Ibec presses for State subsidies; power price league; and Paschal Donohoe interview

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

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


Employers’ group Ibec has warned Government that failure to reinstate Covid wage supports as it reimposes Covid-19 restrictions on trading restrictions will push many businesses over the edge, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy.

Companies run by one of the founding directors of double glazed windows group Munster Joinery have agreed settlements of ¤1.295 million with the Revenue Commissioners. Barry O’Halloran reports that Donal Ring was a director of two patent licensor business, now in liquidation, that underdeclared their tax liabilities.

Irish electricity prices are among the more expensive in Europe but trail those of our nearest neighbour, the UK, a survey published by a British price comparison website on Tuesday show.

Shares in construction materials group CRH jumped on speculation that it is preparing to sell its North American glass building products unit, Oldcastle Building Envelope, for more than $3 billion (€2.7 billion), writes Joe Brennan.

Eurogroup president Paschal Donohoe has said he would like to see climate activist Greta Thunberg and Irish writer James Joyce featured on euro banknotes. He made the suggestion in an interview with The Irish Times Europe correspondent Naomi O’Leary, in which he also revealed that Ireland is already dipping into an emergency Covid-19 reserve to cope with the Omicron variant.

The demolition of the well-known Kiely’s pub in Donnybrook to make way for a six-storey, 85-unit co-living accommodation scheme has been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála. Gordon Deegan has the details.

And sticking with hospitality, the company managing Dublin’s five-star Shelbourne Hotel received €4.36 million in Covid supports under the Government’s wage subsidy schemes last year – accounting for almost a third of the group’s reduced wage bill.

Close to two-thirds of Irish consumers are still nervous about eating out despite believing adequate Covid-19 safety measures are being taken by restaurants and other eateries, a survey by Bord Bia has found. The agency, Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports, predicts that the sector will not recover fully until 2023 at the earliest.

Speaking of eating out, a company linked to celebrity chef Richard Corrigan took out a £1.3 million UK government-backed loan to tide his restaurants through the pandemic, according to newly-filed accounts, as revenues tumbled 75 per cent at the group last year, writes Mark Paul.

And a Tipperary hotel bought with money raised under the Immigrant Investor Programme is seeking court protection after slow trading during a revamp followed by the Covid pandemic saw it unable to repay a loan from one of its Chinese investors on demand.

Businessman Alan Hynes has denied in the High Court that he is to blame for the collapse of three businesses. He said he had made numerous efforts to engage with liquidator Myles Kirby but Mr Kirby told the court that, on the contrary, Mr Hynes had done “everything in his power to obfuscate and frustrate”.

Online financial services group Revolut has jettisoned plans to set up a European wealth and trading hub in Dublin – reportedly over the time it was taking to secure approval – and getting authorisation in Lithuania to provide investment services across the European Economic Area according to sources.

The environmental impact of the cattle required to provide milk to a cheese plant Glanbia wants to build in Kilkenny is one of the grounds An Taisce has secured the right to appeal High Court approval for the plan. Our court report, Ellen O’Riordan has the details.

In Commercial Property, Ronald Quinlan looks back over the landmark deals of 2021 while experts assess various market sectors in our eight-page review of the year.

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