The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 09 August 2020

October 19


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THE 1% PODCAST – Enda McNulty 


Enda played on the Armagh team that won the All Ireland in 2002, and was awarded an All Star that year and won seven Ulster titles with that team. Enda earned degree in psychology from Queens University Belfast and a degree in Sports Science from University of Ulster.
He worked for 7 years as performance coach to the Leinster rugby team that won three European Heineken Cups in 5 years. He also coached Olympic and professional sportsmen and women like Brian O’Driscoll, Seán O’Brien, Johnny Sexton, Annalise Murphy, Paul Galvin and David Gillick.
Off the field, with his own leadership consultancy firm he has worked with a wide array of corporate clients in Ireland, Europe, North America and Asia and has successfully delivered unique motivational programmes on human performance, leadership, team performance and mental toughness to companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Merck, Kelloggs, Google, Lidl, and Morgan Stanley. In 2017 Enda published Commit: Make Your Mind and Body Stronger and Unlock Your Full Potential.




  • The Business Post says a former Facebook moderator is suing the company for psychological injuries
  • The Sunday Independent says Sean Quinn could be charged with trespassing on his former company’s land
  • The Sunday Times reports that AIB and Bank of Ireland are to offer cheaper state-backed loans for SMEs
  • The FT says President Trump has barred US firms from doing business with big Chinese tech companies
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the unemployment rate in the US has fallen to 10.8%







“A remarkable man.”

– Former US President Bill Clinton on John Hume.






Covid-19 dominates this week’s front page with only one business story making the cover. Roisin Burke reports that a former content moderator for Facebook is suing the company for “serious psychological injuries” he suffered as a result of being exposed to explicit content while working for the social media giant. Sean Burke, alleges that as part of his job he was required to “repeatedly view extremely violent, graphic and upsetting material, some of which involved children”. The move follows permission from the Personal Injuries Board for a group of former Facebook moderators to sue the company in the High Court.

After last week’s announcement that pubs are to remain closed, the Vintners’ Association has hit out at the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) over the research it used to inform its decision. The Association claims that Nphet has not been able to show evidence of outbreaks in the hospitality trade in Ireland, most of which has been open since 29 June. “Has the hospitality sector had any contribution towards the infection rate of the country?” asks Donall O’Keefe, chief executive of the association. “It doesn’t seem so.”

On page five Ian Guider reports that Bank of Ireland is considering “shrinking its presence” in the Northern Ireland as part of a strategic review of its UK operation. The news comes on foot of an interview with Bank of Ireland chief executive Francesca McDonagh who told the paper that “all options are on the table” as the bank looks to improve returns from its UK business.

After clearing its rent arrears with landlord Johnnie Ronan Bewleys, the iconic Grafton Street café, reopens at the end of this month. Roisin Burke talks to owner Paddy Campbell who says he doesn’t want a state handout and hopes the support of the public will help the business survive. “We aren’t looking for the government to nationalise or government support,” he tells the paper. “We have always felt that the business should avoid that.”

In Brief
  • Tito, the Irish ticket selling platform, has raised €855,000 in fresh funding
  • Fexco, the Kerry-based financial services giant, is expected to cut jobs in the UK
  • The Dept. of Transport is reviewing the viability of Shannon Airport owner, the Shannon Group 
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Former billionaire Seán Quinn could face charges for trespassing on company land he once owned, according to a report on the front of the main paper. Apparently Quinn, who has already received warnings and a solicitor’s letter for trespassing, was seen driving around Quinn Industrial Holdings last Tuesday. According to Maeve Sheehan’s report, the events are being interpreted as “an escalation of tensions” between the Quinns and the company.

Onto the business pages and the top story is that US medical device manufacturer, Integer, has applied for planning permission to build a new €100m facility in Galway. The company already employs around 360 people in Galway and it is hoped the new development will see it take on hundreds more.

Ireland is facing a “wood crisis” according to another top business story. Ferghal O’Connor reports that hardware and DIY stores across the country will run out of Irish wood if the crisis in the forestry sector is not resolved soon. The problem is tied to the state’s licensing system with massive delays in issuing permits to fell trees. “This is a real crisis,” warned Martin Markey, chief executive of the Hardware Association of Ireland. “By November you won’t be able to make a matchstick in Ireland without importing the timber,” he said.

