September October 2018 Issue – Irish America https://irishamerica.com Irish America Magazine Thu, 18 Apr 2019 19:22:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 82361074 Eileen Murray:An American Success Story https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/an-american-success-story/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/an-american-success-story/#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:59:50 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37415 Read more..]]> Is the American Dream still attainable? Eileen Murray thinks so. She herself is a prime example that hard work, a sense of humor, and perseverance can get you there.

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Every inspiring story has a starting point. And Eileen Murray’s story begins in the Dyckman Housing project in Inwood, a neighborhood on the northernmost tip of Manhattan. These were not the projects of gang-controlled stairwells where drug deals went down, at least not in 1958 when Eileen was born, one of nine children to Irish-American parents.

There was a sense of pride and community, well-kept apartments and grounds. There was a chain-link fence to keep kids off the grass, and you adhered to the rules or you got a clip on the ear from an adult, any adult who happened to be passing. Far from it being a tough beginning, Eileen remembers Dyckman Housing as a wonderful place to live. It was a place where people didn’t lock their doors. On Thursday nights the neighbor down the hall – “she was like a grandmother” – would host a Pokeno game and people would come and play. And on Friday nights, when Uncle Pete came over with his accordion, neighbors and friends would gather in the Murrays’ apartment. “It was fun,” Eileen remembers. All that changed when drugs overtook the neighborhood in the late 60s- early 70s.

The neighbors stuck together, but they no longer left their doors open. Eileen’s father, a former serviceman, headed the tenants’ association, and he and others would sit in the lobby and keep watch for intruders. It wasn’t so much fun anymore, and it didn’t feel safe. The park across the street, where Eileen and her friends and siblings used to sled down Snake Hill when it snowed, became a no-go area. But still the family stayed on, until… Late one night, returning home from her job at Grand Union, having stayed behind stacking shelves, Eileen found her neighbor, Mr. Angrisano, lying on the lobby floor in front of the elevator.

He was dead from a gunshot wound to the head, his pockets pulled out and emptied of cash. “I think it was about five dollars,” Eileen recalled, pointing to the exact spot on the floor. This was during a visit this summer to her old apartment building. The memory, 40 years old, as vivid as it was on that night. It after Mr. Angrisano’s murder (no one was ever convicted of the crime) that Eileen’s mother finally agreed to leave Dyckman Housing, moving the family to Riverdale in the Bronx. At 93, Eileen’s mother is healthy and hearty, and still an inspiration to Eileen. “If I never met another person in my life, I’d have learned enough just being around my mother,” she says.

Eileen takes a photo of the brick her brother painted white outside their 9th floor bedroom window, which is still visible some 45 years later. (Photo: Kieran McConville)

In 1980, fresh out of Manhattan College with a B.S. in Accounting, Eileen struck out for Wall Street. Back then, in her own words, “only 0.5 percent of women held senior positions in the financial industry.” But Eileen was unfazed by the statistics. As a student she’d been discouraged from pursuing math as a subject and finance as a career. Didn’t she want to study nursing or become a teacher? No! The fact that she was a woman didn’t strike her as a disadvantage. She was used to the rough-and-tumble of a large family where chores were shared equally between brothers and sisters, so it didn’t occur to her that “hard work wouldn’t be rewarded for what it was.” It was later, as she began to climb the corporate ladder, that she noticed the disparity. Eileen’s solution was to work twice as hard. She was armed with a wonderful sense of humor. When one of her Ivy League colleagues would say, “‘Manhattan College,’ never heard of it!” She would quip right back, “Harvard, never heard of it.” Her family ethic was one of hard work. All through high school and college, she worked at Grand Union, but if she needed any extra motivation, she says it came from watching her father die, at just 58, of congestive heart disease in a hospital “that didn’t have an oxygen tank.” That, and wanting to get her family away from what had become “a war zone,” fueled her ambition. Her first accounting job was with Peat Marwick (later K.P.M.G.), where she started out making less money than she had been making at Grand Union. Four years later, in 1984, she joined Morgan Stanley (M.S.) as an analyst in the controller’s office. Ten years later she was running the controller’s office. And when M.S. merged with Dean Witter, she was named the Controller and Chief Accounting Officer for the firm.

