X executive collars Irish data protection commissioners for chat in Madrid

Sports injury specialist Ray Moran’s vote of confidence in his own knees, Albert Manifold’s planning setbacks, and the IRFU’s home extensions

When Des Hogan and Dale Sunderland, two of Ireland’s commissioners for data protection, went on an “executive retreat” to Madrid in March organised by the Centre for Information Policy Leadership, who did they bump into only X’s acting head of data protection for Europe. Renato Monteiro was appointed to his role last year after several senior executives abruptly left the company in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover. Hogan and Sunderland were in Madrid to attend talks on worthy subjects such as balancing data protection rights with other fundamental rights, and the future of AI in the EU. But they didn’t escape being collared by Monteiro, according to a filing on the Irish lobbying register last week. Musk would have been impressed by Monteiro’s moxie in grabbing a chat with Hogan and Sunderland in Madrid about X’s “engagement with the DPC, including product development and governance structure”.

Ray Moran’s new Leeson Street pad

Ray Moran is well used to carrying out tricky repairs on his clients. But the go-to man for fixing cruciate ligaments decided against a house in need of major surgery when he bought a new home recently in Dublin. Moran, a brother of former Ireland and Manchester United defender Kevin, recently sold up on Grosvenor Square in Rathmines, Dublin 6, for €2.35 million. He has since bought a newly refurbished pile on Leeson Street for just over €3 million. The surgeon, whose clients include household names such as former Kerry footballer Colm “The Gooch” Cooper, former Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan, former Tipperary hurler Brendan Maher and rugby player Josh van der Flier, established the Santry Sports Surgery Clinic in 2007. Last year it was sold for an undisclosed sum to a US healthcare operator, presumably with a handsome payout for Moran. We noticed the surgeon’s new Leeson Street home extends to three storeys, a vote of confidence in his own knees.

The most determined would-be councillor in Ireland

Charlie Keddy, a Co Wicklow plumber, has stood in every local election – sometimes in multiple wards – since 1985 without ever coming close to winning a seat. When he began contesting elections almost 40 years ago, Garret FitzGerald was the taoiseach, Paddy Hillery was president and Des O’Malley was about to found the Progressive Democrats. Keddy, who has campaigned in the past against property tax and water charges, came closest to a council seat in 1991 when he stood for Labour and wasn’t eliminated until the sixth count. Since then he has stood in several wards as an Independent and also tried his luck in a number of Dáil elections without ever coming close to winning a seat. But his ambitions are undimmed. This time around the Kilcoole man, memorable for his long beard, is running in Greystones. At the very least, he can promise the voters perseverance.

Albert Manifold’s planning setbacks

Albert Manifold, the highest paid executive in Ireland with a package worth €12 million last year, had to seek retention planning permission last month for a series of works he carried out on a Victorian house he is renovating in Donnybrook after Dublin City Council contacted him about “unauthorised works”. The CRH chief executive has also just fallen foul of planners in Co Cork. Manifold has had a getaway on Long Island, off the coast of Schull, for more than a decade. But when he recently added two sheds and a new fence, Cork County Council interjected, saying the structures needed planning permission. Manifold went to An Bord Pleanála, insisting they should be exempt from planning as one shed is for “agricultural purposes”, while the other houses a “generator”. The appeals board sided with the council last week, ruling Manifold needs planning permission because of the sensitive landscape on the island, a special area of conservation.


IRFU seeks to extend its landlord footprint

Last week we reported how the IRFU ended up having to take the tenants of a house it owns on Shelbourne Road in Dublin 4 to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) over rent arrears. It doesn’t seem to have deterred the association from dabbling in the rental market, however, and last week it applied for planning permission to upgrade three other properties it owns on Havelock Square. Numbers 16, 18 and 20, which all border the Aviva Stadium, are all getting smart new extensions, presumably to maximise their attractiveness to renters. The potential income will not be insignificant either: one similar property on Havelock Square was recently let for €3,750 per month.

Durkan’s lotto hopes dashed

Kildare TD Bernard Durkan won the publicity jackpot when he railed against lottery rollovers back in 2021. He’s obviously still sore that his numbers haven’t come up. Earlier this month he asked Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe in the Dáil if he was aware that it is “alleged that our country has a relatively low win rate of the lotto in comparison to lotteries in other jurisdictions”. Paschal explained that the odds vary across all lotteries depending on how many people are playing and the extent to which the game incorporates a “must-be-won” feature. The odds of winning an Irish jackpot of at least €2 million are 1 in 10.7 million, Paschal told Bernard, dashing his hopes altogether.

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