What Friday's papers say

AIB sells mortgage portfolio; Shannon gas plan revived; warning of 'difficult' pay talks

14th April, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times leads with comments from the state's top Brexit official, John Callinan, who told a seminar that the British government was slowly realising that Brexit was "an act of great self-harm" and that forthcoming negotiations with the EU must seek to limit the damage. Callinan is second secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach.

- The paper says the Government's decision to fund two new drugs, Orkambi and Kalydeco, for up to 600 patients with cystic fibrosis, was made in the absence of any agreement on the source of funding for the deal, the cost of which is believed to be close to €400m.

- In business, the Irish Times says AIB has sold a large portfolio of non-performing buy-to-let property loans to Goldman Sachs for about €200m, roughly half the original face value of the mortgages.

- The paper reports on comments from Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who told the Oireachtas Budget Oversight Committee that the amount of money available to increase spending and cut taxes in the budget should increase when new estimates are made in June, though the amount "won't be dramatic".

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent says the Public Accounts Committee has been told that the contributions of religious orders to the redress scheme for victims of abuse will be €429m less than the 50 per cent share the state wants them to pay.

- In business, the paper says shelved plans for a €500m gas terminal on the Shannon have been revived as a result of Brexit, with PwC mandated to find a buyer to fund the huge Shannon LNG project at Ballylongford, close to Tarbert.

- The paper quotes Michael Noonan as saying that the Government is planning financial support for exporters affected by Brexit, but it needs approval from Brussels to ensure that the plans do not breach state aid rules.

- The Irish Independent says Dublin-based IT firm EMIT has acquired the managed services business and customer base of IT service provider Softech for an undisclosed sum.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner leads with remarks from Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe, who has said that talks with trade unions on public sector pay will be "very difficult". He also said the report of the independent public sector pay commission would be delivered ahead of schedule next month.

- The paper says many of the Bus Eireann drivers starting their first full working day in three weeks today can still expect to earn a salary of up to €50,000 if they vote to accept a Labour Court recommendation on their future terms and conditions.

- The Examiner quotes Michael Noonan as telling the Budgetary Oversight Committee that a Cork-Limerick motorway could be built as long as tolls are included.

- The paper says the cosmetics plant formerly owned by Procter & Gamble in Nenagh, which is to shut with the loss of 200 jobs, was part of a business that posted pre-tax profits of more than €11.6m last year. Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Ireland Ltd operated plants at Newbridge and Nenagh, but the directors said Newbridge grew while Nenagh contracted last year. New owner Coty last month announced the closure of the Nenagh plant.

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