Padraic's Feed
May 27, 2014

Irish finance minister says limited room to sweeten budget cuts

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The Irish government will not be swayed by political pressure to ease back on one last bout of austerity, which it needs to implement to hit fiscal targets mandated by Brussels, its finance minister said.

As members of the Labor party – the government’s junior coalition partner – called for a change in economic direction following an election drubbing, Michael Noonan said he would have limited leeway to sweeten planned budget cuts.

May 26, 2014

Irish deputy PM quits as party leader after poll rout

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore on Monday said he will quit as leader of the junior government Labour party, in a move that could destabilise the coalition and its austerity programme following a major election setback.

Eight members of Labour’s parliamentary party, representing almost a fifth of the grouping, had submitted a motion of no confidence in Gilmore’s leadership after its support collapsed at weekend local and European elections.

May 26, 2014

Bruised Irish government hit by lower than expected jobs growth

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s unemployment rate fell less than expected in the first quarter, data showed on Monday, dropping only slightly to 12 percent, in another blow to the government after bruising local elections at the weekend.

Unemployment eased back from 12.2 percent the previous quarter and has now fallen for eight successive quarters from a high of 15.1 percent two years ago. But support for Ireland’s coalition government fell sharply in local and European polls as voters registered their resentment over six years of relentless austerity.

May 25, 2014

Irish PM’s party slumps to second place in local polls

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish prime minister Enda Kenny’s ruling party looked set to slump to second place in local elections on Sunday, a surprise result that will complicate an austerity program to be completed this year to cut a still-high budget deficit.

In a warning to other European governments implementing the last of harsh budget cuts, support for Kenny’s Fine Gael party fell sharply since its exit from an international bailout in December, when it held a seven percentage point lead in opinion polls.

May 24, 2014

Irish coalition suffers local poll setback as Sinn Fein surges

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s coalition government suffered a bruising setback at local elections on Saturday as the opposition Sinn Fein party made major gains to capitalize on frustration over six years of relentless austerity cuts.

Ireland emerged from an international bailout under Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s government last year and employment is growing strongly after a long recession, but the economic recovery is not being felt by large numbers of voters.

May 23, 2014

Apps, ads and accumulators: bookies ready for record World Cup

LONDON/DUBLIN, May 23 (Reuters) – Tech-savvy gamblers using smartphones and tablets to bet on live match action will help to make next month’s soccer World Cup the most lucrative sports event ever for British bookmakers and bring welcome relief from tough market conditions.

Betting companies in Britain are grappling with tighter regulation and an additional tax burden of 400 million pounds ($675 million) over the coming year – moves that have weighed heavily on their share prices.

May 7, 2014

Ireland’s justice minister resigns over police inquiry

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s justice minister Alan Shatter resigned on Wednesday after an inquiry into allegations made by a police whistleblower criticised him and his department, in a blow to Prime Minister Enda Kenny weeks before local and European elections.

Shatter, the first senior member of Kenny’s cabinet to resign in three years in power, stepped down after a report into how the Irish police treated whistleblower Maurice McCabe, who had alleged widespread misconduct in the force.

May 7, 2014

Ireland’s CRH sees little impact from Holcim, Lafarge merger

DUBLIN, May 7 (Reuters) – Ireland’s CRH does not
expect the merger of Holcim and Lafarge to
have a big impact cement industry competition nor raise
antitrust issues for its own diversified materials business, its
CEO said on Thursday.

CRH, which said on Wednesday it expects earnings to rise in
2014 after sales grew sharply in its struggling European market
in the first four months of the year, is embarking on a disposal
plan of its own as it streamlines operations under new Chief
Executive Albert Maniford.

Apr 15, 2014

Ireland nudges up growth forecasts, sticks with austerity

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland nudged up its growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015, reversing a trend of downgrades over recent years but the government is sticking with planned tax increases and spending cuts to reduce a still high budget deficit.

Employment is growing strongly in Ireland, with consumer sentiment near a seven-year high and house prices rising after a spectacular property crash as the government looks to drive down one of the highest public debts in Europe.

Apr 10, 2014

Irish banks see repossessions ramping up amid mortgage crisis

DUBLIN, April 10 (Reuters) – Irish banks are set to ramp up
repossessions of homes whose mortgage holders are struggling as
they tackle the major lasting issue of Ireland’s financial
crisis, a parliamentary committee heard this week.

The spectacular property crash that pushed Ireland into a
bailout has left almost one in five home loans, worth 25 billion
euros ($34 billion), in distress with a further 11 billion euros
of investment property loans also not being fully repaid.