By Padraic Halpin DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's largest listed companies are confident over half a decade of weak earnings, gloomy outlooks and shrinking dividends are behind them and that the economic upturn under way is sustainable and sensible. That came against an improving economic backdrop following Ireland's completion of a European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout, with unemployment falling below the euro zone average, consumer sentiment hitting a near seven-year high and mortgage arrears stabilising. "We're probably more confident about the Irish economy than we have been in any time in the last six years, and the last six years have been very tough for us all, for Irish people and for Irish companies," Andrew Langford, chief executive of general insurer FBD , told Reuters. It looks like there might be a rise in consumer demand this year which follows six years where it has fallen by a total of 25 percent, an incredible figure." While the Irish market is of less significance to major international players like builder's supplier CRH and airline Ryanair than ever before, FBD is one of the few Dublin-listed companies that are 100 percent geared to recovery at home.
Meanwhile, delegates at the European People’s Party congress have selected former Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker as their nominee for the European Commission presidency.
British insurer RSA has appointed an experienced industry executive to head its Irish unit, it said on Friday, as it seeks to draw a line under an accounting scandal. Ken Norgrove will replace Philip Smith, who resigned as chief executive of the Irish business in November, saying he had become the "fall-guy" in the investigation into allegations of accounting problems. Norgrove, who most recently ran Zurich General Insurance Ireland and has more than 25 years experience in the industry in Britain and Ireland, will take over from June 1, subject to approval by the central bank. RSA's difficulties emerged last year with a series of profit warnings related to extreme weather in its Canadian and European core markets and the uncovering of the accounting irregularities in Ireland.
A letter bomb intercepted at a postal sorting office in Northern Ireland was addressed to a prison, Sky News sources understand. The device, which was found in Londonderry and described by police as "viable", is believed to have been posted to Maghaberry Prison in Lisburn. Another suspicious package found at a sorting office in Lisburn is also thought to have been addressed to Maghaberry Prison. In a joint statement, First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said they "utterly condemn" the devices.
The U2 frontman has been addressing delegates at the European People’s Party congress in Dublin.
By Foo Yun Chee AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Europe's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia, whose approval is required for Telefonica's two merger deals in Germany and Ireland, said on Friday that he was wary about the growing market power of fewer but larger telecoms operators. Almunia's concerns came as Deutsche Telekom , Orange , Vodafone , Telecom Italia and other providers urged EU Telecoms Commissioner Neelie Kroes to help simplify merger rules and those related to spectrum sales. However, allowing fewer, larger players in individual EU countries would just reinforce market power at that level," Almunia said in a speech during a visit to Cape Town, South Africa, which was released by his office.
HMV is staging a return to Dublin's top shopping thoroughfare Grafton Street.
A new animal Bill has been passed to replace legislation that’s 103 years old.
The protection available to consumers when they take out credit is still inadequate – despite all the promises that were made after the crash, writes Noeline Blackwell.
Two more Kildare estates have received letters saying their electricity could be switched off.
A man poses for the photographer with a twenty Euro note after withdrawing money from an automated teller machine (ATM) in Dublin, Ireland, on November 22, 2010
The passengers said they were told “when you’re in Britain it’s English that’s spoken”.
Northern Ireland's chief constable has insisted members of his oversight body - the Policing Board - were fully briefed about a process to deal with on-the-run IRA suspects.
ROME (AP) — Italy is resting captain and No. 8 Sergio Parisse for its penultimate Six Nations match against Ireland at Lansdowne Road.
The MMA franchise is coming back to Ireland this summer.
Celtic striker Anthony Stokes has been charged before a court in Ireland with assault causing harm.
Wendy Hanks shot Darren William Haverty in Florida last August.
The Public Accounts Committee has also heard details of how over €21 million in allowances is distributed among over 300 Irish officials serving abroad.
Blaming a pub owner for the alleged injuries of a woman during a rush to grab a spot prize at an Ann Summers sex toy party would fly in the face of common sense, a court has been told.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has argued that aid to the country is going to directly assist some of the poorest people in the world and that it’s a matter of educating people.