Archive for February, 2010

Hughes & Hughes goes into receivership, with the loss of 225 jobs

One of the country’s largest bookshop chains, Hughes and Hughes, has gone into receivership, with the loss of 225 jobs.

In a statement issued today, the company said it had been operating in an environment of collapsing consumer demand due to the recession and exchange rate differential with sterling.

The company also blamed the collapse in passenger numbers through Dublin and Cork airport where the much of the Hughes & Hughes business was generated through its concessions there.

High retail rents and competition from internet booksellers were also factors in the company’s downturn.

A spokesman for Hughes and Hughes confirmed that all staff had been laid off and the shops closed.

Directors and management said they had invited Ulster Bank Ireland Limited to appoint David Carson of Deloitte as receiver to the company.

Hughes & Hughes has been in operation for around 26 years.


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Ireland creates a competition to ignite your imagination and reward your thinking

The Big IDEA

Irelands Call

Your Country, Your Call is a competition to ignite imaginations and inspire thinking.

The goal is to pick two truly transformational proposals so big that, when implemented, could secure prosperity and jobs for Ireland. Proposals that could help change the way we do things, allow businesses to grow, employment to be created and prosperity to flourish.

Your Country, Your Call gives you the chance to share your creativity to give life to new industry, revitalise or revolutionise an existing market, or even change the way we do business entirely. It’s not about creating new products. It’s about creating something that will make a long term positive impact on the future of Ireland, its people, and its economy.

Your Country, Your Call is all about Ireland. It’s about helping to create sustainable employment and prosperity, whilst at the same time generating hope, confidence, and positive thinking.

Get thinking, talking, and proposing!


There will be two competition winners and each will receive €100,000

Please note that the prize is for the winning proposers – this is similar to architectural competitions where the winning architect may or may not be involved in the subsequent construction.

A development fund of up to €500,000

is committed for the implementation of each of the winning proposals.


A maximum of 20 proposals will be considered at the semi final stage of the competition. Semi-finalists will be assigned a Coach for a 6-week period. During this period, Coaches will be available to work closely with each semi-finalist to help develop their proposal but not to materially influence its substance

At the end of the 6 weeks coaching period, each semi-finalist will be interviewed by our key decision makers.

Following the interviews, a maximum of 5 finalists will be invited to participate in a two-day event in Ireland that will conclude with awards being presented by the Patron of Your Country, Your Call, Mary McAleese, President of Ireland.


Although not shortlisted, you might have a proposal that should be considered by a development agency. If that is the case you will receive an email suggesting your next steps.


  • Competition opens 16.00 GMT  17-01-2010
  • Competition closes 23.59 GMT 30-04-2010
  • Latest date to select semi-finalists 30-6-2010
  • Latest date to complete interviews  1-09-2010
  • Final selection and awards 17-09-2010
The Big IDEA

Irelands Call

The dark side of Dubai

The wide, smiling face of Sheikh Mohammed – the absolute ruler of Dubai – beams down on his creation. His image is displayed on every other building, sandwiched between the more familiar corporate rictuses of Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders. This man has sold Dubai to the world as the city of One Thousand and One Arabian Lights, a Shangri-La in the Middle East insulated from the dust-storms blasting across the region. He dominates the Manhattan-manqué skyline, beaming out from row after row of glass pyramids and hotels smelted into the shape of piles of golden coins. And there he stands on the tallest building in the world – a skinny spike, jabbing farther into the sky than any other human construction in history.

But something has flickered in Sheikh Mohammed’s smile. The ubiquitous cranes have paused on the skyline, as if stuck in time. There are countless buildings half-finished, seemingly abandoned. In the swankiest new constructions – like the vast Atlantis hotel, a giant pink castle built in 1,000 days for $1.5bn on its own artificial island – where rainwater is leaking from the ceilings and the tiles are falling off the roof. This Neverland was built on the Never-Never – and now the cracks are beginning to show. Suddenly it looks less like Manhattan in the sun than Iceland in the desert.

Once the manic burst of building has stopped and the whirlwind has slowed, the secrets of Dubai are slowly seeping out. This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing – at last – into history.

“The thing you have to understand about Dubai is – nothing is what it seems,”Nothing. This isn’t a city, it’s a con-job. They lure you in telling you it’s one thing – a modern kind of place – but beneath the surface it’s a medieval dictatorship

Hello world!

new to this , so will take a few post to get me going…

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