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Irish startup Voucher Pages has launched in the UK market with a new website and a free iOS and Android app.

Mustard, a startup describing itself as 'Hailo for short-term staff', has won the NDRC Lift Off competition.

The majority of the Irish populace still aren't paying into a pension fund. Ted Dwyer, founding director of City Life Wealth Advisors in Cork, says that the situation need to be urgently addressed.

Iconic Dublin fish-and-chips brand Leo Burdocks has launched a Linked Finance crowdfunding round, from which it hopes to raise €50,000 to fund the expansion of its Temple Bar outlet.

New lending to SMEs in the first six months of this year totalled €2.1bn, up from €1.9bn in the last six months of 2013, according to the Central Bank's H2 2014 SME market report.

Nelipak Healthcare Packaging is to add another ten employees to its Galway workforce, which has grown from 62 to 86 people over the past five years.

Metro Herald, the Dublin freesheet aimed at commuters, is to cease publishing on Friday December 19 despite being packed with advertising.

Payzone has partnered with home shopping brand Oxendales to facilitate customer payment transfers and collections through the Payzone retail network.

Irish shoppers have no problem transposing love into merchandise - they'll spend the most on their partners this Christmas, followed by their mothers.

Over 360 people were declared bankrupt in Ireland from March to December 2014, a considerable increase on 2013's figure of 58.

Tuam-based Retail Solutions has signed a contract to supply its EPOS solutions to CJ Lang & Son in Dundee, Scotland's largest independent retailing and distribution company and a master Spar franchise holder with over 300 supermarkets.

McDonald's flagship restaurant on Grafton Street has been officially re-launched, following a €2m euro refurbishment. The restaurant, which first opened in 1977, is Ireland's oldest McDonald's.

Musgraves is to create 80 new jobs as part of an €8m investment at the company's Fonthill depot in Dublin.

Enterprise Ireland is currently accepting applications to share a €200,000 fund, aimed at helping entrepreneurs in the south-east region to explore the feasibility of their innovative startup ideas.

A last minute rush for the Section 481 film tax incentive is being predicted by the film funding team at Mazars.

InterContinental Hotels Group is taking over the running for the five star Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, with effect from January 2015.

SMEs are waiting an average of 60 days to be paid by big business and government agencies, according to ISME's latest Credit Watch Survey.

A new SME guide on competition law compliance has been published by the Competition and Protection Commission (CCPC), aimed at helping firms tendering as part of a consortium for public contracts.

Dublin-based online payments processing firm Dynacart Solutions has been acquired by Kohli Ventures.

NUI Maynooth spin-out Neuromod Devices is to hire 50 staff over the next five years, following the launch of the firm's new treatment for tinnitus.

Irish employees find it hard to convince their bosses to pay for an overnight stay when they travel abroad, but they aren't above bending the truth to nab a free night either.

Global financial services company Fidelity Investments has opened a second Dublin office, as part of its plans to hire around 200 employees here.

Classic arcade and Sega/Nintendo console games have always maintained a loyal following and a tribute to them - and an Irish/Scottish horror film - has just been released for the iOS by Dublin-based beActive Interactive.

Some 44% of Irish consumers experienced problems following the purchase of a product or service in the previous 12 months, putting them at a loss of almost €500m, according to a new report by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Covali has merged with SiliconCloud, another tech minnow, and relocated to NexusUCD in Belfield.

Barry Finnegan has joined Property Channel as commercial director, investing €250,000 in the process.

Irish family businesses must become more entrepreneurial, adapt faster and become more professional in the way they run their operations if they are to remain successful, according to the PwC 2014 Irish Family Business Survey.

If you're attending an office Christmas party this month, do yourself a favour: don't loiter with intent near the mistletoe and don't guzzle the paid-for booze with abandon. For, as one fifth of office workers can tell you, you'll deeply regret it if you do.

Over 1,400 new companies were formed in Ireland through November, a year-on-year rise of 11%, according to figures from Vision-net.ie.

The deadline for first-round entries to the eircom Business Solutions Digital Boost competition rolls around this Friday (December 12).

Thirty three companies have been selected as finalists for the SFA National Small Business Awards 2015.

A new SME finance platform has been officially launched, funded by over 100 investors across Europe.

PwC's corporate calendar for 2015 is themed 'Business Powered by Design' after the accountancy giant teamed up with third year Visual Communications students of the National College of Art and Design.

Armagh-based firm Almac took top honours at the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards, ahead of nine other finalists selected from the four provinces.

It's official - the National Lottery is now being operated by Canadian teachers. Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) is the name of the firm that will run the lottery and its shareholders are the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, An Post and An Post pension funds.

UPC Ireland is to acquire WiFi company Bitbuzz for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2003, Bitbuzz provides wireless internet access services to roaming partners, location owners and direct users.

London's rich middle class are in shock this morning after UK chancellor George Osborne loaded stamp duty pain on expensive des reses in England's capital.

European micro-cap VC firm Hoxton Ventures has launched a €6m Irish early-stage capital fund, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.

Profits in Pat McDonagh's Supermac's group are a good deal healthier than the fast food they are built on - the business booked a pre-tax gain of over €7.4m in 2013.

The jobs announcements keep on coming, with Dublin, Meath and Clare the latest counties to benefit from the announcements.

Finance minister Michael Noonan has confirmed that there will be no change to Pay & File tax return deadlines in the lifetime of the current government.

Hailo and Just Eat have announced a nationwide dual branding partnership, which will involve co-branded pizza boxes and delivery paper bags offering a €10 Hailo credit to new Hailo customers.

The Institute of Public Administration's (IPA) Yearbook and Diary for 2015 has been launched by Tánaiste Joan Burton.

Luxair Luxembourg Airlines is increasing frequency on the Dublin-Luxembourg route from four flights to six flights a week from next summer.

ICT company Datapac has won the HP UK and Ireland 'Print Partner of the Year' award, the first time Hewlett-Packard has chosen an Irish winner.

Software firm Calypso Technology is creating 150 jobs in Dublin through the establishment of a managed services centre.

Accumulated losses for DCU spinout Sonex Metrology have risen to €921,000, according to the firm's account filings for 2013.

The annual National Crafts and Design Fair takes place in the RDS from December 3 to 7, where exhibitors are expecting sales worth over €5m.

Synergy Centre and Bank of Ireland are organising an event called 'Managing the Entrepreneurship Rollercoaster' in the House of Lords building, Bank of Ireland, College Green on December 4.

Kinsale Bay Food Company has landed a contract to supply Tesco with ten different products from its range, in a deal worth around €1m to the firm annually.

Limerick-based tech firm Arralis has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide it with a radar chipset for spacecraft.

Bank lending to SMEs is continuing to increase, while demand for lending remains at its highest level since 2009, according to the latest ISME quarterly bank watch survey.

The Nissan Qashqai has been voted Continental Irish Car of the Year 2015 by the Irish Motoring Writers' Association. Mercedes-Benz C-Class was voted second and the Peugeot 308 was in third position.

Deloitte and Barclays Bank have revealed the shortlist of indigenous Irish businesses competing for the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards 2015.

Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS), a division of Johnson & Johnson Services, is planning to add 100 people to its workforce with the creation of a development centre in Limerick.

Etihad Airways has won three travel awards at two different Irish travel trade events.

IT consultancy firm E-MIT Solutions is to create ten new jobs at its headquarters in Santry as part of a €650,000 investment.

It'll be a merry Christmas for retailers in Ireland this year, as customers will spend nearly €4bn - giddy heights not seen in the sector since 2009, according to Retail Ireland.

€1.47bn worth of residential construction on multi-unit developments was commenced in Ireland during the first nine months of 2014, according to Dundalk consultancy Link2Plans.

Hines, a global property developer based in Houston, Texas, has completed the acquisition of the 400 acre Cherrywood Business Park and Development Scheme in south Dublin.

Georgina Campbell, publisher of the authoritative guide to food and hospitality in Ireland, has launched a series of greeting cards that include five of her favourite Christmas recipes.

Irish Life picked up a brace of gongs in the 2014 Irish Pensions Awards.

