Redundancies on the rise as labour market softens

Seen & Heard: Solar 21 delays; the race for Blanchardstown Centre; Paddy McKillen jnr’s Mount Merrion scheme

The Government was informed of some 1,800 planned redundancies in the private sector in February, the Business Post reports, the third highest number recorded in a single month since 2021.

The newspaper has obtained fresh data that shows that TikTok, Wayfair and Flutter are among the list of firms planning to shed jobs this year.

Tech companies, the figures indicate, are still clearly in cost trimming mode, despite comments from Ministers in recent months indicating that the worst of the cuts are behind us.

Meanwhile, separate figures from Dublin recruitment firm Sanderson show job vacancies have also fallen from last year, the paper reports. Taken together, the data is suggestive of a softening in labour market conditions with workers less inclined to look for new roles.


Solar 12 faces asset sales delay

Troubled Irish renewables company Solar 12 is facing fresh delays in its bid to raise funds, the Sunday Independent reports.

The firm, which is in the midst of a High Court approved restructuring, has told investors that it may enter into dispute with the contractors on the site of its decommissioned biomass plant in Yorkshire.

This has delayed Solar 21′s plan to get the site up and running by January 2024 and ultimately offload the plant, according to a report to investors.

Management is having “urgent meetings” with the contractor, investors have been told.

US investor leads race for Blanchardstown Centre

The Sunday Times reports that US investment firm Northwood is believed to be making an “aggressive” bid to acquire Blanchardstown Centre in Dublin 15 from Goldman Sachs.

Although investment group M&G , Beauparc founder Eamon Waters and property investment giant Hines are said to still be in the running, Northwood has reportedly tabled a first-round offer in the region of €580 million.

Bidding is in the early stages, the paper reports, after the centre was put on the market with a guide price of between €650 million and €725 million, slightly less than the €750 million Goldman Sachs paid for it in 2020.

‘Full Steam ahead at McKillen’s Mount Merrion scheme

Work is now under way again at a luxury apartment scheme being developed by Paddy McKillen jnr’s Oakmount property vehicle in Mount Merrion, the Business Post reports.

The project, dubbed the Pinnacle, was originally due for completion in 2023. However, the scheme has faced a number of delays – some due to a change of contractor last year, as reported by The Irish Times – much to the chagrin of local residents.

A spokeswoman for Oakmount told the Post that there is now a full crew on site and work is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

Irish visual effects companies impress in top productions

A Dublin-based company that worked on the production of Disney’s blockbuster Shogun series wants to make Ireland a global “hub” for visual effects, the Mail on Sunday reports.

SSVFX, a subsidiary of Screen Scene, has also worked on other big-name productions including Game of Thrones and Stranger things.

Its managing director, Jake Walshe, said Irish companies are already working with top-level US clients but the Government can do more incentivise the TV and film production industry in the Republic. “Our plan is that we would see Ireland as being a hub, if you like, for visual effects,” he told the paper.

This story has been updated to correct the name of the company in the second paragraph to Wayfair

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times