Emergency power plants; Hibergene runs out of road; and don’t believe everything Meta says

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

The State is seeking permission for two emergency power plants, Barry O’Halloran reports. Minister Eamon Ryan and his department have applied for the schemes in applications that involve setting aside some normal planning processes, with decisions due shortly. Barry also reports that work could begin this year on a €1 billion Irish-French power line after Government licensed the project. Electricity could begin flowing between the two countries in 2026 with capacity to power 700,000 homes.

Hibergene, the medical diagnostics business that most recently developed a rapid Covid-19 test, has decided to call in the liquidator, citing the collapse of talks with potential funding sources amid recriminations between shareholders as the main reason for the decision. Ian Curran reports.

An Irish health technology start-up has developed an app to allow individuals access and store their healthcare information and share it with doctors and other medical staff where necessary. Cushla is in the process of raising €3 million, writes Joe Brennan.

Irish manufacturing firms have begun to scale back production as demand weakens in the face of rising inflation, one of the strongest signals yet of a slowdown in the wider economy, according to the latest AIB Ireland Manufacturing PMI survey, published this morning. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports that, in August, it delivered its lowest reading since October 2020 — but that is still better than much of the western world.


Aldi has announced a major expansion in the West of Ireland that will see it open six new stores and upgrade others in a €63 million expansion that will create 140 jobs.

That won’t necessarily cheer younger generations who, a Central Bank paper says, are likely to face significant challenges funding their retirement and may face a lower standard of living than their predecessors, a research paper from the Central Bank has indicated. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has the details.

Also looking warily over its shoulder is Tourism Ireland, which was warned that price increases of up to 30 per cent for accommodation had the potential to damage “the island of Ireland’s image” in a series of reports it organised. The agency’s monitoring of social media also showed a continuing “low but consistent number of complaints”, mostly focusing on the cost of car hire or hotels, according to a Freedom of Information request by Ken Foxe.

Virgin Media Television has unveiled its new season offerings, including a crime drama The Vanishing Triangle and unscripted series Lucy Investigates and How to Buy a Home. Laura Slattery reports on the offerings.

In her column, Karlin Lillington argues that anyone who thinks Facebook and Instagram parent, Meta, will shut up shop and pull out of Europe if the EU determines that data transfers to the US must stop is kidding themselves.

Meanwhile, consumer watchdog, the CCPC, has argued for a more rigorous system of dealing with mortgage arrears that would involve using a “suspended repossession” arrangement open to the courts for a number of years, if we are to increase competition among banks in Ireland.

On a more positive note, Chris Horn writes that 3D printing has moved out of the prototype stage and could offer governments and builders a quick build option for new homes.

Karl Llewellyn thought up Sanctifly during a four-hour airport stopover. The wellness app provides travellers with advice, hints, tips, hacks and information on how to spend between one and six hours of a delay or layover before, after or between flights at 175 international airports, including details of local runs, gyms, pools, spas, quiet zones, meditation and yoga spaces, lounges, shower and sleep options and healthy places to eat. Olive Keogh spoke to him.

Ciara O’Brien spends time at home with a Samsung’s 65-inch OLED TV and is more impressed with the outcome than she expected to be.

Finally, Paddy Galvin, who was chief executive of Guinness Ireland and Waterford Crystal — and the first Catholic to be appointed to the Guinness board — has died at the age of 89.

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