While falling oil prices are a boon for the hard pressed consumer, they are anything but for central bankers who worry about the effects a continued slide will have on their cherished inflation targets.

Approach People Recruitment and Prodieco were joint winners of this year's 'Best Irish Company in France' award, announced at a function in Dublin last night (November 28).

Fianna Fáil Cork North-Central TD, Billy Kelleher, has slammed what he called "the government's total inaction" on securing the future of Cork Airport at a time when Shannon Airport is seeing continuous passenger growth.

The latter half of 2014 has seen the jobs market switching in favour of candidates and 2015 will see this continuing, according to Hilary Geary, MD of Executive Connections

Half of Irish organisations have no real-time insight on cyber risks, while 47% admit that they would be unlikely to even notice a sophisticated cyber attack if it targeted them, according to EY's annual Global Information Security survey.

Enterprise minister Richard Bruton is leading a two-day trade and investment mission around Ireland to Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, jointly organised by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.

Medical device company AventaMed and software firm TruePivot claimed top prizes at this year's InterTrade Ireland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.

Letterkenny-based software firm Gartan Technologies has secured a contract with an Australian fire and rescue service to help it organise personnel in 338 stations.

Japanese printer manufacturer OKI says it has taken a decisive lead in innovative print technologies with the introduction of the ES9541, a 5 colour, A3 printer targeted at the specialist graphic arts market.

Focus Ireland has teamed up with Miriam O'Callaghan to launch its annual 'Sponsor a Star' campaign, which involves businesses sponsoring a star on the organisation's Christmas tree on Grafton Street to help the homeless.

AIB says new lending year to date is up 39% on last year but the Credit Review Office says that businesss demand for credit remains subdued.

The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has called on the government to cut excessive excise duty on wine and alcohol in Budget 2015 next week.

Irish salaries are set to rise by 2% in 2015, according to Mercer's most recent Salary Forecast Report.

Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan has confirmed the future introduction of measures that require mortgage applicants to pay a deposit worth 20% of the value of a property, although delayed implementation and further "refinement" of the rules are likely.

Employment in the Irish economy grew by 27,700 (+1.5%) in Q3 2014 compared with the corresponding period in 2013, according to an estimate from the Central Statistics Office. There was much better growth in male employment (+2.0%) compared with female employment (+0.8%).

UCD spin-out startup Equilume has secured €550,000 in seed funding from Enterprise Ireland and a number of angel investors based in Ireland, the UK and the USA.

DPS Engineering has announced plans to add 80 staff to its workforce in 2015, following three years of pronounced business growth.

IG Group has launched an execution-only stockbroking service targeted at individuals in Ireland and the UK.

Business owners in the midlands felt disproportionately hard done by during the recession but confidence is high among them now that things can only get better.

Telecity Group and Hibernia Networks have completed a deal that will see the former's Dublin-based data centre facilitate a new, ultra-high-speed transatlantic cable system next year.

Social news agency Storyful is to expand its R&D centre in Dublin, creating 30 new jobs.

The majority of Irish CEOs are bullish about Irish GDP growth, while staff issues were identified by them as the biggest barrier to overseas trade.

A new art gallery called The Open Window Gallery has opened in the centre of Rathmines in Dublin.

Hackneyed stereotyping in adverts is alienating more than half (55%) of the Irish women who view them, according to a survey carried out by iReach Insights.

Aerogen, the medical device company named as Exporter of the Year at the annual Export Industry Awards, booked a pre-tax profit of €7m on turnover of €25m, according to the company's annual filing.

Up to 150 new jobs will be created around the country by specialist healthcare recruiter TTM Healthcare Group and Danone, both of whom are expanding.

CarTrawler was the big winner in this year's Irish Software Awards after the Dublin-based firm claimed the Software Company of the Year title.

RecruitmentPlus, with offices in Dublin, Dundalk and Limerick, has established a dedicated property recruitment division to cater for growing demand for qualified personnel in the property sector.

UCD graduate Elaine Lavery has won the annual LINC Jumpstart competition for her 'Udderly Delicious' flavoured butter venture, which was established in 2013.

Designers Lyndsey Bryce and Christopher Murphy of Dolmen won the Grand Prix at the annual IDI Design Awards.

Information management company Oasis has acquired Cintas Document Management of the Netherlands and Belgium in a transaction worth €30m.

Web and app trendsetters in Ireland were recognised with a variety of awards last night as this year's Appys and the eircom Spider Awards competitions announced their winners.

Industrial disputes in the first nine months of 2014 resulted in over 19,000 lost working days, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

CityJet has introduced a new time-saving check-in system at London City Airport, which it says reduces check-in time to under a minute.

DCC plc has been chosen as the overall winner in the 2014 Published Accounts Awards, its third consecutive year to claim that title and the prize in the Large Quoted Entities category.

Brian McKiernan is taking over from Tony Garry as CEO at finance house Davy from March 2015.

Irish SMEs raised €314m in venture capital funding in the nine months to September 30, an increase of 35% on the same period last year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association. However, its Q3 VenturePulse survey expresses concern at a major drop in funding for startups..

Core Media has launched communications learning centre in Dublin, offering courses for advertisers, the media, ad agencies and other digital platform users.

Cloud technology and related digital innovations are helping SMEs to stay competitive but the privacy and security of personal information now stored online remains a growing cause of concern among their Irish customers.

Foodcloud founders Aoibheann O'Brien and Iseult Ward have won the title of Ireland's top young social entrepreneurs at this year's Join Our Core competition.

Certification Europe, an international management standards and inspection services company, has secured €400,000 VC investment through the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund managed by Kernel Capital.

Med-tech, agricultural and renewable energy business ideas feature among the 24 finalists in Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition.

The Credit Review Office has reversed 56% of applications relating to refusal by banks to extend credit, according to John Trethowan's latest report.

Applegreen, the petrol station operator owned by Robert Etchingham and Joe Barrett, has moved its centre of control from Dublin to Malta, according to annual filings.

Care home provider Nua Healthcare is planning to expand its operations in the coming months, which it said will lead to the creation of 25 nursing jobs in locations across Ireland.

An intelligent control system to improve energy efficiency in wind farms has won the 2014 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Award.

Four business parks in the south Dublin city region have banded together to form an umbrella group called the Sandyford Business District Association (SBDA), with the aim of promoting the region as a location for further corporate investment.

Outdoor clothing and accessories brand, Regatta Great Outdoors, has opened its flagship store in Swords, Co Dublin.

Biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb is to build a brand new biologics manufacturing facility in Cruiserath, Co Dublin. An estimated 1,000 construction jobs will be involved, with 350 jobs expected in the facility when it is completed in 2019.

Lexus Ireland has renewed its sponsorship of the Lexus Chase at the Leopeardstown Christmas Festival for a further three years.

A new report from property auctioneers Allsop indicates that 88% of 1,300 registered buyers who responded to a survey intend to purchase a property within the next 12 months.

The majority of SMEs in Ireland are benefiting from improved trading conditions, while demand for credit remains low, according to a Department of Finance report.

IT firm Typetec has signed a €1m contract with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) to help expand the college's one-to-one laptop programme.

Middle-income earners could save thousands of euros every year on university fees for their children if they make a modest pension contribution, according to IFG Pensions.

The Central Bank of Ireland has fined Ulster Bank €3.5m arising from the bank's IT meltdown in June and July 2012.

The Shannon Group has relaunched Shannon Duty Free, taking the world's first Duty Free back to its original title, and with marketing centred on some 40s-inspired entertainment.

Kingspan plc, the specialist in building insulation panels, has entered into an agreement to acquire the building products division of Vicwest Inc, a Canadian listed company.

PFH Technology Group, an ICT services company, said it plans to create 25 new jobs within the organisation. The jobs were announced at the official opening of the company's new offices in Galway.

Danish newcomer Tiger Stores has been named Company of the Year and Best Small Company at the annual Retail Excellence Ireland Awards.

Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) has announced the nine companies to be awarded its 'Business Working Responsibly' mark prior to the organisation's CSR conference in Dublin Castle today (November 11).

