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A weekly look at business and economics from an Irish perspective hosted by Irish Times Finance Correspondent Ciarán Hancock.

A weekly look at business and economics from an Irish perspective hosted by Irish Times Finance Correspondent Ciarán Hancock.
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A weekly look at business and economics from an Irish perspective hosted by Irish Times Finance Correspondent Ciarán Hancock.




Solving Ireland's Pensions Problem - Live at Irish Life

Some call it the pensions time-bomb. In the private sector, under 40% of workers are covered by a pension. As our workforce ages, the problem of retirees lacking the funds they need will grow and grow. Most agree that the planned introduction of auto-enrolment, whereby workers automatically contribute to their own pension, is a good idea. But beyond that, there is much disagreement on how it should be implemented. Should it be mandatory or opt-out? Privately or publicly run? And should it...


The Business of Sport: The Open Championship Returns to Portrush

It's officially titled The Open Championship but whether you call it that, the British Open or simply The Open, it’s coming to these shores in July. For the first time in 68 years Royal Portrush will host golf’s oldest major. Over 200,000 golf fans are expected to descend on the County Antrim coast with the eyes of millions worldwide focussed on the Dunluce Links as the seaside resort becomes the centre of the golf universe for one week. It also means a boon for the local economy. But can...


Five-Star Living & Sky-High Rents: Inside Capital Dock

If you've been in Dublin lately you might have noticed a tall new building dwarfing its neighbours on the south quays. Capital Dock, now the Republic's tallest building, is a residential development by Kennedy Wilson, who hope the wealthy executives who work nearby will choose to rent an apartment there. And you will need to be wealthy, because a standard two-bed will cost €3,300 per month. For that money you also get access to luxurious shared facilities and services. Inside Business went...


Interview: Glanbia CEO, Siobhán Talbot

Siobhán Talbot, Glanbia chief executive and the Irish Times Business Person of the Year for 2018, talks to Ciarán about Brexit and the difficulty of planning for a ‘no deal’ scenario. They also talk about Glanbia’s transition from dairy to high tech proteins and weight management products, the importance of promoting diversity, and how surviving cancer has changed her outlook on life.


Markets React To May's Defeat, Car Sales & Brexit, Victory for Supermac's

On this week's podcast: Cliff Taylor on the market reaction to the defeat of Theresa May's Brexit deal. What now? There is at least one sector for whom a hard Brexit may not be all bad: cars. Motoring Editor Michael McAleer explains why. Peter Hamilton has a roundup of the latest business news, includinga good week for Supermac's as it wins its David v Goliath court battle with McDonalds, a terrible week for software company Datalex, and news of yet more Dublin expansion for startup unicorn...


Profit Warnings at Apple & Samsung / 2019 Economic Outlook

Apple and Samsung both reported revenue slumps for the last quarter of 2018. What's going on? Analyst at Davy Stockbrokers Aidan Donnelly explains. Plus: Ibec is predicting a major slowdown in growth this year as the Irish economy approaches full capacity and “cost competitiveness erodes”. CEO of the employer's group Danny McCoy joins Cliff Taylor to give his predictions for the economy in 2019 amid the threat of Brexit, Donald Trump’s tariffs and other drags on Ireland’s economic...


Looking Ahead to 2019 with Anne Graham, Maurice Pratt and Michael O'Flynn

Christmas Day is behind us, and so is a record year for Irish business. But as 2018 draws to a close the picture is beginning to look a lot more mixed. Today we assess some of the risks to the Irish economy in the year ahead, from Brexit to retail and the housing crisis. Joining Ciarán Hancock to look ahead to those challenges are Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Agency, Maurice Pratt, chairman of Uniphar among other things, and Cork-based property developer Michael O'Flynn.


The Business Stories that Dominated the Year

As 2018 draws to a close, Ciarán talks to some of the Irish Times business team about the stories they’ve covered this year. Joe Brennan and Cliff Taylor take a look back at the banks, Brexit and Ireland’s continued economic recovery, just five years after exiting the EU-IMF bailout. Plus: Laura Slattery recalls a torrid year for Facebook and Mark Paul goes through the highlights of the ongoing drama at INM.


Brexit, Trade Wars & Stock Market Wobbles

What could derail Ireland's economic recovery next year? Ciarán talks to Megan Greene, Global Chief Economist of Manulife/John Hancock Asset Management in New York, Equity Analyst at Investec, Owen Callan and Cliff Taylor, about the international variables that could influence Ireland's growth prospects in 2019: Brexit, the US-China trade war and global stock markets. But first, Laura Slattery has a roundup of some of the other stories in the news this week, including RTÉ salaries, Primark...


FAI Finance Director Eamon Breen / Corporation Tax Boost / Brexit

Why are Republic of Ireland football managers paid so well? That’s just one of the questions Ciarán puts to FAI finance director Eamon Breen on this week’s podcast. He talks about where the association is investing its money in the sport, the debt it is currently carrying and he reveals how much money the businessman Denis O’Brien contributed to the FAI's finances over the years. Plus: Cliff Taylor explains why the corporate tax take was up last month and why a surprise budget surplus looks...


