PwC note advises clients to sell assets before Sinn Féin takes power

Seen & Heard: Also in the news, DPP file on Russian sanctions violation, Guinness brewery closure in USA and redundancy packages for Meta staff

The Business Post reported that a draft PwC report has warned clients to speed up the sale of assets and investments in their pension pots in order to protect their wealth ahead of Sinn Féin potentially being in power, with the party riding high in opinion polls.

The report, dated in March and marked “draft and for discussion”, analyses the impact of the party’s proposals to increase income tax on high earners and gains on asset disposals by wealthy individuals, as well as its plan to reduce tax relief on large pensions.

The paper said actions clients could take to mitigate the impact include accelerating “asset sales”, “pension contributions”, “gifts”, and bonuses and dividends.

File sent to DPP on alleged violation of sanctions on Russia

An Garda Síochána has filed a report with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) about an alleged violation of financial sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, the Sunday Independent reporting, citing a garda spokesman.


The spokesman said that another alleged financial sanction breach is currently being investigated by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau. Contraventions of sanctions can lead to a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a fine of up to €500,000. The European Union has imposed 10 rounds of sanctions since Russia invaded its western neighbour in February last year.

The newspaper said that it is believed that the report submitted to the DPP is the first one on an alleged violation of sanctions on Russian entities. It did not give specific details on the case.

Guinness to shut brewery in Maryland

The Sunday Independent also reported that drinks giant Diageo is planning to shut a brewery in Maryland where Guinness Baltimore Blonde is brewed, amid changing consumer tastes. Close to 100 jobs will be lost in the US state as a result.

Guinness bought the site in Relay in 2001 and invested $90 million (€82.4 million) five years ago in the facility to brew Baltimore Blonde and develop a small-batch brewhouse for the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrell House, modelled on the St James’s Gate experimental brewery in Dublin. The brewing of experimental beers and hospitality services will be unaffected by the closure of the larger plant, the newspaper said.

Thin Lizzy to launch new whiskey brand

Thin Lizzy and the estate of the rock band’s late lead singer Phil Lynott are planning to join forces with West Cork Distillers to launch a new whiskey brand, according to the Sunday Independent.

The report cites a spokesman for Thin Lizzy — which did a famous cover of Whiskey in the Jar — who said the bank and family of Lynott, who died in 1986, were “delighted” to be involved in the project.

The whiskey was created when band members Scott Gorham and Brian Downey and the Lynott family went to the distillery in Skibbereen to develop the new brand, the report said.

Ryan’s volte-face on LNG

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan has conceded that the Republic may need to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, reversing Green Party policy on the matter, the Business Post also reported.

The newspaper said that the Government was under growing pressure to accept the need for an LNG storage plant. It cites Mr Ryan as saying that “the world changed a year ago” when those Nord Stream gas pipelines were blown up in the Baltic Sea.

The Minister’s department is due to publish a new energy security review in the coming weeks, it noted.

Exiting Meta staff offered packages of up to €100,000

The Sunday Times reported that Meta’s Irish staff that are exiting the company under a redundancy programme are being offered departure packages of 16 weeks’ pay alongside two weeks’ pay per year of service.

This could result in packages of as much as €100,000 for some of the longest-serving Irish staff of the Facebook parent, it added.

Meta announced last November that it would be cutting 11,000 jobs globally, with 350 staff in its Irish hub affected.

Former Debenhams store in Limerick eyed as aparthotel

The Sunday Times also reported that the former Debenhams store on O’Connell Street in Limerick is on track to be turned into an aparthotel, subject to planning approval.

The paper said that Galway developer Michael MacDonagh, who bought the protected building three years ago, has submitted a planning application seeking to change the use of part of the ground, first and second floors and the entire third floor into an aparthotel. The notice does not say how many rooms Mr MacDonagh’s company, Dalespell, is planning to build.

The remainder of the building would be retained for retail, the report added. Debenhams closed all 11 of its Irish stores three years ago after the local arm of the UK retailing giant went into liquidation. Almost all of the units are now occupied or in the process of being occupied, the paper said.