Padraic's Feed
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.

Apr 4, 2014

Ireland’s “bad bank” sells Northern Ireland loans

DUBLIN, April 4 (Reuters) – Ireland’s “bad bank” sold its
entire portfolio of loans belonging to Northern Ireland-based
debtors on Friday in its largest deal to date, cashing in on
surging international demand.

The loans, which had a par value of 4.5 billion pounds ($7.5
billion), were sold to affiliates of private equity firm
Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. for more than the 1.3 billion
pounds minimum reserve price, a source familiar with the
operation told Reuters.

Mar 26, 2014

Ireland’s Permanent tsb says mortgage arrears have peaked

DUBLIN, March 26 (Reuters) – State-owned Irish bank
Permanent tsb said its mortgage arrears had peaked and it was on
track to return to profit by 2017, as it posted an annual loss
of almost 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion), hit by impairments on
bad loans.

Ireland’s banks, the cause of its financial meltdown that
forced it into an EU/IMF bailout, remain the main risk to the
state and Permanent tsb (ptsb) is the weakest of the three
domestic lenders, weighed down by its troubled mortgage book.

Mar 18, 2014

Schmidt relishes Irish competition with eye on World Cup

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s Six Nations success has handed coach Joe Schmidt a dilemma, the New Zealander said on Tuesday, anticipating fierce competition for places ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Ireland won their second title in 29 years with a heart-stopping win in France on Saturday having rarely changed their team throughout with former fringe players like David Kearney, Devin Toner and Andrew Trimble grasping their opportunities.