Irish minister in armed robbery hold-up

Ireland FlagDublin/London - An Irish government minister was among several hostages held by

Irish government announces rescue plan for banks

Irish government announces rescue plan for banksDublin  - In a move aimed at restoring confidence in the banking system and encouraging lending, Ireland's government on Sunday announced a 10-billion-euro (13.4-billion-dollar) rescue plan for the country's banks amid the deepening global financial crisis.

The government said it would use money from the 18.7-billion-euro state pension fund to invest and also wants existing shareholders and private investors to support a recapitalization.

World's first eco-computer produced in Dublin

Dublin, Ireland  - The world's first biodegradable computer, the iameco, has been manufactured in Dublin from bio-degradable wood panels made from waste products in the lumber and pulp industry.

During a visit to the company by Ireland's Minister for Science and Innovation, Dr Jimmy Devins, the inventors of iameco, MicroPro Computers Ltd, said they could implant the seeds of native-tree species into the wood panels.

The minister's visit coincided with the announcement of details of a new Enterprise Ireland Green Technology Support for businesses.

Downturn turns to crisis in Ireland's year of refusal

Dublin - European Union officials will remember 2008 as the year Ireland rejected its reform treaty, but for most Irish people it was the year the bubble burst and the Celtic Tiger economic miracle came crashing to an end.

What started as whispers about economic downturn in spring turned to cries of crisis in autumn, with the economy grinding to a halt as a result of a construction industry meltdown and the credit crunch.

The government's defeat in the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by referendum in June was a major political upset in a tumultuous year, in which Prime Minister Bertie Ahern in the south and First Minister Ian Paisley in Northern Ireland stepped down.

Ireland said planing new vote on Lisbon treaty next October

Berlin - Ireland is planning to make a new bid in October 2009 to ratify the EU reform treaty rejected by voters last June, German government and parliamentary sources said Tuesday.

In return, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is seeking legal guarantees on Irish sovereignty over issues such as abortion, neutrality and taxation, they said. He also wants permanent representation for Ireland in every EU Commission.

The Lisbon Treaty, which aimed to streamline decision-making in the 27-nation bloc, cannot enter force until all member states have ratified it. Apart from Ireland, the Czech Republic is the only member not to have endorsed it.

Ireland counting on EU summit to break Lisbon Treaty impasse

Berlin  - Ireland hopes next week's European Union summit will help break the impasse arising from Irish voters' rejection of the EU reform treaty, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen indicated Wednesday.

"The situation we face represents a considerable challenge for Europe," Cowen said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, ahead of talks between the two leaders in Berlin.

"I'm hopeful we can identify the elements of an acceptable way forward next week," he said, adding: "Any way forward must naturally respond to the concerns of the Irish public which led to the rejection of the treaty in the referendum last June."