Anyone else might have been content to sit back and rest on their laurels, but Eileen was ready for something new. In 2002, in a move that surprised many at M.S., she joined Credit Suisse First Boston (C.S.F.B.), to head up its global technology, operations and product control division. She became the first woman ever to serve on C.S.F.B.’s Executive Board. M.S. enticed her back with the elevated position of Managing Director, Head of Global Technology and Operations, and member of the firm’s management committee, supervising 10,000 employees and a $5.5 billion budget. She would stay at M.S. for another two years, retiring in 2007. For Murray, who had worked hard all her life, retirement didn’t sit well. Soon she joined Duff Capital, as co-CEO, president, and partner. In 2009, Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, came calling and made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Two years later, she was named co-CEO. Kathleen Murphy of Fidelity, who knows Eileen through their shared service on the FINRA Board of Governors, recently said: “Eileen is refreshingly candid, objective, results-driven, extremely down-to -earth, wonderfully family-oriented and someone who has a terrific sense of humor.” The following is an excerpt from our recent interview with Eileen, which took place at her Bridgewater office in Stamford, Connecticut.

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Growing Up :

I grew up in Dyckman Housing project. I am one of nine. I have five brothers and three sisters. I lost one brother, Jim, to cancer in 2012. My dad was a serviceman. My mom worked for the phone company. I am number six. I am the oldest of the second batch, and my mother always says, “Make sure you tell people – from the same parents!” I have a sibling who says, “We grew up poor,” but I never felt poor at all. I really didn’t. The neighborhood was wonderful. It was truly a melting pot. The people who lived there came from all over the world – from Tanzania, Greece, Lithuania, Puerto Rico… We lived in 9C. Right across from us was a couple from Cuba with their daughter. Across the hall from them was a woman from Italy. Then down the hall there were people from Germany who had survived the Holocaust. There was really a lot of diversity, both in nationalities and culture as well as in color. We never locked our door – we didn’t need to back then. People looked out for each other. You minded your Ps and Qs because someone always had their eyes on you. My mother’s Uncle Pete played the accordion, so he would come over and play on Friday nights and people would come by and listen… The lady who lived next door to us was like a grandmother. She held a Pokeno game on Thursday nights. It was fun.

Changing Times: 

And then drugs came to the neighborhood in 1968-1970. And the neighborhood changed. People had to lock their doors. It became a very different place. People do crazy things when they are looking for drug money. It wasn’t just adults, drugs infiltrated the schools. And then two guys from our building died in Vietnam; Carlos, who was 19 years old, and then Raymond, who was a Marine who went for his second stint in Vietnam – there was a sadness that started to permeate the place. My two older brothers were in Vietnam. I remember we had one of those big old tape recorders – and we would speak into it. “Oh, hi Kevin! How are you?” My mother would get us all on the tape, and send them packages. I think it was hard for her to have her sons over there. James was shot down in a helicopter at one point and Kevin was a scout. They were young when they went… 18 and 19. What the heck did they know at that age, going into that? My third brother Tom – my brothers are all pretty tall – and my brother Tom is six foot six inches and he doesn’t have great eyesight so they said they were not going to take him and my father said, “I’ll get you in.” My mother said, “You get him in, don’t come home. Go with him.”

Patriotism:

My dad was in WWII, and Korea. He wanted to go to Vietnam, but did not. He was a very big supporter of the country. He felt that when the country needed you, you better stand up and go serve it, and he was heartbroken by what happened in WWII to people in the concentration camps. He never really talked about it at all to me, but I think war impacts young people. He earned three purple hearts, one bronze star, and one silver star. My dad was a great guy. He was a very, very well-read man, and he was a doer. When things started to change in Dyckman Houses, he did what he could. They had the tenants’ council and my dad served on it with other people and they would sit at a table downstairs and watch who was coming in and out.

