Potential disruption at Ryanair; new home buyers beware; and bitcoin’s bubble

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

A Ryanair aeroplane prepares to land at Dublin airport in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne / REUTERS

Ryanair passengers could face considerable disruption over the Christmas period after a ballot of some of its pilots resulted in overwhelming support for industrial action. And as Cantillon points out, it's the second time in a matter of months, Ryanair's passengers are caught in the middle of a potential crisis at the airline. "As with the first self-inflicted crisis when it announced a rolling cancellation of flights due to staff shortages, the last people to get any clarity from the airline, or its pilots, on the scale of the threat to flights are the passengers."

While the property market continues to surge ahead, new home buyers are being warned of moves by developers to remove a key "subject to loan approval" clause out of contracts. It means buyers could be risking their deposits by purchasing property without a protective clause in place should their loan approvals fail.

Meanwhile an Irish-Singaporean investment company chaired by former Telecom Eireann chairman Ron Bolger, is assembling a new fund with a warchest of up to €150 million to target Irish commercial property. Mark Paul has the details.

Telecoms firm Yourtel has been fined €66,000 for repeatedly billing customers for landline services it never actually provided. The ruling by the Dublin District Court is only the latest finding against the firm which the court heard had been deliberately targeting older, often vulnerable, customers in rural Ireland with the offer of cheaper landline calls.


More than $50 million worth of bitcoin futures traded on their first day in financial markets, representing a modest but significant sum for derivatives on a digital currency whose underlying utility is still a matter of debate. Bitcoin contracts were trading at $17,780 at one stage yesterday. It begs the question: When will the bitcoin bubble burst? Prionsias O'Mahony sets out to find the answer.

There were a few crumbs yesterday for Athenry as it seems certain to wave goodbye to the Apple pie. Enterprise Ireland approved a €4.5 million food innovation hub for the Galway town.

In her column this week, Laura Slattery writes that while penalties for sexual 'misconduct' were more visible in 2017, there is still plenty of reasons to despair.

Finally, as the Christmas shopping rush hits its peak, Fiona Reddan warns consumers about those naughty hidden extras and charges that drain your web-shopping wallet.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times