Ireland

Aer Lingus is laying off more than 60 contract workers who argue they qualify for Government payments to businesses that keep staff in jobs during the coronavirus crisis, The Irish Times reported. The airline told staff last week that it was cutting pay by 50 per cent in an effort to see the company through the coronavirus pandemic that has grounded flights across Europe and the United States and brought its industry to a standstill.

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Thousands of older people in long-term arrears on their mortgages could benefit from a debt resolution option if personal insolvency legislation is changed, a debtor advisory group has said, The Irish Times reported. Claire Kelly, chairwoman of the Association of Personal Insolvency Practitioners, which represents financial advisers who help people in debt, said the legislation needs to be “tweaked” to permit debt-for-equity swaps as a debt rescue solution after a High Court ruling this week.

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Cork radio presenter Neil Prendeville and David Hall’s ambulance company, Lifeline, are included in the latest list of tax defaulters. Mr Prendeville, who is also a newspaper contributor, paid a total of €541,636 after a revenue investigation following an underdeclaration of income tax, The Irish Times reported. He was ordered to pay €327,663 in tax with the remainder in interest and penalties. Mr Prendeville’s solicitor John Boylan, of BDM solicitors, said an error was made by a firm of accountants which previously handled the broadcaster's affairs.

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An internal Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) report raised concerns about the business model of a company which provided advice to over 600 people in mortgage arrears under a State-funded scheme to assist distressed borrowers, The Irish Times reported. New Beginning was paid more than €330,000 under a scheme to assist distressed borrowers, but did not directly set up any personal insolvency arrangements to restructure debts, the report found.

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Significant legislative changes are needed to allow “debt-for-equity swap” solutions for insolvent personal debtors facing difficulties repaying their mortgages, a High Court judge has said, The Irish Times reported. Scores of borrowers hoping for approval for these swaps to give them a fresh financial start in personal insolvency cases face uncertainty due to the judge’s ruling. Mr Justice Denis McDonald found that the courts cannot approve “debt-for-equity swaps” in personal insolvency arrangements without the consent of the relevant secured creditor.

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A lawyer for bankrupt developer Sean Dunne indicated in court papers filed late last week that his client intends to seek damages from his son John Dunne for turning over more than $12 million (€10.7 million) to the trustee in Sean Dunne’s long-running US bankruptcy case, The Irish Times reported. Attorney Luke McGrath said in the papers that he plans to file a claim seeking “money damages” against John Dunne in state court in New York City, where he lives.

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Ireland’s central bank chief has warned against starting a spending spree to address the country’s shortage of affordable housing after the problem led to a surge in support for the nationalist Sinn Féin party in elections last month, the Financial Times reported. Gabriel Makhlouf told the Financial Times that even though the Irish economy was one of the top performers in Europe last year with growth of close to 5 per cent, there were risks ahead that could cause a sharp downturn.

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More than $12 million of the proceeds from the sale of Walford, once Ireland’s most expensive home, have been handed over to the trustee in one-time property mogul Sean Dunne’s US bankruptcy case, according to court papers filed on Friday, The Irish Times reported. The funds were turned over earlier this month pursuant to a proceeding in an Irish court, where Mr Dunne also faces a bankruptcy case, the filing says. It does not specify which court.

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An investigation into how the son of a Co Donegal bankrupt came to own property that had formerly been owned by his father, is being conducted by the official assignee, Chris Lehane. In December last, Ms Justice Teresa Pilkington extended the bankruptcy of PJ Sweeney, of High Cairn, Ramelton, Co Donegal, to July 2025, The Irish Times reported. Mr Lehane told the judge that Mr Sweeney, who was adjudicated a bankrupt in July 2017 because of his debts to the Bank of Ireland, was not engaging with his office and had failed to produce a statement of affairs.

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Ryanair’s chief commercial officer on Thursday denied any interest in buying Air Italy after press reports linking his group to the loss-making airline, which was put into liquidation by its owners earlier this week, Reuters reported. Air Italy’s owners Qatar Airways and regional carrier Alisarda blamed “persistent and structural market problems” for the decision to pull the plug on Tuesday. Asked about Italian press reports that Ryanair was preparing an offer, chief commercial officer David O’Brien said his group was not interested and had not been approached. “Let’s clear the room ...

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