Ciarán Hancock’s Christmas Business Quiz - the answers and winners

Winners get overnight accommodation in the Castlemartyr Resort, the Farnham Estate and a 12-month premium digital subscription to ’The Irish Time

The former Clerys department store changed hands this year. Who are the new owners? Europa Capital-led consortium.

The former Clerys department store changed hands this year. Who are the new owners? Europa Capital-led consortium.


There was a great response to our Christmas Business Quiz, and a large number of entries with correct answers. Our winner is Patricia Ahern from Wilton in Cork, who won’t have to travel too far to avail of a two-night stay at the fabulous five-star, 220-acre Castlemartyr Resort in east Cork.

The runner-up is Aidan Herdman in Co Kildare, who has won a two-night stay in the top class four-star Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort in Co Cavan.

Our participants’ prize has been won by Paul Dunphy, who will receive a 12-month premium digital subscription to The Irish Times.

Congratulations to all our winners. Thank you to all those who entered. It’s just 49 weeks until our next Christmas Business Quiz.

1. Who is stepping down this month as chief executive of Aer Lingus and who will succeed him on January 1st?

Stephen Kavanagh replaced by Sean Doyle

2. Irish Continental Group was forced to cancel sailings to France this summer due to the delayed delivery of what new ship from the German FSG yard?

WB Yeats

3. In November, the Central Bank of Ireland’s deputy governor Sharon Donnery lost out in a two-way race to become chair of the Single Supervisory Mechanism. Who pipped her to this plum posting?

Andrea Enria

4. Fine Gael politician Brian Hayes is set for a change of career in 2019. What new role has he accepted?

CEO of Banking & Payments Federation Ireland

5. In May, who was the inaugural winner of the Irish Times Business Person of the Year Award, in association with KPMG?

Siobhan Talbot

6. He was the longest-serving FTSE 100 chief executive but allegations about “personal misconduct” resulted in him leaving the company he created before later setting up his own business. Who is he?

Sir Martin Sorrell

7. What bank is AIB chief financial officer Mark Bourke set to join next year?

Novo Banco

8. How many passengers per year does Dublin Airport fear losing if the planning conditions attached to its new third runway plan are not reversed?

3 million

9. The former Clerys department store changed hands this year. Who are the new owners?

Europa Capital-led consortium

10. What previously high-flying businessman said: “This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career. It was excruciating.”

Elon Musk

11. What two mythical sea monsters were invoked by a High Court judge in a warning to journalists about their coverage of the legal battle between Independent News & Media and the ODCE?

Scylla & Charybdis

12. Who are the four people pictured?

Ciaran Murray
Ciaran Murray
Mary McKenna
Mary McKenna
Denis O’Sullivan
Denis O’Sullivan
Aisling Hassell
Aisling Hassell

13. Who was recently reappointed as managing partner of PwC?

Feargal O’Rourke

14. Which Chinese airline began direct flights between Dublin and Beijing this year?

Hainan Airlines

15. Who represented Ireland at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2018?

Harry Hughes

16. Former communications minister Denis Naughten resigned his post following controversy in relation to private meetings he held with which US billionaire businessman?

David McCourt

17. What is the name of the special purpose vehicle Permanent TSB used to securitise €1.3 billion of non-performing loans in November?

Glenbeigh Securities

18. Elan veteran Séamus Mulligan and his team made $735 million from the sale of their opioid rescue drug company Adapt Pharma to US group Emergent this year but it’s not his first success. Name the previous company he built and sold?

Azur Pharma

19. In July, which technology company was on the end of a record anti-trust fine of €4.3 billion by the European Commission?


20. Which Waterford-based technology company listed on the Dublin and London stock markets this year?

Immersive VR Education

21. In Dublin, what have the Stella diner, the Devlin hotel, Elephant & Castle and the Lucky Duck got in common?

All part of the Press Up Entertainment Group

22. Which former minister for finance stepped off the board of Ryanair in 2018?

Charlie McCreevy

23. Ireland’s women’s hockey team did the country proud this year, defying the odds to win the silver medal at the World Cup in London. Which company stepped into the breach at the last minute to sponsor the team?


24. You have a debt of €2,000 with an APR of 20 per cent and you’re repaying just €40 a month. How long would it take to clear your debt?

a) 3 years

b) 5 years

c) 9 years

9 Years

25. Web Summit secured a 10-year deal to stay in Lisbon in October. How much is the buyout clause reportedly worth ?

€3 billion

26. Which company closed down in early May after revelations about its controversial use of Facebook data for political purposes was revealed?

Cambridge Analytica

27. Which Irish-founded tech company achieved ‘unicorn status’ this year after its latest fundraising put its valuation at more than $1 billion.


28. How many Irish whiskey distilleries are now operational on the island?

a) 11, b) 21, c) 31, d) 41


29. Which executive here become Ireland’s latest billionaire, earning himself a place on Forbes’s annual ranking?

Michael O’Leary

30. Named after a famous footballer, what Belfast hotel was forced to push back its opening until 2019?

George Best Hotel