There's quite a new set-up for councils now with the number of local authorities hugely reduced and the number of councillors cut by about a third.

And when they're all named and ready to get to work the new arrangement will see County Managers becoming more like Chief Executives, and councillors more like company directors.

Business group Chambers Ireland hope that the shift will improve the way local authorities interact with nearby companies.

“The relationship at the moment has traditionally been one of setting a rate that businesses have to pay and there hasn’t been much interaction,” said Chambers Ireland chief executive Ian Talbot.

“We’re very hopeful that with new process in place, this new accountability that has been brought to the table, that there’ll be much more opportunity for business and councillors to work together to influence local policies.”

Mr Talbot also cited the establishment of Local Enterprise Offices as a promising change, as these were designed to create a link between businesses and councillors.

“They’re designed to be the link between councils and business, so we’re going to be saying to our members to deal with those offices as a route into councils,” he said.


According to reports this morning Danske Bank is now the most aggressive financial institution in the State when it comes to pursuing its debtors through the courts for summary judgment. This is when the plaintiff applies for a fast-track ruling from a judge without a trial or witnesses.

The Irish Times says analysis of official court records has shown that Danske is more than seven times as likely as either of the pillar banks - AIB and Bank of Ireland - to resort to court action against its customers, when the number of cases is measured against the size of the banks' loan books.

A total of 1,354 cases for summary judgment were recorded on the High Court database in 2014 to the end of last week. Danske, which is winding down its Irish loan book, accounts for almost one in five these applications.

Danske has issued summary proceedings against 263 of its borrowers so far this year.

This compares to 237 for AIB, and 245 for Bank of Ireland, including a handful by its building society ICS.


The value of the Manchester United brand has been damaged by a disappointing season. That's according to a study by consultancy - Brand Finance. It says United's brand is worth $739m, down almost 100 million since last year. That makes it the third most valuable football brand after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Brand Finance defines brand value as the cost another party would have to pay to license the use of a brand; and it calculates that by looking at the mix of revenue, the value of squad, and club heritage.

English clubs Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are placed from fifth to eighth most valuable.


Sales funnelled through Amazon's main European operating company in Luxembourg rose 14% to €13.6bn in 2013, according to its latest accounts.

The accounts filed by Amazon EU highlight its tax-efficient structure in Luxembourg, which reduced the company's overall tax rate by 8% points last year to 31.8%, according to filings by the parent company.

Amazon EU earns profits on the online retailer's sales across Europe because it owns the inventory and processes payments.