Ireland

The Irish High Court has appointed a provisional liquidator to a shipping company which claims it has become “hopelessly insolvent” due to apparent fraud by its managing director, the Irish Times reported. The order was made in relation to a Co Louth-based freight forwarding business, Fast Shipping Ireland Ltd, which employs nine people. Following an investigation into its financial affairs, the company claims its currently suspended managing director, Simon Mulvany, used its monies for his own benefit, including the purchase of two racehorses.
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The Irish High Court has overturned an order requiring bankrupt businessman Sean Dunne to pay €7,000 a month for the benefit of creditors in his Irish bankruptcy, the Irish Times reported. On the basis of evidence, including that Mr Dunne’s net personal income for a 25-month period is €1,371 monthly, that he cannot access his pension until aged 70, and that the income of his children, of whom he is the sole carer, cannot be treated as his income, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys set aside the Bankruptcy Payment Order (BPO).
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Ulster Bank swung into an operating profit of €13 million in the Republic in the first quarter of the year as it freed up money that was previously set aside to cover bad loans, while its U.K. parent said that plans to wind down the unit over the coming years remain “on track,” the Irish Times reported. The Dublin-based lender’s loan book dipped by €200 million to €19.8 billion during the first three months of the year, as loan repayment outpaced new lending, while deposits dipped by €100 million to €100 million to €21.7 billion, driven by a reduction in commercial balances.

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The proportion of businesses in the Republic availing of COVID-related income supports or wage subsidies peaked at 57 percent last April, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and reported by The Irish Times. It fell to a pandemic low of 30 percent in September before rising again to 45.6 percent or 113,000 in January this year.

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The Irish High Court has approved a survival plan for the troubled airline Norwegian Air and related companies, the Irish Times reported. In a written decision Mr. Justice Michael Quinn said he was satisfied to approve the scheme put together by the airline’s examiner Kieran Wallace of KPMG. The airline’s Oslo-based parent company and several of its Irish-registered subsidiaries had sought the protection of the Irish courts due to factors including the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the airline industry and international travel.

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The governor of the Central Bank of Ireland has warned that many Irish firms will not survive the pandemic, and will no longer be viable once State supports are removed, the Irish Times reported. “The viability and survival prospects of many affected firms remains highly uncertain, and is likely to depend on a range of future policy choices,” Gabriel Makhlouf told a webinar event hosted by the University of Limerick.
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New proposals to rescue Irish small businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis must focus on those with viable futures, a leading insolvency practitioner has warned, the Irish Times reported. The Company Law Review Group (CLRG) has been seeking views on proposals for a scheme to rescue financially-troubled small businesses that avoids the need for court hearings but, like examinership, gives the enterprise temporary protection from creditors.
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IDA Ireland has clawed back almost € 55 million in grants from multinational companies over a 10 year period,figures provided by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar show, the Irish Times reported. In a written Dáil reply to co-leader of the Social Democrats Catherine Murphy, Mr. Varadkar confirmed that the largest annual clawback of the grants took place in 2011 when the IDA clawed back €18.7million from 11 companies. This followed the IDA revoking €12.88 million in grants in 2010 from 16 companies as unemployment rates soared.
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Ulster Bank has been fined a record €37.8 million by the Central Bank for its role in the State’s tracker mortgage scandal, which saw the lender devise “deliberate” strategies to shift borrowers off cheap mortgages during the financial crisis and only rectify matters for those that complained, the Irish Times reported. Borrowers lost 43 properties as a result of overcharging as they were denied their entitlement to a low-cost mortgage linked to the European Central Bank’s main rate, the Central Bank said in a statement on Thursday. Family homes accounted for 29 of these cases.
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