The French Ambassador to Ireland was the special guest at a gathering in Galway last week that marked the 40th anniversary of the city’s twinning with the Breton town of Lorient.
But the evening at NUI Galway was primarily the first France Ireland Chamber of Commerce (FICC) event of 2015, and it was attended by representatives from a number of organizations across Galway including Adecco, Port of Galway, Transitions Optical, Galway Greyhound Stadium, GMIT and Thermo King Galway.
The networking event aimed to raise awareness about current research and business partnerships between France and Ireland in Galway.
Jean-Pierre Thébault, the Ambassador of France to Ireland, was part of a panel of speakers that discussed the historic and positive relationship between France and the region.
Founded over 30 years ago, the France Ireland Chamber of Commerce (IFCC) is a bilateral membership organisation which promotes the expansion of trade and business links between Ireland and France.
It is the third largest bilateral trade association in Ireland with 150 member companies and is represented by over 200 senior French and Irish executives.
Air France-KLM, Alstom Ireland, BNP Paribas, CACI, Caceis, CRH plc, JCDecaux, LK Shields Solicitors, Mazars, O’Callaghan Hotels, PSG Communications, Renault Group Ireland, Sanofi, Schneider Electric Ireland, Servier, Smartbox, Smurfit Kappa and Veolia are all part of the FICC chamber.
The Chamber provides a range of business services and networking events to encourage and facilitate the establishment of new French companies in Ireland and new Irish companies in France. For further information, visit www.irelandfrance.com
Four Galway firms among Ireland’s Best Managed Companies
Four Galway companies have been awarded Ireland’s Best Managed Companies accolade at the 14th annual awards programme, led by Deloitte in association with Bank of Ireland.
This year, Deloitte recognised 136 indigenous companies at the awards representing 25 of the 32 counties across Ireland. This is the first year where the awards programme returned as an in-person event following the pandemic and culminated with a gala awards ceremony at The Convention Centre Dublin.
Amongst the winning companies this year were SalesSense International ltd and Corrib Oil Group. SalesSense International ltd achieved platinum having won for the seventh consecutive year, while Corrib Oil Group was recognised for the first time. Acorn Life and Collins McNicholas Recruitment were both requalifying winners.
The network of companies chosen has a combined turnover of €13.9 billion providing over 51,000 jobs across Ireland across a range of sectors – from retail and hospitality to manufacturing and construction.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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More than one third of adults have no pension
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published new research outlining Irish adults’ preparations for their retirement.
The research findings show that a high percentage of consumers do not have any pension plan in place. When asked their reasons for not having a pension in place, 32% stated that they have yet to get around to it, 20% feel they are too young and a further 20% don’t feel they can afford it.
Almost a quarter (23%) of those in the 55-64 years age group – those who may expect to retire in the next decade – reported that they don’t currently have a pension in place. 77% of this age cohort expect to qualify for the State Contributory pension as one way of funding their retirement.
Of the 735 adults who took part in the research, two thirds (66%) stated they would be using the State Contributory pension to help fund their retirement. The research also shows that 32% of those questioned were unaware of the amount of the State Contributory pension payment (currently €253 per week).
Respondents intend to supplement their pension plans with a variety of other forms of retirement funding, including, selling a property (24%), rental income (23%), equity release (15%) and selling a business (14%). One third of those aged 25-34 expect to use funds from the sale of a property or income from a rental property as a source of funding in retirement.
Kevin O’Brien, Member of the CCPC, said: “This research suggests a lack of provision for adequate retirement income among a considerable cohort of Irish adults.
“It raises concerns therefore around the long-term financial well-being of consumers, with 38% having no pension in place.
Of those surveyed, many cite the time to set up a pension or being too young as barriers to making pension provisions.
“Pension planning is key to maintaining financial well-being in retirement and it is evident from this new research that many Irish adults do not have the necessary provisions in place to provide for a secure retirement, despite the significant tax reliefs available on pension contributions.
Local Ireland welcomes move to 0% VAT for news publishers
Local Ireland, the association representing 32 weekly paid-for newspapers around the country, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to remove VAT on newspapers.
President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said: “This is a very important move for news publishers.
“Zero per cent VAT will allow local newspapers around Ireland to invest in journalism and in the transition to new digital business models.
“News publishers have faced a series of major challenges over recent years, most recently the huge increases in the cost of newsprint. This move will help support jobs in the industry and sustain the quality of our service to readers.
“We very much appreciate this endorsement by Government for the valuable role we play in our communities and the public service content we provide.
“I would like to thank the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and all the Ministers, TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum who have given their support to our campaign to end VAT on journalism.”
Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said: “Local news publishers are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. Along with our national colleagues represented by NewsBrands Ireland, we play a vital role in Ireland’s democracy.
“Today’s decision will protect the future of trusted, professional journalism in Ireland against the tide of global disinformation that threatens to undermine healthy democratic debate and analysis.”