• Council turns down Hollywood studio plan for old Dún Laoghaire terminal Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has rejected a proposal from $5 billion US children’s entertainment giant Hasbro to bring “Hollywood production” to the Dublin suburb with a studio in the old Stena Line terminal.
• Parnell Square redevelopment will cost €110m – double original estimate An Bord Pleanála has approved plans for the redevelopment of Parnell Square as a “cultural quarter” for Dublin, with a new city library, public plaza, and the restoration of some of the city’s finest Georgian houses.
• Surge in applicants delays foreign driving licence exchanges. People living outside the State seeking to swap their foreign driving licence for an Irish one are facing weeks-long delays on applications for the State’s driver-training programme. The delays are due to the strain on resources because of the post-Brexit surge in people from Northern Ireland and Britain applying for licence exchanges ahead of the UK’s original exit date from the EU on March 29th.
• Irish banks used in carbon tax frauds. Irish banks and shell companies were used in transactions worth millions of euro involving companies and individuals under investigation for significant tax fraud in Germany and elsewhere. Leaked files reveal that client of both Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank had dealings with parties suspected of involvement in tax fraud associated with the trading of carbon credits.
• Minister for Justice warns against complacency in divorce referendum. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has warned against any complacency in the referendum later this month to change the constitutional restrictions on divorce, but said he was confident the measure would be backed by a majority of voters.
• Derry gets £105m for economic growth. Derry is to receive £105 million from the British government to boost the city’s economic potential and tackle long-term deprivation.
General News (continued)
• Unpaid parental leave set to rise to 26 weeks. Legislation to increase unpaid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks is expected to be enacted before the summer.
• British and Irish governments to sign Common Travel Area agreement. The British and Irish governments will today sign a deal to guarantee that rights offered by the Common Travel Area (CTA) will continue after the United Kingdom quits the European Union. The memorandum of understanding between Dublin and London will copper fasten the free movement of people between Britain and Ireland, but also access to social security, health and education.
• Extra gardaí to be deployed on trains to tackle antisocial behaviour, says Irish Rail. Extra gardaí are set to be deployed on trains in the coming months following a significant increase in reports of harassment and antisocial behaviour, Irish Rail has said. The increases security follows release of figures which show more than 560 passengers made formal complaints last year about intimidation, vandalism, assault, begging and theft on Irish Rail services.
• Ammonia emissions up by 2%, says EPA. Ammonia emissions in Ireland increased by 2 per cent in 2017, while levels of the noxious pollutant are projected to continue to increase up to 2030, according to the latest EPA figures on air pollution. Agriculture is by far the most common source of ammonia emissions, which arise from decomposition of animal manures and use of fertiliser.
• Fianna Fáil claims decision to go ahead a pre-election ‘PR exercise’. Opposition parties have accused the Government of using the National Broadband Plan to bolster its chances in the upcoming local and European elections. Fianna Faíl communications spokesman Timmy Dooley said the Cabinet decision to proceed with the €3 billion plan has “all the hallmarks of a PR exercise two weeks out from a local and European election”.
• National Broadband Plan likely to cost more than €5bn. The cost of the National Broadband Plan, including private investment, is expected to exceed €5 billion, it has emerged.
• Boy awarded €32m in record settlement. Nine-year old is permanently disabled after Temple Street Hospital’s failure to diagnose infection.
General News (continued)
• Garda to set up anti-corruption unit. A new anti-corruption unit is being established in the Garda to investigate members of the force, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said.
• Fine Gael candidates set to top European poll. Fine Gael candidates are on track to top the poll in all three European Parliament constituencies according to a special Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll taken this week.
• EU expects Irish GDP growth to slow to 3.8% The State’s GDP growth is expected to moderate to 3.8 per cent in 2019 and 3.4 per cent in 2020 on the back of a less benign external environment, the European Commission warned yesterday in its spring economic forecasts.
• NTMA to sell €3bn of bonds that will not mature until 2050. The National Asset Management Agency (NTMA) has hired banks and brokerage firms to sell €3 billion of bonds that will not mature until 2050.
• Big attraction: Tayto Park ‘brings in €32m and supports 800 jobs. Tayto Park last year produced a €32m spend for the economy and sustained over 800 jobs according to a report commissioned as part of its fight to secure planning permission for a new €14m steel rollercoaster.
• Regulator wants airport charges cut. Regulators want Dublin Airport to cut the passenger charges it levies on airlines by up to 20 per cent to €7.50 a head from next year in a proposal that has angered the gateway’s owner, DAA.