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BAM’s revenues surge, bitcoin’s dilemma and the marriage bar legacy

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

The Irish division of Dutch construction giant BAM shrugged off the impact of Covid lockdowns last year to record a more than one-third surge in revenues while the group also returned to profit. BAM, whose biggest project here is the €1.4 billion National Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Dublin, saw its revenues rise to €626.2 million last year. It recorded a profit of €10.7 million, compared to a loss of €16.9 million in 2020. Mark Paul has the details.

Is bitcoin above control by authoritarians, asks Sally Hayden in Agenda, as its proponents say? Across Africa, there has been a growing use of nationwide internet shutdowns by governments, prompted by everything from controlling protests, to making sure students don’t cheat on their exams. What could this mean for a currency which requires internet connectivity to function? Time will tell.

How long will it take, asks Mark Paul, for the chorus of increasingly shrill voices in Irish politics, business and society who only ever want more expansive public expenditure to realise that the near-¤250 billion gross national debt cannot be perpetually inflated like a Baby Trump blimp without harming future generations?

Fifty years ago, writes John FitzGerald, my wife had to resign her job in the Civil Service. We have happy photos of the day in question, as it was our wedding day. However, she, and a generation of women forced to give up their careers, remain sore about the infamous marriage bar.


“If you are lucky enough to be white and male and well-educated in America, you can somewhat get away with it I guess, but probably not everyone could do it. But I could never work in a fear-based, hierarchical company, so I figure others couldn’t either. I try to create a culture that is accepting of all.” Wild Geese meets Terry Downes, COO of Seattle-based ocean health company Sealaska

Life in the tech sector has become a little jittery. High profile companies, including Microsoft, Google and Meta, have hit the pause button on recruitment while hiring intentions in Ireland’s indigenous tech sector have also cooled. Tech aside, however, hiring sentiment remains strong with a noticeable amount of movement at senior manager and C-suite level, especially in the public sector. Olive Keogh reports.

On our Inside Business podcast Jack Horgan-Jones and Cliff Taylor discuss Budget 2023 , when the government is expected to deliver a huge package of relief for households as well as the usual adjustments to taxes and new fiscal initiatives. One sector that will be watching closely next week is tourism. Businesses will be hoping for an extension of the 9 per cent VAT rate that was brought in to help them survive the pandemic. But there are indications the rate, which was extended by six months in May, will not be extended again. Eoghan O’Mara Walsh is chief executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation. He tells presenter Ciarán Hancock why the rate should stay and how the sector is faring.

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