Irish Connections:

My dad’s ancestors came from Cork during the potato famine, they were glassblowers, and they settled out in Long Island and then in Brooklyn, so he was from Brooklyn. We didn’t know his family that well, to tell you the truth, because there were so many of us that we tended not to be invited to occasions. My mother was born in the States but raised in County Galway by her grandparents. It was the time of the Black and Tans. And they were pretty brutal to her grandparents. She came over here when she was 14 after her grandparents died. If you ask her she will tell you. “Yes, I was on this boat and I was 14. I didn’t want to leave Ireland – the last thing I wanted to do was leave Ireland. And this Afro-American woman and I had dinner every night and people would look at us and I couldn’t understand for the life of me what the problem was. I had a toothache and this woman took such good care of me and I wish had her name now so I could thank her.”

Love Story:

My mother met my father when she was 16 at an Irish dance. My father used to always say, “Thank God your mother married me.” He would tell us that my mother got him drunk – he had thought he was going to be a priest – but he married her anyway. He had a great sense of humor. He was young when he joined the service, I think 16. My mom says, “Young and good looking.” When my dad was in the service my parents traveled the country so they were in California, Indiana, Alabama, and Alaska and my mom, after the fifth child, said, “I can’t do this anymore. We’ve got to move back to New York and pitch a tent somewhere.” So that’s how we ended up in Inwood, in Dyckman Housing, which was built in 1951. My parents loved each other. I mean they argued, but they loved each other and that was enough. We were always a tight-knit family and watched out for one another.

Education:

We went to Catholic school. I went to St. Jude. I attended Cardinal Spellman High School, and then I went to Manhattan College. My mother was very much, “Just do your best!” But my father – I remember I was in Cardinal Spellman High School and I had a 98 average and I was number two or three in the school and my father said, “Who is ahead of you?” I said,”I’ll tell you who is ahead of me. Kids who are not working at Grand Union x number of hours.” He said, “I never asked you that. What does that have to do with what I asked you?” And that is how my dad was. He was very much, “You better do well in school.” My mother would say, “As long as I know you did your best, what more can I ask for?”

Moving Away:

I was about 20. There was a guy, his name was Augie Angrisano. He and his wife Connie and his daughter Celeste lived straight down the hall from us. I was usually a little late coming in from Grand Union because we had to stack the shelves and this and that – and I came in and he was lying in front of the elevator on the ground floor. Someone had shot him in the head and emptied his pockets. I was very sorry for his wife and his daughter. They were lovely people, but I wasn’t frightened for me – probably because I was too stupid – but my mother was like, “We have got to move now.” So we moved up to Riverdale. My father had died at that time. He was only 58. My father died from congestive heart disease in a hospital that didn’t have an oxygen tank. I don’t want that for my family. I didn’t want them living in a place that had become a war zone. To me, it was, how do we make sure, through education and jobs, to never be in that position again.

Mentor:

If I never met another person in my life, I’d have learned enough just being around my mother. She is a good person. She had a very tough life. She came over here on her own at 13. I remember when she worked at the phone company and she had these heels… I remember her putting cardboard in her shoes because she had holes in them and it was raining outside. She would always buy us something new, and she never complained.

Heritage:

When I was in grammar school I thought I was Irish and I remember coming home from school one day, I don’t know if I was in third grade or fourth grade, and I had this revelation. I said, “Mom, we are Americans!” and she said, “Who told you that? You are Irish!”

Irish Arts Center Board: 

I knew right away when I joined the board that I’d found a home, and a group of people that I have a lot in common with. What I love about the Irish Arts Center is that it has never wavered from the idea that Irish culture isn’t just for Irish people, it’s for everybody. If that’s not hospitality shining through I don’t know what is.

