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Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

Small firms’ ‘Toolkit’ for Brexit

The Small Firms Association (SFA) has, following the triggering of Article 50 by the British Government, published a toolkit for small businesses to help them to practically prepare for Brexit. Sue O’Neill, SFA chair, commented, “Whilst many factors are outside our control, it is important for each small business to assign senior management responsibility to assessing the impact on their own business, and developing contingency plans for likely impacts. Companies should pay particular focus to assessing the potential impacts of currency movements, along with supply chain, commercial contracts, finance and funding and workforce considerations. They should also reassess the impact on technology, in particular issues around data sharing, likely changes to regulation and market access, and change their own operating structures accordingly.” Ms O’Neill emphasised the singular impacts of Brexit on Ireland, over and above other EU members states, and called on the EU Commission to prioritise these concerns in their negotiating strategy. “The UK is a key marketplace for …

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Tributes to the late Martin McGuinness

The President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to the former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who died early this morning. Mr McGuinness, a former IRA leader in Derry, emerged as a key Sinn Féin political figure in the North and played a significant role in the peace process and forging the Good Friday Agreement. “The world of politics and the people across this island will miss the leadership he gave, shown most clearly during the difficult times of the peace process, and his commitment to the values of genuine democracy that he demonstrated in the development of the institutions in Northern Ireland,” the President said. He added, “As President of Ireland, I wish to pay tribute to his immense contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland – a contribution which has rightly been recognised across all shades of opinion. “Our paths have crossed many times in recent years at official events, including most …

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Stamp marks historic Stormont meeting

The 50th Anniversary of an historic meeting between then Taoiseach, Sean Lemass and the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O’Neill is marked today (Thursday) with the release, by An Post, of a commemorative stamp. The groundbreaking meeting took place in utmost secrecy in January 1965 and marked the first invitation to an Irish taoiseach to take part in official talks with the Northern Ireland prime minister. The event was a brave venture in North-South relations and began a thaw in relations between the two states. A return visit took place in Dublin in February of that year. The 68c stamp, designed by Red&Grey Design of Dublin, features an image of O’Neil and Lemass outside Government Buildings at Stormont. The stamp can be purchased, along with a special First Day Cover at leading post offices, at the stamp shop in Dublin’s GPO or online at www.irishstamps.ie. Sean Lemass (1899 – 1971) was taoiseach from 1959 until 1966 and one of …

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Renewed pressure for HGV levy exemption

THE Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) Ireland this Wednesday said the UK Government should grant Irish hauliers an exemption from the HGV Road User Levy for use of the A5 for HGVs transiting Northern Ireland, and has asked for the active support of the Minister for Transport, and the Oireachtas, in delivering this exemption. The HGV Road User Levy (RUL), which became effective on Tuesday in UK law, will result in a net increase in costs for HGV operators from Ireland using roads in NI and Great Britain – according to FTA Ireland’s General Manager Neil McDonnell. “With Irish taxpayers about to pour £50m into the A5 transit route from next year, it defies logic and fairness for the UK Government to ask Irish operators to pay a levy for using this transit route. The N2/A5 is a vital part of the road infrastructure for hauliers in the north-west, as a great many businesses in Donegal are totally dependent on …

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Dooley protests over haulage levies

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley  has called on the Minister for Transport to immediately raise the concerns of Irish hauliers with his British counterpart regarding the imposition of a new levy on all foreign vehicles entering British soil, including Northern Ireland. Deputy Dooley said that Minister Leo Varadkar must make it a priority to have the roads in Northern Ireland excluded from this levy, which could impact over 9,500 vehicles in Ireland. “Over 9,500 heavy goods vehicles in Ireland will be subject to the new levy which will be introduced on all roads in Britain and Northern Ireland from the first of April. “This will particularly affect hauliers from Donegal, for instance; that have to travel through Northern Ireland to access the South in many cases. It will also impact all businesses that transport goods between both sides of the border, it will actually discourage companies here from expanding into and trading with the North. “This could cripple …

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