Eason profits, EVs for taxi drivers, and revving up for e-scooters

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

Are we ready for an influx of e-scooters? Photograph: iStock

Are we ready for an influx of e-scooters? Photograph: iStock


Irish retailer Eason increased its profits last year in spite of a 27 per cent reduction in revenues due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Ciarán Hancock reports that the business posted an after-tax profit of €759,000 for the period.

Taxi drivers looking to switch to cleaner electric vehicles have been told there is no exchequer money left to fund a grant scheme designed to incentivise such switches, writes Dominic Coyle. Taxi drivers have been a particular target for such incentives due to their high mileage, mostly in towns and cities.

It has emerged that one of two Irish electricity plants shut down since last winter is due to restart at the weekend, but a second will not resume for 11 days after originally estimated. The news comes amid a continuing energy squeeze in the Republic, reports Barry O’Halloran.

US medical device business Edwards Lifesciences is to create an additional 250 jobs at its Limerick manufacturing site, bringing the total number employed there to 850. The announcement coincides with the official opening on Friday of the group’s operations in Castletroy in Limerick. Ciara O’Brien has more details.

In his Caveat column, Mark Paul takes on the sobering topic of establishing ‘an acceptable level of death’ that would be balanced against imposing public health restrictions on society as a whole. The issue should not be shirked because it is uncomfortable, he argues.

Charlie Taylor asks if we’re all ready to go with our e-scooters in the wake of the Government approving draft legislation for their use. In a long read, he points out that it could be many months before scooter providers begin to offer the rental services expected to turbo-charge the sector. Meanwhile, some commentators are more than worried about the impact the micromobility devices will have on our cities and towns. Are they a silver bullet for our transport issues?

In our Work section, Olive Keogh talks to people who have been spurred to swap city life for rural living, including an architect who has moved from the Liberties in Dublin to Schull in west Cork. How well do such shifts work and what impact do they have on the city left behind?

As the end of the pandemic becomes more uncertain, we take a look across the Atlantic at the likely future of hotels, finding that the guest experience could be set for major change. This could even include deploying robots instead of human hotel staff.

This week’s Wild Goose is George Heslin, who has created a successful career for himself off Broadway in New York. He tells Barbara McCarthy that his move to the US was accidental, stemming from his father entering him into a green card lottery wuthout his knowledge.

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