Forestry warning, ‘niche’ banking and moving on from L’Ecrivain

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Derry and Sallyanne Clarke pictured in L’Ecrivain restaurant, the premises of which have now been sold. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Derry and Sallyanne Clarke pictured in L’Ecrivain restaurant, the premises of which have now been sold. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

 

As the premises of Dublin city centre restaurant L’Ecrivain are sold for about €2 million, restaurateur Derry Clarke talks to Colin Gleeson about plans for new venture Eliza’s in Temple Bar, Covid uncertainty and locking the doors on L’Ecrivain for the final time.

Restaurants are just one part of the “experience economy”, or all the pleasures of the hospitality and entertainment sectors that have had to be postponed during lockdown. Now business lobby group Ibec has devised a wishlist of policy changes for businesses including bars, cultural and sport venues and tourist attractions, placing these sectors at the centre of its “policy narrative” in talks with Government. Mark Paul reports.

Goodbody Stockbrokers has been told by the Central Bank to have a permanent managing director selected by the time its €138 million takeover by AIB is completed. As a result, senior executive Brian O’Kelly, who was being lined up to take on the role of interim managing director as the deal is concluded, will leave the stockbroker once the deal goes through, Joe Brennan reports.

The exit of Ulster Bank and most likely KBC Bank Ireland from the Irish market is likely to sound if not quite a death knell, then certainly a sharp knock, to competition in financial services, writes Fiona Reddan in her Wednesday column. The upshot is consumers may need to take a more mix-and-match approach to their finances, seeking out various niche providers in order to get the best deals.

Government officials are issuing fewer than half the new forestry licences needed to tackle an ongoing squeeze in timber supplies, industry figures warn – and it could have consequences for housebuilding as well as hurting export potential, Barry O’Halloran reports.

Finally, having lain dormant since its sale to a consortium of developers including Paddy Kelly and the McCormack family’s investment vehicle Alanis Capital in 2003, the former City Arts Centre on Dublin’s City Quay is being offered to the market once again, Ronald Quinlan writes as part of this week’s commercial property coverage.

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