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The briefcase

Here's everything you need to know about business this week

Everyone was talking about mad cows, free trade and tattooed workers.


EVERY WEEKEND, gives its readers the chance to put their feet up and take a look back at all the goings-on from the world of business.

Once again it’s time to delve deep inside The Briefcase for the important – and sometimes less-important – financial news that has come out this working week:

Mad cow disease reared its ugly head again. A dairy cow in Co Louth was diagnosed with a likely case of BSE, the first in the country since 2013. But the government has been quick to dispel fears the incident could hurt Ireland’s huge beef exports, despite the likelihood the industry will be downgraded to ‘control’ status

Cows James Horan / Photocall Ireland James Horan / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

A free-trade deal between the EU and US hit another snag. A vote on the controversial agreement, known as TTIP, was suspended amid angry scenes after over 200 amendments to the plan were put forward. The most divisive element remains the ISDS, which gives foreign investors the right to sue governments for policy changes. But Irish MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan may have gone a bit far comparing Fine Gael to fascists

Tattoos aren’t so cool – at least in the workplace. A survey of Irish employers found over three-quarters wouldn’t hire someone with a visible tattoo, although not surprisingly the creative industries were the least likely to discriminate based on a bit of ink

Read More David Blackwell. David Blackwell.

New claims about Denis O’Brien’s dealings with IBRC emerged in the Dáil. This time it was Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty picking up where independent TD Catherine Murphy left off. He claimed the telecoms tycoon used his favourable loan terms with IBRC to pay down other loans, which he then called on to buy Siteserv from IBRC at a huge loss to the taxpayer. However Doherty’s allegations were labelled “wholly inaccurate and misleading” by the special liquidator

There could be a few Kit Kat knock-offs popping up. Nestlé suffered a setback with its 80-year-old chocolate product during the week, when an EU court ruled it couldn’t trademark the four-finger design. The challenge came from Cadbury after an earlier courtroom clash over the distinctive purple hue used by the Nestlé rival

Nestle Kit Kat Howard Lake Howard Lake

Passengers might have to buy some new carry-on luggage. Airline industry body IATA has been pushing for a uniform size to be adopted for all carry-on luggage to smooth the ride for everyone concerned. The only catch is the dimensions it’s proposing are smaller than those used by almost all the airlines, including Ryanair and Aer Lingus

A Sligo castle changed hands for the first time since Oliver Cromwell. Markree Castle was sold to the castle-loving Corscadden family, who already own three castles they market under the Manor House Hotels brand. It had been in the Cooper family for about 350 years since the O’Brien clan was overthrown and the castle was gifted to Edward Cooper for his part in the Cromwellian wars

Markree-castle-by-night-2 Suckindiesel Suckindiesel

Apple is launching its own music-streaming service. The much-anticipated move was announced at the company’s developer conference, where the world’s most valuable company also revealed some of what can be expected in its iOS 9 update

And one for the road…

While Jeremy Clarkson has a habit of hogging all the headlines, everyone knows it’s that speechless, helmet-clad mystery figure who really holds together Top Gear.

Some say that his heart is in upside down and that his teeth glow in the dark – but all we know is, he’s called The Stig.

The man outed as the incognito driving fiend in 2010, Ben Collins, this week dropped into towers – where he revealed what car he drives:

Video / YouTube

MORE: Have a look at our business wraps from previous weeks >