Ireland's economic bloom

Emma Browne takes a stroll around the Botanic Gardens in Dublin. Photos by Eoin Moylan

With all the criticism Bertie Ahern has been getting recently about his finances, his party's overspending in government and their broken promises, there is a less-highlighted positive that has come out of his 10-year reign as Taoiseach – the rehabilitation of the National Botanic Gardens.

Quinn Group made a pre-tax profit of €632m last year

Sean Quinn, the owner and founder of the Quinn Group, made a total profit through his company and through other family interests of €632m in 2006. He told a business conference in Cavan on Wednesday, 7 March, that Quinn Direct, the group's insurance business, made a €332m pre-tax profit last year, up 39per cent on the 2005 figure and that the Quinn Group as a whole, which involves plastics, glass and building materials, made a €432m pre-tax profit last year.

Why Ireland's economic miracle isn't a global model yet

Ireland's economic transformation in just 15 years from a Celtic backwater to part of the mainstream global economy has attracted attention far and wide. From Israel to China and from Bulgaria to Chile, governments are wondering aloud whether they can replicate Irish economic success. The country has achieved average growth of 7% per year and a fall in unemployment from 16% to nearly 4% of the workforce, and now boasts one of the most globalised economies in the world, up there with Singapore and Switzerland.

€16.7m refund to BOI customers

Bank of Ireland has refunded €16.7m to customers it underpaid when refunding them in relation to their Payment Protection Insurance policies. By Frank Connolly

Boom or gloom?

As Bertie Ahern claims the 'prophets of doom' have got it wrong about the future of the Irish economy, John Byrne asks four leading Irish economists if, and how, Ireland's economic success will continue.


Everyone's a winner at Eircom

The putative new Australian owners of Eircom must have been baffled by the objections to its purchase of the company raised by the head of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) last week.