The Last Post: Pandemic profits: it seems we are not all in this together

Many companies that received Covid-19 subsidies from the state performed far better during the crisis than they anticipated. Some gave the money back; those who didn’t should do so without delay

Bumper profits: the O’Flaherty family-owned MML Holdings which distributes and sells Mercedes-Benz cars in Ireland enjoyed a 80 per cent rise in profits but still got €1.8m in state pandemic subsidies. Picture: Bloomberg

No laws were broken. That’s the best that can be said about the decision by O’Flaherty Holdings, a third generation and highly successful Irish company, to pay its owners a €1.8 million dividend in 2020, almost exactly the same sum the business took from the state in subsidies to protect against loss of employment by its workers.

But come on. The story, revealed in the Irish Times last week about the actions of the Irish ...