Seen & Heard: Silver lining for Apollo House activists?

Entrepreneur Ken Peterson offers to buy building and turn it into homeless shelter

Irish-American telecoms entrepreneur Ken Peterson  reportedly offered to buy Apollo House for an estimated price of €7.5 million. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Irish-American telecoms entrepreneur Ken Peterson reportedly offered to buy Apollo House for an estimated price of €7.5 million. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins


Might there be a happy ending to the Apollo House debacle after all? According to a report in the Sunday Independent, Irish-American telecoms entrepreneur Ken Peterson has offered to buy Apollo House to allow it become a homeless shelter.

Mr Peterson apparently made the offer to Home Sweet Home activists who occupied the Nama-owned property in Dublin city centre for four weeks until they were evicted from the building last week.

The report suggests he was prepared to buy the building from receivers acting for Nama for an estimated price of €7.5 million.

Mark Kellett, chief executive of Mr Peterson’s Dublin-based firm Magnet, confirmed the offer to acquire a suitable building for use as a homeless shelter remains on the table.

Since the Apollo occupation campaign, which was supported by musician Glen Hansard and film director Jim Sheridan, ended, the 80 or so homeless people who stayed in the building have been accommodated by the State.

HSE boss says €9 billion injection needed to solve A&E crisis

Ireland’s cash-strapped health service needs a capital injection of €9 billion to end the overcrowding crisis in emergency wards, according to the Health Service Executive’s director general, Tony O’Brien.

In an an interview with the Sunday Business Post, Mr O’Brien said the investment would need to be made over a 10-year period, and that it was required to upgrade IT systems, for upkeep and repair of nursing homes and hospitals and also to replace critical equipment.

The newspaper notes the €9 billion figure would require a doubling in the Government’s health spend of €450 million this year, much of which has already earmarked for the new National Children’s Hospital.

Rathmines eclipses Killiney for Dublin’s Malibu tag

The Sunday Business Post reckons Temple Road in the Darty area of Rathmines is now Dublin’s ultimate property hot spot with prices surpassing Killiney’s Vico Road.

An analysis of sales undertaken by the SBP found the average price paid for homes on the street in 2016 was roughly €1.3 million, compared with less than €1 million for houses on Vico Road, long seen as the city’s most exclusive address.

To get the result, the newspaper mapped more than 40,000 residential property sales last year, and calculated the average sale price in every town and electoral district.

The research revealed the average price achieved for house and apartment transactions was just over €233,800, up 9.5 per cent on the previous year.

Dundrum retailers clash with owners over Christmas trading

Retailers in Dundrum Town Centre, the country’s number one shopping centre, are apparently unhappy with their Christmas trading numbers and have blamed management on worse-than-expected footfall.

According to the Sunday Independent, several retailers, including anchor tenant Marks & Spencer, held a bad-tempered meeting with Dundrum owners Hammersmith last week about the centre’s below-par performance.

Citing unnamed sources, the report suggests retailers have blamed a hike in parking charges, introduced last August.

As a result, visits for food shopping and prescriptions collections have fallen, it is claimed. The dispute also comes against a background of rent increases.