Dublin Airport plan prioritises car park space over terminals

Seen & Heard: Paddy Cosgrave’s return; Building materials prices; Wicklow airport plan; and Powerscourt Distillery ‘explores sale’

Redevelopment of the land bank between Dublin Airport’s main runways proposed by the property’s owners would initially focus on the delivery of additional car parking and logistics space before building a third terminal, the Sunday Independent reports.

Contained in a 64-page concept submission to Fingal County Council, the proposal from the owners – a consortium led by businessman Ulick McEvaddy – would allow the airport to grow to accommodate 55 million passengers each year.

DAA, the operator of the airport, submitted its own plan earlier this year, which would focus on extending the runway aprons and other enhancements in an effort to grow capacity to 40 million passengers per year.

However, the owners of the site say their scheme could be developed more quickly and for less expense than DAA’s proposal although both schemes would require an investment of €2.2 billion.


‘No sign’ of return to pre-Covid building materials prices

Following a period of rampant price inflation in the wake of the pandemic, building materials costs show “no sign” of returning to pre-pandemic levels, the boss of one of Ireland’s largest hardware buyers has told the Sunday Independent.

Paul Candon, who also serves as president of the Hardware Association of Ireland (HAI), said prices of key materials for house building including cement, timber and insulation remain elevated. Combined with labour shortages in the construction sector and rising wages, he said merchants and builders are still under considerable pressure.

Mr Candon said: “When we talked to members of the HAI about what trades they ranked as key [in terms of the shortage], they said number one was plumbers, number two was plasterers, three was electricians and four was bricklayers.”

Plans for international airport in Wicklow

An unidentified Middle East investment consortium is reported to be advancing plans for an international airport near Arklow in Co Wicklow. The Business Post reports that it has agreed provisional deals with local farmers and families to purchase 600 acres of land. A consultant acting on behalf of the group says the project will require at least 800 acres but the group is targeting the purchase of 1,000 acres of land.

The developers claim the location – outside the operating airspace controlled by Dublin Airport and with existing motorway infrastructure – offers a “genuine alternative to Dublin Airport” at significantly lower cost to airlines.

Paddy Cosgrave returns as Web Summit boss

Paddy Cosgrave has been reappointed as chief executive of Web Summit, just months after he resigned from the role following backlash from conference attendees over a series of tweets about Israeli attacks in Gaza, the Sunday Independent reports.

A path for the businessman’s return was cleared when his replacement, US executive Katherine Maher, announced she would be stepping down from the position earlier this year after just three months in charge.

Mr Cosgrave initially came under pressure after he tweeted: “War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies and should be called out for what they are.”

In response, tech giants including Meta and Amazon threatened to pull out of the company’s flagship conference weeks before it took place in Lisbon.

Powerscourt distillery ‘explores sale’

The distillery behind Fercullen whiskey has gone to market, the Sunday Times reports, looking for investment that could culminate in a sale. The move is part of the Slazenger family’s plans to expand Powerscourt Distillery internationally.

In a statement to the paper, the company said it was “continuously examining options to secure additional growth capital” and had “no further comment to make”. However, it is understood Key Capital has been hired in recent months to handle a potential sale.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times