IBM and an Indian third-party contractor are among those to have held discussions with Eir over potentially taking on IT functions.

Staff told the telco is considering moving them to a third-party supplier

Bank of Ireland said it had a market share of more than 50 per cent in new lending to SMEs and farms. Photograph: Frank Miller

Bank says it approved €5.3 billion in new credit last year

The money was paid to staff despite Government attempts to cut such extra payments in the public sector. Photograph: Thinkstock

Staff at the communications regulator were paid €675,000 in bonuses last year

The Spanish company disagreed with an adjudicator’s October decision and Sisk went to the High Court to enforce it

John Sisk & Son took case against Duro Felguera which hired it for engineering works

Telecoms company Eir is seeking to raise at least €350 million to take out a high-interest bond.

Debt being targeted by firm is among highest-yielding corporate bonds in Europe

Plans for Liffey Valley shopping centre in west Dublin  include an ice skating arena and up to 60 new shops, as well as the development of a major plaza under a glazed canopy.

Centre seeks permission for 2,500 capacity skating arena and up to 60 new shops

Dermot Breen: is back on the water in April for the seventh and eighth legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Photograph: Collins Courts

Ex-Tesco Ireland chief has roped in Glanbia’s Michael Patten among others as sponsors

 Rich Ricci after sending out Faugheen to win the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown Racecourse, Co Dublin. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Former investment banker is now chairman of Irish online bookmaker BetBright

Election posters outside Government Buildings in Dublin as the 2016 general election campaign gets underway. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The economy is made of many industries. Here is what key sectors want after the forthcoming election

Leonard Ponzi: will run Reputation Inc’s New York office.

Former Edelman Ireland chairman John Mahony is opening an office in New York

Former Clerys directors have sold Ben Sherman’s retail operation, putting up to 100 jobs on notice in its stores and at head office. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Creditors may lose out as deal is completed through pre-pack administration

 Maggie Timoney,  managing director of Heineken Ireland: she made headlines after declaring she didn’t “give a s***” if she got fired from Heineken for saying so, but the industry must co-operate to make being drunk “uncool”. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

It is disingenuous for Maggie Timoney to say her industry must make being drunk ‘uncool’

Andrew Yaxley said Tesco’s strategy to restore the performance of its Irish operation involved rebuilding engagement with customers, simplifying its product range and developing its sales channels. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

More convenience stores and delivery, fewer product lines and promotions, says Yaxley

 Maggie Timoney,  managing director of Heineken Ireland: “This isn’t a popularity contest. I don’t give a s*** if you vote for me or if I get fired from Heineken. But we need to make it uncool to be drunk in Ireland.”

‘I don’t give a s*** if you vote for me or if I get fired from Heineken,’ says Ireland chief executive on her stance

Richard Bruton: his department says it will keep the rules “under review” and that they can be adjusted “in either direction” if they are adversely affecting the industry or consumers

Big retailers remain relatively silent on new laws signed by Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton

While Yahoo has disclosed some details around the operation of the account, such as IP addresses used, the internet company has so far resisted disclosing the content of communications

Liquidator for IBRC says emails may contain data on Quinn assets

The liquidator appointed by the High Court on Wednesday is clearing out Xtra-vision’s 83 stores and preparing to hand back the keys to landlords. photograph: dara mac dónaill

Rise of streaming turned future bleak for company with colourful history

In Dublin, Ryanair closed up 2.3 per cent, while while Paddy Power, which is preparing a merger with Betfair, was up 1.3 per cent after €240 million worth of its shares changed hands. Photograph:  Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Petroceltic gains 74% after receiving bank waiver to allow it to continue sale talks

Petroceltic chief executive, Brian O’Cathain Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Struggling exploration group was already operating under a waiver from lenders

Clerys: liquidated last June.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

As well as Cheyne’s Clerys man, Lycée Lakanal’s past pupils include Jacques Chirac, Voltaire and Victor Hugo

Alastair McCaig:  year of major volatility

Oil, predicts McCaig, will hit new “low lows” of possibly close to $20 a barrel

I’m not sure what Rosie the Riveter is planning to do with her fist, but Ecocem’s executives should probably stay out of her way

Orcem, Ecocem’s US unit, wants to build a €45 million cement plant

Barry Napier:  high-profile investor

A low-key dispute in an industry designed to help people talk?

