Sean Dunne testifies, inside the Dunnes Stores empire and the business of London Irish

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

Sean Dunne at the United States Federal Court House in New  Haven, Connecticut.  Photograph: Douglas Healey

Sean Dunne at the United States Federal Court House in New Haven, Connecticut. Photograph: Douglas Healey


Sean Dunne took to the stand in civil trial in Connecticut on Thursday, with details emerging of his alleged political connections with, among others, former taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. Chris Hoffman reports on the proceedings, which also saw Mr Dunne testify that tens of millions of euro in gifts to his wife Ms Killilea were intended to provide for her independence and for their children, not to shield assets from creditors as his business empire was collapsing

Henley Bartra, a joint venture between UK private equity giant, Henley, and developer Richard Barrett’s Bartra Capital has paid €125 million in an off-market deal for a portfolio of office and data centre assets in Dublin and Cork. Ronald Quinlan reports on the transaction, which represents Henley Bartra’s largest single acquisition to date.

In this week’s Business Agenda feature, Mark Paul takes a look at Dunnes, and the path the retailer has taken from its “better value” roots to become a purveyor of finery to consumers of all means, even the posh ones.

Our Business Interview features Brian Facer, chief executive of London rugby club, London Irish, which recently hired former Ireland international, Paddy Jackson. Mr Facer tells Peter Hamilton the club will judge Mr Jackson when he takes up the place but he is “fairly sure we’re comfortable with who he’ll be”.

John FitzGerald is concerned this week about climate change and its economic fallout. He traces the fall of the Roman Empire and muses on how much of the decline was driven by climate change, going on to ask what lessons this might provide for modern economies.

In Caveat, Mark Paul predicts trouble ahead for the Government as it takes on the need for higher carbon taxes. How will they be applied equitably, he wonders.

Olive Keogh looks at cybercrime, outlining the many ways employees can fall victim to it while carrying out their employer’s work. One expert says most organisations don’t realise how vulnerable they are until they hire somebody to do a little bit of phishing on their behalf.

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