Leading women from around Ireland were celebrated in the Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards, including Keelings Fruit CEO Caroline Keeling, who was the winner in the competition's business category.

Economic optimism among Irish investors is at a four-year high, although confidence in the performance of the global economy has fallen significantly.

Business communications firm Avaya is adding 75 staff to its customer engagement centre in Galway.

Twenty-one grocery and retail brands have been honoured at trade magazine Checkout's annual awards.

A flurry of job announcements from four companies around Ireland will see hundreds of new positions created over the next few years. Valeo, Kildare Village, Ammeon and C&D Foods are all planning to expand their workforces.

Butlers Chocolates will open a 17th outlet in its Chocolate Café chain in Limerick this month.

InBusiness inCork, an annual showcase for entrepreneurs and businesses, kicks off in Cork City Hall on November 14, at which more than 1,500 participants are expected.

Amazon has announced the creation of over 300 new jobs in Dublin over the next two years. The data centre technicians, software engineers and customer support staff roles will be based in Amazon's expanded offices in Ballsbridge.

The 2015 Digital Media Awards is now open for entries and is inviting applications in 25 categories.

The majority (71%) of companies exporting in Ireland saw trading improve in 2014, according to an Irish Exporters Association's (IEA) annual survey.

3D printing company Love & Robots has won the ESB Spark Of Genius Award at this year's Web Summit.

KBC Bank, which organises a monthly monitor of Irish consumer sentiment with ESRI, has admitted to being baffled by a sharp drop in the index to 85.5 in October from the near eight year high of 92.8 recorded in September.

Canadian software firm OpenText is expanding in Cork, with plans to create around 105 jobs over the next two years.

Five Dublin startups have been shortlisted for the finals of JumpStart 2014.

Linked Finance has facilitated peer-to-peer pledges of €5m to over 200 companies nationwide, the firm has announced.

Ryanair's first-half profits for this year were up by 32% to €795m, helped by a 5% rise in average fares and the 4% point increase in load factors.

4Impacts Intelligent Solutions Ltd, co-founded by Munster rugby player Donncha O'Callaghan, is seeking to raise €500,000 using the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS).

Drinks giant Diageo is exiting the Irish Whiskey sector with the sale of Bushmills to Jose Cuervo.

Funding of €800m for Irish SMEs has been secured by the state-backed Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).

Lab353, a business accelerator programme developed by eircom Business Solutions and SVP Partners, is looking for ten of the most disruptive and commercially-promising young technology startup companies in Ireland.

The Irish Software Association (ISA) has released the shortlist of 20 indigenous technology companies that are vying for the title of Digital Technology Company of the Year in this year's ISA Awards.

The best bar in the country can be found nestled in Navan, according to the ninth annual Licensing World magazine's 'Bar of the Year Awards'.

Agile Networks has won the 'StartUp of the Year' laurels at this year's Bank of Ireland StartUp Awards.

Longer - albeit more flexible - working days are the norm for the majority of Irish employees, three quarters of whom say that their work-life balance is being thrown out of kilter as a result.

Ryanair has launched the latest update to its mobile app, making it easier for customers to browse, book, check-in, board and fly on Europe's largest airline.

Inventor Henry Fingleton, who devised Sweepovac, a fitted vacuum unit that sucks up floor sweepings at the flick of a button, has received a fourth payment from Enterprise Ireland in just over two years.

Ireland's chartered accountants and business leaders are an increasingly sanguine bunch, with business confidence levels now at an eight-year high.

Tech company Openet and medical devices firm Teleflex have announced plans to create a combined total of 130 jobs in Ireland over the coming months.

eircom Business Solutions has launched Digital Boost, a €250,000 seed fund for SMEs looking to innovate and grow their business through investment in digital solutions.

Smartport Systems SSI Ireland Ltd has gone bust one year after securing €200,000 in equity investment from Enterprise Ireland.

Job advertisements in Ireland in the third quarter of this year increased by over a fifth when compared with last year, according to the latest Robert Walters European Job Index.

Kantar Media Ireland has launched AdExpress, an online platform that enables advertising professionals to capture and analyse display ads from Ireland's most visited websites.

A new executive search service has been launched by Alternatives Group, which is aimed at Irish senior executives working abroad that are on the lookout for jobs back home.

AMCS Group has added Danish software company Transvision AS to the string of firms acquired by it over the past few years.

Men's clothing brand Jack & Jones will create 30 jobs when it opens its new store in Dundrum Town Centre in mid-November.

Former rugby star Brian O'Driscoll has invested €60,000 in Glendalough Irish Whiskey, based in Newtownmountkennedy in Co Wicklow.

CityJet has increased flight frequency on the Dublin to London City route after British Airways' entry on the route.

Courier operator Fastway has announced that it is in the process of establishing its online delivery service, Parcel Connect, as a separate standalone business.

A bus shelter on Camden Street in Dublin now prints out recommendations about bars, restaurants, clubs and cultural attractions, courtesy of Heineken.

Elavon has announced the expansion of its online Payment Gateway for small and medium businesses into the Irish market, facilitated by an extended agreement with Realex Payments.

Eircom is to roll out a one gigabit broadband service to 66 communities across the country on its fibre broadband network.

Gender equality in the workplace could still be 80 years away and Ireland's success in balancing the scale has worsened.

Fyffes has abandoned its proposed merger with Chiquita Brands International, seven months after announcing a merger of the banana giants.

Tesco chased down Olympic athlete Derval O'Rourke to help officially launch the supermarket's new store in Ballincollig.

Mark Roden, founder of Ding, has been selected as of EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.

Vodafone Ireland is giving a gift of six months' Netflix to contract customers on Red Extra payment plans. Existing Netflix customers can also avail of the offer.

BuyandSell has been relaunched as a digital-only business after being purchased by media tycoon Denis O'Brien.

Mobile network Three is partnering with Indian-headquartered company Tech Mahindra to open a customer service centre in Waterford, creating 74 new jobs.

There has been a marked increase in the level of engagement between companies and including universities and the institutes of technology, according to Knowledge Transfer Ireland.

Dublin-based booking portal MeetingsBooker.com has completed a €1m funding round, which includes €250,000 from Enterprise Ireland.

Groupon has officially opened a Research and Development hub in Dublin, responsible for the development of technology platforms that will be used across Groupon's 500 local markets worldwide.

Aer Lingus will introduce a new Business Class service on transatlantic flights from March 2015.

Cloud computing company Strencom has signed a €300,000 deal with Brown Bag Films to provide it with unified communications as a service (UCaaS).

AIB is making available €300m to support investment in the healthcare sector, based on projections that the number of people over 65 is set to increase by around 200,000 over the next seven years.

Cork company Biotector Analytical Systems, which was bought by Hach in April 2014, booked a pre-tax profit of €3.4 million in 2013, double the outcome the previous year.

The Avalon Group has released three new spirits to coincide with the annual Duty Free & Travel Retail summit in Cannes. France. The new spirits are styled as super-premium Irish gin, vodka and honey liqueur.

Ireland's stock market is worth over €200m to the economy annually, according to a study published today (October 21).

Maximum Media has recruited Evan Fanning as editor of its new dedicated sports website, SportsJOE.ie, a spin-off from the popular Joe.ie site.

Medical diagnostics firm Randox Teoranta is to invest €25m in its Dungloe facility over the next six years, which will see an eightfold increase in staff numbers to 540.

Funding poured into innovation among Irish firms is more of a trickle than a roar, despite the majority (57%) of CIOs considering innovation an important priority.

3D visualisation venture Von Bismark, founded by Eoghan O'Sullivan, has raised an additional €175,000 in equity investment.

Dee's Wholefoods, launched by health food entrepreneur Dee Collins in 2008, has received a €160,000 equity investment from DWF Ventures Ltd.

AIB and Frontline Ventures are collaborating in a new €2m programme to support Ireland's tech entrepreneurs.

Kernel Capital through the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund has invested €1.25 million in DisplayNote Technologies Ltd, a Belfast company with offices in Spain and the US.

