Thursday February 20, 2020

What Friday's papers say

May's offer on EU citizens; OCI still paying Hickey costs; surge in complaints to Garda Ombudsman

23rd June, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times leads with the EU leaders' summit in Brussels, saying British prime minister Theresa May has offered a package of proposals on citizens' rights that appears to come close to the EU's stance, in what is being seen as a conciliatory move on Brexit.

- The paper quotes Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as saying that he will seek to rebuild trust with Fianna Fáil after the controversy over the appointment of former attorney general Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal, but it adds that preparations for a general election will intensify in Fianna Fáil with a number of constituency conventions likely in the coming weeks.

- In business, the Irish Times reports that Angel di Maria, the Argentinian football star who this week pleaded guilty to tax fraud in Spain, used the same two Irish companies as part of his image rights payment structure that have figured in the tax investigations of Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho.

- The paper reports that staff in Dublin and Cork airports who are represented by Siptu are to seek pay increases of 18 per cent over three years. It says pay rises of 6 per cent a year would be considerably higher than those secured by staff at Luas and Dublin Bus after disputes last year.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times says China's banking regulator has ordered domestic lenders to check the "systemic risk" presented by some large companies involved in overseas buying sprees, sending stock prices of some of the country's most acquisitive private sector companies sharply lower.

- The FT says a weakened Theresa May tried to regain the initiative on Brexit at an EU summit by making a "fair and serious" offer last night to guarantee the rights of three million EU citizens living in Britain.

- In companies news, the paper reports that American Airlines has said that Qatar Airways, a Middle Eastern rival criticised for unfair competition, has made an unsolicited bid for 10 per cent of the US carrier. It comes as Qatar is embroiled in a bitter dispute with Saudi Arabia, which has led to a blockade of the country.

- The FT says Imagination Technologies, which was once held up as an example of British technology success, has put itself up for sale after Apple decided to stop using its products.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent reports on comments from minister of state Mary Mitchell O'Connor, who has launched a broadside at Taoiseach Leo Varadkar by insisting the government is "not leading by example" on the diversity issue, pointing out she was one of just seven in a government of 34 ministers.

- The paper says the recently elected president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, Sarah Keane, has confirmed that the body is continuing to pay the legal costs of its former president Pat Hickey, who faced allegations of ticket touting in the 2016 Olympics.

- In business, the Irish Independent says the Westbury Hotel and the Gaiety Theatre's owner Denis Desmond are vying to prevent a unit of US investment giant Lone Star from demolishing an existing building and constructing a new six-storey office, retail and apartment complex on Chatham Street in Dublin city centre.

- The paper reports on comments from Gerry Cross of the Central Bank, who said regulators need to get the balance right, combining "pragmatism with appropriate rigour" when dealing with Brexit-linked relocations.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner leads with news that the Garda Ombudsman has received a surge in garda whistleblower complaints this year, with 13 disclosures so far, compared with 11 over the previous three years.

- The paper also reports on documents submitted to the Charleton Tribunal, which it says contain an allegation that a member of Garda management told the force's head of human resources, John Barrett, that there would be an attempt to target Sergeant Maurice McCabe at the O'Higgins Commission, which was set up to examine allegations of malpractice in the force.

- The Examiner says Cork County Council has issued legal warnings to owner/developers and financial institutions involved in three ghost estates, stating that they have 14 days to come up with a plan to make them safe.

- In business, the paper reports on a survey from cybersecurity firm Ward Solutions, which shows that a fifth of Irish businesses have been the target of online ransom demands in the past year, while half of IT professionals don't believe their firms understand their own security systems.

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