Business of Sport: Irish Sports Agents

Sports agents have never been as big a part of the sporting landscape in Ireland as in some other countries, but that is slowly changing. Today Ciaran Hancock and Michael O'Keeffe talk to two people working in the field in Ireland about their businesses and their unique perspective on the business of sport. Niall Woods is CEO of Rugby Agents Ireland and Sinead Galvin is founder of Galvin Sports Management But first, Michael O'Keeffe has a roundup of all the month's biggest sports business...


Tech Stocks Stumble; Sky-High Rents at Capital Dock; Aid:Tech Wins at Innovation Awards

The 2018 Irish Times Innovation Awards took place last night and the overall winner is Aid:Tech. The company's platform enables entitlements like aid, welfare, remittances, donations and healthcare to be digitised and delivered through blockchain technology in a completely transparent manner. Ciarán caught up with Niall Dennehy, co-founder and COO, right after his big win last night. Plus, Fiona Reddan on the new benchmark for rents in the capital: €3,300 for a two-bed apartment in the...


Mediacon Summit, Brexit & Innovation Awards

Mediacon Summit co-founder Steve McCormack talks to Laura Slattery about the TV business and why the Irish television industry needs to look overseas for co-production opportunities. Later, Cliff Taylor explains the latest Brexit developments and what the possible outcomes could be. But first, Michael McAleer previews the upcoming Irish Times Innovation Awards and some of the novel business ideas set to be recognised during the ceremony.


EU Digital Tax Disharmony, 100% Club Launches, Ryanair Sackings

This week: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will be happy with the outcome of Tuesday’s Ecofin meeting, which saw his German counterpart suggest a two year delay on the introduction of a digital sales tax and the French propose a compromise, or to borrow a Brexit term, a backstop measure. Europe editor Patrick Smyth and Olivia Buckley of the Irish Tax Institute join Ciaran to discuss how the tax will work and why Ireland is so opposed to it. Plus: The 100% Club launched on the fringes of...


"We Blew €500k on Our Name" -'s Daniel Mackey & Peter Coppinger / UK Budget Analysis

This year's winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Ireland awards, Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger, are the founders and leaders of, a Cork-based Saas (software as a service) company. They talk to Ciarán about their ambition to build a €450 million-revenue company, going where the talent is (which isn't Dublin), not needing funding despite spending their savings on their url, and their advice for wannabe entrepreneurs. Later we hear from Denis Staunton in London and Cliff...


The Business of Sport: Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson

Today's guest: Former stockbroker Mick Dawson took over as Leinster Rugby CEO in 2001. Since then Mick has overseen the transformation of Leinster Rugby into one of the genuine powerhouses of the European game, claiming four Heineken Cups and numerous other successes along the way. In that time, support for both the province and the game in general has grown considerably with Leinster very much now a firm part of the Dublin and Irish sporting fabric. Plus: positive news for sport in Ireland...


Interview: AIB Chief Executive, Bernard Byrne

On this week’s show AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne is in the hot seat to answer questions on a wide variety of topics including housing and rip-off mortgage rates, Brexit, bankers’ salaries and bonuses, when Irish taxpayers will be fully repaid for the bailout and whether he gets any hate mail. Ciarán also asks why, a decade after the financial crisis, trust in the banks is still being eroded by scandals like the tracker mortgage controversy.


Budget 2019 Special with Fiach Kelly, Fiona Reddan, Cliff Taylor and Liam Diamond

Paschal Donohoe’s Budget 2019 has a little something for everyone, but the goodies are spread widely across tax and welfare. The decision to restore VAT to 13.5 per cent for hotels, restaurants and hairdressers will be a hot topic, though perhaps not quite as hot as the lack of action on the carbon tax, in a week when climate change experts delivered their starkest ever predictions on global warming. The ‘squeezed middle’ will gain €250 a year, €1.25bn has been allocated for social housing,...


Budget 2019: Scrooge, Santa or Sensible? / Ryanair in a Tailspin

September tax returns give Paschal Donohoe little scope for surprise giveaways in Budget 2019, unless he raises taxes elsewhere. Will that see hoteliers lose their coveted 9 per cent VAT rate? Is it possible to Brexit-proof the economy? Ahead of the announcement next Tuesday, Chief economist at KBC Bank Austin Hughes and Irish Times business journalist Eoin Burke-Kennedy go through the numbers. Also: There was further turbulence at Ryanair this week after it issued a profit warning and...


The Guarantee, Ten Years On - With Simon Carswell

It is ten years since the decision was taken to guarantee six Irish banks, a decision that has been debated ever since. Public Affairs Editor Simon Carswell, then Finance Correspondent, takes us back to the day for a fresh look at what took place. Produced in association with Irish Life.