Irish startup CareZapp is one of 14 early-stage firms from around the world chosen to compete today (October 20) in the TechCrunch Disrupt 'Startup Battlefield'.

UTV Ireland, due to launch in January 2015, has hired Paul Colgan from RTE as Economics Editor.

Sprits have been high at Cork Institute of Technology graduation ceremonies, as these Darragh Kane pictures show.

Close Brothers Commercial Finance, part of Close Brothers Group plc, has appointed Trevor Collier and Frank Byrne as Sales Directors to their Asset Finance team in Ireland.

Apple has unveiled its new wafer-thin iPad Air 2, as well as additions to its iPad mini range and an updated iMac.

AIM quoted First Derivatives, based in Newry, is upping its stake in California company Kx Systems at a cost of £36m in cash and shares.

Law firm ByrneWallace has appointed three new partners to the firm.

Eight startups from 150 applicants have been selected for the Bank of Ireland accelerator programme in Cork.

The income tax burden is borne disproportionately by middle and higher income earners in Ireland, according to a new analysis by Ibec.

A new workplace oral health initiative has been launched by pop-up dental clinic operators Onsite Dental, which is targeting various business parks around Ireland.

Actus Mobile Solutions has raised €150,000 from 18 shareholders after the company booked a net loss of €215,000 in 2013.

Fast-food chain McDonald's has opened a €2m drive-thru restaurant in Dublin Airport, delivering Happy Meals and 60 jobs as a result.

British Airways will start flying into London's financial district on October 26 with flights from Dublin to London City Airport.

The dust is starting to settle on Budget 2015. Read the official summaries of the budget measures and the detailed analysis from leading accountancy firms.

Ulster Bank has announced new fixed mortgage rates for three, five and seven-year periods. .

Brite:Bill narrowed its trading loss to €587,000 in 2013 compared with €1,050,000 the year before, according to filed accounts for the trading company, Zanzibar Chest Holding Company Ltd.

OxyMem, a spin-out from UCD, has won the Overall Excellence award at the Intellectual Property Awards 2014. Year to date the company has raised €600,000 from private investors to fund product development.

Embo Medical, an early stage medical device company in Galway focused on developing technology to shut down blood flow in blood vessels, has secured €3 million in seed-funding.

Walk around the capital a month from now and you'll be wading through more tech buffs than fallen leaves, such are the volumes expected in the first week of November.

Leonora O'Brien, who quit her job in the pharmacy regulator in 2012 to set up Pharmapod, has secured serious buy-in from investors, with a funding round of €750,000 in recent months to finance expansion of the company.

When people talk about a lifestyle business, what they might have in mind is Terroirs, a small wine and food shop in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, that has provided a living for Sean and Franšoise Gilley since 1994

Software firm TerminalFour has completed a €1.4m redevelopment of its higher education digital engagement platform.

These are grim times for Irish academic institutions, what with the country's most prestigious institutions in free-fall on global rankings and SME owners now rating their qualifications as not much better.

Reactions to Budget 2015 among business groups have been varied but broadly positive.

BT Cloud Contact is an 'out of the box' cloud-based contact centre solution, designed to help organisations address changing customer expectations driven by social media, webchat and video.

An improving retail scene in Dublin contrasts sharply with the situation in Limerick and Sligo, where the shop vacancy rate has increased in the past year.

Video interview specialist Sonru has secured investment arranged by Saphir Capital Partners, the international growth capital investor.

Faced with proposals and budgets for PR or ad campaigns, it helps to have a clear vision and understanding of what you are buying into, and what you are likely to get from each.

Broadcaster Ivan Yates has settled a number of old scores in his new autobiography, 'Full On'.

The Irish Stock Exchange has launched a redesigned website that is more mobile and tablet friendly than its predecessor.

Government expenditure in 2015 is expected to be just over €50bn, with increased allocations for job creation, according to Minister Brendan Howlin's Budget Day report.

Aoife Donnelly, co-founder of successful Dublin agency Next Generation Recruitment, has sold her shares to the operating company Davisnolan Ltd and resigned as a director.

Certification body Certification Europe (CE) has seen its Italian branch secure accreditation for ISO 20121 (Event Sustainability Management Systems).

Professional job vacancies continued their year-on-year increase through September, although the number of candidates available to fill them has fallen again.

The Student Entrepreneur Awards 2015 is now open for applications, offering a prize fund of €30,000 in cash and €30,000 worth of consultancy for winning entries.

WiFi network operator Bitbuzz says revenue for first half of 2014 increased by 11% year-on-year to €1,102,000.

LeasePlan has devised a new SME and sole trader offering, which the company says proves once and for all that leasing is the most cost-advantageous option for financing your company vehicles.

Dublin Port has officially opened a new facility for the import and export and vehicles.

Five directors have obtained designation as Chartered Directors, having completed the Institute of Directors in Ireland's Chartered Director programme.

Mobile top-up firm ding has acquired www.RecargasaCuba.com, a website specialising in mobile top-up exclusively to Cuba.

ESB International has landed new contract deals worth €1.5m in Asia, spanning Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Paul Murphy, the Anti Austerity Alliance candidate who won the Dublin West by-election, comes from a middle class family with a strong business background. Now he's very much on the side of the working class.

Software firm Fineos, Brightwater Recruitment and IT giant Microsoft have announced recruitment drives for 200 positions across their respective businesses.

The Central Bank of Ireland has moved to cool down the over-heated residential property market by proposing loan to value and loan to income limits that lenders must adhere by.

Leading accountancy firms fully expect that the CGT exemption on property purchases will not be extended in the budget. So what does that mean for property owners?

Data released by the Insolvency Service of Ireland for Q3 2014 show that there is an overall increase in activity on a monthly basis.

EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist Andrew Murphy has hired Declan Daly as the new Chief Financial Officer of Sláinte Healthcare.

Dell has selected Dublin as the location for a new Commerce Services R&D Centre.

You're a busy mum with young children and you have a bright idea for a business. You've never started a business before, so what do you do?

Bank of Ireland has launched a new tablet-based app for iPads, with an Android version due to be available before the end of the year.

The government has launched a new entrepreneurship policy document aimed at creating 93,000 jobs from startups over the next five years.

Irish businesses believe the economy is improving for the first time in two years.

LinkedIn has bought a 17,500 sq. m. site in Dublin's Wilton Place for its new international headquarters, with the potential to house double the firm's current staff of 600.

Irish Life has launched a brand and marketing campaign to celebrate 75 years of looking after the financial well-being of Irish people and helping them to plan for their futures.

Office Depot and sister brand Viking are to start using reusable tote containers instead of traditional cardboard boxes for delivery of office supplies to customers.

Citrix is to increase its Dublin workforce by 50 before the end of the year, bringing its total Irish headcount to 265.

CSO figures show that industrial production fell by 2.3% in August, but is up over 21% year on year.

Mergers and acquisitions in the Irish market during the first nine months of 2014 were up 37% on the same period last year, according to research from Experian.

Up to 100 new jobs will be created in Cork over the next two years by IT management software company SolarWinds.

IT firm Codec-dss has launched a 'PC-on-demand' service for Irish businesses, which offers a streamlined IT service and support for single monthly payments.

Retailers Spar will add 50 new stores to its network by 2016, as part of a €100m investment plan by the franchise owner, BWG Group.

Working-week blues are at their keenest on Monday morning, unsurprisingly, when clandestine job hunting peaks among the populace, according to research from job-site providers Indeed.

Ribworld in Fethard, Co Tipperary, has opened a new manufacturing facility which has been part-funded by taxpayers through Enterprise Ireland. The company plans to raise employment at the facility from 75 to 175 over the next three years.

AIB has presented awards to two accountants who came first in Ireland in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants' (ACCA) exams.

eircom has signed a five-year deal with Ericsson that will see the company become the sole vendor for eircom's radio access solutions for 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution), 3G and 2G mobile technologies across Ireland.

Outsourced sales and merchandising firm Contract People has unveiled its new brand identity.

Irish venture capitalists can raise €1.5bn to help Irish tech firms grow - but they need €750m first to make that happen.

