The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 13 September 2020

October 19


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  • The Business Post says the government is to announce a new €600m winter heath package
  • The Sunday Independent says An Post is launching a new current account app next month
  • The Sunday Times reports that the FAI paid €1m to cover John Delaney’s personal bills
  • The Financial Times reports that the UK has struck its first big post-Brexit trade deal
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the Nasdaq Index has fallen into correction territory









“How can they walk away from an international agreement? How can you trust that?”

– Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, pours cold water on the prospect of a US-UK trade deal if the UK goes ahead with its threat to pull out of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.






The government is to announce a €600m winter health package according to the top story in this week’s paper. Under the headline “Martin banks on new Covid plans as FF hits record low” the package will include up to 1,000 new hospital beds as well as a drive to recruit new doctors. It comes as Fianna Fail polled just 10% in the paper’s latest opinion poll which puts Fine Gael out in front on 35%.

On a similar theme, on page three it’s reported that a “very significant” national recovery fund will be included in next month’s budget to combat the “twin threats” of Brexit and Covid-19. The exact size of the fund has not been announced but it’s likely to run into billions and will pay for “retrofitting of social and private homes, the transformation of businesses and further research into disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence”.

Returning to the front page and Michael Brennan reports on a new law which will ban foreign companies from investing in Ireland if they are found to pose a threat to national security. The law is being brought forward by Leo Varadkar and comes amid concerns across the EU that countries such as China could give financial support to firms to buy up companies and assets that are strategically important to member states.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary continues to rage at the government over its Covid-19 travel restrictions according to another front page story. Roisin Burke reports that O’Leary has accused the government of being “monstrously mad” over the severity of the restrictions adding that the state will lose a legal action being taken by the airline which begins in the High Court on Tuesday. O’Leary also branded some of the members of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) as “idiots” who were “rolling out bullsh*t” and said that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly was a “complete waste of time”.

In Brief

  • Ballymaloe Foods will double the number of UK supermarkets that stock its products next year
  • SSE Airtricity is partnering with An Post to help 30,000 homeowners complete energy upgrades
  •  Zomato, the restaurant booking app, has invested €1.5m into its Irish operation
  • Law firm A&L Goodbody is to significantly expand its offices on Dublin’s quays
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An Post is to launch a new current account app putting it in competition with digital bank Revolut, according to this week’s top business story. An Post currently has 65,000 current account customers and expects to grow this to 100,000 next year.

Hotels are continuing to get creative in a big shore up their businesses at a time of Covid-19 according to another front page piece. Sean Pollack reports that the five-star Radisson Blu St Helen’s Hotel in Booterstown is offering accommodation to students of nearby UCD. The five-night student packages start from €500 and include breakfast and dinner.

Developer Johnny Ronan has said he is not looking for any new development projects and plans to focus on the ones he has already started in Dublin’s Docklands. “I wouldn’t be over-building now,” he tells Ferghal O’Connor adding that he doesn’t see many office projects starting up again until the pandemic is over.

In Brief

  • Irish food store Avoca has permanently closed its store in Letterfrack, Co Galway
  • Applications for the state’s Redundancy Payment Scheme have hit the highest level since Jan 2016
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This week’s top story is that the Football Association of Ireland picked up the tab for almost €1m of ex-CEO John Delaney’s expenses during his last five years in the position. According to the report, Delaney, who was an annual salary of €360,000, made 279 cash withdrawals totalling around €50,000 from 2015 to 2019. The details are contained in an unpublished report commissioned by the state.

Onto the business pages and the top story is that Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue was forced to backtrack on excluding proprietary directors from the pandemic wage subsidy scheme. The paper claims that O’Donohue made the u-turn after being warned that an “orchestrated campaign” was likely to try and undermine him in the run-up to next month’s budget.

Brian Carey reports that Microsoft has signed deal to occupy three floors of No 3 Dublin Landings, a new office block in Dublin’s docklands. Carey writes that the letting will secure space for 400 workers and quell market fears following last week’s decision by Google to pull out of a large commercial letting in the area.

In Brief

  • The Irish Times has sold its stake in the sports website
  • E-learning company Interactive Services has been sold to US firm LRN Corporation
  • Plans have been submitted for a 560-bed shared-living development in Dublin 7
  • Irish Life has acquired Limerick-based Clearview Investment & Pensions


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The FT leads with the news that the UK has struck its first big post-Brexit trade deal after reaching an agreement with Japan. The deal, which is expected to increase the UK’s trade with Japan by £15bn per year, was reached after a compromise on agriculture under which the UK will have access to export quotas on cheese and other products that have not been used by the EU.

Twitter has said that it would toughen is moderation rules to ban “false or misleading information that causes confusion” and undermines trust in elections. The move comes ahead of November’s US presidential election and could put the social media platform on a collision course with Donald Trump.

This week’s paper has an interesting feature where it talks to shareholders in electric car maker Tesla. The company’s shares have been on a tear up until last week when they fell 20% in a single day. David Baird a shareholder interviewed for the piece lost more than $1m on the value of his holding last week, but remains defiant. “Once you have driven a Tesla you have to have one,” he says. “It burns you up. It eats you inside.”

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the tech-heavy Nasdaq Index has fallen into correction territory after a week of steep losses. The index dropped more than 10% in just three sessions last week in what analysts said was the fastest-ever such fall.

It was a big week for female diversity in the banking industry after Citigroup named Jane Fraser as its new chief executive. Fraser, who is described in the piece as “tough as nails” will take the helm at the bank in February becoming the first woman to lead Citigroup – or any other major Wall Street Bank.

Finally, the number of people seeking and collecting unemployment benefits in the US remained at historically high levels in a sign the labour market recovery is losing steam. According to the story, the number of people collecting state unemployment benefits increased to about 13.4m people at the end of August.

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THE 1% PODCAST – Enda McNulty 
Listen here 


We pulled together a recap episode for you this week, featuring short clips from some of the great moments in the podcast’s fourth season. We were fortunate to have incredible leaders from across industries, disciplines, and fields share their stories and perspectives this season – and we wanted to share them with you as we wrap up Season 5 and look ahead to the sixth season. Season 6 is out next Wednesday with Tim Harkness, Head of Sports Science and Psychology at Chelsea Football Club

Here are some of the guests and clips from Season 5 featured in this wrap-up episode:

+ Suzanne Dempsey (Deputy CEO and the Director of Nursing at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin) speaks openly about the challenges of leading in extraordinary times.

+ Bryan Burnstein (Director of Performance Science for Kitman Labs, formerly Head of Performance Science at Cirque de Soleil) gives an up-close account at what some of the best teams are doing to support their athletes and how to build a high-performance culture.
+ Kingsley Aikins (CEO of The Networking Institute) talks about his life’s work bringing people together regardless of geographical location under the one umbrella of promoting Irish interests.
+ Ade McCormack (Technologist & Author) in this session, we explore the importance of attention in respect to individual performance and the challenges faced in these increasingly distracting times. We also explore the implications of this on organisational performance.
+ Enda McNulty (All Star, leading performance coach and motivational speaker) we deep dive into leadership, team performance, and mental toughness and his work with some of the Irelands leading athletes and organisations.
We’re hard at work planning Season 6 which will kick off in c 2 weeks.





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/



A: 5 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2




© 2020 All Rights Reserved – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists

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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