Liam Neeson presents Eileen with the Irish Arts Center’s Spirit of Ireland Award, in October 2015.

Siblings: 

I not only like my siblings, I love them, and I never felt as though I came from a big or small family – I just came from where I came from. Everybody had their thing, you know? I think what helps coming from a big family is that it is not all about you and you better get over yourself and have some self-deprecation or you are going to end up in some psychiatrist’s office.

Sense of Humor:

I think I have a good sense of humor in terms of “C’mon, get over yourself – no one died.” Someone said to me one time, “That is not a high enough standard.” I said, “No, your standard is too low.” I think it is good to laugh. I think it is healthy; I think it makes you feel good… And I sometimes say things that just come to me and I don’t really mean to say them and I probably shouldn’t say them, but there you go.

Perspective:

I have lost people and it breaks your heart but I‘ve never seen anything so senseless, so terrible as 9/11. We lost eleven people from Morgan Stanley. There were kids who lost both of their parents. It gave me such perspective, 9/11.

Early Lessons On Being A CEO:

One thing I learned as a young manager, every night, I’d say to myself, “If it were me, would I want to be around me?” And I have to tell you, on some days – not really. What a schmuck I was! [on that day]. But then I will go and apologize. And they can either accept it or not. If you are going to accept me on my good days, you’ve got to take me on my bad days. That said, it doesn’t mean that I should be allowed to get away with my bad days…

First Job:

Peat Marwick was a public accounting firm. I was there for four years, and then I went to Morgan Stanley which was an interesting place back then. I remember someone saying, “Ah, I never heard of Manhattan College!”(Harvard people!) And then I’d say, “Well, I never heard of your school either.” I was at Morgan Stanley for eighteen years. I kind of grew up there. I had never been much further than Jersey and when I joined Morgan Stanley, I traveled Europe and the world. I remember the first time I went to the Churchill bar in London with this guy Ross who was in treasury and worked with me, actually worked for me. He went on ahead, but I was told, “Madam, women are not allowed in the bar.” I was like “Is this guy for real?” And he was for real! And so I’ve always really appreciated being here in the U.S.

(Photo: Kieran McConville)

Equal Treatment:

I have five brothers and three sisters and we were all treated the same. There was never an issue. I had to do dishes and so did my brothers, so this notion of gender difference was like, “Are you kidding me?” It was not in my consciousness that someone would make a decision based on anything other than your performance, which was probably naïve on my part. I started to understand that people were having problems with color and gender when I became more senior, then I started seeing a little bit more of “Hey, these people play golf together or do this and that,” but I’ve always found that if you work twice as hard you’ll get there …

Changing Times:

When I first started working, the number of senior women on Wall Street was, I think, 0.5 percent and now it is maybe 17-18 percent. I am not saying we should be satisfied with where we are – we should continue to plow ahead and it should be 50-50. I think we are on the verge of a lot of things changing. But I also want to make sure we celebrate how far we have come. Until 1963, a woman couldn’t have a credit card without her husband signing on for it. My mother couldn’t get job at the phone company when she first came here because she had an Irish accent. In this country there were signs posted, “Irish need not apply,” so how long did that take to change? It took quite a bit of time, right?

The Culture at Bridgewater:

The founder is very focused on radical truth and radical transparency. I think that’s great and I certainly believe in it. I am pretty straightforward. Certain people though – it is hard for them to hear things. To me, the most important thing is that we are having a conversation. I want to transmit something to you. What’s most important to me is that you receive the message.

What She Looks For In A Hire:

Curiosity, respect, a mutual understanding that we can learn from each other. I have no tolerance for know-it-alls.

Advice For Those Starting Out:

Work hard. Don’t expect anything for nothing. Ask for help. Find someone who is good at what you are not and see if they will help you.

The American Dream:

I think it’s still achievable. At least it has been my experience – you may be in a bad neighborhood and you may be tempted to do drugs and this and that, but if you work really hard, you can climb out of it.

