Business Irish

Saturday 23 August 2014

The Punt: Identity crisis at Trinity?

Published 29/03/2014 | 02:30

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Trinity College
Trinity College

Poor Trinity College Dublin does not seem too sure what its name is these days. The authorities this week won their bid to change the name to some unwieldy moniker, which includes the words Dublin and University, while the fellows and students have won the right to refer to it as Trinity College Dublin.

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Still, it is not all confusion at our oldest university. The college (or whatever it is) has agreed to merge various organisations to make it easier to support business.

It is even partnering with employers' lobby group Ibec to create a new Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange.

Michael O'Leary's alma mater has a good track record when it comes to spin-offs and appears hell-bent on improving the business environment by building a fancy new business school. The Punt believes it is a good idea to make things as easy as possible for students and staff who may not be commercially minded.

Tax payout for Barclay bros

The Punt was curious to see that the British government may have to pay about £1.2bn (€1.45bn) to a company owned by the billionaire Barclay brothers after a judge ruled in their favour in a dispute over 30 years of overpaid taxes.

David and Frederick Barclay are best known here for their spat with Belfast developer Paddy McKillen but they also own home shopping company Littlewoods which has won its claim to receive compound interest on the wrongly collected value-added tax, in a decade-long legal fight that went to the European Court of Justice before being referred back to the UK courts in 2012.

But her majesty's tax officials said that it would appeal the ruling, meaning the legal process could drag on for several more years.

Bitcoin making its mark here

Ireland's love-hate relationship with Bitcoin continues with news that "the world's first bitcoin finance conference" is to be held at the RDS in July.

It will be interesting to see whether Irish banks send representatives. Some bitcoin firms complained that banks here do not give them the time of day.

Both the line-up and the topics to be discussed at the conference (Bitfin.com) are sure to attract some attention from observers of emerging crypto-currencies.

However, may we suggest the organisers get with their own programme? When attempting to pay the €200 registration fee in Bitcoin, the following appears: "The merchant is currently not able to accept this payment. Please try again later." Oops!

Irish Independent

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