Public relations agency Wilson Hartnell has unveiled a ranking of what it claims are the most influential users of social media in the Irish political and policy landscape.

Enterprise Ireland, the state agency charged with funding development of indigenous Irish companies, is supporting the expansion of UK-owned CarTrawler.

Average Irish house prices have risen by 14% in the year to date, while supply levels continue to remain very low.

Activity in the manufacturing sector remains robust, despite dropping off slightly in September, according to Investec's monthly Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).

Canadian tech company Optel Vision is setting up an EMEA manufacturing and operations centre in Limerick, creating 140 new jobs as a result.

Valeo Foods has agreed to buy DCC plc's food and drinks units, Robert Roberts and Kelkin. The deal is subject to clearance from the Irish Competition Authority.

Two of the country's most experienced writers and journalists have come together to offer a new writing and editorial service called Write/Right.

Even though most people using the internet should know they leave behind digital footprints as they navigate the web, few are fully aware of the extent many of the sites they visit monitor and use the information they garner concerning the browsing behaviour of every individual.

Enbu Consulting, the leading global provider and developer of Sage CRM Solutions, has successfully delivered a CRM solution to manage corporate client relations for FEXCO, the multinational financial services and business solutions provider.

Over 1,000 jobs were saved through SMEs examinerships in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 52% on the same period in 2013.

The Central Bank of Ireland has introduced the new €10 banknote into circulation across Ireland. The new €10 note will circulate alongside the existing €10 note.

NDRC, the early stage investor in new technology ventures, has named the 14 new startups chosen for investment and to take part in its LaunchPad acceleration programme.

Aer Lingus has unveiled a new range of gourmet pre-order meals available on transatlantic flights. The new menu has been created in collaboration with chef and restaurateur Clodagh McKenna.

Over half (58%) of Irish tech companies experienced revenue growth in the last 12 months, according to a new survey of the sector.

Dublin Airport has launched a new one-stop shop allowing passengers to pre-book services such as fast-track security, executive lounges, concierge assistance and car parks online from a single point.

A survey conducted by Caledonian Life of financial brokers has found that that people in the 40-50 age bracket are most likely to put Keyperson, Partnership or Co-Director insurance in place.

Banks have been seizing possession of Buy To Let properties in mortgage default at the rate of 225 per month in the past year, according to the latest data.

Steljes Ireland has unveiled a new projector that makes dry whiteboards digitally interactive and turns them into electronic whiteboards.

Ryanair has launched a new daily Dublin-Brussels Zaventem route as part of an extended Dublin winter 2014 schedule, with nine new routes and increased flights on 21 existing routes to/from Dublin Airport.

William Grant & Sons, the Scottish family owned distiller and owner of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, has officially opened its new €35m whiskey distillery in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

UK law firm Berrymans Lace Mawer (BLM) has expanded its presence in Ireland by subsuming Campbell Fitzpatrick Solicitors, which has offices in Belfast and Derry.

Independent coffee chain Ground Espresso Bars will open a new store in Dublin in November, its first in the Republic, as part of a multi-million euro investment with clothing outlet Next.

Logitech has unveiled what it claims is the first desk keyboard designed for use with up to three devices, regardless of computing platform.

A new service on Careers Portal for Irish students, graduates and jobseekers and career guidance professionals has been launched by minister Dara Murphy.

Software company SoftCo says it plans 50 new hires in its R&D, Sales and Cloud Services divisions which will bring the total employee number to 120 over the next twelve months. The company recently opened offices in Helsinki and Cork.

IDA Ireland has launched a new-look website, which will be localised for several international markets.

You're not paranoid: they are everywhere. Prying eyes and eager ears are looking for sensitive business information all over the place, according to a Regus survey of Irish workers.

Residential property price data from the CSO show indicates that house price inflation is still accelerating. House price inflation was 14.6% in August, split between 24.7% in Dublin and 5.8% outside the capital.

Lily O'Brien's has become the latest Irish company to be stocked in Tesco UK stores. The deal will see Lily O'Brien's products listed in over 500 Tesco stores throughout the UK before Christmas.

Information security firm Ward Solutions has finalised a €120,000 deal to provide security services to Laya Healthcare.

Details of a new Enterprise Ireland fund to stimulate startups in the agribusiness sector have been announced by jobs minister Richard Bruton.

Med-tech firm Stryker is to build a 44,000 sq. ft surgical innovation centre in Cork, in a project due for completion at the end of 2015.

Outsourced sales solutions company CPM has launched a nationwide recruitment drive for 300 extra staff.

The National Ploughing Championships commences today at Rathensika, Stradbally , Co Laois and runs until Thursday. Hundreds of companies use the event to market their products and services to a rural audience.

Professor John Flood has been appointed to the newly created McCann FitzGerald Chair of International Law and Business at UCD's law faculty.

Benetel, a client of Dublin BIC since it was established in 2001, has raised €100,000 from Enterprise Ireland and €50,000 from the AIB Seed Capital Fund, which works closely with Dublin BIC. The investment was made on July 21.

Red Hat Inc has agreed to acquire FeedHenry in Waterford for approximately €63.5 million in cash, with chief executive Cathal McGloin set to gross over €5 million.

A state funded online search tool for SME business supports has attracted 17,000 unique users since its launch in May 2014.

eircom has decided not to seek a stockmarket listing following a strategic review initiated last April.

Friends First has acquired the majority stake in the Blackrock Shopping Centre in south Dublin.

Apple's iPhone 6 may have hogged the limelight with its recent launch but Samsung followed up in a matter of days with the release of the Galaxy Alpha.

The e-Day assault on cheque usage is meeting with little resistance, according to the National Payments Plan (NPP).

A&L Goodbody has won the large company staff volunteering award at the 2014 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards.

Nearly 20,000 individuals have become the director of an Irish company for the first time this year and company formations are beginning to approach 2007 levels.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath has called for an increase of the thresholds for Capital Acquisitions Tax which is paid on inheritances.

A new health insurance comparison website, TotalHealthCover.ie, has been launched for Irish consumers by health insurance expert Dermot Goode.

A study based on an analysis of the Property Price Register shows that the number of transactions for H1 2014 was up 39% on the same period last year.

Groupon has unveiled a completely redesigned Irish website, as well as updated versions of its iPhone and Android apps.

A new smartphone-based study aid for Junior and Leaving Certificate students has been launched by well-known musician Frank McNamara.

The Rubicon Centre in Cork has launched a new programme for female entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering and maths sectors.

Digital presents businesses with a new channel to reach their customers directly, and SMEs in particular need to take advantage of this, according to Gary Disley, marketing director of eircom Business Solutions

New data released by the Central Statistics Office this morning inidicate that Ireland's economy is booming again.

RSM has been awarded the International Accounting Bulletin 'Network of the Year' Award.

Ten Irish SMEs have been selected among a group of 155 companies that will dip into a new €3bn EU fund.

Only one-third of Irish high net worth individuals are invested in a geographically diverse portfolio of assets, less than any other nationality.

JumpStart, an entrepreneur competition offering a prize pack worth €25,000, has been launched for 2014 by the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB).

Four out of five Dublin firms do not know what services their commercial rates pay for, according to a Dublin Chamber survey of companies in the capital.

CFOs are more optimistic than they have been in five years, according to the latest quarterly CFO survey by Deloitte.

IT provider Bizquip has finalised a €280,000 deal with estate agency Sherry FitzGerald to provide it with managed print and document services.

An exclusive online marketplace launches this month, designed to offer browsers cutting edge fashion inspiration as well as access to the world's most coveted new designers and brands.

Deepak Chopra will be the keynote speaker at the Pendulum Summit in the Convention Centre Dublin on 9th January 2015.

Canon has announced a significant update to its SoHo (Small office, Home office) and small business print portfolio with the launch of MAXIFY.

San Francisco's Jawbone has followed up its popular fitness- and sleep-tracking wristband, called Up, with a new wireless iteration, Up24.

Contracting Plus, an accountancy firm that focuses on providing services to contractors, is the latest company to tap into the demand for online services.