Priority As Co-CEO:

For me, success is not about money. Developing other people, giving them the opportunity to succeed. My biggest priority as the CEO is to make sure there is someone behind me that can get on the horse and win the race.

Summing Up:

It has been a great journey thus far and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. ♦

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First Word: Celebrate! You’ve Come a Long Way https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/first-word-celebrate-youve-come-a-long-way/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/first-word-celebrate-youve-come-a-long-way/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:58:49 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37460 Read more..]]> “No pessimist ever set foot on Ellis Island. No pessimist ever crossed the prairies, no pessimist ever built cities from one end of the continent to another. These things were done by people with vision and hope.” – William J. Flynn

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This Wall Street 50 celebrates the 21st running of the list. Our honorees, from fourth-generation to Irish-born, represent a range of financial power houses, and in addition to their strong business acumen, they all share in common pride in their Irish heritage.

Irish men have long had a presence on Wall Street – from the days of John Kiernan. The eldest of six born to Irish immigrants, Kiernan formed his own financial news agency in 1869, and employed two young reporters Charles Dow and Edward Jones, who went on to form the Dow & Jones company, and the Wall Street Journal.

Pretty heady stuff, indeed. But let’s hold the applause! While the men have been enjoying the view from the top of the corporate ladder for a long time now, not so much for the ladies In the more than 150 years since Kiernan was doing his news-gathering by rowing a boat out into New York harbor to meet ships arriving from Europe, to glean from passengers the financial happenings on the other side of the pond, women are only now gaining seniority in the major financial houses.

When we first published this list in 1997, there were two women honorees profiled, on this list there are 22. Hooray! And one of those amazing women in Eileen Murray the co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, who is the focus of our cover story.

When you read Eileen’s story, you will understand why it is no surprise that she was one of the first in her field to break through the glass ceiling. One of 9 kids, who grew up in public housing, worked though school and at the local supermarket, and armed with a wonderful sense of humor, a quick brain, and a BS degree from Manhattan College, she tackled Wall Street in the 1980s, when 0.5 percent of women held senior positions.

She attributes her success to the work ethic of her family. Her Irish American serviceman father, and County Galway raised mother who worked for Ma Bell, treated their offspring with equal parity – the boys did the dishes as often as the girls. And ethnic diversity was the norm in her apartment dwelling. Her neighbors from all over the world, and her mother, always had the door open, and was ready to entertain when her Uncle Pete came over with his accordion, and Aunt Delia joined in on her fiddle.

Eileen likes to focus on what has been achieved, while noting that there is still room for equal treatment in the workplace. “We need to celebrate how far we have come,” she says, remembering that her mother at first couldn’t get a job with Ma Bell because of her Irish brogue. And that women couldn’t get a credit card without a male signature.”

And celebrate we will. Congratulations to all our honorees. In addition to your business acumen, all of you are involved in different activities that that benefit the community. And you have shown an appreciation for your heritage, which, in addition to the enjoyment of the many wonderful aspects of being Irish, has equipped you with the ability to interact with people from all over the globe. You are also a living tribute to the fact that diversity, in all its forms, is what make America great.

On a sad endnote, we lost many wonderful Irish American these past months, lions of our community, including a beloved teacher, politician, young actor, a designer of note, a sports star, a chef, a banker, and a couple of great corporate chieftains who became peace makers. We celebrate their lives in this issue. They knew the beauty and tragedy of Ireland that is in our DNA and used it well to make the world a better place.

Mórtas Cine. ♦

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Irish America’s 21st Annual Wall Street 50 https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/irish-americas-21st-annual-wall-street-50/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/irish-americas-21st-annual-wall-street-50/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:58:22 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37839 Read more..]]> The 2018 Irish America Wall Street 50 is published. View the honorees here.

