Eirgrid reopens door for Dublin data centres as IDA chief seeks clarity

Seen & Heard: Broadband fee payments, Akusus jobs; DAA’s raffle upset

Grid operator Eirgrid has reopened the door for new data centre projects in the greater Dublin area after IDA chief Martin Shanahan intervened, the Business Post reports.

EirGrid had recently said there would be a moratorium on new data centre projects in the region and that it would not provide connection agreements for new facilities until at least 2028.

After Mr Shanahan contacted the operator to clarify the situation, Eirgrid said it would assess applications on a case-by-case basis, the paper has reported.

National Broadband Ireland fees

The Business Post also reports that the Department of Communications has insisted millions of euro in fees paid to National Broadband Ireland were not to reimburse costs incurred by investors for the project’s bid. The clarification follows a story by the Business Post earlier this month that said some €38 million in fees were paid by NBI to investors in the first year of the rollout of the broadband plan.


Akusus jobs

The Sunday Independent reports that Akusus is to create 350 jobs in the coming year, spread across its operations in the US and Ireland. The expansion comes after the group, which includes RelateCare and Rigneydolphin, experienced significant growth in the past 12 months. The company has already added 500 jobs in the past year.

The jobs will help support growth, with a number of new hubs in the works for Ireland and the US. One of those hubs will be in Tralee, the paper said, employing up to 50 people.

DAA raffle upset

The Sunday Independent reports how a raffle for DAA security staff has caused upset after workers accused management of trying to “bribe” staff to cover overtime at Christmas. The raffle for three €500 gift vouchers, was designed to encourage 100 per cent attendance, but instead caused upset among employees.

Staff were told that only those who worked their scheduled shifts between December 19th and January 2nd would be eligible. It meant those who had taken leave or were absent for illness or other reasons would be excluded. However, management changed the rules of entry to include those who had taken pre-approved leave after an outcry from staff.

AIB auditor change

The Sunday Times reports AIB has changed auditors, with PwC taking over from Deloitte. The change comes following eight years of working with Deloitte, and was prompted by EU independence rules that require banks and listed companies to change their auditors once every 10 years. PwC also audits Permanent TSB and KBC Bank, with KPMG auditing Bank of Ireland.

It is the second high-profile win for PwC, which also picked up a contract with Ryanair in recent days.

BrightPay-Relate merger valued

The Sunday Times also reports merged Irish accounting software companies BrightPay and Relate have been valued at almost €150 million. The merger deal was funded by Hg Capital’s Mercury 3 Fund.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist