Whipping in the Christmas spirit, Banks DIH on Saturday opened its fourth edition of its “Santa’s Enchanted Christmas Village” at Demerara Park, Georgetown.Santa, Mrs Claus, and their elves at Banks DIH’s Enchanted VillageThe two-day event saw a variety of games and entertainment for children including spin the wheel, trampolines and others.Children, accompanied by their parents, flooded the park to get a glimpse of Santa Claus, Mrs Claus and their helpers.Apart from meeting and greeting Santa and Mrs Claus, the children were also allowed to visit the Grinch’s living room to take photos.The scene from Banks’ Enchanted VillageThis section was created, according to Banks, as a place where naughty boys and girls can have their photos taken.Meanwhile, there were cartoon characters such as Elsa from the popular Disney movie Frozen, and Frosty, which is a mascot introduced by Banks DIH for the children, among others.Throughout the event, appropriate children’s soundtracks were played while children got their faces painted and took their photos with Santa. There was also storytelling, which added to the magical evening.
North West 10k invites charity nominationsCharities wishing to be beneficiaries of the 2013 North West 10k run and walk are asked to submit their applications to Anne Condon, Grand Canal Building, Paddy Harte Road, Letterkenny or email firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, January 25th.The 17th Charity North West 10k Run & Walk will take place on Sunday, May 5th in Letterkenny. Once again the committee will be providing a range of supports to the main charities who are successful in their applications. Just an expression of interest and contact details is required initially.The 10k committee will then make contact with the interested charities to outline what is involved and the scale of the fundraising campaign ahead of next year’s event.The 10k organisation will also be giving assistance and advice to all charities who formally register with them in the New Year.Despite the tough economic times and the stiff competition from other high profile charities the 16th North West Run and Walk raised over €70,000. Honourary Presidential role for Charlie KellyA long standing member of the North West 10k committee Charlie Kelly became the first Honouary President of the organization when he was elected to the position at last week’s Annual General Meeting in the Mount Errigal Hotel.Mr Kelly has played a key role in the promotion of local athletics for well over three decades through his association with Letterkenny Athletic Club. NORTH WEST 10K INVITES CHARITY NOMINATIONS was last modified: December 25th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:NORTH WEST 10K INVITES CHARITY NOMINATIONS
Steve Ó CúláinBOSSES at Údarás na Gaeltachta have announced a net loss of 37 jobs last year in its client companies nationwide, but jobs grew in Donegal with an extra 11 employed compared to 2011.More than 700 jobs were created last year with a further 670 in the pipeline.In a joint statement issued by Anna Ní Ghallachair, Chairperson and Steve Ó Cúláin, Chief Executive, Údarás na Gaeltachta, the organisation said export-led companies continue to show growth in sales and employment. Referring to Donegal, they say: “A total of 223 new jobs were created in the Donegal Gaeltacht in 2012. There were 1,878 full-time equivalent jobs in Údarás-supported companies in the Donegal Gaeltacht at year end.“New jobs were created in companies such as Euroflex Teo and R.A.Pacáistí Teo on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park, Randox Teo in An Clochán Liath and, most substantially, Earagail Éisc in Mín an Aoire in South West Donegal, with an increase of 46 new jobs.“When job losses are taken into account, there was a modest net gain of 11 new jobs in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Companies in the tourism, construction-related, and services industries shed jobs. Éist agus Cuidiú Teo and Wiss Medi Teo on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park ceased trading during the year with a loss of 32 and 10 jobs respectively.“A number of significant projects were approved by Údarás during the year which will involve a total investment of over €14m and the creation of approximately 60 new jobs when the projects are up and running.” Here’s their Review of 20122012 saw the enactment of the Gaeltacht Bill which provides a new strategic and operational environment for An tÚdarás. The Gaeltacht Act 2012 endorses Údarás na Gaeltachta’s role as the principal stakeholder in the regional development of the Gaeltacht and gives statutory effect to the implementation by Údarás of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 in the Gaeltacht. Following the enactment of the Gaeltacht Act a new Board was appointed to An tÚdarás.Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies created 700 new jobs last year. Total employment in Údarás client companies stood at 7,553 at 2012 year end, of which 6,933 are full-time jobs and 620 are part-time jobs. When full-time job losses are taken into consideration, there was a net loss of 37 jobs overall.Employment in the Gaeltacht2012 saw the lowest rate of job losses in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies for well over a decade. Gaeltacht companies have stabilised their employment base, are more competitive and have a stronger export focus. Companies involved in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, food and niche manufacturing sectors increased their employment levels during the year. During 2012 export-led companies continued to grow sales and employment. Client companies trading in the domestic market experienced ongoing difficulties during the year. Companies operating in the services, tourism and traditional manufacturing sectors reduced their employment numbers during the year.670 jobs approved for the Gaeltacht during 2012Údarás na Gaeltachta approved projects during the year which are expected to create 460 new jobs and lead to an overall projected