This year’s Wall Street 50 marks the 21st running of the list. The honorees, many the descendants of those who came here with nothing, represent some of the largest finance companies around the globe, two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with $12.8 trillion in revenues, $1.0 trillion in profits, $21.6 trillion in market value, and employ 28.2 million people worldwide.

For twenty one years, Irish America has sought to draw attention to that influence by recognizing those financiers who share a commitment to bettering the American economy and a passion for their heritage. We have never been lacking for candidates, whether seventh-generation Irish Americans who are themselves the manifestation of their ancestors’ dreams or the many Irish-born who continually work to maintain the strong connections and forge new bonds between our two great countries.

What the Irish on Wall Street have always shared is a sense of responsibility – to shareholders, to clients, to colleagues, to family, to society. We see this in the innovative work this year’s honorees do for their companies; we see this in the dedication they take in their philanthropic efforts; we see this in the pride they take in their families’ stories of perseverance and the humility they take in their successes. Together, they are a testament to the power, purpose, and necessity of the diaspora. ♦

Mórtas Cine,

The Irish America Team

View the honorees here.

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Suffragette Sheehy Skeffington Honored https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/suffragette-sheehy-skeffington-honored/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/suffragette-sheehy-skeffington-honored/#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:57:15 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37502 Read more..]]> On Thursday, June 13, 1912, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, and a group of suffragettes, smashed windows in Dublin Castle to highlight the “woman’s right to vote” cause. It was an offense for which she would spent a month in prison.

106 years later to the day, near to the windows that were smashed, President Michael D. Higgins unveiled a plaque honoring Sheehy Skeffington’s efforts in the struggle for Irish independence, and women’s suffrage.

Hanna Sheehy Skeffington in 1916. Photo: Wikipedia

Sheehy Skeffington also co-founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League, and fought for justice after her husband, Francis Sheehy Skeffington, was shot and killed during the 1916 Easter Rising by a British Army patrol. President Higgins, in recognizing Skeffington, also pointed out that the role of Irish women in nation-building has often been ignored. “For far too long, the historical contribution of Irish women in the struggle for emancipation, independence, and equality, and to our social life, has been overlooked,” he said.

Plaque to Hanna Sheehy Skeffington.

The request for placement of the plaque had been submitted by Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, whose recent lecture tour of the United States, recreating her grandmother’s 1917 journey to promote Irish independence, was recorded in a documentary entitled Hanna and Me: Passing on the Flame. ♦  Dave Lewis 

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An Old Henge Emerges at Newgrange https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/an-old-henge-emerges-at-newgrange/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/an-old-henge-emerges-at-newgrange/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:56:44 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37531 Read more..]]> While Ireland’s early summer heatwave brought some misery, it brought archaeologists and history enthusiasts great joy. The drought revealed an Neolithic wonder called a henge near the ancient site of Newgrange in County Meath.

Hidden to the naked eye for centuries, the henge’s location was captured by a drone flown over the Boyne Valley by Anthony Murphy. It’s something the historian and author does on a regular basis.

Murphy explained, in an RTÉ report, that moisture lodges in the archaeological features, probably timber posts, making the crop greener than that grown in the surrounding soil.

The henge is believed to have been built 500 years after Newgrange, which is 5,000 years old, a thousand years older than Stonehenge, and older than the Egyptian pyramids by 400 years. Six days later, also in the area, archaeologists discovered a Megalithic passage tomb. Given that the henge is on private property, all surface traces of the historic site will vanish and its secrets won’t be revealed.

“We may not see this it again for two or three decades, depending on when we get another prolonged dry spell like this,” Murphy concluded. ♦ Dave Lewis

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An Education in Restoration https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/an-education-in-restoration/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/an-education-in-restoration/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:55:36 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37547 Read more..]]> Over 70 volunteers took part in a three-day training course in County Clare in August to learn methods of preserving historic ruins. The program – the first of its kind – was hosted by the Irish branch of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Clare County Council, and the Killinaboy Heritage and History Group.