Sean Aylward:  lobbied for Honorable Society of King’s Inns

Unlike in Ireland, only third-party lobbyists are covered by the British system

Leo Crawford: “Leverage is great when things are on the up. But when they’re not . . .” Photograph: Eric Luke

Spar South Africa saved BWG Group from a life of debt servitude, says chief executive Leo Crawford

 Eddy Collier will retain a link with BGE by joining its external advisory board. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Eddy Collier to lead ‘initiative to help Centrica build footprint’ outside core market

Chief executive Richard Moat envisaged that Eir would bid alone for the NBP, which will be awarded in two regional tranches

Company reports half-yearly revenues rose 4% to €653m

A closed Xtra-vision store in Artaine Castle, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Hilco places movie rental brand into provisional liquidation

The Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation has confirmed the grocery regulations, drafted over concerns big grocery chains were being heavy-handed with suppliers, are about to be be signed by Richard Bruton. Photograph: Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography

Government to introduce rules on relationships between supermarkets and suppliers

Petroceltic ran out of funds after it was unable to raise cash on the bond markets late last year. It has also been unable to raise fresh equity due to the blocking stake held by Worldview

Fund must secure deals from Algerian government and others if cash offer is to succeed

Musgrave, the SuperValu operator with sales of more than €4.5bn and owned by a prominent Cork business family, lobbied the Government for tax breaks for family businesses. Photograph: The Irish Times

Lobbying register also reveals activities of former Finance official, John Moran

The scheme in the Doughill Forest area, near Strokestown was  conceived by Coillte and the tail end of the boom and it had obtained planning permission as the sole developer in 2012

Joint venture at Sliabh Bawn in Roscommon to generate enough power for 40,000 homes

Jamie Heaslip: has a finger in many different commercial pies. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Tech investor has taken a stake in UrbanVolt, an energy-saving LED lighting firm

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un  and former NBA player Dennis Rodman

Bookie agreed to sponsor former basketball star Dennis Rodman’s trip to play an exhibition match for his friend, Kim Jong-un

Revenue Commissioners: rather interesting tender

Two million cheques will be required over a four-year period

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly: released an especially vainglorious email on Wednesday after First Data announced 300 new jobs for Nenagh. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Environment could teach Italians a thing or two about braggadocio

Kingspan fell 5.7 per cent, despite announcing a new partnership with KoolDuct.

Global indices hammered as sell-off spreads outwards from energy stocks

 Transparency International Ireland chief executive John Devitt said the free advice scheme  would advise whistleblowers on their rights and how to negotiate the system. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Transparency International says Government has 'agreed in principle' to change

The request by the tourist assistance service was made in a letter in recent months to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and posted on Tuesday to the lobbying register. Photograph: The Irish Times

Irish Tourist Assistance Service calls for Garda office move to city centre location

Dunnes Stores: deal to buy two meat wholesaling businesses controlled by the family business of prominent Tipperary butcher Pat Whelan.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Company intends to buy two firms from family business of Tipperary butcher Pat Whelan

The Pensions Authority interactive database on Irish pensions was, until December 17th, named the Interactive Scheme Information System, or Isis for short. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pensions Authority changes interactive database name due to unfortunate acronym

Paddy McKillen’s dispute with the Barclay brothers effectively ended last year. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Fallout from the bitter dispute over Maybourne hotel group continues

 Paul Dunne led the Open Championship heading into the final day last year. Photograph: Gerry Penny/EPA

The stockbroker will also act as financial adviser for the newly professional golfer

Tom Higgins, founder and former owner of Irish Psychics Live, forecasts a high value for his art. Photograph: Eric Luke

Higgins and his wife believe company’s stock of art investments will be worth ‘significantly more’ in the ‘medium term’

Larry Goodman of Anglo Beef Processors (ABP). Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Companies connected with Louth-based businessman Goodman and his sons have agreed loan financing for modest investment property (...)

 John Collison of Stripe speaking at the Web Summit in the RDS Dublin: the mobile payments  firm is moving into a Dublin’s docklands building. Photograph: Eric Luke

Property deal provides enough space to gradually expand team, says Stripe Europe chief

Celtic Pure’s Padraig McEneaney: he said the business grew by 27 per cent last year, with sales of about €8.6 million. For 2016, it is targeting the €10 million sales barrier for the first time.

Monaghan-based mineral water company plans to raise up to €5 million for expansion

Dublin heavyweight CRH was down 2.3% on the day

Tullow Oil loses 9.9% in Dublin after further falls in oil price, but Ryanair gains 2.2%

In December, Dunnes   merged at least 16   parts of its corporate structure into one entity, Dunnes Stores Ireland Company (DSIC), which has long been an important cog in the group but never before owned all 115 stores in the State.