The Subway franchise continues to chow down on the Irish market, with the latest outlet in the chain's now 138-strong retinue opening at Tara Street train station.

Average earnings in Ireland have stalled over the last four years, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office

'Augmented reality' and the 'internet of things' are fecund areas for startups to take root in, and iTagged founder Keith Jordan is currently focusing on the former.

Kitman Labs, a Dublin startup whose Injury Profiler reduces the risk of injury in professional athletes, has raised almost €3 million from an American investor.

Irish consumers are taking to online shopping in droves and British department store chain Debenhams is one of the beneficiaries of the digital spree.

The Bridge 1859 was officially announced today as the name of the Ballsbridge bar formerly known as Bellamy's.

Ryanair has unveiled Ryanair Business Plus, its new product aimed at business fliers. Like Ireland's leading business magazine, Business Plus, Ryanair says it's new product offers great value for money.

ExamTime.com, the online learning environment that has 600,000 users in 190 countries, is now launching out of beta with new features in time for back to school.

Argento, the Irish owned jewellers with stores around Ireland and the UK, has opened a flagship store at 117 Grafton St, Dublin 2.

Nestlé Ireland is on target to achieve 100% cocoa from sustainable sources by end of 2015, becoming the first major confectionery company in Ireland to achieve this milestone.

Kefron, the document and information management company, has opened a new 50,000 square foot record centre adjacent to its existing operation in Park West, Dublin.

Caveat Dominus: jobseekers in Ireland have tried to dupe one in three employers with fraudulent references, according to a survey carried out by Close Brothers.

Lobbyists for the drinks industry are calling on the government to reverse excise duty charges on alcohol, which they say is hampering growth in a sector whose exports alone are worth €1.4bn.

Nualight, the Cork company that specialises in LED lighting for the retail sector and car parks, has tapped millionaire Feargal Quinn and other shareholders for €3m.

Jobs minister Richard Bruton has officially opened French company Sidetrade's new office in Dublin, with 90 skilled roles promised over the next two years.

Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon has announced that Bardon Molumby, a long established midlands accountancy practice based in Portlaoise, will merge into the firm.

IBM has opened its new €20m European digital sales centre at its technology campus in Mulhuddart.

Two thirds of Irish households now have broadband, while 60% of all mobile phones are smartphones, according to ComReg's second-quarter market report for 2014.

Independent News & Media has hired Ryan Preston as Group Chief Financial Officer to replace outgoing CFO Eamonn O'Kennedy, who is leaving to pursue other interests.

The recession has made innovators out of the majority of Irish firms, according to findings from a new KPMG/RedC survey.

In the Company of Huskies, Fáilte Ireland's digital partner, has launched the official Wild Atlantic Way app on iOS and Android mobile devices.

Three has announced that the new name for the O2 concert venue in Dublin is 3Arena.

Cloud storage is handy but Dublin startup CloudDock sees a niche to make cloud storage services compatible.

Holiday company Thomson has added two new Sensatori Resorts in Ibiza and Turkey to its programme for 2015, as well as new properties across other parts of its brochure.

Newegg today announced that its award-winning electronics e-commerce website is now available to online shoppers in Ireland.

The new Eircode postcode system is on the way next year and companies need to start preparing now

Event Info Ltd, which went into liquidation on 24 July 2013, received an investment of €200,000 from Enterprise Ireland on 30 April 2013.

Peter Crowley and Neill Hughes, principals in FL Partners, the Dublin-based investment boutique, have invested in Brookwood Dublin, the trendy new steak restaurant on Baggot Street in Dublin 2.

Digital performance agency iProspect, part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, has named Tim France as its new CEO, replacing Shenda Loughnane.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Diageo PLC CEO Ivan Menezes have officially opened 'Brewhouse No.4', the new €169m brewery for Guinness at St James's Gate in Dublin.

Professional job vacancies increased by 4% between July and August and were up by 19% on the same time last year, according to Morgan McKinley.

The shift from part-time to full-time employment is boosting Ireland's economic recovery and having a positive knock-on effect on the retail sector, according to a new report from Savills Ireland.

Coupa Software is the latest US firm to join stateside behemoths like Facebook and Google in setting up a Dublin presence.

Bank of Ireland Finance has launched a new Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) product for second hand cars.

Sage Ireland has made three appointments to strengthen its marketing team - Patricia Fennessy, Mary McNamee and Beatrice Whelan.

Mergers and acquisitions in the Irish market in the first six months of 2014 were up 31% year on year, according to law firm William Fry's mid-year M&A review.

Dublin now has a Commissioner for Startups, in the form of American Niamh Bushnell.

Big ticket sales traditionally sold via field sales teams are moving to Inside Sales, and while some companies seem to be succeeding well, other are failing.

Consultant Shane Craddock believes that CEOs, senior executives and business owners should clarify their main priorities to the end of this year.

Twitter has sprung the lid on its analytics trove, giving all users of the social networking channel access to a wealth of data on their daily tweets.

Kate Cronin and Elizabeth Fingleton have designed a handy new disposable box that makes it easier to store food scrapings before dumping them in the brown bin.

The implications of new EU consumer legislation for online traders are detailed in a selling guide just launched by Dublin Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the European Consumer Centre Ireland.

Kirby Group, the Irish mechanical and electrical engineering contracting firm, has announced the creation of 30 new jobs in its Irish operations.

Boeing has launched the newest member of the 737 MAX family today with a commitment from Ryanair for 100 airplanes.

Loren Hoey has been appointed as Client Associate at leading Irish media planning and buying agency, MediaVest where she will be managing a number of key accounts.

Structured support for early-stage companies has taken off in recent years and some 27 accelerator and incubator programmes are currently operational in Ireland, assisting over 200 companies every year.

The company that owns the Leopardstown Inn pub in south Dublin has stumped up €99,000 in a cash call for radio station Newstalk 106-108fm.

Smart home technology firm climote is celebrating a second major coup after it was selected as the national champion in the European Business Awards.

Legendary former All Black centurion and recently signed Connacht Rugby player Mils Muliaina has been appointed as the official Mazda Ambassador for the 2014/2015 season.

The Exchequer Deficit - the excess of government outgoings over income - is currently running at €180,000,000 per week.

Premier Suites will open its newest collection of luxury serviced apartments at Merrion Hall, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 on September 8.

GloHealth has launched a new range of health insurance plans pitched at those considering leaving the health insurance market.

The European Central Bank has cut interest rates to a record low of 0.05 per cent from 0.15 per cent previously in an attempt to counter deflation across Europe.

Seven startups have been selected by Mastercard for its inaugural accelerator programme, which involves a four-month stint in Dublin.

ICT continues to dominate Ireland's export trade, accounting for three out of the top five biggest exporters.

Westbourne IT Global Services today has announced the international expansion of its operations with the opening of a new office in Auckland.

Dublin's Camden Court Hotel has earned an extra star in its copybook after an extensive recent investment in its facilities and service levels.

Panasonic has announced the return of the iconic 'Technics' audio brand into the European market after a six year absence.

Coca-Cola remains atop the list of the biggest-selling brands in Ireland for 2014 - its tenth year in first position.

Business demand for bank credit is up and refusal rates are down, according to ISME's latest quarterly bank watch survey.

Research undertaken by recruitment agency Barden has found that in over 70% of accountancy job searches, it is a specialist recruiter that finds job seekers their next career opportunity.

Oliver Ireland has appointed Conor O'Riordan to a senior creative role.

UPC has launched its biggest ever new season kick-off with a €2m advertising and marketing campaign highlighting sports channel pricing and its Horizon TV service.

Player transfer spending by Premier League clubs in the summer 2014 transfer window reached a new record, according to analysis by the business advisory firm Deloitte.

New car sales through August finished 28% up on last year with 4,708 units sold, according to Motorcheck.ie.

E-learning and gamification company ThoughtBox has partnered with a consortium of innovation experts from around Europe to launch an accelerator initiative for promising startups.

The Competition Authority has warned schools about operating exclusivity deals with retailers.

IFG Group plc has sold its Irish pension and financial advisory businesses to Willis Ireland, part of NYSE-listed Willis Group Holdings.

