AIB has claimed that businessman Anthony O'Reilly, Ireland's
former richest man, is broke.
Yesterday, AIB secured a judgment for €22m against Mr O'Reilly, who admits he
owes almost €200m to his creditors.
The AIB judgment is just under 12pc of the one-time billionaire's overall
personal liabilities, which now stand at €195m.
Mr O'Reilly did not dispute the AIB debt and "is hopeful" that the sale of his
Castlemartin Estate in Co Kildare – described as "the jewel in the crown" –
would discharge most or all of the debt owed to the state-owned lender.
He has sought a six-month court delay on the enforcement of the judgment as he
wants to sell other assets in an orderly fashion.
Such a stay or postponement would prevent a series of court actions by other
creditors, a move which could lower the value of those assets.
High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he wanted time to consider the
delay bid and would give his judgment on that issue on Friday. He granted a stay
until Friday pending that decision.
TAXPAYERS will not have to foot the estimated €1m
legal bill for former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick.
Circuit Court judge Martin Nolan has rejected an
application by Mr FitzPatrick's legal team that he should not be liable for the
cost of defending himself during his recent 48-day criminal trial.
Last March, Mr FitzPatrick, of Greystones, Co Wicklow, was acquitted, at the
direction of Judge Nolan, of 16 counts of providing illegal loans to the Quinn
family and the Maple 10 group of investors.
Insurers refused to cover the legal costs of Mr FitzPatrick, an undischarged
bankrupt who did not seek legal aid.
Mr FitzPatrick's defence was privately funded after he was refused directors and
officers' liability (D&O) cover.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has hit back at
claims by the Law Society that proposals to cut court services are shortsighted
and flawed insisting "things have to move on".
The society's director general, Ken Murphy, has
said cuts to court services around the country have reached an unjustifiable
level and now pose a threat to "the very fabric of our justice system".
The body which represents solicitors said 77 local courts have been closed since
2008, while the Courts Service budget has been reduced by 40pc.
A proposal to shut suburban District Courts in Dun Laoghaire, Tallaght, Swords
and Balbriggan is being considered.
"The rationalisation of the Courts Service has gone beyond what is sensible and
justified, and poses a threat to the very fabric of our justice system," Mr
When asked about the matter in Limerick yesterday, Mr Noonan said: "The law
profession is a very conservative profession."
Referring to the profession's Latin motto Nolumus Mutari (we shall not be
changed), Mr Noonan added: "I think they have an inscription in Latin over The
King's Inns which effectively means nothing will ever change.
TRAVEL headaches loom for airline passengers from today as a
French air traffic controllers' strike looks set to cause delays to Aer Lingus
flights and ground at least 26 Ryanair flights across Europe.
Aer Lingus has told passengers it plans to run its full schedule of flights but
has warned customers to expect delays to some flights.
The six-day strike action, called by French airline trade unions, has been timed
ahead of a June 30 deadline for France to present its aviation budget plans to
The strike could impact on hundreds of thousands of passengers across the
The tighter budgets are part of a European Commission plan, called Single Sky
Europe, to cut air navigation costs. A similar walkout in 2013 led to some 1,800
flights being cancelled a day across Europe.
Ryanair has been the airline worst-hit by the action, with 26 flights cancelled.
The flights affected include those coming in and out of France, as well as those
serving airports in Spain, Portugal and northern Africa.
There aren’t too many Clonmel-based companies that find
themselves getting bought out by a Canadian conglomerate for €1.45 billion, but
Kentz has always had an eye on the prize.
The company, which employs 14,500 across 36 countries, was established as an
electrical contracting business in Clonmel in 1919 by Michael Francis Kent. For
many years, it seemed content to stay that way.
It began to look way beyond the river Suir in the late 1970s, however, after
successfully completing a project with a US engineering and construction partner
in Saudi Arabia.
The Government is in discussions with international lenders about
repaying its bailout loans early, in a bid to reduce the debt burden on the
Officials have held discussions with its bailout partners about possibly
repaying some of the EU-IMF loans early, though no decision has been made.
Ireland will be subject to two post-programme reviews by the EU and IMF until 75
per cent of the country’s bailout loans are repaid, which is expected to be
around 2031. The government will only begin repaying the principal of the EU
portions of the loans in 2027.
European leaders will consider calls for an interpretation of EU
budget rules that gives more emphasis to economic growth, according to the draft
of a document being circulated before a summit in Brussels this week.
The document, which European Council president Herman Van Rompuy is drawing up
in consultation with Italy, the next country to hold the rotating EU presidency,
marks an effort to reset the EU agenda away from the budget cuts and tax
squeezes that characterised the initial reaction to the euro zone debt crisis.
With much of Europe still struggling to return to sustainable growth and with
unemployment rates at record levels in many areas, pressure for a change of
course and an easing in austerity was underlined by a surge in support for
anti-EU parties in last month’s European Parliament election.
Current figures do not show any leeway for the Government in next
year’s budget and the full sum of €2.1bn must be cut, says a European Commission
This is contrary to what Finance Minister Michael Noonan believes, and could set
the country on a collision course with Brussels when the draft budget is
produced in October.
The country’s huge debt, that reached more than 120% of GDP, can only be reduced
if the fiscal adjustment continues, the report warns, noting that the Government
is coming under political pressure on the budget.
And while the Government has met all its targets to reduce the deficit, the debt
remains the most vulnerable to fiscal shocks, it says.
The report is the first since the Troika finished up and the first of twice
yearly reports that will study the country’s finances until 75% of the €67bn
loans are paid off in 2031.
The Spanish government has announced income tax relief for Spaniards, who can
expect it to kick in next year.
Under the tax reform presented by the Popular Party (PP) administration on
Friday, income tax on wages will go down an average 12.5 percent over the course
of two years, said Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría.
Santamaría added that for 62 percent of taxpayers – those earning less than
€24,000 a year – the income tax rebate will be an average 23.5 percent in 2016.
The deputy prime minister also denied there would be any further hikes to
value-added tax (VAT), save those on certain sanitary products to comply with
orders from Brussels.
The publication of further recordings of
conversations between top Polish decision makers by the conservative news
magazine Wprost triggered an outcry on Sunday.
Now Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski has been
cited as having made vulgar and disparaging remarks about the value of the
Polish-US alliance to Jacek Rostowski, who was finance minister at the time of
the recordings. Not a problem, the conservative daily Rzeczpospolita finds: "To
say that these revelations will hurt Poland internationally is exaggerated.
Sikorski clearly behaved undiplomatically. But he did so in a private
conversation. Many diplomats express sharp opinions in private that would cause
a scandal if they were made public. And domestically all that matters is that
what we have learned so far of Sikorski's conversation with Rostowski doesn't go
against the constitution or point to an illegal use of tax money for party
Passion wins over tactics at Brazilian World Cup:
After the 2-2 against Ghana on Saturday the conservative German daily Die
Welt calls for a lighter approach from the German team in the Brazil World Cup:
"Seldom has a world championship been as refreshingly unconventional and exotic
as this one. In the country that was champion five times, football has returned
to its origins - and also to a certain lightness. Whereas in the last few years
Europe's highly tactical style of football dominated, now a touch of playing
field charm is making itself felt in the stadiums. Outsiders like Costa Rica and
Columbia are casting their spell with a playing style dictated less by the head
than the heart. In these soaring temperatures, passion and the absolute will to
win are back in vogue. European teams like Spain or Italy that until now had
shone with their tactical prowess are having a hard time. ... The German players
must prove that they too have understood the rules of this World Cup. Otherwise
they will suffer the same fate as Spain and England."