the interest rates that were appropriate to deliver price stability as a whole.”

Ireland’s recession technically ends but unemployment soars

The Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released figures that show that Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 2.7% in the first three months of 2010. This small growth in Ireland’s GDP, the first for over 2 years, technically indicates an end to the recession in Ireland.

However the news was released by the CSO on the same day as they announced that the number of people unemployed in Ireland increased from 439,100 in May to 444,900 in June an increase of 37,200 compared with the same time last year. Unemployment in the Republic of Ireland has now reached 13.4%

Experts say that Ireland’s GDP rose due to a surge in exports and increased foreign investment. 

Meanwhile, One of Ireland’s largest RealEstate companies, Sherry Fitzgerald, said last night that house prices in Dublin have dropped by more than 50% since the beginning of the recession while houses prices nationwide have dropped by 13% in the last year.

Andora to be Ireland’s first competitive test at Aviva Stadium

The Republic of Ireland will start their Euro-2012 qualifying campaign away to Armenia on 3 September with the new Aviva Stadium being the host the first home game of the tournament qualifiers against Andora four days later.

The campaign will end, as it started -against Armenia, in Dublin on 11 October 2011.

Republic manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, said in an interview: ‘The early fixtures represent good opportunities for us and it is always good to finish at home,” and he added: “On balance, these fixtures are better than those we had in the previous World Cup qualification campaign.

“I also think the squad will have benefitted from the significant steps forward made against top sides like Bulgaria, Montenegro, Italy, France and Brazil.”

New Irish Sea Ferry Preparing for Maiden Voyage

The new Ferry Service crossing the Irish Sea between Swansea in Wales and Cork on the South coast of Ireland is preparing for its maiden voyage on March 1st next.

The ship that will be used on the Route is the MV Julia and is currently undergoing dry-dock work in Swansea ahead of its inaugural sailing from Cork back to Swansea.

The revival of the route between the UK and Ireland has become reality following a public campaign by tourism interests in West Cork to get a new service up and running. A Cooperative was formed by West Cork Tourism and investors from all over Counties Cork and Kerry along with some from South Wales contributed enough to see the purchase of a cruise ship for the route become a reality.

The revived Swansea to Cork Route will be an all-year-round service, which will carry passengers, cars, commercial freight, campers/caravans, bikes and pets and will run six nights a week, with additional sailings on the 154m-vessel in the high-season.

The Route is being operated by Fastnet Line, a wholly owned subsidiary of the West Cork Tourism Co-op. The company recently launched a new website and are taking bookings for the 2010 season.

Cork Airport to get new ryanair routes

Cork Airport is expected to be the beneficiary of a major announcement on new routes from budget airline Ryanair today.  The announcement is expected to centre around a series of routes from Cork to a number of sun destinations according to this morning’s Irish Examiner. The enwspaper speculates that Ryanair will undercut Aer Lingus prices and could offer deals to the popular sun locations for €60 return.

Ryanair Chief executive Michael O’Leary flies into Cork this morning to make the announcement before he jets off to New York to address an airline conference.

The airline is also expected to base a new aircraft at Cork Airport. Mr O’Leary said yesterday that Ryanair plans to “swamp” the sun destination market over the summer months with a raft of low fares. “We have 11 aircraft to allocate for the summer and there’s a number of airports bidding for them,” he said.
Aer Lingus operate flights from Cork to Alicante, Faro, Lanzarote, Malaga and Tenerife but Ryanair is expected to offer prices for significantly less than what Aer Lingus are offering. Mr O’Leary said Ryanair will “explode” Aer Lingus’s market. He said fares to sun destinations will be higher than average but lower than others charge in those markets.