Seen & Heard


McKillen solicitors to bring libel action

Solicitors acting for property investor Paddy McKillen have been instructed to initiate libel proceedings in the High Court in Dublin against public relations company the Powerscourt Group and Maybourne Finance Limited, reports the Sunday Independent.

Both Powerscourt and Maybourne have been representing the interests of the Barclay brothers in the battle for control of hotel group Coroin – the company behind Claridge’s, the Berkeley and the Connaught in London.

According to the Sunday Independent, Mr McKillen believes remarks attributed to Maybourne director Philip Peters in a press release issued on November 30th, 2012, were defamatory of him because they questioned his motivation for bringing proceedings before the UK Court of Appeal.

Swiss buyer for Parknasilla Hotel

Jacqui Safra, a member of the billionaire Swiss Lebanese banking family, has emerged as the buyer of the landmark Parknasilla Hotel in Co Kerry, according to the Sunday Times.

In October it was reported that the Parknasilla resort spa had been taken off the market after a satisfactory offer was received by selling agent Savills.

The Sunday Times said Safra bought the hotel for €10 million through a shelf company called Silork. Its directors include Tony Daly, who runs Dream Ireland, a holiday home business based in Kenmare. The hotel was bought six years ago by property developer Bernard McNamara for almost €40 million and he spent at least €30 million upgrading the resort. It was sold on behalf of Bank of Scotland (Ireland).

IMF warns Department of Finance

The International Monetary Fund has warned the Department of Finance that the staff cuts announced by the three main Irish banks will not be sufficient and that further redundancies will be necessary, reports the Sunday Business Post.

The fund has notified the department that further cost saving measures – including more redundancies and more branch closures – will be required if the banks are to fix their cost bases.

Cameron sees difficult year ahead

British prime minister David Cameron has predicted a difficult year for the UK economy that will require maintaining the current mix of low interest rates and budget-deficit reduction.

“It’s a tough economic environment that we’re in,” Mr Cameron said on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday morning. “Right now, Britain needs low interest rates.”

Mr Cameron indicated in a Sunday Telegraph interview that he would like to stay in office another seven years, even as an opinion poll suggested his Conservative Party will lose power in 2015. To keep borrowing costs down, the coalition government must sustain a “credible strategy” for controlling the budget deficit.