Simplification of structure could make it easier to separate business along geographic lines if family was ever to sell part of th(...)

The shuttered and closed Clerys in Dublin. There are a number of unanswered questions surrounding its closure.

Several financial issues surrounding the closure of the iconic department store are yet to be resolved

Screenclick operated as a membership service and was set up in 2001. Members selected films from the Screenclick website, which were then posted to them for a monthly fee.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Liquidator appointed last month to, which is being wound up voluntarily

Harvey Norman has sales in Ireland of more than €150 million annually.  Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

Chief executive of Australian retailer says Irish operation is group’s star performer

The Daft report says there are just 25,000 houses for sale.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

National average shows 8.5% increase in prices, but Dublin average is just 2.7%

Teneo has reportedly held discussions with the backers of Apco, although it is believed an offer has not been submitted.

UK-based communications consultancy reportedly vying with BlueFocus

Despite having a smaller loan book than Bank of Ireland, AIB issued over 50 per cent more High Court summary judgment actions against borrowers last year compared with its main rival. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

State-owned bank issued 860 summary actions; mostly against commercial debts

Denis O’Brien or his companies became entangled in an array of legal actions and controversies in 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Topaz sale provides stunning success but proposed Digicel flotation flounders

Judgment was delivered in a case involving a Garrett Kelleher-linked company, Middleview, which at one stage had loans of up to €300 million with the former Anglo Irish Bank

Evidence about appointment of receivers criticises in High Court

Jurys Inn: the Ireland and UK-focused hotel group boosted its performance by targeting more high-value corporate guests. Photograph: Adrian Brown/Bloomberg News

Group posts 8 per cent revenue rise in 2014 after spike in inbound tourism numbers

Ryanair was one of the best performers on the Iseq, finishing up almost 2 per cent. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Confidence sparked by Federal Reserve rate rise on Thursday now replaced with caution

Luigi Wewege: Kiwi-Italian financier

Vivier was the subject of certain allegations in an RTÉ Prime Time investigation

Dermot Desmond: sure to have himself a white Christmas if he chooses to spend the festive season at his registered address in an apartment at Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Technology developed by Dermot Desmond firm will be used by new bank

Alan Ennis:  a fixture among the Irish-American movers and shakers of New York. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Alan Ennis is now head of a beauty products brand manager and consultancy in New York

Ocean Capital was set up in 2005 to invest in the then-booming commercial property scene across continental Europe. Photograph:  REUTERS/Neil Hall

Ocean’s website is still on the go with undated announcements looking for investors

Mike Ashley: his sports retailer Sports Direct has been pilloried this week. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct was subject of damaging ‘Guardian’ investigation

C&C chief executive Stephen Glancey in the company’s Dublin warehouse. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Stephen Glancey believes C&C’s new deal with Pabst will help it move on from its difficulties in the US

Solicitors for LS Catering wrote in October to solicitors for wound-up Clerys trading arm OCS Operations, accusing it of “misappropriating” Lorraine Sweeney’s firm’s cash

Former owner of LS Catering Lorraine Sweeney says her company is owed €46,000

The Edge, real name David Evans: “From day one, my intention was to build a home of the very highest possible standard of environmental sensitivity and sustainability.” Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

For almost a decade officials opposed the U2 guitarist’s plan to develop five mansions

Homestore + More: a real money-spinner, it has recently undergone a corporate restructuring

Ogalas takes unlimited status and transfers control to Isle of Man company Siglo

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: published Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. Photograph:  INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Cidermaker contradicts ABFI assertion that bill will ‘not meaningfully address misuse’

Gambling technology tycoon Teddy Sagi: convicted for securities fraud in his home country Israeli 20 years ago

Bid withdrawn even though Playtech wins appeal on ‘grounds of error in the CBI’s decision-making process’

Beast of a different stripe: Holiday World is promising tiger-watching trips in Africa, but you may have to bring your own tiger

Holiday World returns to the RDS

Emma Somers: an informercial queen who also once had a Broadway show The Blonde in the Thunderbird, has form in promoting various “alternative” therapies. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Lifewave Europe’s latest accounts, for 2014, show gross profits for the Galway firm of €19.7 million and net profits of €2.5 milli(...)

