What Thursday's papers say

May's bid to reassure Ireland; Brexit currency warnings; AG's advice on Garda chief

30th March, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times carries a piece written by British prime minister Theresa May, in which she says Britain's relationship with Ireland could be stronger after Brexit, and promises to make sure that the country's departure from the EU will not damage the peace process in Northern Ireland.

- The paper quotes sources with knowledge of the Policing Authority's position as saying that the watchdog will not move to dismiss Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan over the latest controversies surrounding the force. The authority can recommend that a commissioner be sacked.

- In business, the Irish Times reports on a warning from business advisory group PricewaterhouseCoopers that Irish business should plan for the worst in a post-Brexit scenario. Business group Ibec also said an "assertive national effort" was needed to avoid the risk of a "divisive, damaging Brexit divorce".

- The paper says state forestry group Coillte has entered a €68m partnership with energy giant BP and listed British chemicals company Accsys Technologies to open a factory in Hull that will make wood chips treated with special chemicals. These would then be used to make MDF fibre-boards at Coillte's Medite plant in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times leads with Britain's triggering of Article 50, saying Theresa May's six-page letter to the EU was seen in European capitals as conciliatory and flexible, but it also conveyed a tough warning that EU security would be weakened if Britain left the bloc without a new comprehensive deal with Brussels.

- The FT reports on business reaction, quoting a leading European investor in industry and financial services as saying that Brexit "may go down as one of the biggest political mistakes in history". It also says European business groups are concerned that they are not getting their message across to the EU about their Brexit concerns.

- In companies news, the paper says Toshiba has warned that its attempt to contain its worst financial crisis by putting its Westinghouse nuclear subsidiary into bankruptcy in the US could lead to Japan's biggest industrial loss.

- The FT reports on data from Dealogic which show that London has started the year with its lowest share of global initial public offerings since 2012, despite a sharp rise in the number of global flotations.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent says it has learned that an intervention from the Attorney General about the cost of sacking Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan helped sway ministers to continue backing the embattled head of the force. The AG, Máire Whelan, warned that O'Sullivan would be entitled to a "significant" pay-off.

- On Brexit, the paper quotes Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan as saying that Ireland will be "firmly" on the side of the EU in the coming negotiations and will not act as a "proxy" for Britain despite our close ties.

- In business, the Irish Independent quotes analysts as saying that, after the launch of formal divorce proceedings with the EU, the outlook is for further weakness in sterling, piling pressure on Irish exporters.

- The paper says developer Gerry Gannon is seeking planning permission for a multi-million euro hotel with more than 200 bedrooms at Clongriffin in north Dublin.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner says Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan will today admit that the false Garda figures scandal may also involve domestic violence statistics as she faces a crunch Dáil committee meeting in a bid to save her career.

- The paper quotes the chair of the European People's Party group - which includes German chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Council president Donald Tusk - as saying that Ireland can count on the support of the 26 other EU nations for maintaining the Northern Ireland peace process in forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

- The Examiner says the Dáil heard last night that Finance Minister Michael Noonan threatened to injunct a report from the Public Accounts Committee which concluded that he acted "inappropriately" in meeting Cerberus, the successful bidder for Nama's Norther Ireland loan book. The paper says Noonan was called on to resign in rowdy exchanges on the report.

- The paper also reports on warnings for Irish exporters of further sharp currency fluctuations should talks on Brexit end with no trade deal. It quotes Davy's Conall Mac Coille as saying that sterling could go to 90p against the euro.

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