A Mutually Beneficial Relationship


The economic relationship between Ireland and the United States is flourishing, thanks in part to a centuries old bond.

While at last month's web summit in Dublin, Ireland I spoke with U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O'Malley. He says the Irish economy is making a strong comeback and the relationship between the United States and Ireland is better now than before the downturn.

"700 American companies doing business here in Ireland, about 250 Irish companies doing business in the United States, the relationship is blossoming."

He say American companies do well in Ireland because the two countries are very similar and it helps that Ireland's corporate tax rate sits at just 12.5%.  read more »

Web Summit


It started with just 400 people and now Dublin’s web summit is the place to be for some of the world’s biggest companies.

“To me computers were just a part of my life, it’s just hardwired into who i am and i really created the web summit initially out of my bedroom.”

Paddy Cosgrave is the founder and CEO of Web Summit; a tech conference held in Dublin, Ireland since 2010. I attended the three day conference this year which was the largest one yet. People who made the trip came from companies including Twitter, Facebook and the dating app Tinder.
Cosgrave says for more than a decade there’s been an Irish tradition of laying out the red carpet for American companies to expand into Europe. Now he’s hoping the summit will help Irish entrepreneurs.  read more »

The Irish Economy


The Irish economy is moving up and it's getting a boost from the city by the bay.

Christoph Mueller is the CEO of Aer Lingus; an airline that is now offering direct flights between Ireland and San Francisco.

"San Francisco’s always a very difficult destination for every carrier flying from Europe because there’s nothing behind but Hawaii so you are slowly dependent on the local traffic to and from San Francisco."  read more »

The Tale of Titanic,


People love a good story; and one of the best tales of all is paying off for Northern Ireland.

I recently took a tour of the Titanic Belfast. A museum dedicated to the world's most famous ship wreck; built in the same place as the Titanic herself. While there the museum’s CEO Tim Husbands told me they estimated 425,000 visitors in the first year. But since opening 16 months ago more than a million people have come aboard.

“It doesn't surprise us because the story of Titanic has been around 100 years so you have this fantastic heritage on which to base. But it's a tragic, it's a romantic, it's an adventure story of ultimate proportions it's a tale of heroism and people love those kinds of stories.”  read more »

Titanic Belfast


A little embarrassment can go a long way.

Last weekend I visited the Titanic Belfast, A Northern Ireland museum about the world's most famous shipwreck. The Titanic was built in Belfast, and for decades the city was embarrassed to be associated with it. But then the wreck was discovered and director James Cameron made audiences fall in love with her tragic story. Tim Husbands is the museum CEO.

“We felt that after those two incidents that we should be celebrating what was a fantastic feat of engineering, celebrating the history of maritime and the history of our workforce in Belfast.”

Plus the worldwide interest meant an increase in visitors. Since opening 16 months ago more than a million people have come through.  read more »

Undercover Pub Crawls


Police in Ireland are cracking down on certain businesses and they’re using teenagers to do it.

Faced with one of Europe’s worst binge drinking cases police in Ireland plan to send test teenagers from pub to pub to see if landlords sell alcohol to minors. In Ireland the legal drinking age is 18 but pubs are neglecting the ID check in favor of the extra business. So starting October 1st police will be able to train teenagers between the ages of 15-17 and send them to licensed pubs. If any alcohol is sold to these undercover minors the establishment will be prosecuted, face fines and could be temporarily closed.  read more »

Sharing the Recession


The recession might be hitting all of us hard here at home. But at least we’re not alone in our struggles.

On a recent trip to Ireland I had a chance to talk with David Daly, a well known Dublin Developer for Albany Homes. Real estate values in Ireland have taken as big a hit as in the U.S. And just as here, the economic collapse has forced Ireland to dramatically cut public spending and raise taxes. Banks are under water. Unemployment is above 13% and there is no rapid turnaround in sight. Daly says they have only themselves to blame for overbuilding. Daly says the money was spent as fast as it was coming in but the boom is over. And Daly says we have yet to learn, in Ireland and in America.  read more »

A Second Look


World Cup fans are furious over controversial calls made on the field. And with the whole world watching, FIFA should take a second look at second looks.

I spent the Fourth of July weekend on holiday in Ireland and had a chance to talk to David Daly, a successful developer and avid World Cup fan. Last year Ireland made sports headlines when it was knocked out of the World Cup by France, following a controversial handball by Thierry Henry.

With other bad calls made by referees during the games, many fans are screaming for FIFA to use American style instant replays after disputed calls. Daly says until FIFA adopts camera technology, not every game will be played fair.  read more »

Sobering Up


You would think that the poor economy and rising unemployment would drive people to drink. But pubs in Ireland are facing a sobering reality to go with their empty bar stools.

A report published earlier this week found that Ireland’s per capita alcohol consumption fell by 9.6% last year and is now 21% below their all time peak. Kieran Tobin, Chairman of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland says pubs have been closing at the rate of around one a day and 15,000 jobs have been lost in the last 18 months. And people don’t seem to be knocking back a few anytime soon.  read more »