The top stories in Tuesday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- Taoiseach Enda Kenny will arrange for the election of a new Fine Gael leader soon after he returns from Washington DC next month but will not specifically lay out a time frame for his departure this week, the paper says on its front page. It also says that as many as five minister may run for the leadership.
- The expected bill for moving the National Maternity Hospital has jumped by €150 million due to the cost of locating it in St. Vincent's Hospital rather than a greenfield site. The long-delayed project in Dublin is now expected to cost €296 million rather than the €150 million originally allocated.
- Bus Éireann has proposed radical changes to staff earnings and work practices as well as redundancies and the closure of some routes and depots in an attempt to avoid what it describes as potential reckless trading and insolvency.
- A record number of cyclists commuted to Dublin city last year, according to Dublin City Council statistics. More than 12,000 people cycled into the city on a typical morning, the highest number since records began 20 years ago.
- Theresa May made an unusual appearance by a prime minister in the House of Lords yesterday as peers opened their debate on the bill to clear the way for her government to start exit talks with the European Union.
- 3G Capital, the private equity group that spearheaded Kraft Heinz's failed $143 billion bid for Unilever, has up to $15 billion to deploy on its next big deal, according to people close to the group.
- Apple has claimed that the European Commission breached its fundamental "right to good administration" by EU authorities in its demand last year that the tech giant pay €13 billion in back taxes to Ireland.
- The FT Big Read focuses on Australia and immigration, reporting that more than a quarter of the country's population were born overseas, it has not had a recession in 25 years and many believe migration is crucial to the economy. But the populist right could undermine Australia's model, it says.
- The paper also leads with the Fine Gael leadership story, reporting that the party is jittery that Enda Kenny won't name a specific date for his departure as Taoiseach at a crucial meeting tomorrow with several minister and TDs fearing that he will try to "dig in", "fudge the issue" and "avoid giving a clear outline of his intentions".
- Tesco has rejected claims by a union that business is down by more than 80 per cent at 16 stores where workers are on strike. Mandate general secretary John Douglas said that "contrary to what Tesco Ireland has been spinning" most stores are experiencing an average loss in sales of this level.
- In its business section, the paper reports that the value of the state's 99 per cent shareholding in AIB was €11.3 billion at the end of December, down €900 million on the previous year.
- Almost 40,000 members remain in teh dark about a proposed merger of two large credit unions in Munster. No formal application has yet been submitted to the Central Bank in respect of a merger between Charleville and Clonmel credit unions but talks between the management teams are advancing, the paper says.
- It also reports on the plan by Bus Éireann management to cut several routes to make savings, reporting that the cost-cutting measures have been dismissed by unions at the company as "out of bounds and repulsive".
- Irish consumers spent more than €340 million via debit card transactions outside the Republic in November alone as shoppers continued to look online for value and avail of a weaker sterling exchange rate following the Brexit referendum.
- The paper also reports in its business section that Ireland's biggest fuel forecourt supplier, Topaz, has moved to cement its position as market leader by announcing plans to open a 24-hour service station on the Cork to Dublin motorway.