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Diageo’s €200m carbon-neutral brewery, Medtronic’s new jobs and the coming economic shock

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Diageo is to invest €200 million in Ireland’s first purpose-built carbon-neutral brewery at a greenfield site in Newbridge, Co Kildare. Kevin O’Sullivan reports on the planned Littleconnell development, which will use 100 per cent renewable energy to brew all of Diageo’s lagers and beers.

Medtech giant Medtronic is adding 200 research and development (R&D) roles at a global centre of excellence in Galway. Dominic Coyle has that story, explaining that the new jobs are part of a $30 million (€29.9 million) investment in its business.

In our Agenda long read, Joe Brennan parses a long-awaited Bill aimed at giving the Central bank powers it has been seeking to make it easier to hold individual bankers to account for wrongdoing under their watch. Now that it is finally here, how effective will it be, he asks.

Irish households are facing into the biggest cost-of-living squeeze in nearly four decades amid another significant jump in the official inflation rate. Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show consumer prices here rose by an average of 9.1 per cent in the 12 months to June – the fastest rate of price growth seen in the Irish economy since 1984 – and up from 7.8 per cent in the year to May. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has more.

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As price growth soars, companies hit hardest by rising energy costs will be in line for State financial supports over winter, with the Government seeking European Commission state aid approval for two special support programmes. Cliff Taylor reports that he schemes will allow the State to help businesses severely hit by significant increases in natural gas and electricity prices and other costs arising from the war in Ukraine.

Europe is facing an economic shock which may feel like the post-2008 crash but will be a very different animal, argues John FitzGerald in his weekly economics column. He says all euro zone states will be hit this time, not just the heavily indebted ones, a fact that will help to avoid a “blame game”. Furthermore, he writes, the states that were previously weighed down by their obligations are in better shape this time, while the ECB is wiser than it was a decade ago.

With every shop and food outlet seeming to be in a search for staff at the moment, one recruiter reckons it’s time to tap into retirees and older workers to fill the gaps. Kieran McKeown, managing director of Matrix Recruitment, explains his vision to Olive Keogh.

Brooke Masters takes a look at the growing consumer market for complex investments, often facilitated by game-like apps. The rise of crypto and the enforced boredom of pandemic lockdowns drew new participants into the area, leading to increasingly blurred lines between gambling and investing, she writes.

Fergal Leamy has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for June, an award run in association with Bank of Ireland. Mr Leamy is chief executive of Glen Dimplex, the Naughton family-owned electrical group, which sold off its Morphy Richards home appliances brand in June in a deal believed to be worth between €175 million and €200 million.

And finally, this week’s Wild Goose is Loughrea, Co Galway native, Sinead Naughton, who first landed in New York in 1994 and settled there with a Morrison visa in her back pocket. The qualified teacher and now New Jersey resident tells Barbara McCarthy about the pub business she runs with her husband.