Irish domain hosting firm Blacknight has become one of the earliest recipients of a .Press domain name.

Irish consumer spending online through the second quarter of 2014 was up by 51% on the same period last year, according to a new report published by Wolfgang Digital.

Danish footwear retailer ECCO has officially unveiled its new store on Thomas Street in Limerick today.

Turkish Airlines secured a quartet of honours at the 2014 Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Former Sage Ireland boss Liam Mullaney is to head up the European sales drive of Oregon accounting software company VersAccounts

Ireland's digital skills shortage is still keeping fingernails gnawed to the quick among SME owners, who worry that their firms will be left behind.

Ryanair has hired John Hurley from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to take charge of developing and implementing a world-leading digital and technology strategy for the airline.

New research from the Central Bank shows that SMEs that took out loans to purchase property during the boom years are almost twice as likely to default when compared with those businesses that don't have property loans.

Brazilian restaurant Taste of Brazil has been named as the friendliest business in Dublin for 2014.

Over two thirds of businesses in Ireland plan to invest in their business over the next 12 months.

Sandwich store franchise Nom Nom Subs has opened its second outlet, this time in Lucan, with plans to extend the franchise to five stores by the end of 2014.

Ireland's clutch of fried chicken eateries is ever growing and the latest franchise to spread its wings is Hillbilly's Family Restaurants.

The new female boss of digital agency Radical says that that most of her clients' budgets go on Facebook and Google.

MSL Motor Group has signed up for the fourth year as sponsor of Setanta Sports' Premier League matches.

Bombay Pantry, which was awarded three Gold Stars at the 2014 Great Taste Awards, has been making good progress in reducing its sizeable debt burden.

London-based outsourcing firm Capita has acquired SouthWestern Business Process Services Limited from private equity group Ion Equity for €35m on a cash-free, debt-free basis. SouthWestern is the leading domestic provider of outsourced managed services in Ireland.

Emirates Airline has appointed Enda Corneille as Country Manager Ireland.

Functionality clearly trumped inspiration in the rebranding of Dublin City Business Improvement District, which will now be known as DublinTown. The organisation comprises 2,500 businesses located in the city centre.

A new report from GeoDirectory on commercial vacancy rates shows that 28,000 units were unoccupied through the second quarter of 2014.

Apple products reseller iConnect is planning its third store opening in Ireland next month, this time in Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry.

NewsWhip, the Dublin company that tracks trending stories and sells the info to news organisations, booked a net loss of €327,000 in the year to end October 2013.

Luke Comer and Brian Comer are in the news today after Jack Fagan in the Irish Times reports that the brothers have bought the partially built Kilternan Hotel & Country Club in south Dublin at a knockdown price.

A 2012 startup established by Martina Skelly and her brother Mick Skelly has secured €600,000 investment for its online booking software, Yellow Schedule.

Cork's Curious Wines has the capital in its sights with a new retail and distribution centre in Naas.

Most business owners have good intentions when taking a holiday break that in between the dozing, the swimming, the eating and the drinking, they'll put aside some time to think about the business. Inevitably though, people find it hard to focus on the homework when the temptation to doss is all around.

A few weeks after swooping for restructuring practice Kavanagh Fennell, Deloitte managing partner Brendan Jennings has struck a deal with specialist R&D tax practice Leyton to bring it under the Deloitte umbella.

Eirtech Aviation, which was spun out of Lufthansa Technik in an MBO in 2009, has merged with an American peer company in a deal that sees Eirtech principals Niall Cunningham and Peter Collins become major players in their specialised sector.

UPC Ireland has announced Q2 2014 results, with digital TV, high-speed Internet and voice subscriptions increased by 7,600 to 1,091,600 subscriptions on Q1 and up 70,100 year-on-year.

Office accommodation firm Regus has opened a sixth centre in Ireland, the latest one in 'The Chase' building in Sandyford, Dublin. The firm has four other centres across Dublin and one in Cork.

The advertising sector is starting to reflect signs of economic recovery, according to the Q1 2014 AAI/Nielsen Barometer.

Ryanair is continuing its IT revival with the launch of a new app, which follows on from the firm's recent website redesign. The free app, available for iOS and Android, will allow customers to browse and book flights, choose allocated seating, book hotels and car hire, download mobile boarding passes and view live information.

The office vacancy rate in the capital has dropped to its lowest level since 2008, according to the Q2 2014 office market report by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Plans for a new broadband network that promises speeds of between 200Mbps and 1,000Mbps have been announced by ESB and Vodafone. The two firms are partnering up for the proposed €450m investment, which involves providing end-to-end fibre optic connections for faster download speeds.

New car sales for H1 2014 topped 66,000, making this year the best one for the motor industry since 2008. Figures from Motorcheck.ie calculate that new car sales are up 24% this year on the same period in 2013.

A new Central Bank report on the Irish SME credit market shows that lending to the sector has remained broadly static since 2011, but the rate of loan default among SMEs stood at 26% by the end of 2013.

Pembroke Communications and Slattery Communications have announced plans to merge their PR agencies to form a new communications group.

A new website aimed at road haulage and passenger transport operators has been launched by the government. The website, www.rtol.ie, eschews design fripperies in favour of stark functionalism, and allows hauliers/operators to apply for and manage their licenses online.

Around 32,000 entrepreneurs set up new businesses in Ireland last year, according to the findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013. One in eleven of the adult population in Ireland now have some form of engagement in early-stage businesses.

Newmarket Partnership has joined Crowe Horwath's network of independent accountancy and advisory firms. The firm was founded 25 years ago by Gerry O'Reilly and the late David Manley.

A new fund aimed at startups has been established in Tipperary, primarily geared towards firms that are participating in one of the various support programmes being run for startups on Limerick Institute of Technology's (LIT) Enterprise Ladder.

Bank of Ireland has launched a national accelerator programme for startups and entrepreneurs, inviting applications to compete for the ten available places in the three-month initiative.

Irish telco firm AirSpeed Telecom claimed the European Business Awards title of 'RSM Entrepreneur of the Year', which was announced at a ceremony in Athens.

US venture capital fund Lightstone Ventures is to partner with Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) to establish a €126m VC fund to invest in Irish firms in the life sciences sector.

Workplaces can expect a great migration of employees from job to job this year, according to the findings of recruitment firm Berkley Group's tenth annual Global Sentiment Survey, which analyses employment and market perceptions.

CityJet has been bought by German firm Intro Aviation. Previously owned by Air France KLM, CityJet will now operate as an independent regional airline and will start debt-free.

The government launched its new nationwide system of 31 local enterprise offices (LEO) today, replacing the county enterprise board (CEB) system.

Clare-based food diagnostics firm AltraTech has secured significant financial backing after developing a single-use test kit that can identify the DNA content of a food sample in a matter of minutes.

Software company AMT-Sybex has been bought by Capita for an initial €100m, rising to €127m if the firm reaches agreed profit targets over the coming 12 months.

A new Enterprise Ireland (EI) fund targeted at startups in the aviation and manufacturing sectors is now open for applications. The EI Competitive Start Fund will accept submissions until April 30.

First Ireland Spirits has been bought by European drinks group Quintessential Brands for an undisclosed sum. Established in 1993, First Ireland is the country's largest independent producer of Irish cream liqueurs and country creams, and employs around 50 people.

Plans are underway in Killybegs to develop the world's largest bio-marine ingredients facility in the harbour town, with the potential to create up to 120 jobs.

Jobs minister Richard Bruton has announced that 50 new high end technology based positions will be created over the next three years by US software company KEMP Technologies at its EMEA HQ in Limerick.

Average alcohol consumption by 3.6 million Irish adults in 2013 amounted to 10.73 litres of pure alcohol per person. That's equivalent to an average of 128 bottles of wine per person per annum.

UK van retailer Van Monster, owned by Northgate plc, has landed in Dublin with a branch on the Old Airport Road near Dublin Airport. The company says the outlet is the first dedicated used van dealer in Ireland.