investment of €37 million by Gaeltacht companies.Many of these jobs will be coming on stream in 2013 and in subsequent years. Significantly, support for a further 220 new jobs was approved by IDA Ireland for the Údarás client company Bioniche Pharma which is located in Indreabhán, Connemara during the year. Mylan, the largest generics pharmaceutical manufacturer in Ireland and one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, acquired Bioniche Pharma in 2010. Mylan announced during the year it is to expand its facility in Connemara and establish it as a centre of excellence for the company’s injectable pharmaceutical products and R&D processes.Economic Impact of Údarás client companies continues to increaseThe ABSEI* research undertaken by Forfás in 2012 shows that total sales in Údarás client companies stood at €784 million, an increase of 3% on the previous year’s figures, with a very positive 11% growth forecasted for the following year. Exports sales were up 10% to €452 million and further growth targets of up to 15% are expected next year, which will see record level exports achieved by Údarás client companies. Total exports, as a percentage of sales, in Údarás client companies have increased from 50% to 62% since 2009. Gaeltacht companies also have a significant impact in the Gaeltacht and domestic economy and this is illustrated by the 9% increase in its spend on Irish-produced materials, contributing €431 million in direct expenditure in the economy last year. Total payroll amounted to €190 million.Challenges for job creationAn tÚdarás believes it is important to highlight that, although the level of job losses has stabilised and is at its lowest level in years, the number of new jobs being created is not sufficient to maintain employment levels in the Gaeltacht. The fall-off in job approvals is due to a number of factors, which include the challenging global economic conditions, companies deferring expansion and capital investment plans, and also a substantial reduction in capital budget provision to Údarás. This restricted the operations of the organisation in its capacity to approve new projects and investments and develop modern business infrastructure.In order to attract inward investment, the Gaeltacht needs to be in a position to offer modern enterprises the most up-to-date physical, business and telecommunications infrastructure. The absence of access to high-speed broadband is still a challenge for companies in some Gaeltacht areas.Social Employment Schemes important in providing training and work experienceSocial employment schemes continue to play an important role in providing work experience and training for Gaeltacht communities. Údarás na Gaeltachta manages and administers the Community Employment Scheme, the Rural Social Scheme, Tús and the Jobs Initiative, which are funded by the Department of Social Protection. In 2012 over 960 participants and 47 supervisors were employed in 46 schemes throughout the Gaeltacht. These social employment schemes are central to community development and language maintenance programmes and activities in the Gaeltacht.Irish Language and Community Development ActivitiesUnder the Gaeltacht Act 2012, Údarás na Gaeltachta has a statutory function regarding the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language in the Gaeltacht. The strategy places emphasis on integrated language planning at community level and the Gaeltacht Act 2012 establishes the statutory basis for the language planning process in the Gaeltacht.Language planning at community level presents challenges. The process is dependent on integrated support from government departments, state organisations and those providing services to the Gaeltacht community.The implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language is the overall responsibility of the Strategy Unit in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and various working groups have been established by the Strategy Unit to advance the progress of the various measures. An tÚdarás will be working with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and with Gaeltacht communities so as to develop effective strategies and language plans which will support language maintenance and development locally.During 2012 a number of working groups were formed consisting of representatives from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeilge, The Department of Education and Skills, and An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG). Gaeltacht community-based organisations will have a central role in the implementation of the Gaeltacht Act 2012. Údarás executives, in conjunction with executives from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, organised two information sessions in the Gaeltacht areas, based on the Gaeltacht Bill as it was at the time, to establish the views of the communities. Information meetings will again take place early in 2013 to discuss the arrangements for the Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas, Gaeltacht Service Towns, and plans and opportunities concerning the language planning process in the Gaeltacht.Focus for 2013An tÚdarás will continue to implement its strategic plan for the Gaeltacht. Employment creation in key sectors which have the potential to contribute to sustainable economic development, including natural and marine resources, life sciences, ICT, tourism, niche manufacturing, engineering, food and other high-value commodities will be supported. Initiatives central to community development and language planning such as supports for childcare and pre-school education, youth development and training, all through the medium of Irish, will continue to be supported. All of these programmes are rooted in the needs of the community’s linguistic, social as well as economic requirements and form an integrated and comprehensive approach to development and language maintenance.The organisation will reorganise and restructure its resources and its work programmes to ensure implementation of its new