Data breach at Bank of Ireland, five-star profits at the Shelbourne and why women don’t join boards

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Bank of Ireland notified the Data Protection Commissioner of the data breach. Photograph: iStock

Bank of Ireland notified the Data Protection Commissioner of the data breach. Photograph: iStock


An email attachment wrongly circulated at Bank of Ireland earlier this year led to details of the pay and perks of more than 100 staff being inadvertently shared, with the data breach subsequently reported to the Data Protection Commissioner. Joe Brennan has the details.

Joe also reports on plans being progressed by Lloyds Banking Group to offload its remaining Irish portfolio of more than €5 billion of mainly-performing mortgage loans, a legacy from its pre-crash activities here.

The human effects of the Celtic Tiger’s demise are taken up today by Mark Paul, who profiles Eileen and Séamus McPartland, who lost control of landmark Dublin pub, Fallons in the Coombe, just as the recession was ending. “We tried our best, and we were vulnerable,” Séamus says.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy has a story on how the fines hanging over Ireland for missing its EU climate targets in 2020 are likely to be significantly lower than previously thought, mostly due to declines in the cost of carbon credits.

He has also taken a look at the latest accounts for the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, where five-star service seems to be translating into five-star profits.

Mark Paul has been following developments at the former children’s charity linked to Matheson, the Dublin-based corporate law firm, discovering that the entities that comprised the charity have paid out €2.4 million to Irish causes. The Matheson Foundation previously operated as the registered charitable wing of the law firm, but it also earned fees by doubling as a shareholder services firm for tax-avoiding multinationals.

In his weekly economics column, John FitzGerald looks at the State’s pensions strategy, specifically the National Pension Reserve Fund and its reincarnation as the Irish Strategic Investment Fund. It is time to change the remit of the fund, he argues.

Paul McCann is stepping down as managing partner of accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, and features as this week’s Business Interview. Telling Ciarán Hancock how he does not wish to become a “David Brent” character after his tenure ends in the top job, McCann says it’s all about being “authentic”.

In our World of Work section, Olive Keogh explains how to get the most out of networking events, suggesting that “speed-dating” your way around a room rarely works.

And finally, Mark Paul looks at female representation on State boardsin his Caveat column, arguing that “female shyness has to be addressed just as urgently as the issue of male sexism.”