UPC, Ireland's leading TV, broadband and communications innovator, is supporting the launch of the new free employability networking site, www.yourock.jobs.

The level of money laundering activity in Ireland is estimated to be at least €3bn according to a new report published today by business advisory firm Grant Thornton.

One of the strongest outcomes from succession that business owners wish to achieve is family harmony following the completion of the process, according to a new survey from accountancy firm Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon.

Ulster Bank has released some new additions to its supports for new businesses in Ireland, which now include a free app and an online list of local enterprise startup support options.

Knightsbridge Student Housing Ltd has announced a €23m development of housing for 470 students around parts of the old Guinness brewery in the Liberties.

Enterprise Ireland's (EI) 'New Frontiers' programme for early-stage companies is inviting applications for its third instantiation. The initiative's phase one programme will continue to accept applications until May 28, while its phase two programme will do so until March 28.

Revenue issued an e-brief this week, asking child-minders to familiarise themselves with their filing requirements. Tax relief is available for eligible child-minders whose income from the service does not exceed €15,000 in a tax year.

A €75m government investment fund for Irish SMEs looking to develop their export business was launched today. The fund will be delivered under the Development Capital Scheme and will target established Irish companies planning to tap into export markets.

If you choose a business SIM only plan, you can use it with the handset of your choice. This could either be a handset you own already or it could be a new handset that you buy SIM-free. Three Ireland's Ian Blake picks some of the best smartphones for small business.

Employment continued to rise in 2013, according to the CSO, with labour market figures showing an increase of 3.3% (61,000) in employment for Q4 2013. Seasonally adjusted, employment rose by 1.5% for the period.

Turkish Airlines has completed a 40% expansion to its lounge in Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, which now covers almost 6,000 square feet.

Media monitoring company News Access has acquired the news cuttings arm of peer company Media World.

The 35% increase in excise on spirits in a period of 10 months (20% in Dec 2012 and 15% in Oct 2013) has had a severe impact on the Irish spirits market, according to Pernod Ricard, owner of the Jameson whiskey brand.

Ad agency Javelin Group has bought fellow Dublin-based digital agency Brand Social, following several months of discussions between the two companies. Brand Social will slot into the digital marketing side of Javelin's business.

Dublin PR agency Drury Communications is to rebrand as Drury|Porter Novelli. Porter Novelli is a global PR brand of the Omnicom Group, which owns Drury.

Communicorp Group, Ireland's largest commercial radio station company, has acquired eight regional radio stations from Global Radio in the UK. The stations, with 2.8 million listeners combined, are Smooth East Midlands, Smooth North West, Smooth North East, Capital Scotland, Capital South Wales, Real Radio North Wales, Real Radio Yorkshire and Real XS.

Domain registrar and hosting company Blacknight cut the ribbon on its new, €1m data centre at company headquarters in Carlow.

There's clearly an appetite among Irish food startups for some hands-on guidance: Bord Bia's recent small business open day in Santry attracted a full house of entrepreneurs, who lapped up the advice and insights given to them on the day.

Fledgling Dublin companies will be given the opportunity to take to the wing under the tutelage of established and successful business owners, as part of a new business development programme by Plato Dublin (PD).

Bankruptcy will no longer be a dirty word in 2014, according to Neo Financial's Paul Carroll, who predicts that those filing for it this year will be at least double the forecasted figure.

Twitter's self-serve advertising platform is now open to small and medium sized businesses in Ireland.

Professional network LinkedIn ended 2013 wth over one million Irish members.

Cluey, the Irish developer of cross-platform, cloud-based Point of Sale (POS) and CRM software for bars, cafes and restaurants is launching its innovative new system at the Web Summit on October 30.

Ireland is lower than the EU and OECD averages in setting up new business. To encourage individuals to start their own businesses, Budget 2014 has provided for a new CGT incentive.

A new centre at Dublin City University will work directly with Irish family firms to address the challenges they face.

A new business has been set up to help SMEs win a greater share of public sector contracts.

Castleknock Hotel & Country Club in Dublin, part of FBD Hotels & Resorts, has been named AA Hotel of the Year. AA inspectors said they were impressed by the consistent standards of excellence, innovation, attention to detail and service to guests.

Mairead O'Grady, taxation partner at accountancy firm Russell Brennan Keane, has put together a list of numerous ways in which individuals can legitimately and sensibly reduce their taxes.

A new online networking platform has been launched for enterprising women, allowing entrepreneurs to network and communication amongst themselves. The peer-to-peer platform is part of an Enterprise Ireland drive to boost the number of female-led startups.

Emirates airlines will be ramping up its Dublin-Dubai service later this year with the introduction of a second daily non-stop flight to the UAE city from September 1. The new daily service will complement Emirates' Boeing 777 operation that commenced in January 2012, adding capacity of more than 5,000 seats a week in both directions.

Snap Ireland has announced the acquisition of The DG Group, one of the country's leading digital marketing services companies.

DDFH&B has announced the creation of a new public relations and communications company - The Reputations Agency, effective February 3, 2014. The new agency will bring together Corporate Reputations and Bespoke with Direction.

Smart businesses in 2014 will pay close attention to government initiatives rolled out under the Action Plan for Jobs unveiled in 2013. Companies that seek to participate in various programmes, which are mostly centred around the state-funded third level institutions, can expect to curry favour with Enterprise Ireland.

Dublin-based Vermillion Design Consultants scooped the top two national awards for digital app design at the annual Institute of Designers of Ireland awards ceremony.

Golf marketing company, Golfgraffix, has signed a multi-year deal with Nicklaus Design, the design firm owned by golfer Jack Nicklaus. The deal will see the Dublin firm take its suite of interactive digital marketing products to the US and China.

PayPal has been named as Multinational Employer of the Year at the 2013 Fingal Excellence in Business and Corporate Responsibility awards.

Dublin-based TCAS Online, a leading provider of student accommodation management software, has raised €650,000.

Deutsche Bank has confirmed plans to create 700 jobs in Dublin over the coming years.

There was a 5% drop in the value of exports to €7.31bn in September, according to preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Ezetop, the company which enables people living or working abroad to instantly top up mobile phones of friends and family back home, has achieved top spot in this year's Deloitte Technology Fast 50 awards for the second year running.

The shortlist for the eircom Spider Awards 2013 has been announced. The number of entries increased by 40% this year marking the highest number of entries since the awards began in 1996.

Patrick Joy, the founder and chairman of Suretank Group, has been named as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013. Last July Norwegian company Hitecvision bought a two-thirds stake in Suretank for €35 million.

Host Ireland Business Broadband has announced plans to move into a new multi-million euro office complex in Dublin.

Budget 2013 introduced a new film tax relief scheme which was due to apply from tax years 2016 to 2020. The introduction of the scheme has now been brought forward to apply from 2015.

The Research and Development ('R&D') Tax Credit regime has been reviewed by the Department of Finance. Based on this report, finance minister Michael Noonan has made a number of changes to the scheme.

George Maloney of accountancy firm Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon has welcomed the announcement that legislation to introduce Examinership in the Circuit Court is to be fast tracked by the government.

Algebalance, a new educational video game app for iPad, which teaches the basics of algebra before children learn it in school, has been launched by Irish technology startup, Rongella.

Despite good underlying letting and sales activity during the first half of 2013, there has been little change in retail high street vacancy rates over the last six month period, according to commercial property consultants CBRE.

The government has announced the establishment of a new €20m Irish venture capital fund.

National Pen, which specialises in the marketing and manufacture of promotional products, has announced that it is to create 200 permanent jobs at its international HQ in Dundalk over the next five years.

Revenue have issued comprehensive guidance on LPT issues that employers need to to be aware of in operating this new payroll deduction for employees who have opted to pay the tax through a monthly deduction from their net pay.

Irish family businesses must become more entrepreneurial, adapt faster and become more professional in the way they run their operations if they are to remain successful, according to the PwC 2014 Irish Family Business Survey.

Revenue issued an e-brief this week, asking child-minders to familiarise themselves with their filing requirements. Tax relief is available for eligible child-minders whose income from the service does not exceed €15,000 in a tax year.


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