In Brief

  • The value of gold stored for Irish clients by broker Goldcore is up 68% this year to over €100m
  • Gigable, an Irish gig-economy app, has expanded into the UK
  • 90% of employers can manage under a hybrid part-remote, part-workplace working arrangement according to a new survey
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AIB and Bank of Ireland are “weeks away” from offering cheaper SME loans backed by the state’s credit guarantee scheme, according to this week’s top business story. Brian Carey reports that AIB is to start offering the loans by the end of this month while Bank of Ireland will present its offering within the coming weeks. Ulster Bank is also actively working on its loan packages.

Staying with banking and Nigerian fraudsters based in Dublin are the prime suspects for the theft of an estimated €800,000 from hundreds of Bank of Ireland customers in recent months. The gang is believed to have recruited students to participate in the scam by allowing their personal accounts to be used to receive electronic payments of stolen money, which is then cashed out. The students receive a payment of about €400.

There is some good news for employers after finance minister Paschal Donohoe “strongly hinted” he will not put through a planned increase in pay-related social insurance (PRSI) in the budget on October 13. Donohoe told an audience of business people in a webcast interview that he likely would not increase PRSI because of uncertainty caused by Covid-19, Brexit, global trade and international politics.

In Brief

  • PrepayPower shareholders are to share €16m after an internal restructuring at the company
  • Lincor Properties plans to build more than 1,000 apartments at the Cherrywood development
  • Discount variety retailer has increased its store count in Ireland to 50 outlets
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“Trump raises stakes in China fight” is the lead headline on this week’s FT. The paper reports that President Trump has “sharply escalated his campaign against Beijing” by imposing sanctions on Chinese and Honk Kong officials and barring US companies from doing business with leading Chinese tech companies. The paper describes the move as “unprecedented” with one leading observer quoted as saying Trump is “actively trying to engineer a strategic confrontation” with China.
Sweden’s economy has weathered the impact of Covid-19 better than most of the rest of Europe according to new figures. The Swedish economy contracted by 8.6% in the past three months compared to a 12% contraction for the eurozone over the same period. Sweden was one of the few countries not to impose a formal lockdown in tackling the virus.
PizzaExpress has put its UK business up for sale and warned of 1,100 job cuts as it attempts to stave off collapse. The company, which trades under the Milano brand in Ireland, said it was going to close 67 restaurants in the UK and would also offload its Chinese business.


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The unemployment rate in the US fell to 10.2% in July as US employers added 1.8m jobs according to this week’s WSJ. It means the unemployment rate is down from a peak of 15% in April. However, the report quotes one economist as saying it will take “at least a couple of years” before the jobs market returns to its pre-pandemic level.

Nintendo has seen its profits soar as consumers turned to video games to entertain them through lockdown. Sales of “Animal Crossings: New Horizons” for the Switch console helped send second quarter profits for the company soaring to $1bn, six times higher than the same period last year.

Finally Facebook’s Instagram has taken aim at TikTok by launching a short-video feature on its US platform. The new feature, called “Instagram Reels” is not the first time Facebook has taken inspiration from its rivals. Four years ago it copied Snapchat by rolling out “Instagram Stories” which allowed users to post photographs which disappear after 24 hours.

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All views are strictly my own brief interpretation of the articles in the various publications and not intended to be comprehensive. 
Please feel free to forward to friends or colleagues and get in touch if you wish to add contacts to the mailing list.
Have a good week. 



Shay Dalton 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists




T: +353 1 661 0444/



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About the Author

Shay Dalton

Shay Dalton

Managing Director 16498583

Shay Dalton is the Managing Director of Lincoln Recruitment Group. Shay is a qualified ACCA Accountant with over 20 years’ experience specialising in the placement of senior positions across a broad spectrum of Accountancy and Finance positions within the industrial and financial services sectors. Having been involved in the establishment of some of the most respected financial recruitment brands in the Irish market, Shay subsequently set up Lincoln Recruitment Specialists in 2008. He also hold’s an MSc in Organisational Management and is a member of BPS, qualified to conduct and interpret psychometric testing as well an EQi testing.

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