Bertie's self-praise reaches a new high at Nigerian summit
Published 23/07/2010 | 05:00
The former Taoiseach and Finance Minister was in Nigeria recently where he was one of the "Wise Men" who gathered in the town of Owerri for an investment summit. His west African audience were treated to a glowing but highly selective description of Mr Ahern's career from start to finish.
"In 1986, the year in which I was elected lord mayor of my native city, Dublin, Ireland, it had a higher debt per head than Ethiopia or Sudan. We had the lowest standard of living in western Europe. On the day I retired as Irish prime minister, in May 2008, we had the second highest standard of living in Europe," he was quoted as saying. Let's hope none of his audience were familiar with Luxembourg, Switzerland, Norway and Lichtenstein, four countries in Europe which were wealthier than Ireland on the day he quit in May 2008.
Alfie Kane's war room
ANOTHER financial guru from the Ahern era who is busy rehabilitating himself these days is former Eircom boss Alfie Kane.
Long-suffering shareholders -- in the former state monopoly that was floated back in 1999 -- suffered many disappointments while Mr Kane ran Eircom. But, this week, they got a homily from him on the Government's failure to plan for war.
"Ireland is currently fighting an economic war -- but only governments can energise the nation and fight wars," he said at the launch of this year's David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards in Dublin.
Mr Kane's secret weapon? Mentoring. "The mentor doesn't have to be an entrepreneur," he added. "The banks and the public service departments, for example, could get mid-level management to each donate, say, a day every fortnight to mentor start-ups," he added.
Forfas's new young gun
FORFAS, the Government's advisory board for enterprise and science, has appointed 37-year-old insider Martin Shanahan as chief executive. He replaces Jane Williams, who was appointed interim chief executive for a six-month period following the retirement of Martin Cronin.
Mr Shanahan, a Kerry native, joined Forfas in 2005 as manager of the human capital and labour-market policy department. He previously worked at Failte Ireland, tourism training agency CERT as well as with what was then the State-owned Great Southern Hotel Group.
The Trinity graduate is also a member of the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, and is Ireland's representative at the Strategic Forum on International Cooperation on Science.
Luxury layover claim
AS Ryanair and Aer Lingus continue to plough through passenger claims related to volcanic ash, British Airways mentions it had one claim that included a two-week stay at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados.
Sandy Lane is jointly owned by billionaire investor Dermot Desmond, currency speculator JP McManus and horse breeder John Magnier.
The cheapest two-week stay starting on August 15 for one adult is $14,000 (€10,000). Most expensive is $39,000 (€30,000). Will Willie Walsh agree?