What Friday's papers say

Fresh crisis for Garda management; Coyle leaves Tayto firm; Barclays emergency boost probed

24th March, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times says the state is facing a bill of tens of millions of euro after it was revealed that 14,700 people had been convicted of motoring offences by the courts in error. The mistakes arose when motorists who had paid a fine under the fixed charge notice system were mistakenly sent summonses to appear in court, where they were convicted.

- The paper says some 3.6 million Irish citizens abroad, including residents of Northern Ireland who have a right to citizenship, could vote in a presidential election if a referendum is passed giving the Irish diaspora the right to cast a ballot.

- In business, the Irish Times says the €78m figure the Central Bank says has been paid by lenders to 2,600 mortgage account holders for being denied a tracker rate does not include €5.8m that was paid to 222 account holders of Springboard, which was owned by Permanent TSB.

- The paper says the Central Bank is "willing to consider" amending long-term lending limits for credit unions, which could allow them to provide mortgages. But the bank has also expressed heavy criticism of the sector's regulatory compliance.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times leads with news that British police have identified the man responsible for Wednesday's attack on the Houses of Parliament as a 52-year-old Briton with a police record. The Metropolitan Police said Khalid Masood was born in Kent but had most recently lived in Birmingham.

- The FT says the Financial Conduct Authority, the City of London's watchdog, has reignited its investigation into Barclays' emergency cash call during the height of the financial crisis, when the bank turned to the Qatari and Abu Dhabi royal families and sovereign wealth funds for a £7.3 billion boost in its effort to stay out of British government control.

- In companies news, the paper says PwC has settled a $3 billion malpractice suit with the administrator of its former client MF Global, the collapsed futures brokerage, halfway through a high-profile court battle in New York.

- The FT reports on retailer Next's first drop in annual profits in eight years, saying the company admitted to mistakes in its fashion selection and said it was "legitimate to question" whether high street shops were an asset or a liability.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent also reports on the latest Garda controversy, saying senior management at the force has been plunged into a fresh crisis after the discovery of two major errors in road traffic policing, with almost 15,000 people due to have their penalty points quashed and fines repaid. The paper adds that Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan's bid to hold on to her job has been dealt a "seismic blow" by the revelations.

- The paper reports on comments from Central Bank deputy governor Sharon Donnery, who told a meeting in London that financial services companies looking to shift operations after Brexit should expect "intrusive ongoing supervision" of their activities, regardless of their chosen location.

- In business, the Irish Independent says the country's biggest waste management firm, Panda, has agreed to buy electricity producer Bioverda, as it deepens its nascent presence in the power market. Bioverda is owned by US investment firm Cerberus.

- The paper says businessman Ray Coyle has resigned as chairman and director of the company behind Tayto, ending a 35-year relationship with the snack maker. The move follows the complete takeover of Largo Foods by German food group Intersnack in 2015.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner also leads with the Garda controversy, saying the Garda Commissioner has told the Policing Authority that consequences arising from the breath test scandal, including possible disciplinary action, will be considered in the coming weeks.

- In the wake of Wednesday's London attack, the paper quotes Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar as saying that security around Government Buildings is lax and a review is needed.

- In business, the Examiner says Teva Pharmaceuticals - the generics drug giant and maker of Sudocrem - will close one of two laboratories in Dundalk amid a worldwide cost-cutting review, but major manufacturing plants in Waterford and Baldoyle in Dublin appear safe.

- The paper reports on comments from the Irish Offshore Operators' Association, which represents Irish exploration firms. It has suggested that the Government review its fiscal and taxation terms for oil and gas finds within the next 12 months, taking into account oil price movements, drilling activity and any tax changes in Britain.

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