strategy as outlined in the Gaeltacht Act 2012.We would like to acknowledge the support of IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and BIM for their support in implementing our enterprise development programme and look forward to enhanced co-operation with them in the future. We would also like to thank our former Chairman, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin and former Board members for their commitment and co-operation over the years in the implementation of the organisation’s objectives and look forward to working with the new Údarás Board in 2013.The Donegal GaeltachtA total of 223 new jobs were created in the Donegal Gaeltacht in 2012. There were 1,878 full-time equivalent jobs in Údarás-supported companies in the Donegal Gaeltacht at year end. New jobs were created in companies such as Euroflex Teo and R.A.Pacáistí Teo on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park, Randox Teo in An Clochán Liath and, most substantially, Earagail Éisc in Mín an Aoire in South West Donegal, with an increase of 46 new jobs.When job losses are taken into account, there was a modest net gain of 11 new jobs in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Companies in the tourism, construction-related, and services industries shed jobs. Éist agus Cuidiú Teo and Wiss Medi Teo on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park ceased trading during the year with a loss of 32 and 10 jobs respectively.A number of significant projects were approved by Údarás during the year which will involve a total investment of over €14m and the creation of approximately 60 new jobs when the projects are up and running.An tÚdarás recognises the need for a specific job-creation strategy for the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park and West Donegal in the light of job losses in recent years and is currently putting resources in place to give specific focus to attracting new investment to the area. Development works on the multifunctional Áislann Ghaoth Dobhair building are now complete. Further capital works will begin in the next few months on Aonad 23, previously occupied by Wissmedi, on the Business Park. This redevelopment and upgrade of the building will result in three independent advance enterprise units aimed at attracting enterprises in the medical devices and internationally traded services sectors.During the year, an tÚdarás, in co-operation with the North East Partnership, launched the ‘Innovation and Growth Programme’. Funded by INTERREG IVA, the programme will assist participating businesses in identifying strategic overseas partners and growth potential in international markets.A total of 286 people were employed on social employment schemes in the Donegal Gaeltacht at the end of the year, which are managed and administered by Údarás and funded through the Department of Social Protection.ÚDARÁS ANNOUNCES 11 EXTRA JOBS IN DONEGAL IN 2012 was last modified: January 21st, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ÚDARÁS ANNOUNCES 54 NEW JOBS AT GAOTH DOBHAIR MEETING
The Australian dollar has hit an all-time new high against the euro, making Europe a much cheaper holiday destination than ever before. The euro peaked at 85 cents on 20 July, and has remained above the 80 cents mark all July. The new high was in retaliation to a volatile euro zone and recent fears from the US market slowing down. Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Dr Ben Bernanke said further stimulus measures might be needed for America, indicating less than expected growth from the world’s biggest economy. The Eurozone’s problems don’t seem to be improving anytime soon and speculation of Greece returning to the drachma to improve the euro’s health is still an option entertained by some economists and politicians. Treasury Manager for the Bank of Cyprus, Gina Morgan, predicts the Australian dollar will remain high against the euro in months to come. “It’s difficult to make concrete projections for the future given the current market’s volatile state. However, in light of continued uncertainty existing in Europe it would expect that over the next 6 months to see the AUD/EUR remain well supported above 0.7500,” she told Neos Kosmos. In the last 10 years, the Australian dollar against the Euro has spent the majority of its life trading in a 0.48 to a 0.62 range. Since 2010, it has been moving higher and higher, making many economists believe it is trying to find a new trading range. Ms Morgan believes it will settle around the 0.67 to 0.87 range, “with possible outbreaks outside of that range from time to time”. With a high Aussie dollar, many will be spending their dollars overseas with the better exchange rate, shifting money away from the Australian economy. Australian consumers are set to see cheaper prices for overseas products, if the strong exchange rate is passed on. Ms Morgan believes despite the harm some industries will feel, the strong dollar will provide a lower inflation rate and benefit the larger economy. “A strong AUD does make our country more expensive to visit and also to do business with. One area that has received recent attention is the drop in overseas student numbers which, in part, has be attributed to a high-valued Australian dollar. Similarly, tourism has also slowed. However a high AUD is helping ease the impact of tradable inflation and providing benefits to the aggregate economy,” she says. Australia’s stable position is seeing foreign investors lap up the Aussie dollar as a viable, more stable option than the more common American dollar. More investment will see the dollar remain high. “Currently, our financial system is stable just as is our political system which allows for Australia to become a better option for foreign investors,” Ms Morgan says. “Taking all this into account, we can only expect that these demands for Australian denominated assets to move the AUD higher.” So pack your bags, it’s never been a better time to visit Europe. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram