What Thursday's papers say

Garda Commissioner under pressure; junk bonds boom; more green energy supports needed

9th February, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times says Garda Comissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan faces an unprecedented commission of investigation following allegations that she attempted to blacken the name of whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. She faces an examination of her mobile phones and phone records over a period of two years as her contacts with the media are investigated by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton..

- The paper reports on research published in the Irish Journal of Education, which shows that much of the progress in reducing primary school class sizes during the economic boom has been eroded.

- In business, the Irish Times says a report from Age Action shows that more than 35,000 people, two-thirds of whom are women, have had their state pensions cut by as much as €1,500 a year as a result of changes introduced in 2012.

- The paper says Ryanair is likely to take up an option to buy a further 100 Boeing 737 Max aircraft to add to the 100 it has already committed to purchasing from the US manufacturer.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times leads with a report that investors are piling into some of the riskiest bonds sold by companies as they bet on Donald Trump delivering on his promise of a stronger US economy, lower taxes and less regulation.

- The FT says Trump's daughter Ivanka was a trustee for a large block of shares in 21st Century Fox and News Corp that belongs to Rupert Murdoch's two youngest daughters, underscoring the close ties between the US president's family and the mogul behind the Fox News channel.

- In companies news, the paper says fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown has broken company law on dividend payments to shareholders, including founders Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown. It failed to file accounts justifying its payments, it admitted yesterday.

- The FT says L'Oréal, the French cosmetics giants, is exploring a €1 billion sale of The Body Shop, its struggling retail division which it acquired just over a decade ago.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent says RTÉ is facing claims that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan orchestrated a broadcast in which whistleblower Maurice McCabe was "branded a liar and irresponsible". The claims will be put under intense scrutiny as part of the latest investigation into allegations of misconduct in the force.

- The paper reports on Central Bank research which shows that one in five first-time buyers are using the "bank of mum and dad" to get a deposit together, with the average gifted to buyers around €10,000.

- The head of the International Energy Agency has told the Irish Independent that government supports for renewable energy will be needed for the foreseeable future to drive a move away from fossil fuels. Dr Fatih Birol said wind and solar projects would have a "difficult time" competing with cheaper coal and gas.

- IAG chief Willie Walsh has said the Aer Lingus brand will not be used for the group's planned low-cost long-haul airline as the brand is not well known outside of Ireland.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner says pressure is growing on Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan to step aside after further allegations she directed a smear campaign against whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. This came after Labour leader Brendan Howlin told the Dáil he was contacted by a journalist who claimed direct knowledge of the smear campaign.

- Norwegian, the airline planning low-cost transatlantic flights from Cork and Shannon this summer, has welcomed comments from White House press secretary Sean Spicer. which signalled that Donald Trump does not intend to revoke a permit granted to the airline.

- In business, the Examiner says the company which operates the O'Hara's craft beer range is targeting annual revenue growth of 25 per cent on the back of extending its reach into the cider market through the acquisition of Wicklow company Craigies Cider.

- Celebrity food writer Domini Kemp has said her network of food businesses - which includes Itsa outlets - posted operating profits "well in excess of €200,000" last year.

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