State pension age deadlock in Government formation talks

Seen & heard: HSE is paying €25m for use of Dublin’s Citywest Hotel as Covid-19 facility

Amid reports of the key issues to be resolved in the government formation talks, the Sunday Independent says agreement over changes to the State pension age remains deadlocked. The Business Post, which quotes Tánaiste Simon Coveney predicting a new government can be reached as soon as this Thursday, says the pensions issue is expected to be put to an independent review. The Independent reports that one proposal being considered would allow first-time buyers to draw down a portion of their pension savings for a mortgage deposit.

In a separate article, the Business Post also quotes Mr Coveney as warning that asking Britain to seek a Brexit extension would only strengthen its determination to do the opposite.

The HSE is paying Tetrarch, owner of Dublin's Citywest Hotel and convention centre, at least €25 million for the use of the property until the end of October, according to the Sunday Times. It is being used as a Covid-19 isolation facility and field hospital, though the paper reports that last week just 26 people were using the 1,138-bed facility.

‘Hyperscale’ data centres

The Business Post reports that homebuilder Cairn Homes is trailing GPS and facial recognition technology on its sites to help manage social distancing and contact tracing. It also reports that US mutual fund the Capital Group has spent nearly €180 million increasing its stake in Ryanair from 2.8 per cent to 4.3 per cent.


Cork-based Mercury Engineering has been named as construction partner in a €2.2 billion project to build "hyperscale" data centres across Europe, according to the Sunday Independent.

The Sunday Times reckons Ryanair's decision to offer European summer holiday flights from July 1st appears to be paying off, with the paper calculating that an average of 74 per cent of seats have been booked on flights from Dublin to Alicante in Spain for the first week of July, 50 per cent of seats to Lanzarote, and 42 per cent from Dublin to Barcelona.

The Times also reports the Government is considering an increase in the state-backed €2 billion Covid-19 loan scheme for small businesses. A decision could be announced as early as this week, it reports. Currently the State backs 80 per cent of individual loans advanced from the scheme.

Post-Covid business

That paper also has a feature by Brian Carey, on outlooks for the post-Covid business world. One executive quoted, Kevin Nowlan of Hibernia Reit, stated on the issue of remote working: "some of the commentary is overegged. I don't think the impact is going to be nearly as severe as people think."

The Sunday Telegraph reports UK prime minister Boris Johnson is to outline plans to accelerate major infrastructure projects — including pledges to build 40 new hospitals and key road upgrades — in a speech in the coming weeks.

Finally, historians want Bank of Ireland to open up its archive, which dates back to 1783, making it a "treasure trove" of information about Ireland's financial past, the Sunday Times reports.