Donohoe’s new role, House of Ireland shuts, and being indispensable at work

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

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe – new president of the Eurogroup. Photograph: AFP via Getty

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe – new president of the Eurogroup. Photograph: AFP via Getty


Paschal Donohoe’s appointment as head of the powerful Eurogroup for the next two and a half years puts the Republic at the centre of discussions on the future of the EU, writes our Europe Correspondent, Naomi O’Leary. The appointment, confirmed on Thursday evening, saw Mr Donohoe beat two other eminent candidates.

House of Ireland, the retail group that sells giftware to tourists, is shutting down as the business fallout from Covid-19 continues to spread. Mark Paul and Peter Hamilton have the story, which sees five companies associated with the long-standing business seeking to appoint a liquidator.

Mark Paul also takes an in-depth look at the immense threats facing the wider ¤1 billion tourist retail market. In this week’s Agenda feature, he notes that Irish ‘staycationers’ will only pick up a fraction of the retail slack left by absent visitors this year.

And in his Caveat column, he argues that the “slapdash” manner in which the tourism and travel sector gets treated by politicians is most unfortunate. Blithely offering up a sector as an economic sacrifice underlines how opinion formers see travel and tourism as “a frivolous pastime”, he writes.

In his weekly economics column, John FitzGerald considers the challenges facing Irish Water in the context of the policy failures that surrounded its establishment seven years ago. He notes that water investment is competing with many other demands.

Olive Keogh offers some expert guidance on how to make yourself indispensable at work in the ‘new normal’ of coronavirus. She writes that collaborative relationships are here to stay, with the ability to handle them successfully essential to survival.

And on the broader business front, Andrew Hill advises that it’s unwise for those in charge to cling to underperforming operations at this time, particularly when such strategies are based only on emotional or historical factors.

This week’s Wild Goose is Orla McMahon, a native of Castleknock in Dublin who ended up in the German city of Hamburg after studying European languages at university in Dublin. She tells Barbara McCarthy about arriving in Germany in 1997 with plans to stay only for a few months, and says her rent in Hamburg is “so low it’s a joke”.

And finally. the nominees have been announced for this year’s Irish Times Business Awards, held in association with KPMG. To date, 16 business leaders have been chosen to vie for the coveted Business Person of the Year award.

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