Building contract disputes, recovery funds, and getting your money back

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

05/04/2020 - NEWS - Construction halted stopped at the National Childrens Hospital building site which is being constructed by BAM as Covid-19 Coronavirus restrictions remain in place.Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Building contractors could end up in complex disputes with clients following the suspension of most construction across the State as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, experts warn. Barry O'Halloran reports quantity surveyors and lawyers are warning that contracts may not have been drawn up with a pandemic in mind, leaving builders facing possible penalties for delayed work.

Family-owned businesses want the State to establish a recovery fund to aid them in maintaining jobs after the Covid-19 crisis has passed, writes Barry O'Halloran.

Bord Bia has announced details of its supports strategy for the Republic's food, drink and horticulture sector as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Colin Gleeson has the details.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will meet insurers this week amid claims that some are relying on small print to avoid paying out on claims for loss of income resulting from the Covid-19 shut-down.


Covid-19 is having a "severe impact" on the Irish Aviation Authority's ¤200 million a-year revenues but it is continuing to pay staff wages in full, Barry reports.

The aviation sector looks set to be the next test of strained relations between the Dutch and their EU neighboursan could well be over whether Europe still needs an airline tax. The Dutch are pushing for an EU-wide tax on airline fuel, writes Peter Cluskey from The Hague.

It seems we may be witnessing the fall of the roaming empire. The coronavirus has hit telco revenue and analysts predict the pandemic will signal the end of the roaming era with overseas travel halted.

If Covid-19 has put your concert, Irish college or holiday plans in limbo, can you at least get your money back? Joanne Hunt finds out.

Also in our personal finance coverage, Proinsias O'Mahony writes that the latest market data suggests most ordinary investors are opting to do exactly what they should be doing in a crisis like this – nothing.

Finally, Laura Slattery writes that the way French publishers came together to take a case seeking compensation from Google for using their snippets online, is a timely case study in the value of press solidarity against the tech giants.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times