 Dr Michael Smurfit: he and his brother Dermot   could gain after  US private equity outfit Madison Dearborn indicated it may bid for Finnish paper company Powerflute Oyj. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Powerflute bid could be lucrative for brothers Dermot and Michael

Michael Carvill, managing director of Kenmare Resources, said if it cannot raise the extra portion to pay down debt, it would seek a debt-for-equity swap. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Irish mining firm says Moma site has minerals potentially worth up to $1.2 billion

Dermot Desmond: businessman’s Intuition Publishing  managed to maintain its profitability despite sales dropping 6 per cent to €24.8 million last year. Photograph:  Eric Luke

Move comes after web-based educational tools development firm makes profits of €5m

Michael Carvill: said the company would give shareholders the opportunity to participate in a further fundraising

Resources group tells stock exchange Australian suitor abandoning takeover bid

Richard Moat:  dashed from Belfast  to Dublin

Telco nominated for European PR Excellence Award for its rebrand from Eircom this year

Smithwick’s has brewed up a national competition for amateur ale fans to create their own Christmas beverages.

Smithwick’s is almost hip again, proving that nothing is impossible in the world of corporate marketing

The Boston College Eagles celebrate a touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Boston last month. Photograph: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Aer Lingus College Football Classic will pit Boston College against Georgia Tech

Struck off solicitor charged an average £750 (€1,043) per hour

Goodbody Stockbrokers’ annual equity conference takes place in the Marker Hotel in Dublin today. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Goodbody annual equity conference to feature ‘speed-dating’ for entrepreneurs

Dermot Desmond: wrote to McDonald’s in the 1970s “looking for the franchise”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

McDonald’s ‘never responded’ to Dermot Desmond

 PrePay Power CEO Andrew Collins. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Pay-as-you-go electricity provider PrePay Power is Andrew Collins’s latest venture

PrePayPower CEO Andrew Collins:  he said the company would record double-digit percentage growth in 2015. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

PPP makes a net profit of €2.5m in 2014 after campaign to sign people up to pay-as-you-go

Denis O’Brien agreed to pay a reported €150 million for Topaz’s combined IBRC debts of about €305 million in 2013. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Canadian retailer buys fuel chain for an estimated €450m

Brian Hannasch, president and chief executive   of Alimentation Couche-Tard and Emmet O’Neill, chief executive of  Topaz: When congratulated for keeping the deal a secret, O’Neill smiled and said: “We like to keep things under the radar. That’s how we roll.”  Photograph:  Johnny Bambury/Fennell Photography

An incredible deal for his nephew, but it’s unclear why O’Brien chose now to sell

Eddie O’Connor says the Government should play a leading role in Europe to push for renewable energy, such as power derived from wind and solar

Airtricity founder Eddie O’Connor aiming for 2018 flotation of Mainstream Renewable Power

Vodafone Ireland’s Ciaran Barrett, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and Peter Collins, managing director of Carrigaline Court Hotel:  LightSpeed is being initially launched in Carrigaline. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Telco’s first 1 gigabit services launched using its €450 million fibre joint venture with ESB

Clerys has remained shuttered since the Natrium consortium bought it in June. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Company linked to cafe owner expected to make formal challenge to liquidation

The developer will put in place infrastructure ahead of plans for an initial 1,400 apartments next year

Almost 4,000 new homes expected to be part of €2bn development in south Dublin

The KPMG offices in Belfast:  four KPMG partners were arrested on Wednesday.  Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Officials request documents from law firm representing JEAP

Gayle Killilea: The bankruptcy officials contended she had no standing to seek the ending of the stay by the US court. Photograph: Collins

Bankruptcy officials had asked the court to terminate a stay in the US courts on the pursuit of the US and South African assets (...)

Pat McDonagh of Supermacs: among the wealthiest self-made entrepreneurs in the west. His group grew sales last year by 18 per cent to €93 million. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Galway entrepreneur sells 18 buildings to his restaurant group

25 Fitzwilliam Place: venue for recent Tesco promotion

Tesco serves samples of its wares at event including items from Finest range

 U2: publisher Ian Hyland is clearly a   fan.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

One of ‘Business&Finance’ man’s firms is called Elevation Media

Small Firms’ Association warns: “Employers must be aware that the party venue is basically an extension of the office and that they remain responsible for the... behaviour of employees during such events.”

While no doubt wise, the SFA’s instructions for festive fun seem a little strict

Philippe Leboeuf: French hotelier helped Conor Kenny launch his new book, ‘Dancing at the Fountain’, this week in Kildare. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Davern and Phillippe Leboeuf help launch Conor Kenny’s book at the K Club

Deirdre Foley: doesn’t care much for publicity

Shuttered department store has been hive of activity over the last fortnight

The KPMG offices in Belfast where four partners are on “administrative leave” after an investigation was launched by HM Revenue and Customs officers. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Company owned by four senior partners backed proposed property developments

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