The main site of the project was Killinaboy’s An Cabhail Mhór (The Great Ruin), a ruined castle that was a homestead of the Blood family in the 1600s. Volunteers were taught, among other things, how to reinforce the structure’s walls using hot-lime mortar, and “soft” wall capping, which decreases water damage by applying a mixture of local clay and plants, and a hands-on lesson in medieval craft, including joinery (frame-building) and roof-thatching.

Architectural Conservation Officer and archaeologist Risteard UaCroinin, who helped orchestrate the program and gave a presentation on architectural history in the region, said “plans are already afoot to make this an annual event.” ♦

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Export Sales Hitting New Record https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/export-sales-hitting-new-record/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/export-sales-hitting-new-record/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:54:16 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37552 Read more..]]> Enterprise Ireland, the state agency responsible for helping Irish companies export to international markets, announced on June 12 that its clients recorded export sales of €22.71 billion in 2017, representing a seven-percent increase since 2016.

This is the highest level of export sales recorded in the history of the agency, and the eighth consecutive year of clients’ export growth. In 2017, Enterprise Ireland clients achieved total sales of €44.4 billion, up eight percent over 2016.

Exports to the Eurozone region, which account for 20 percent of all exports, saw strong growth of nine percent to €4.61 billion in 2017. Exports to the U.K., the largest market for Irish exports, representing 34 percent of exports, delivered growth of four percent to €7.62 billion.

In tandem with the export results, Enterprise Ireland also released findings of a recent Brexit survey of over 2,400 clients, which found that 85 percent of clients are taking Brexit-related actions; diversifying their export markets, improving operational competitiveness, strengthening their business in the U.K., developing strategic partnerships, improving financial management, and investing in R&D. ♦

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New Jobs for Kerry https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/new-jobs-for-kerry/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/new-jobs-for-kerry/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:53:16 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37555 Read more..]]> Irish fintech company Fexco is creating 175 jobs over the next three years at its headquarters in Killorglin, County Kerry. The jobs will be in the areas of information, communication technology, software development, and sales as part of the payment firm’s expansion strategy.

The 175 new jobs will add to the existing staff of 2,300 working across Fexco’s Irish and international operations spanning 29 countries, making it one of the world’s longest-established financial technology companies, with expertise in the area of foreign exchange expanding into dynamic currency conversion, multi-currency pricing and tax-free shopping. ♦

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Galway Start-Up Offers New Remedy for Arthritis https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/galway-start-up-offers-new-remedy-for-arthritis/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/galway-start-up-offers-new-remedy-for-arthritis/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:52:54 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37558 Read more..]]> Loci Orthopaedics, a Galway-based medical devices start-up that has developed a new joint implant to treat arthritis, announced on July 7 that it has raised €2.75 million in a seed round.

The company, a spin-off from NUI Galway and KU Leuven in Belgium, said it intended to use the financing to commercialize the “InDx” device to treat what is a common but crippling joint condition, arthritis of the thumb base joint, which affects at least five percent of the global population, causes significant functional impairment of the hand.

The funding has been provided by Enterprise Ireland, the Western Development Commission, the investment arm of KU Leuven University, and a number of unnamed industry veterans. ♦

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Funds for Marine Technology and Agritech https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/funds-for-marine-technology-and-agritech/ https://irishamerica.com/2018/09/funds-for-marine-technology-and-agritech/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:51:41 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=37561 Read more..]]> Enterprise Ireland launched a €500,000 Competitive Start Fund for entrepreneurs in marine technology and agritech sectors on June 29.

The fund was launched by Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., at Our Ocean Wealth Summit at Seafest 2018 in Galway.

The Competitive Start Fund provides entrepreneurs and start-ups with the critical early-stage funding to test the market for their products and services and progress their business plans for the global marketplace. The fund, designed to enable those companies to progress key technical and commercial milestones, will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for each successful applicant. ♦

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