Ciarán Hancock’s Christmas Business Quiz

Win overnight accommodation in the Castlemartyr Resort or Farnham Estate, or a 12-month premium digital subscription to ’The Irish Times’

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

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?

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?

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

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

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?

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

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?

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

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

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?

12. Who are the four people pictured?

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

The prizes and how to enter

This year the winner will receive a two-night stay in the five-star, 220-acre Castlemartyr Resort in east Cork. The prize includes breakfast on both mornings and dinner in the Bell Tower Restaurant on one evening of your choice. Visit for information on the venue.

The runner-up will receive a two-night stay in the four-star Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort in Co Cavan. The prize is for a two-night stay with breakfast on both mornings and dinner in the Cedar Rooms on one evening of your choice. Visit for information on the venue.

There is also a participants’ prize of a 12-month premium digital subscription to The Irish Times. This will be awarded to the first name out of the hat for all completed entries. So there’s every incentive for you to just to enter the competition.

Terms and conditions for the accommodation prizes will be notified to the winners. The judges decision on the winners will be final.

Entries should be sent for the attention of Ciarán Hancock to: The Irish Times, 24 Tara Street, Dublin 2 or by email to

Entries must be received by the close of business on Monday, January 7th. The winner will be announced later that week. Best of luck and Happy Christmas.

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