City bowling alley plan and Irish Times business awards

The best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Property developer Hines has been given permission to build a bowling alley to the rear of the Gaiety Theatre. The development will consist of an eight-lane bowling alley, a bar, and an arcade-style area with other games such as darts, shuffle board, and beer pong, according to planning documents. Barry J Whyte has the details.

Chief executive and founder of Cubic Telecom Barry Napier has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Year for 2023, an award run in association with Bank of Ireland. Siobhán Talbot, who stepped down last month as group managing director of Glanbia after 10 years at the helm, has been chosen as the recipient of the Distinguished Leader in Business award at the awards, which were held in the Mansion House in Dublin on Thursday night. Also on the night, Wexford-based Greenvalley Farms Ltd, otherwise known as Killowen Farm, won the Local Business category; Technology entrepreneur Terry Clune and his CluneTech group won Deal of the Year and Monaghan-based entrepreneur Sam Moffett (34) has won the Future Leader award.

“Barretstown is a very, very happy place, but behind it there’s a family here who’ve lost a child, and it’s so hard to sort of get your head around that,” says the charity’s chief executive Dee Ahearn in an interview with Dominic Coyle.

The public inquiry into the conduct of former PTSB chief executive David Guinane began this week, but tracker mortgage scandal is far from over, writes Joe Brennan in Agenda. All told, the banks set aside €1.5 billion of provisions in the past seven years to cover refunds, compensation, fines and administrative costs as they dealt with more than 41,000 borrowers so far deemed to have been affected by a sector-wide debacle that stretches back to 2008.


Germany does have a problem with a rigid constitutional rule that narrowly limits the permissible budget deficit. As we in Ireland know only too well, the Merkel government was bitterly opposed to borrowing, and they enshrined this provision in their constitution, writes John FitzGerald in his weekly column. But the answer to today’s conundrum, when Germany should be spending more to avoid a slump, is to alter their constitutional provision, not to play around with the books.

In the wild West they used to call them guns for hire. In business, they’re called interim managers and their role is to bolster the management capability of an organisation, particularly during periods of change, growth and expansion. Interim management really took off in the 1980s when the economic climate forced widespread corporate restructuring. writes Olive Keigh. A lot has changed in the world of work since then, but variations on the theme of interim help have stuck. With hard-pressed companies now needing to curb expenditure again, interim management is enjoying a renaissance and a rebrand. Exit the interim manager: enter the fractional executive.

Remember the national debt? During the financial crisis Ireland’s high debt levels, combined with a sudden hole in the annual budget, threw the State into crisis, eventually leading to the Troika bailout agreed in late 2010. Now, with the exchequer in surplus, the national debt has been largely forgotten. But at €223 billion, it is still lurking and the annual report on the national debt, published this week, points out that per head of population this is one of the highest national debts internationally. So does this matter, wonders Cliff Taylor.

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