INM scandal and Sammon collapse dominate newspaper headlines

Fine Gael reportedly pulls back from tax cut plan for next budget

Independent News and Media (INM)

Independent News and Media (INM)

 

Data breach

The suspected data breach at Independent News & Media (INM) dominates the Sunday newspapers with both the Sunday Business Post and the Sunday Times leading with stories on the scandal.

INM failed to tell the Data Protection Commissioner in a disclosure last year that the copying of its computer servers involved the transfer of personal information, according to the Sunday Times.

It adds that the special liquidators of IBRC are investigating how a former executive passed confidential bank documents to businessman Denis O’Brien for use in his ongoing litigation against the PR company Red Flag.

In the Sunday Business Post, former INM chief executive Gavin O’Reilly has his say on the issue, adding that he suspected his own data could have been compromised. Mr O’Reilly said he viewed the allegations with “shock and absolute revulsion”.

The Sunday Independent for its part, leaves the story off the front but carries a big analysis piece outlining the story behind the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement’s (ODCE) move to get High Court inspectors appointed to INM.

Policy shift on tax

For its lead, the Sunday Independent reports that the Government is planning a policy shift away from promising major tax cuts in October’s budget. It says Fine Gael is focused instead on prioritising new cost-of-living benefits.

The same paper notes that two of the State’s biggest developers – Cairn Homes and O’Flynn Construction – are preparing to build up to 750 housing units in separate projects in Cork.

On a related theme, it reports that Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore Properties is set to partner CIÉ on the delivery of a major new scheme next to Connolly station in Dublin.

Elsewhere it writes that proxy advisory firm ISS has warned that additional pay rises for Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh should only be given in exceptional circumstances.

The paper notes that Providence Resources is seeing healthy interest from potential partners for its Newgrange prospect off the southwest coast. A rival explorer, San Leon, has received a $19 million repayment from its interest in a Nigerian field, the paper adds.

Spotify’s initial public offering (IPO) didn’t pass Irish investors by, the paper reports, with around 100 Davy clients getting some of the action.

Russian rent

The Sunday Times says RT, the news agency financed by the Russian government, is receiving a State subsidy in the form of office space at the Digital Hub in Dublin.

The paper also suggests that a so-called “third force” merger is back on the cards for Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB, which could add up to €1 billion to the lenders’ value if it goes ahead.

Elsewhere, the newspaper says that the liquidator of Custom House Capital is set to appoint an asset manager to supervise the return of money to former clients.

It also reveals that dealmaker Neil O’Leary is among those caught up in the collapse of builder Sammon Contracting Ireland. The collapse is also covered in depth by the Sunday Business Post, which reports that Sammon is in negotiations with developer PJ McGrath over a rescue package.

Tech firms warn Government

The Sunday Business Post also writes that Amazon warned the Government that proposals to fast-track planning applications for data centres in the wake of Apple’s struggles in Athenry, may not go far enough.

According to the same newspaper, Airbnb has warned politicians against “overly heavy regulation” against it, while the medicines watchdog says a new Fianna Fáil proposal to fast-track patient access to orphan drugs is a risk to a mechanism for cost-containment of new drugs.